Ask the Chairman
There's been a lot of confusion this year regarding the new Journey to Excellence program. How do we
know if our lodge submitted information? Will we receive confirmation of our JTE level? What’s being done
to make the process easier in future years?
Thank you for your question. Lodges have been terrific this year with the
transition to Journey to Excellence. People have been appreciative of the
process involved, but also generous in providing solid feedback to improve
things during the next recharter cycle.
The most important thing to remember with JTE is that it is not a pass/fail
system. JTE is intended for lodges to strive towards continuous improvement.
Earning JTE gold does not mean your lodge is perfect, and not making any JTE
recognition does not mean your lodge is failing. JTE will always emphasize
collecting accurate information and using that to provide better support to
Some of the common issues that popped up this year included:
How to submit paperwork. Instructions on the JTE spreadsheet
were outdated. All JTE forms need to be submitted in their original Microsoft
Excel format to email@example.com. The JTE team uses the data from each form to
create resources for lodges, and needs the original data from Excel to do so.
The items on page one of the form (with blue shaded boxes) should be answered
with a yes or no answer.
Knowing whether a petition was accepted. E-mailing petitions to
firstname.lastname@example.org is the only way to submit petitions. A member of the JTE team
replies to each e-mail either confirming receipt or asking for the petition to
be resubmitted if it was not complete. If your lodge did not receive an e-mail
back, your petition should be resubmitted. Likewise, if the JTE team requests
the petition be resubmitted, your lodge will not get credit for JTE until the
petition is resubmitted. Once petitions are verified, a list will be posted on
the national web site of each lodge's JTE level.
JTE requirements not calculating correctly. The JTE form posted
on the OA web site did not properly round up numbers, depriving lodges of
points. There were also other mathematical quirks, affecting lodges with
different numbers of events in subsequent years, or posting year over year
gains. The JTE team is aware of these errors, and they'll be adjusted during the
auditing process. Lodges who's JTE level is affected by these changes will be
notified by the end of February 2013.
Point values on item 1. During 2012, the point values on item 1
were changed. This was not an error on the form, although the change was not
expressly communicated to lodges.
Lodges and sections will also receive feedback from the JTE group beginning in
early February 2013. This feedback will tell lodges how they stack up compared
to the lodges in their section, region and nationally. It will also help
identify areas of strength for lodges, as well as specific opportunities for
lodges to grow and improve. Sections can use this information in planning
trainings, and lodges can utilize it for focus areas at LLD's.
JTE requirements for 2013 will remain the same as in 2012. The National
Committee will look at potential changes to JTE requirements at their meeting in
May 2013, with changes being implemented for 2014. Lodges will have plenty of
time to plan for achieving the new requirements.
In addition, lodges can look forward to some new elements of the JTE program in
Combined recharter/JTE form. Lodges will use the same form to
complete both their charter and JTE paperwork, removing the redundancies in both
OA LodgeMaster integration. There will be a JTE wizard for OA
LodgeMaster in 2013. Lodges will be able to submit their entire JTE form (and
recharter information) through OA LodgeMaster.
Easier submission process. In 2013, lodges will have an easier
process for submitting JTE and recharter information. Lodges will complete
paperwork (either through the OA LodgeMaster wizard or manually in Microsoft
Excel). The completed Excel document (either from the website or exported
through OA LodgeMaster) will be e-mailed to email@example.com. A single printed
copy of the form will be sent to the national office along with the check for
If you have additional feedback for JTE, feel free to share it. The e-mail
address firstname.lastname@example.org forwards to the entire team, and they’ll continue to keep
an eye toward improving each year.
Hope this helps,