Your question is a bit like, "How long is a piece of string?" There
are no other information on which to make the choice.
If you are in a district with the ideal three units for each
Commissioner, AND you happen to serve a pack, troop, and crew "owned" by
the same organization, your time outlay will be less, than if you
commission three units in different towns and programs or even the same
program. Ideally you should visit a unit's meeting and committee
meeting every month, and work on any problems that you observe. This
commits you to three committee meetings, three unit meetings, a
Commissioner meeting, and ideally a Round Table meeting each month. So
eight meetings month.
Since you Commission the units that will logically "graduate" Scouts
to their troop or crew, you will have less time spent working with the
troops and crews towards which, separate packs and troops will feed. If
you Commission three packs, troops, or crews you learning curve will be
shorter, since I expect Commissioners to take the Leader Specific
Training for each program they Commission, and are not fully trained.
You simply can't walk the walk if you can't talk the talk. However long
term Scouters becoming Commissioners from Crews, usually already know
enough about troop and pack operations that this training isn't as
important to your success.
If your district isn't well represented by Commissioners so that you
either pile on more units, or see them less, your evening load is going
to be heavier, until you get some more Commissioners. This is ONE
reason why National rates councils, and council's rate districts on
their unit/commissioner ratio, as this overly heavy Commissioner load
can burn Commissioners out very quickly.
And hard as it may be to believe, Commissioning a unit from which you
came is just asking for problems. No matter how well regarded you were
in your unit, when you try to work it as one of your units, you'll still
be regarded as good old Bruce, or Bruce from the troop, not Bruce who's
come to us to help us run a better program for the Scouts. This is the
major reason why most folks frown on Commissioning a unit were you used
So, how long is your piece of string. You have committed yourself to
eight monthly meetings, plus any additional training you need to get up
to speed on the programs with which you are the least familiar. In Cub
Scouting, that takes at least one whole day to get NLE, Fast Start, and
Cubmaster training. If there is time and the breakout sessions permit
it you could also squeeze in one of the Den Leader Training sessions.
Boy Scout Leader Essentials take at least a night, a day, and a weekend
to become Scoutmaster trained, and another night if you also take Troop
Committee Challenges. Venturing is the easy one, only one day, although
Powder Horn Training is a lot of fun.
This gives you some idea of what it takes to become well enough versed
in your programs to be effective. This is all in addition to either two
evenings or an entire weekend day at Commissioner Training. I list the
one day option although it doesn't give you actual practice in visiting
a unit meeting with another Commissioner to practice working with and
determining what, if any, problems the unit may be experiencing.
Generally District Commissioners feel you out a bit, and won't lumber
you with too many units until you get up to speed with the job, but
often your boss won't have any choice in the matter. If s/he has 45
units, and ten Commissioners, to carry the load, someone is going to
have to monitor additional units until things get better, or give the
more capable units less help for a bit.
ADC & BS Training Chair
Daniel Webster Council, BSA
Scouter Chuck wrote:
> Don Wilson wrote (an extended description of the UC position).
> The next question is, what is the time commitment? 2-3 nights a
> week? 5 nights a week? 7 days a week?
> Chuck Bramlet
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Dave Loomis mailto:dloomis.nh.ultranet@...
245 Union St. (603) 431 5342
Portsmouth, NH 03801-4349