Making JTE work for you

By Matthew Watson

The Journey to Excellence (JTE) is a thrilling expedition that has been crafted to help lodges continually improve their previous accomplishments. With a new year ahead, this is the prime time to take a look at your lodge's JTE data from last year and plan ahead for the future. 

To plan out the path effectively, consider what things have worked in the past for your lodge and which items your lodge struggles with. To best evaluate your progress, try reaching out to the neighboring lodges in your section. Many lodges do things differently and it may turn out that the way they fulfill a certain requirement may be very beneficial when implemented for your lodge. 

In addition, lodge officers should be encouraged to take on an active role in JTE planning. Consider reviewing the JTE requirements from the perspective of your elected lodge office. As officers create their own unique goals for their term of office, ensure the goals line up with the lodge goals for JTE performance. Perhaps one of the best things to do as a fresh Lodge Executive Committee (LEC) is to create a list of goals for the year. Be sure to note your lodge’s performance goals for some of the JTE requirements. As your LEC looks back on the previous JTE data, consider the following: 

  • How do we learn to improve?
  • What actions do we take to get better results?
  • Are there any requirements where your lodge earned no points? If so, why? 
  • What does it take to earn Bronze in these requirements? 
  • Some requirements include an option to earn Bronze by performing better than last year even though your score does not meet the Bronze benchmark. Can your lodge earn Bronze on this requirement this year?

JTE provides a tool for officers to measure performance and to learn how the local lodge compares on specific performance areas with other lodges nationwide. For example, if your lodge is a top performer encouraging elected youth candidates to attend the Ordeal, then your lodge may be the best choice to lead a conclave training session on ordeal completion to share your successful strategies with neighboring lodges. On the other hand, a review of your relative performance on a JTE category relative to other lodges may identify an area for improvement and take action to achieve a better result!

Within the next several weeks, your lodge chief will receive the JTE insight report for your lodge that summarizes your lodge’s performance in key areas such as youth membership retention and event participation. Colorful graphs display your lodge’s results and offer comparisons to national averages.

On your lodge’s insight report there are links to Order of the Arrow best practices to help you gather ideas and learn how to do even better – these best practices are only a click away.

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