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Commissioners as Trainers

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  • Randy Worcester
    At our last Commissioner meeting, the staff expressed interest in becoming the providers of beginning level training. i.e. youth protection, leader
    Message 1 of 23 , Apr 17, 2005
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      At our last Commissioner meeting, the staff expressed interest in
      becoming the providers of beginning level training. i.e. youth
      protection, leader essentials, fast start, committee training. The
      feeling was that by bringing basic training to the unit, we could get
      more leaders trained, get leaders interested in further training, set
      up the Commissioner as an "expert", and hold training when needed as
      opposed to once a quarter. The team requested a Trainer Development
      Conference for Commissioners.

      Does this idea give training chairmen heartburn or does it have
      potential?

      While I am at it, there was discussion as to whether Rountable was a
      Commissioner function or a training function. The consensus seemed to
      be that it was a training function and that they should be part of the
      training team and not the Commissioner staff. Any thoughts?
    • Kris Monroe
      ... This sounds like the job of a Pack Trainer. Not that commissioners can t have training power also, but at the Cub level, that is the job of the Pack
      Message 2 of 23 , Apr 17, 2005
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        Randy Worcester wrote:

        >At our last Commissioner meeting, the staff expressed interest in
        >becoming the providers of beginning level training. i.e. youth
        >protection, leader essentials, fast start, committee training. The
        >feeling was that by bringing basic training to the unit, we could get
        >more leaders trained, get leaders interested in further training, set
        >up the Commissioner as an "expert", and hold training when needed as
        >opposed to once a quarter.
        >
        >

        This sounds like the job of a Pack Trainer. Not that commissioners
        can't have "training power" also, but at the Cub level, that is the job
        of the Pack Trainer, to be able to administer training to the pack on an
        as needed basis.

        This from the Virtual Leader's Handbook...


        Qualifications:
        If residing in this country but not a citizen of the United States,
        agrees to abide by the Scout Oath and Law, to respect and obey the laws
        of the United States of America, and to subscribe to the BSA statement
        of religious principle. Is at least 21 years of age, and is registered
        with the BSA as a pack trainer. It is recommended that the pack trainer
        have at least one year of experience in a leadership position in Cub
        Scouting, preferably as a Cub Scout or Webelos den leader. Pack trainers
        should be trained at a district or council trainer development
        conference. The pack committee selects the pack trainer with the
        approval of the chartered organization. For new packs and those lacking
        experienced leaders, an experienced leader from the district training
        team or another pack may be appointed as pack trainer until the new
        leaders gain experience.

        Responsibilities:
        The pack trainer is responsible for

        * Conducting orientation of new families and pack leaders. (See
        Chapter 10 of the Cub Scout Leader Book, "Den and Pack Management.")
        * Training each new leader and pack committee member for his or her
        specific position, using material provided by the BSA.
        * Helping with Unit Leadership Enhancements during pack leaders'
        meetings.
        * Conducting other training as designated by the district and/or
        council.
        * Encouraging pack leaders to attend ongoing training, such as
        roundtable, pow wow or University of Scouting, outdoor training,
        Youth Protection training, and Wood Badge.
        * Remaining current with training material and program updates.
        * Keeping track of pack training records.

        The goal of the pack trainer is to have 100 percent of the pack
        leadership trained in their position responsibilities. New leaders and
        adult family members should receive orientation within one week of
        joining the pack, and leaders should receive position-specific training
        within 30 days.

        <http://www.geocities.com/%7Epack215/pt.html#top>
      • Judy Yeager
        Randy asked, Does this idea give training chairmen heartburn or does it have potential?
        Message 3 of 23 , Apr 17, 2005
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          Randy asked, "Does this idea give training chairmen heartburn or does it have
          potential?" <snip?

          Definitely heartburn! However, that may be a local thing. There are many, many folks on our commissioner staff that I would NEVER recruit on my training team. The qualifications for the two jobs do not necessarily match.

          <snip> Randy also asked, "While I am at it, there was discussion as to whether Rountable was a Commissioner function or a training function. <snip> Any thoughts?"

          Roundtable is described as Supplemental Training, so I have never understood why it is part of the Commissioner function when all other supplemental training is a training function. Anyone else who can explain this?

          Judy Yeager
          NT District Training Chair
          HOAC




          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Judy Yeager
          Kris quotes from the Virtual Leader s Handbook the qualifications and responsibilities of the Pack Trainer. However, the information from the Virtual Leader s
          Message 4 of 23 , Apr 17, 2005
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            Kris quotes from the Virtual Leader's Handbook the qualifications and responsibilities of the Pack Trainer. However, the information from the Virtual Leader's Handbook does not agree with that found on the BSA National website in publication 13-152:

            The pack trainer is responsible for:

            *Remaining current with training material and program updates.

            *Conducting orientation of new families

            *Providing Fast Start Training to new leaders. (Fast Start Training can be used as a recruiting tool. The pack trainer should contact the new leader within two or three days to review the information and answer questions. Fast Start Training can be completed by viewing the Fast Start video or DVD or by completing the training on your council's Web site.)

            *Conducting monthly Unit Leadership Enhancements

            *Encouraging pack leaders to attend:
            a. Cub Scout Leader Basic Training, which includes New Leader Essentials Training and Cub Scout Leader Specific Training.
            b. Youth Protection Training
            c. Roundtable
            d. Pow Wow (if conducted in your council)
            e. BALOO
            f. Outdoor Leader Skills for Webelos Leaders
            g. Wood Badge

            *Encouraging den chiefs to attend Den Chief Training

            *Maintaining pack training records

            You will note that there is no mention of "Training each new leader and pack committee member for his or her specific position, using material provided by the BSA."

            However, in that same publication under Position Summary, it states, "The pack trainer conducts, or facilitates, the training of leaders and parents in the pack. The pack trainer promotes training to help leaders learn to plan and conduct pack and den meetings and activities. The pack trainer orients parents and leaders and guides pack leaders in carrying out their apecific position responsibilities."

            I find this a little confusing, but although it says the PT "conducts, or facilitates, the training of leaders and parents. . ." this summary does not mention training each new leader for his/her specific position.

            Training new leaders was originally part of the responsibilities of the PT, but I do not believe it still is.

            Judy Yeager
            NT District Training Chair
            HOAC


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Sandra Martens
            Why does your training staff only do training quarterly? Our district training staff does any type of training on demand. We do set minimum numbers, and may
            Message 5 of 23 , Apr 17, 2005
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              Why does your training staff only do training quarterly? Our district training staff does any type of training on demand. We do set minimum numbers, and may wait a little to get enough people to take the training, but especially youth protection, merit badge counsellor, NLE we will do it with only 2-3 participants. Fast start should be done on the unit level- each unit should have their own fast start tape. Troop committee training we do unit by unit, so each unit gets it with their own people, learning how they can help each other and how they should work together.

              As for RT as commissioner or training, it falls under commissioning service even though it does have some training aspects and is sometimes referred under "supplemental training". However, if you look at how RTs are run, they are pack or troop meetings. The RT staff is assisting the unit leaders with ideas and activities they can take back to their units. The roundtable is not a "training" teaching the unit leaders how to do their jobs. You are helping to strengthen the unit program with your experience and the resources national supplies.

              Sandy OWL
            • Randy Worcester
              This is from the original announcement of the Pack Trainer position in Scouting Magazine: training each new leader and pack committee member for his or her
              Message 6 of 23 , Apr 17, 2005
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                This is from the original announcement of the Pack Trainer position
                in Scouting Magazine:

                "training each new leader and pack committee member for his or her
                specific position, using material in the training manuals New Leader
                Essentials (BSA No. 34870) and Cub Scout Leader Specific Training
                (No. 34875). "

                Frankly, I'm more afraid of the Pack Trainer position than I am of
                the Commissioner's doing training. I can see the Pack meeting now
                with all of the new parents in attendance....."does anyone want to be
                a Pack Trainer?"

                And by making it a Commissioner responsibility, you have basic
                training for troops and crews covered also.

                Randy



                --- In scouter_t@yahoogroups.com, Judy Yeager <kcjscout@e...> wrote:
                > Kris quotes from the Virtual Leader's Handbook the qualifications
                and responsibilities of the Pack Trainer. However, the information
                from the Virtual Leader's Handbook does not agree with that found on
                the BSA National website in publication 13-152:
                >
                > The pack trainer is responsible for:
                >
                > *Remaining current with training material and program updates.
                >
                > *Conducting orientation of new families
                >
                > *Providing Fast Start Training to new leaders. (Fast Start
                Training can be used as a recruiting tool. The pack trainer should
                contact the new leader within two or three days to review the
                information and answer questions. Fast Start Training can be
                completed by viewing the Fast Start video or DVD or by completing the
                training on your council's Web site.)
                >
                > *Conducting monthly Unit Leadership Enhancements
                >
                > *Encouraging pack leaders to attend:
                > a. Cub Scout Leader Basic Training, which includes New Leader
                Essentials Training and Cub Scout Leader Specific Training.
                > b. Youth Protection Training
                > c. Roundtable
                > d. Pow Wow (if conducted in your council)
                > e. BALOO
                > f. Outdoor Leader Skills for Webelos Leaders
                > g. Wood Badge
                >
                > *Encouraging den chiefs to attend Den Chief Training
                >
                > *Maintaining pack training records
                >
                > You will note that there is no mention of "Training each new leader
                and pack committee member for his or her specific position, using
                material provided by the BSA."
                >
                > However, in that same publication under Position Summary, it
                states, "The pack trainer conducts, or facilitates, the training of
                leaders and parents in the pack. The pack trainer promotes training
                to help leaders learn to plan and conduct pack and den meetings and
                activities. The pack trainer orients parents and leaders and guides
                pack leaders in carrying out their apecific position
                responsibilities."
                >
                > I find this a little confusing, but although it says the
                PT "conducts, or facilitates, the training of leaders and
                parents. . ." this summary does not mention training each new leader
                for his/her specific position.
                >
                > Training new leaders was originally part of the responsibilities of
                the PT, but I do not believe it still is.
                >
                > Judy Yeager
                > NT District Training Chair
                > HOAC
                >
                >
                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Clif
                Our district uses the training committe to conduct training on a continual basis. But, there are times when we use commissioners to conduct NLE and leader
                Message 7 of 23 , Apr 17, 2005
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                  Our district uses the training committe to conduct training on a
                  continual basis. But, there are times when we use commissioners to
                  conduct NLE and leader specific training. It works for a district that
                  is primarily rural and spread out. So far as Pack Trainer, it is one
                  of those postitions that sounds great and looks great on paper, but
                  not always feasible.

                  Clif
                • Terilianne@aol.com
                  The Cub Unit has the Pack Trainer who s job it is to provide immediate and timely fast start and hands on help. The Pack Trainer as well as the UC should be
                  Message 8 of 23 , Apr 17, 2005
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                    The Cub Unit has the Pack Trainer who's job it is to provide immediate and
                    timely fast start and hands on help. The Pack Trainer as well as the UC
                    should be directing the new leader to the first available full training in their
                    district. They should also be part of the Training Team. In the fall our
                    Roundtables offer NLE, PST and YPT on successive Thursdays to train the newly
                    recruited leader. Our Unit commissioners should be cheerleaders for the
                    District/Council training teams. Yes they should become familiar with the
                    training but they should also encourage a sharing of talents. Scouters who are
                    widely exposed to other Scouters during training events build a larger community
                    and a team approach rather than a isolated unit by unit. Convincing each
                    unit to participate in district and council wide events to help support the
                    growth and development of the local scouting community is a major commissioner
                    job.

                    Just my opinion, your mileage may vary

                    Teri Stoel
                    Pack Trainer



                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Dave Loomis
                    This gives many training chairs extreme heartburn, as they have little control over the commissioners or what is being taught. Personally I think it is a great
                    Message 9 of 23 , Apr 17, 2005
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                      This gives many training chairs extreme heartburn, as they have
                      little control over the commissioners or what is being taught.

                      Personally I think it is a great idea for several reasons:

                      It introduces the Commissioners to the new Scouters in a
                      friendly
                      setting, where they can serve as knowledge sources,
                      rather than
                      someone who may seem to be spying for council and district.

                      It introduces the new Scouters to the Commissioners, so these
                      people aren't complete strangers when they see them around
                      the district or at Round Tables.
                      It adds to the pool of training people, which relieves some
                      of the
                      stress from the regular trainers.

                      It keeps the commissioners up do date on couses they are
                      teaching;
                      remember many commissioners have gaps in their
                      knowledge
                      depending on which Scouting program they originated.

                      Although Round Table is presented as a source of additional
                      training
                      I feel it is a Commissioner function, especially as
                      the people
                      presenting the materials are Commissioners by their
                      definition.
                      They earn training awards as Commissioners, they are
                      performing Commissioner functions, and they report to
                      a Commissioner higher up their local position wiring
                      chart, normally the RT Commissioners who report to
                      the District Commissioner.

                      The one problem I see with my thoughts is that under this mind
                      set Commissioner training must be done by Commissioners, and NOT by
                      Training folks. By and large when our Training people schedule a course
                      it usually runs as scheduled, but when our Commissioners even shedule a
                      training course for Commissioners it is frequently cancelled for lack of
                      participation. Additionally, the paradigm of Commissioners training
                      Commissioners keeps Commissioner courses out of our University of
                      Scouting, which further limits the amount of Commissioner training that
                      is acomplished.

                      This having been said, I feel that all Commissioners should
                      attend the Leader Specific Training for each of the Scouting programs so
                      they can get up to speed in the programs in which they have not worked,
                      and keep them up to speed in the programs from which they originated.
                      Attending the BSA 500 Trainer Development Course will give them that
                      much more aids and skills in training, aids that will help them perform
                      their Commissioner work.

                      Dave
                      ADC & District BS Training Chair
                      Historic District
                      Daniel Webster Council

                      Randy Worcester wrote:

                      >
                      > At our last Commissioner meeting, the staff expressed interest in
                      > becoming the providers of beginning level training. i.e. youth
                      > protection, leader essentials, fast start, committee training. The
                      > feeling was that by bringing basic training to the unit, we could get
                      > more leaders trained, get leaders interested in further training, set
                      > up the Commissioner as an "expert", and hold training when needed as
                      > opposed to once a quarter. The team requested a Trainer Development
                      > Conference for Commissioners.
                      >
                      > Does this idea give training chairmen heartburn or does it have
                      > potential?
                      >
                      > While I am at it, there was discussion as to whether Rountable was a
                      > Commissioner function or a training function. The consensus seemed to
                      > be that it was a training function and that they should be part of the
                      > training team and not the Commissioner staff. Any thoughts?
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
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                      --
                      To reply, click on the address below.

                      Dave Loomis mailto:dloomis.nh.ultranet@...
                      245 Union St. (603) 431 5342
                      Portsmouth, NH 03801-4349
                    • Sandra Martens
                      I agree with you Randy. Many of our commissioners are used for training purposes- they are our extras when we need them. Many times they help out with the
                      Message 10 of 23 , Apr 17, 2005
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                        I agree with you Randy. Many of our commissioners are used for training purposes- they are our extras when we need them. Many times they help out with the training when one of my district trainers can't be there. The pack trainer, I think, is a mistake when it comes to NLE, YP, etc. Then the training team and council has no control on the quality of the training being presented. For them to show fast start and guide the leaders to training sessions, great. To give the training, no way!

                        Sandy OWL

                        Randy Worcester <randywoo@...> wrote:

                        This is from the original announcement of the Pack Trainer position
                        in Scouting Magazine:

                        "training each new leader and pack committee member for his or her
                        specific position, using material in the training manuals New Leader
                        Essentials (BSA No. 34870) and Cub Scout Leader Specific Training
                        (No. 34875). "

                        Frankly, I'm more afraid of the Pack Trainer position than I am of
                        the Commissioner's doing training. I can see the Pack meeting now
                        with all of the new parents in attendance....."does anyone want to be
                        a Pack Trainer?"

                        And by making it a Commissioner responsibility, you have basic
                        training for troops and crews covered also.

                        Randy


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                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • NeilLup@aol.com
                        ... Interesting question, Randy. As with many things in Scouting, there is the way that the book says things should be. Then there is the way that
                        Message 11 of 23 , Apr 17, 2005
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                          In a message dated 4/17/05 10:32:54 AM, randywoo@... writes:


                          > At our last Commissioner meeting, the staff expressed interest in
                          > becoming the providers of beginning level training.  i.e. youth
                          > protection, leader essentials, fast start, committee training.  The
                          > feeling was that by bringing basic training to the unit, we could get
                          > more leaders trained, get leaders interested in further training, set
                          > up the Commissioner as an "expert", and hold training when needed as
                          > opposed to once a quarter.  The team requested a Trainer Development
                          > Conference for Commissioners.
                          >
                          > Does this idea give training chairmen heartburn or does it have
                          > potential?
                          >

                          Interesting question, Randy. As with many things in Scouting, there is
                          the way that the book says things should be. Then there is the way that
                          things are in your district/council when you consider the people involved. As a
                          former training chairman and former Commissioner, I have seen it done both
                          ways very effectively.

                          One problem that I have with the Commissioners being trainers is that they
                          have unique jobs to do as Commissioners (meaningful contact once a month) and
                          if they are worried about being trainers, it may be a reason or an excuse
                          not to do the job as a Commissioner. I also have concern that trainers are
                          supposed to be familiar with the most current training course guides and
                          training methods. Commissioners might not be that familiar. A unit Commissioner
                          might cover both a Pack and a Troop and would need to be a training level
                          expert on both Cub Scouting and Boy Scouting.

                          In the best of all possible worlds, there would be a Commissioner staff whic
                          h does the Commissioner job. There would be a training team which conducts
                          training courses on a regular schedule. And there would be a training "SWAT"
                          team which would provide training, as needed, in individual units. There
                          might be some members of the training teams, and of the training SWAT team
                          whose primary job is Commissioner.

                          We rarely are in the best of all possible worlds. So having Commissioners
                          prepared and planning to training to cover individual units is probably a very
                          good idea. But I would not automatically charter Commissioners to conduct
                          training. Rather, as they requested, I would hold the Trainer
                          Development Conference for them and then, on an individual basis, certify the
                          Commissioners to conduct training.

                          Some of the training that you mentioned is pretty straightforward. YPT and
                          Fast Start are on line. The Commissioner can bring his or her laptop,
                          dial in, and walk the leader through the training. The Troop Committee
                          Challenge is easily done by one person.

                          So I would suggest that it is probably a very good idea for Commissioners to
                          conduct training on an ad hoc basis in units. However, it is important
                          that the Commissioner's primary job be done first.

                          Best wishes,

                          Neil Lupton


                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • Randy Worcester
                          Dave, I am normally in agreement with you. However, your thoughts are that they should remain commissioners because they are currently by definition,
                          Message 12 of 23 , Apr 17, 2005
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                            Dave, I am normally in agreement with you. However, your thoughts
                            are that they should remain commissioners because they are currently
                            by definition, commissioners. Let's think outside the box and
                            pretend that we could remake the District Organization. If they were
                            not historically commissioners, we would probably call them Trainers.
                            So let's not stand on tradition and go ahead and make them a part of
                            the training committee.

                            My experience is that Roundtable Commissioners do not really think of
                            themselves as Commissioners either. Ours never attend Commissioner
                            Meetings.

                            Let's hear from some Roundtable Commissioners.

                            Randy

                            --- In scouter_t@yahoogroups.com, Dave Loomis <dloomis@n...> wrote:
                            > >
                            > Although Round Table is presented as a source of
                            additional
                            > training
                            > I feel it is a Commissioner function, especially
                            as
                            > the people
                            > presenting the materials are Commissioners by
                            their
                            > definition.
                            > They earn training awards as Commissioners,
                            they are
                            > performing Commissioner functions, and they
                            report to
                            > a Commissioner higher up their local position
                            wiring
                            > chart, normally the RT Commissioners who report
                            to
                            > the District Commissioner.
                            >
                            > The one problem I see with my thoughts is that under this
                            mind
                            > set Commissioner training must be done by Commissioners, and NOT by
                            > Training folks. By and large when our Training people schedule a
                            course
                            > it usually runs as scheduled, but when our Commissioners even
                            shedule a
                            > training course for Commissioners it is frequently cancelled for
                            lack of
                            > participation. Additionally, the paradigm of Commissioners
                            training
                            > Commissioners keeps Commissioner courses out of our University of
                            > Scouting, which further limits the amount of Commissioner training
                            that
                            > is acomplished.
                            >
                            > This having been said, I feel that all Commissioners should
                            > attend the Leader Specific Training for each of the Scouting
                            programs so
                            > they can get up to speed in the programs in which they have not
                            worked,
                            > and keep them up to speed in the programs from which they
                            originated.
                            > Attending the BSA 500 Trainer Development Course will give them
                            that
                            > much more aids and skills in training, aids that will help them
                            perform
                            > their Commissioner work.
                            >
                            > Dave
                            > ADC & District BS Training Chair
                            > Historic District
                            > Daniel Webster Council
                            >
                            > > >
                            > >
                            >
                            > --
                            > To reply, click on the address below.
                            >
                            > Dave Loomis mailto:dloomis.nh.ultranet@r...
                            > 245 Union St. (603) 431 5342
                            > Portsmouth, NH 03801-4349
                          • Sandra Martens
                            I m a RT commissioner besides a trainer. My husband is a unit commissioner besides RT and training. My son is BS RT Commissioner besides trainer. I think
                            Message 13 of 23 , Apr 17, 2005
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                              I'm a RT commissioner besides a trainer. My husband is a unit commissioner besides RT and training. My son is BS RT Commissioner besides trainer. I think you will probably find that the people who are active enough to do roundtable probably also are active enough to be trainers too. And it works out very well. In many ways their roles overlap each other. Some of my rt staff are trainers too. Others are active in planning district activities. The same on the BS side of the story. We usually recruit our new trainers from those who attend RT.

                              This way too we are sure that announcements about upcoming training sessions and training questions are addressed as needed at the RTs.

                              Sandy OWL
                              Randy Worcester <randywoo@...> wrote:

                              Dave, I am normally in agreement with you. However, your thoughts
                              are that they should remain commissioners because they are currently
                              by definition, commissioners. Let's think outside the box and
                              pretend that we could remake the District Organization. If they were
                              not historically commissioners, we would probably call them Trainers.
                              So let's not stand on tradition and go ahead and make them a part of
                              the training committee.

                              My experience is that Roundtable Commissioners do not really think of
                              themselves as Commissioners either. Ours never attend Commissioner
                              Meetings.

                              Let's hear from some Roundtable Commissioners.

                              Randy

                              --- In scouter_t@yahoogroups.com, Dave Loomis <dloomis@n...> wrote:
                              > >
                              > Although Round Table is presented as a source of
                              additional
                              > training
                              > I feel it is a Commissioner function, especially
                              as
                              > the people
                              > presenting the materials are Commissioners by
                              their
                              > definition.
                              > They earn training awards as Commissioners,
                              they are
                              > performing Commissioner functions, and they
                              report to
                              > a Commissioner higher up their local position
                              wiring
                              > chart, normally the RT Commissioners who report
                              to
                              > the District Commissioner.
                              >
                              > The one problem I see with my thoughts is that under this
                              mind
                              > set Commissioner training must be done by Commissioners, and NOT by
                              > Training folks. By and large when our Training people schedule a
                              course
                              > it usually runs as scheduled, but when our Commissioners even
                              shedule a
                              > training course for Commissioners it is frequently cancelled for
                              lack of
                              > participation. Additionally, the paradigm of Commissioners
                              training
                              > Commissioners keeps Commissioner courses out of our University of
                              > Scouting, which further limits the amount of Commissioner training
                              that
                              > is acomplished.
                              >
                              > This having been said, I feel that all Commissioners should
                              > attend the Leader Specific Training for each of the Scouting
                              programs so
                              > they can get up to speed in the programs in which they have not
                              worked,
                              > and keep them up to speed in the programs from which they
                              originated.
                              > Attending the BSA 500 Trainer Development Course will give them
                              that
                              > much more aids and skills in training, aids that will help them
                              perform
                              > their Commissioner work.
                              >
                              > Dave
                              > ADC & District BS Training Chair
                              > Historic District
                              > Daniel Webster Council
                              >
                              > > >
                              > >
                              >
                              > --
                              > To reply, click on the address below.
                              >
                              > Dave Loomis mailto:dloomis.nh.ultranet@r...
                              > 245 Union St. (603) 431 5342
                              > Portsmouth, NH 03801-4349





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                            • Eric Shellgren
                              I find it interesting that many people feel that the commissioner staff should not be involved in training. In the Commissioner Fieldbook for Unit Service (pub
                              Message 14 of 23 , Apr 17, 2005
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                                I find it interesting that many people feel that the commissioner staff should
                                not be involved in training. In the Commissioner Fieldbook for Unit Service
                                (pub 33621E), service to new units includes "follow up if unit leaders missed
                                Fast Start or basic training. Provide the missing sessions if they cannot go
                                to district courses. Tailor the training to the unit."

                                For any commissioner to be able to do this task, they should know and
                                understand the training needed and be well versed in it. Being well-trained
                                should be a requirement of every commissioner. Many of my district's
                                commissioners (including Roundtable) are active members of our district and
                                council training teams. In a district like mine (you cannot drive from one
                                end to the other and back the same day) we all must work together. We are a
                                team.

                                - Eric
                                Island District Commissioner
                                Mt Baker Council

                                On 4/18/2005, "Sandra Martens" <sandyowl1@...> wrote:

                                >
                                >I'm a RT commissioner besides a trainer. My husband is a unit commissioner
                                besides RT and training. My son is BS RT Commissioner besides trainer. I
                                think you will probably find that the people who are active enough to do
                                roundtable probably also are active enough to be trainers too. And it works
                                out very well. In many ways their roles overlap each other. Some of my rt
                                staff are trainers too. Others are active in planning district activities.
                                The same on the BS side of the story. We usually recruit our new trainers
                                from those who attend RT.
                                >
                                >This way too we are sure that announcements about upcoming training sessions
                                and training questions are addressed as needed at the RTs.
                                >
                                >Sandy OWL
                                >Randy Worcester <randywoo@...> wrote:
                                >
                                >Dave, I am normally in agreement with you. However, your thoughts
                                >are that they should remain commissioners because they are currently
                                >by definition, commissioners. Let's think outside the box and
                                >pretend that we could remake the District Organization. If they were
                                >not historically commissioners, we would probably call them Trainers.
                                >So let's not stand on tradition and go ahead and make them a part of
                                >the training committee.
                                >
                                >My experience is that Roundtable Commissioners do not really think of
                                >themselves as Commissioners either. Ours never attend Commissioner
                                >Meetings.
                                >
                                >Let's hear from some Roundtable Commissioners.
                                >
                                >Randy
                                >
                                >--- In scouter_t@yahoogroups.com, Dave Loomis <dloomis@n...> wrote:
                                >> >
                                >> Although Round Table is presented as a source of
                                >additional
                                >> training
                                >> I feel it is a Commissioner function, especially
                                >as
                                >> the people
                                >> presenting the materials are Commissioners by
                                >their
                                >> definition.
                                >> They earn training awards as Commissioners,
                                >they are
                                >> performing Commissioner functions, and they
                                >report to
                                >> a Commissioner higher up their local position
                                >wiring
                                >> chart, normally the RT Commissioners who report
                                >to
                                >> the District Commissioner.
                                >>
                                >> The one problem I see with my thoughts is that under this
                                >mind
                                >> set Commissioner training must be done by Commissioners, and NOT by
                                >> Training folks. By and large when our Training people schedule a
                                >course
                                >> it usually runs as scheduled, but when our Commissioners even
                                >shedule a
                                >> training course for Commissioners it is frequently cancelled for
                                >lack of
                                >> participation. Additionally, the paradigm of Commissioners
                                >training
                                >> Commissioners keeps Commissioner courses out of our University of
                                >> Scouting, which further limits the amount of Commissioner training
                                >that
                                >> is acomplished.
                                >>
                                >> This having been said, I feel that all Commissioners should
                                >> attend the Leader Specific Training for each of the Scouting
                                >programs so
                                >> they can get up to speed in the programs in which they have not
                                >worked,
                                >> and keep them up to speed in the programs from which they
                                >originated.
                                >> Attending the BSA 500 Trainer Development Course will give them
                                >that
                                >> much more aids and skills in training, aids that will help them
                                >perform
                                >> their Commissioner work.
                                >>
                                >> Dave
                                >> ADC & District BS Training Chair
                                >> Historic District
                                >> Daniel Webster Council
                                >>
                                >> > >
                                >> >
                                >>
                                >> --
                                >> To reply, click on the address below.
                                >>
                                >> Dave Loomis mailto:dloomis.nh.ultranet@r...
                                >> 245 Union St. (603) 431 5342
                                >> Portsmouth, NH 03801-4349
                                >
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                              • Scouter Chuck
                                Randy wrote... ... I just signed on tonight after being off 2 days (or was it only one?) and have seen there are a lot of replies to this that I haven t read.
                                Message 15 of 23 , Apr 17, 2005
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                                  Randy wrote...

                                  > At our last Commissioner meeting, the staff expressed interest in
                                  > becoming the providers of beginning level training. i.e. youth
                                  > protection, leader essentials, fast start, committee training.
                                  > The feeling was that by bringing basic training to the unit, we
                                  > could get more leaders trained, get leaders interested in further
                                  > training, set up the Commissioner as an "expert", and hold
                                  > training when needed as opposed to once a quarter. The team
                                  > requested a Trainer Development Conference for Commissioners.
                                  >
                                  > Does this idea give training chairmen heartburn or does it have
                                  > potential?

                                  I just signed on tonight after being off 2 days (or was it only
                                  one?) and have seen there are a lot of replies to this that I
                                  haven't read.

                                  I will say this: Our DTC wouldn't turn down the National Exec
                                  himself is offered. If you can help, he's love to have you.

                                  BTW, this one is just after the DTC who basically said " you offer
                                  to help, I'll tell you what to help with", and broke up some good
                                  training teams and relationships.

                                  > While I am at it, there was discussion as to whether Rountable
                                  > was a Commissioner function or a training function. The
                                  > consensus seemed to be that it was a training function and that
                                  > they should be part of the training team and not the Commissioner
                                  > staff. Any thoughts?

                                  Both. They are trainers, as well as commissioners. Whether you
                                  see it or not, a lot of training work goes in to the RT
                                  presentations. Also, as National has now defined RT as being one
                                  level of continuous training, I believe they should also be
                                  regarded as trainers.

                                  YiS,

                                  Chuck Bramlet -- Phoenix, Az. ----- mailto:antelope95@...
                                  I "used to be" an Antelope! WEM-10-95 Member DNRC
                                  Firebird District Committee Member at Large -- Grand Canyon Council
                                  -------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  "The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing"
                                  -- Stephen R. Covey
                                  -------------------------------------------------------------------
                                • Chris
                                  I have no inside information to back up what I am about to say, and may be drawn and quartered for saying it, but here goes: It seems to me that the whole
                                  Message 16 of 23 , Apr 18, 2005
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                                    I have no "inside information" to back up what I am about to say, and
                                    may be "drawn and quartered" for saying it, but here goes:

                                    It seems to me that the whole dilemna of Commissioners vs. Training
                                    Committee is the result of a turf war that couldn't be resolved at a
                                    National level and has filtered down to the District level. It has
                                    obviously caused much confusion as to who does what. Unit and
                                    Roundtable Commissioners (Registered positions) report directly to
                                    the District Comissioner while Trainers and Training Chairmen (non-
                                    registered ad-hoc positions)report to the District Chairman.

                                    I am of the perhaps heretical school of thought that Commissioners
                                    and Trainers both exist to provide unit service under all
                                    circumstances. Yes, UC's are responsible for many other duties than
                                    the training committee, but they are the people with direct unit
                                    contact.

                                    Many times I have seen trainers talk about "them" (Commissioners) as
                                    being ineffective when reviewing Unit trained numbers. If we place
                                    roadblocks in the way of Commissioners regarding training, we
                                    eliminate one outstanding source of assistance. Commissioners have
                                    the eternal battle of appearing to be a friend and someone who
                                    provides value to the units, as opposed to being "that guy from
                                    District" who spies on us. If commissioners were empowered to
                                    organize and deliver training (in coordination with the training
                                    committee) we'd accomplish two very important things: Commissioners
                                    would have an easier time being a friend and resource to the units
                                    and the trained numbers would increase dramatically.

                                    I also think we would see an increase in the people willing to become
                                    commissioners and would retain them longer. There is nothing more
                                    frustrating to a volunteer than fighting the uphill battle of wanting
                                    to be a friend and resource and being viewed with suspicion. Give
                                    them something of value to go into a unit with and everyone wins.

                                    Just one man's opinion.

                                    Chris Finnegan
                                    Bucks County Council, PA
                                  • Dan Kurtenbach
                                    My experience is that Roundtable Commissioners do not really think of themselves as Commissioners either. Ours never attend
                                    Message 17 of 23 , Apr 18, 2005
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                                      <Randy Worcester wrote:>
                                      My experience is that Roundtable Commissioners do not really think of
                                      themselves as Commissioners either. Ours never attend Commissioner
                                      Meetings. Let's hear from some Roundtable Commissioners.
                                      </Randy>

                                      I am a Roundtable Commissioner. If the RT Commissioners are missing the
                                      Commissioner meetings, they are not doing an important part of their job.
                                      Commissioner meetings, like District Committee meetings, are where current
                                      needs and problems of the District and its units are discussed, priorities
                                      are set, plans are made, and motivation and inspiration dished out in large
                                      quantities. Roundtable isn't a self-contained program, but is an integral
                                      part of the District's "toolbox" and should contribute on an ongoing basis
                                      to the accomplishment of the District's plans and priorities.

                                      Dan Kurtenbach
                                      Fairfax, VA
                                    • Dan Hammond, Sr.
                                      Lots of discussion. My two cents worth. In my time as an adult leader, I have seldom seen any commissioner, other than RT commissioners and one District
                                      Message 18 of 23 , Apr 18, 2005
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                                        Lots of discussion. My two cents worth.

                                        In my time as an adult leader, I have seldom seen any
                                        commissioner, other than RT commissioners and one
                                        District Commisioner(serving as Registrar) at any
                                        training event.

                                        I love commissioners. They do some very good things
                                        for us. Their job descriptions include such things as
                                        being stop-gap trainers when a leader can't get to
                                        district training events. Most do a very good job.
                                        There are some others I wouldn't trust to present a
                                        single training session. These have demonstrated no
                                        willingness to spout anything other than, "When I was
                                        the Scoutmaster here...."

                                        Frankly I would love to see more commissioners on the
                                        training teams. Heck, I'd just like to see them at
                                        the training sessions. But I haven't.

                                        Granted my experience is anecdotal insofar as it is
                                        what I have experienced. It is, I fear, not unique.
                                        I would prefer to see commissioners participate in
                                        several normal training sessions before turning them
                                        loose on units. Of course I would want to see ANY
                                        trainer do several training sessions before turning
                                        them loose on units.

                                        It's just a good practice to ensure trainers are good
                                        trainers, that they know the material and have
                                        demonstrated the ability and willingness to stick to
                                        the syllabus before turning them loose.

                                        Daniel D. Hammond, Sr. MA(HRD)
                                        Leavenworth, KS, Army Major(Ret), Overtrained Scout Leader,
                                        Kaw District Activity Chairman,
                                        CM P3001, SA T366, NRA Life Member
                                        |<--W-W-W--<<<| Mic-O-Say HW "Big Quick Steel"
                                        I Used to be an Owl... (W-CS-44)
                                        And a good old staffer too (C-34-04)

                                        Cheerful Service; because it's the right thing to do



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                                      • Scouter Chuck
                                        Dan wrote... [snip] ... While I m not a _registered_ RT commissioner (long story there), I am active on the staff and have done fill-in work for several years.
                                        Message 19 of 23 , Apr 18, 2005
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                                          Dan wrote...

                                          [snip]
                                          > I am a Roundtable Commissioner. If the RT Commissioners are
                                          > missing the Commissioner meetings, they are not doing an
                                          > important part of their job.

                                          While I'm not a _registered_ RT commissioner (long story there), I
                                          am active on the staff and have done fill-in work for several
                                          years.

                                          I also have a few thoughts on the Commissioner meeting:
                                          1. Lots of stuff that I found irrelevant to RT.
                                          2. I heard the same stuff later at the District Committee meeting.
                                          3. My District set the time as 6:30 PM on District Committee
                                          Meeting night. DCM starts at 7. I don't get home from work
                                          until 5-5:30 PM.

                                          While I'm not necessarily on a "strict diet", I do need to eat
                                          regularly because of some of my medications. Eating supper after 9
                                          PM is neither good for my health, nor good for my diet. (I'll
                                          snack.)

                                          > Commissioner meetings, like District Committee meetings, are
                                          > where current needs and problems of the District and its units
                                          > are discussed, priorities are set, plans are made, and motivation
                                          > and inspiration dished out in large quantities.

                                          Most of the motivation and inspiration I've seen lately has been
                                          directed toward meeting our District FOS goals, and recruiting more
                                          UCs. That was true of the several (~1 program year) of CMs that I
                                          attended.

                                          > Roundtable isn't a self-contained program, but is an integral
                                          > part of the District's "toolbox" and should contribute on an
                                          > ongoing basis to the accomplishment of the District's plans and
                                          > priorities.

                                          True. But RT is ineffective as much of anything unless there is a
                                          strong program, and well communicated purpose.

                                          30 minutes of Announcements followed by a 40 minute breakout is not
                                          really an effective way to get leaders back. Years ago, here, the
                                          BSRT program was much better. In the 1.5 hours, there was the
                                          opening, 5-10 minutes of announcements, and 2 30 minute programs.

                                          We've not had the space since to do that.

                                          In order to attract attendees and sustain attendance, both the RTs
                                          and the Commissioners Meetings must have a relevant, interesting,
                                          and useful program.

                                          I think that's the biggest problem.

                                          YiS,

                                          Chuck Bramlet -- Phoenix, Az. ----- mailto:antelope95@...
                                          I "used to be" an Antelope! -- WEM-10-95
                                          Thunderbird District -- Grand Canyon Council
                                          Committee Member at Large, Roundtable Staff -- Member DNRC
                                          -------------------------------------------------------------------
                                          "The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing"
                                          -- Stephen R. Covey
                                          -------------------------------------------------------------------
                                        • ChadCCooper
                                          Heartburn, no. Hope that it is done well, yes. I would most certainly be in favor of a broader pool of skilled trainers. Two potential issues: 1. Isolated
                                          Message 20 of 23 , Apr 18, 2005
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                                            Heartburn, no. Hope that it is done well, yes. I would most
                                            certainly be in favor of a broader pool of skilled trainers.

                                            Two potential issues:
                                            1. Isolated trainers.
                                            2. Not every Commissioner would make a good trainer for Cubs.

                                            Having Commissioners out on their own doing isolated trainings doesn't
                                            give the Commissioners regular feedback and there isn't a quality
                                            control mechanism. For instance; we had a couple Commissioners that
                                            felt very strongly that Webelos Dens should start calling themselves
                                            Patrols when they went to tan. Training in a team situation gives us
                                            the opportunity for regular cross-sharing of ideas, techniques, and
                                            issues, plus the ability to catch any deviations from the BSA
                                            program.

                                            Lone trainers would not be good. I would want my Commissioner to
                                            participate once in a while as part of my regular training team.

                                            Cub training is about sharing enthusiasm and energy for dealing with
                                            enthusiastic and energetic bundles of Cubs. Commissioners that have
                                            come out of the Boy Scouting world or who have left behind the Cub
                                            world years ago may not make good Cub trainers.

                                            Hmm... Maybe the Commissioners should serve as Den Leaders for a year
                                            as part of their accreditation process. :-)

                                            My $.02.

                                            - Chad
                                            District Training, Indianhead Council
                                            Apple Valley, MN

                                            --- In scouter_t@yahoogroups.com, "Randy Worcester" <randywoo@a...>
                                            wrote:
                                            >
                                            > At our last Commissioner meeting, the staff expressed interest in
                                            > becoming the providers of beginning level training. i.e. youth
                                            > protection, leader essentials, fast start, committee training. The
                                            > feeling was that by bringing basic training to the unit, we could
                                            get
                                            > more leaders trained, get leaders interested in further training,
                                            set
                                            > up the Commissioner as an "expert", and hold training when needed
                                            as
                                            > opposed to once a quarter. The team requested a Trainer
                                            Development
                                            > Conference for Commissioners.
                                            >
                                            > Does this idea give training chairmen heartburn or does it have
                                            > potential?
                                          • Brian Mott
                                            As a member of a Scoutmaster training team, and now the district Boy Scout training chair I wish to add my perspective on this. I think that we need to avoid
                                            Message 21 of 23 , Apr 18, 2005
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                                              As a member of a Scoutmaster training team, and now the district Boy
                                              Scout training chair I wish to add my perspective on this.

                                              I think that we need to avoid having commissioners doing too much
                                              training. I do not think they should be in charge of any particular
                                              training session.

                                              However, I will recruit and use any Scout person that is qualified to
                                              teach for a small portion of my training. If that means I have a
                                              commissioner teach a couple of sessions of the Scourmaster training, so
                                              be it. This does not take them away from their job as commissioner if
                                              they are not in charge, and if they do not have too much to teach.

                                              I just had a training last week, in which the RT commissioner came for
                                              about an two hours and taught 2 of the sessions to the Scoutmasters.
                                              She did a wonderful job, and it introduced her and roundtable to the
                                              participants in the course.

                                              Brian
                                              Tooele, UT
                                            • Dan Kurtenbach
                                              1. Lots of stuff that I found irrelevant to RT. Everything that has to do with how the units are operating and what is
                                              Message 22 of 23 , Apr 18, 2005
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                                                <Chuck Bramlet wrote:>
                                                1. Lots of stuff that I found irrelevant to RT.
                                                </Chuck>

                                                Everything that has to do with how the units are operating and what is
                                                happening in the district that might be of interest to units or affect units
                                                is something that is relevant to Roundtable. Roundtable is the only regular
                                                district-wide meeting for unit leaders. It is the vortex for District
                                                communication and interaction with units. The Roundtable Commissioners are
                                                at the hub of the district, and have a responsibility to know what is going
                                                on.

                                                <Chuck continued:>
                                                2. I heard the same stuff later at the District Committee meeting.
                                                </Chuck>

                                                As you should, if you go to both meetings. A lot of people don't go to
                                                both.

                                                <Chuck continued:>
                                                3. My District set the time as 6:30 PM on District Committee
                                                Meeting night. DCM starts at 7.
                                                </Chuck>

                                                Well, this is a formula for failure, as your Key 3 should know. The
                                                Commissioners meeting should be at a convenient time, with enough time for
                                                the Commissioners to do their work.

                                                <Chuck continued:>
                                                Most of the motivation and inspiration I've seen lately has been
                                                directed toward meeting our District FOS goals, and recruiting more
                                                UCs. That was true of the several (~1 program year) of CMs that I
                                                attended. * * * 30 minutes of Announcements [at RT] followed by a 40 minute
                                                breakout is not
                                                really an effective way to get leaders back.
                                                </Chuck>

                                                Yes, there are districts where the Commissioner Corps isn't getting it done.
                                                That doesn't mean that Commissioners generally are useless, anymore than all
                                                trainers are useless because some district Training Committee isn't offering
                                                needed training, or that FOS is a terrible program because some district is
                                                "All FOS All The Time." There are lots of places where things work well,
                                                where Commissioners do their thing and the Training Committee does its thing
                                                and Roundtable is fun and well-attended.

                                                Dan Kurtenbach
                                                Fairfax, VA
                                              • Keith Tilley
                                                Randy Worcester asked about Commissioners providing orientation and basic training, and about whether Roundtables should be a training function or a
                                                Message 23 of 23 , Apr 30, 2005
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                                                  Randy Worcester asked about Commissioners providing orientation and basic
                                                  training, and about whether Roundtables should be a training function or a
                                                  Commissioner function.



                                                  On the first subject, I don't think it's a question of expanding the
                                                  Commissioner job description to make them trainers - that won't be
                                                  appropriate for all Commissioners. It would be great if a Commissioner
                                                  could also be a trainer, using the same criteria as any other trainer - in
                                                  other words, one person holding two jobs that complement each other well.
                                                  He or she would take the same TDC, and his or her training activities would
                                                  be managed by the District Training Committee (as opposed to the District
                                                  Commissioner). He or she could then schedule training sessions around the
                                                  availability of the leaders of the units he or she serves as a Commissioner,
                                                  but also open them up to other leaders. The result would be more training
                                                  sessions, conducted by qualified trainers, and ultimately more trained
                                                  leaders.



                                                  On the second subject, Roundtables are a Commissioner function, and I think
                                                  that's appropriate. Having said that, I think the Roundtable Commissioner
                                                  and the training team should work together when the Roundtable plan calls
                                                  for a training experience.



                                                  Keith Tilley

                                                  Rip Van Winkle Council, NY



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