Dear Unit Leaders:
September is about to begin! Before we know it, the days will be a bit crisper, the leaves will begin to turn and we will be in the thick of Fall Scout Recruiting. As we begin a new Scouting Program Year, we want to send you a brief note about the Reporting of all the Community Service that your Scouts are performing.
As stated in in the Advancement letter sent in June from Tom Burkhardt and Kerry Ketchum, we are doing our best to improve Council to unit support and working hard to bring you a variety of tracking tools.
This is the second letter in this Council initiative, Online Service Hours reporting:
As we put together exceptional programming an adventures for the youth in our units, it is important to remember our obligation to “Do A Good Turn Daily.” Not just words, community service is a vital part of our program and the cornerstone of our vision, to “prepare every eligible youth in America to become a responsible, participating citizen and leader who is guided by the Scout Oath and Law.”
In an effort to ensure that all Scouts and Units are performing community service, a tracking tool is now part of your “dashboard” on the myscouting.org website. Use of this tool is a mandatory part of the Journey to Excellence score that grades the performance of units, districts and the council.
The beauty and value of the Service hours reporting tool to you as a unit leader is:
- The system will help you take care of reporting service hours to the council office.
- Using the system will create permanent accurate records that your unit or the council office staff can access at any time. This could come in handy later on in a Scout’s career. Also as advancement chairs move and change you have your current records safe for easy retrieval and verification.
- The system will allow you to manage your unit’s service projects by seeing current status. You can also compare your service hours to previous years. You can check on this status 24/7/365.
- This method will save you time and peace of mind by knowing that your units service records are safe and retrievable at a moments notice..
I am dismayed to report that as I write these words this tool is only reflecting 2.6 hours of community service per registered Scout in the Council. Of course, more community service than this is being performed (as evidenced, at least, by the number of Star, Life and Eagle advancements already recorded!) However, unit leaders in our State just are not using the system.
If we do not record what we are doing, we can not make accurate measurements for future improvement. I ask all of you to record all of the community service performed by all the youth in your programs in this system.
One of the purposes of this letter is to provide you with a list of procedures to access the online service hour reporting system. From your myscouting.org dashboard, you will see a link for “Service Hours Reporting”, as reproduced on the first page of this letter. If you click on that link, you will be taken to another site, where you can login with a userID and password for your unit. If you do not have this information, please call Michelle Ferguson at the Great Falls Scout Office (406-761-6000) and she can provide you with those login credentials.
After you have logged in, you will be taken to a page where you can record service hours or look at reports of previously recorded projects.
After providing the category of the service project (Food Drive, Conservation, etc.) you will have the opportunity to record the number of youth and adults participating, and the total hours of service donated. A copy of that screen is provided to the right.
Recording the service that we provide is an important step in being able to define our future goals. It also helps your unit, your district and your council as we tell the story of the worth of Scouting to the community at large. I again ask you to utilize this system to record every service hour from every youth in every unit in our council.
If you need help please contact one of the professionals at the council office for help. They will walk you through the process. Give it a try it will make your life easier.
Thank you very much for your help with this project, and I hope that you continue to have a great Scouting summer!
Yours in Scouting,
Vice President for Program
Montana Council, BSA