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Re: [Scouter_T] Commissioner Training

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  • truane1148@aol.com
    Having been a Unit and Council Commissioner your offer would really be appreciated as Commissioners are hard to find. You may check the following link to get
    Message 1 of 15 , Jan 22, 2006
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      Having been a Unit and Council Commissioner your offer would really be
      appreciated as Commissioners are hard to find.

      You may check the following link to get an idea of what the training and
      duties are. It is a great resource for all commissioners.
      _http://www.netcommish.com/_ (http://www.netcommish.com/)

      Tom Ruane
      Baden-Powell Council


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Don Wilson
      Hi, Richard, The first training that a Unit Commissioner receives is, like every other position, Fast Start, and should be presented within 48 hors of taking
      Message 2 of 15 , Jan 22, 2006
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        Hi, Richard,

        The first training that a Unit Commissioner receives is, like every
        other position, Fast Start, and should be presented "within 48 hors
        of taking the position." Yeah, right.

        There there is Commissioner Basic Training. This training us
        generally at council level and takes one day or two evenings. Basis
        is just that, a fairly quick overview of requirements as a
        Commissioner and explanations of the various resources that a
        Commissioner has, or supplies.

        Commissioner College is generally a full day, and may be presented to
        Commissioners of more than one council. Our College, scheduled next
        week, is presented to Commissioners of three councils, and the
        location rotates each year.

        For the new commissioner, the first year is the Bachelor program,
        extended presentations of subjects touched on during Basic, which may
        include 5 to 7 presentations. The second year is Master's level
        (again 5-7 presentations) and then comes Doctorate, which may require
        two years to complete. For the Doctorate, the first year is used for
        selection of a project to be completed over the year to the next
        College, where each candidate presents their project and results.

        Post Doctoral Seminars are provided at each College to keep
        Commissioners sharp and to share information.

        As with positions in Scouting, advancement is recognized. The first
        would be the Arrowhead Honor, which can be earned within the first
        year as an active Commissioner. Indeed, the Arrowhead Honor is
        usually a requirement for completing the Master's degree.

        Commissioner's Key can be earned by completing 3 years as a
        registered Commissioner within a 5-year period plus other training
        requirements. The Commissioner Key is a prerequisite for earning the
        Doctor of Commissioner Science.

        There are other recognitions are Distinguished Unit Commissioner,
        Distinguished District Commissioner, and Distinguished Council
        Commissioner.

        That is likely overkill for your question, but I did not have
        anything to do for a few minutes.

        There is one thing that should be emphasized. Unit Commissioners
        report to the District Commissioner, and acts on instruction from the
        District Commissioner. This is important, as the unit leaders must
        know that the Commissioner is there to help, not spy. Problems occur
        then other district leaders decide that they can place requirements
        on Commissioners.

        Hope that helps.

        Don Wilson
        Unit Commissioner (13 years)
        District Commissioner (5 years)
        Assistant District Commissioner for Recharter (present)
        OHC 427
      • NeilLup@aol.com
        Not to overkill seriously the question but there are excellent sessions on Commissioner Service at Philmont Training Center. I would also comment that, like
        Message 3 of 15 , Jan 22, 2006
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          Not to overkill seriously the question but there are excellent sessions on
          Commissioner Service at Philmont Training Center.

          I would also comment that, like with many Scouting jobs, initial training
          likely comes by personal coaching by the Asst. Dist. Comm'r or the District
          Commissioner. One likely will not need to or want to wait until the next
          official training.

          Best wishes,

          Neil Lupton


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Scouter Chuck
          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
          Message 4 of 15 , Jan 22, 2006
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            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?

            This is also important, as these positions can eat time like
            Godzilla eats cars. How much time is one expected to spend doing
            this job?

            When I was a young Boy Scout back in the late 50's and early
            60s', my father was a "Neighborhood Commissioner". He was told
            that if you had one night a month at home with your family, you
            didn't have enough to do.

            I have been considering volunteering to be a UC, but the extra
            time commitment is one thing I've been worried about.

            YiS,

            Chuck Bramlet -- Phoenix, Az. ----- mailto:antelope95@...
            I "used to be" an Antelope! -- WEM-10-95
            Thunderbird District -- Grand Canyon Council
            District Committee Member at Large
            -------------------------------------------------------------------
            "The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing"
            -- Stephen R. Covey
            -------------------------------------------------------------------
          • NeilLup@aol.com
            ... In my opinion, the great thing about being a unit commissioner is that you largely can control your own time. First, you can decide how many units you
            Message 5 of 15 , Jan 22, 2006
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              In a message dated 1/22/06 5:51:32 PM, antelope95@... writes:


              >
              > I have been considering volunteering to be a UC, but the extra
              > time commitment is one thing I've been worried about
              >

              In my opinion, the great thing about being a unit commissioner is that you
              largely can control your own time.

              First, you can decide how many units you will take. If you take one,
              then the time is (surprise) about one third of the time if you take three.

              Second, your responsibility is to make one meaningful contact with each
              unit each month. That could be visiting a meeting, visiting a committee
              meeting, having a good phone conversation with the unit leader, meeting the
              unit leader at a roundtable, camporee or Pow Wow, etc. It could even be an
              exchange of e-mails.

              In my opinion, the job of Unit Commissioner is much like that of a first
              aider or even a ski patroller. You check often enough to make sure everything
              is OK or if there is a problem, Should you find a problem, if you wish
              and you have the skill and interest, you address it. Otherwise, you
              call for help from the appropriate source.

              As far as time, under normal conditions, I would say 1-2 hours per
              month for each unit that you take plus one evening per month for a Commissioner's
              meeting, roundtable, etc. When things get bad, it can take more.
              On one occasion, I spent some time each day for two weeks on a unit when they
              were having a spat between the committee and the unit leader. But that is
              unusual.

              Unit Commissioner can be an extremely rewarding job and really doesn't take
              that much time. We have all heard unit leaders say "I've never seen a
              Commissioner." That is probably because there weren't enough people willing to
              serve.

              I hope that you will give Commissioner Service a shot. It is good fun and
              very rewarding.

              Best wishes,

              Neil Lupton


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • McQuaid Family
              Well, hello! I bet you already go to RoundTable, so that s not an additional meeting for you. And if you can convince a unit that you cover to car pool, well,
              Message 6 of 15 , Jan 22, 2006
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                Well, hello!
                I bet you already go to RoundTable, so that's not an additional meeting for you. And if you can convince a unit that you cover to car pool, well, that is a chance to check in with the unit. Don't forget stopping by when they are camping and your unit is too! That's another chance to meet up.

                Neil is quite right. When he trained me as a District Commissioner, we talked at great length about ways to "visit" units. I was very lucky in that the Unit Commissioners I recruited LOVED the latitude I gave them, and were dedicated to visiting their units. One commissioner confessed she liked her Cub Pack visits, as it gave her even MORE ideas to share.

                Please, consider doing even just 1 unit. Your fellow volunteers will thank you!

                I thank you!

                Yours in Scouting.
                Marian McQuaid
                Assistant District Commissioner
                Great Blue Hill District
                Boston Minuteman Council
                ----- Original Message -----
                From: NeilLup@...
                To: scouter_t@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Sunday, January 22, 2006 6:45 PM
                Subject: Re: [Scouter_T] Commissioner Training



                In a message dated 1/22/06 5:51:32 PM, antelope95@... writes:


                >
                > I have been considering volunteering to be a UC, but the extra
                > time commitment is one thing I've been worried about
                >

                In my opinion, the great thing about being a unit commissioner is that you
                largely can control your own time.

                First, you can decide how many units you will take. If you take one,
                then the time is (surprise) about one third of the time if you take three.

                Second, your responsibility is to make one meaningful contact with each
                unit each month. That could be visiting a meeting, visiting a committee
                meeting, having a good phone conversation with the unit leader, meeting the
                unit leader at a roundtable, camporee or Pow Wow, etc. It could even be an
                exchange of e-mails.

                In my opinion, the job of Unit Commissioner is much like that of a first
                aider or even a ski patroller. You check often enough to make sure everything
                is OK or if there is a problem, Should you find a problem, if you wish
                and you have the skill and interest, you address it. Otherwise, you
                call for help from the appropriate source.

                As far as time, under normal conditions, I would say 1-2 hours per
                month for each unit that you take plus one evening per month for a Commissioner's
                meeting, roundtable, etc. When things get bad, it can take more.
                On one occasion, I spent some time each day for two weeks on a unit when they
                were having a spat between the committee and the unit leader. But that is
                unusual.

                Unit Commissioner can be an extremely rewarding job and really doesn't take
                that much time. We have all heard unit leaders say "I've never seen a
                Commissioner." That is probably because there weren't enough people willing to
                serve.

                I hope that you will give Commissioner Service a shot. It is good fun and
                very rewarding.

                Best wishes,

                Neil Lupton


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



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              • Don Wilson
                Without a doubt, Scouting is a sponge that will suck up every drop of energy one puts forth yet the sponge is always dry, asking for more. By the book, a Unit
                Message 7 of 15 , Jan 22, 2006
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                  Without a doubt, Scouting is a sponge that will suck up every drop of
                  energy one puts forth yet the sponge is always dry, asking for more.

                  By the book, a Unit Commissioner is assigned three units. Also by
                  the book, there is an Assistant District Commissioner for each three
                  Unit Commissioners. I need to meet the guy that wrote the book.
                  There are never enough active trained Commissioners, so we do the
                  best we can.

                  As a District Commissioner, I asked the Unit Commissioners to make
                  direct contact with the leaders of their assigned units at least
                  monthly, and to make at least one unit visit each quarter. This
                  would be the minimum requirements, and likely units would have enough
                  problems to need more contact. The monthly contact could be a phone
                  call or a few quick words at a roundtable. The idea is to show
                  interest, but not smother. Nothing makes a unit leader more nervous
                  is to have a Unit Commissioner hovering around all the time.

                  Unit Commissioners serving Cub Scout pack generally get the summer
                  of, but must make up for the vacation during Roundup. Commissioners
                  serving Troops and Crews might have some free time in the summer
                  while their units are at summer camp. But that is a great
                  opportunity for unit service, and I asked Unit Commissioners to visit
                  with their units in camp. It is good to be able to have a unit visit
                  away from the usual meeting place.

                  The largest effort on the part of Unit Commissioners is for
                  recharter. Our council uses a 120 day recharter program, starting
                  with an extensive unit inventory and survey. Unit Commissioners will
                  be busy to insure that units recharter and as many as possible
                  complete that recharter as Quality Units.

                  So, the question of commitment as a Unit Commissioner is reasonable.
                  The problem is that most Unit Commissioners wear more than one hat.
                  As a Scoutmaster, I served as Unit Commissioner to Cub Scout units.
                  And seeing that I had one night home a month, I also served as
                  District Training Chair. And still the sponge was dry.

                  Don Wilson
                  OHC 427
                • R Fisher
                  I don t think I read if you are currently wearing other hats . That would make difference to me. But I will say this in all honesty; the time commitment for
                  Message 8 of 15 , Jan 22, 2006
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                    I don't think I read if you are currently "wearing other hats". That
                    would make difference to me. But I will say this in all honesty; the
                    time commitment for a Unit Commissioner is probably the closest to the
                    legendary "one hour a week" that I'm aware of. But if that one hour is
                    one that you have to give up something else for, then you are the only
                    one that can say if its worth it.

                    YiS

                    Roy Fisher
                  • Scouter Chuck
                    Roy Fisher wrote... ... I am currently a Member at Large for the District Committee. I also attend RT, and used to be on the RT staff -- until someone
                    Message 9 of 15 , Jan 22, 2006
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                      Roy Fisher wrote...

                      > I don't think I read if you are currently "wearing other hats". That
                      > would make difference to me.

                      I am currently a "Member at Large" for the District Committee.

                      I also attend RT, and used to be on the RT staff -- until someone
                      decided they wanted "new blood".

                      I do not serve directly with a unit, nor do I have any other
                      position in the District. I do help with occasional training
                      as requested (and qualified).

                      Hope this helps...

                      YiS,

                      Chuck Bramlet -- Phoenix, Az. ----- mailto:antelope95@...
                      I "used to be" an Antelope! -- WEM-10-95
                      Thunderbird District -- Grand Canyon Council
                      District Committee Member at Large
                      -------------------------------------------------------------------
                      "The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing"
                      -- Stephen R. Covey
                      -------------------------------------------------------------------
                    • Dave Loomis
                      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
                      Message 10 of 15 , Jan 22, 2006
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                        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
                        to serve.

                        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.


                        Dave
                        ADC & BS Training Chair
                        Historic District
                        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?
                        >
                        >
                        > YiS,
                        >
                        > Chuck Bramlet


                        To reply, click on the address below.

                        Dave Loomis mailto:dloomis.nh.ultranet@...
                        245 Union St. (603) 431 5342
                        Portsmouth, NH 03801-4349
                      • NeilLup@aol.com
                        ... With respect, Dave, I believe this expectation is way over the top for a Unit Commissioner. In fact, if I were a committee member and the Unit
                        Message 11 of 15 , Jan 23, 2006
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                          In a message dated 1/23/06 12:31:27 AM, dloomis.nh.ultranet@... writes:


                          > 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.
                          >

                          With respect, Dave, I believe this expectation is way over the top for a
                          Unit Commissioner. In fact, if I were a committee member and the Unit
                          Commissioner showed up every committee meeting, I'd wonder why the
                          district/council didn't trust me.

                          If we have expectations like that for every Unit Commissioner, we won't
                          have many Unit Commissioners.

                          Oh, that's right, we don't have many Unit Commissioners :)

                          I stand by my earlier estimate as a minimum acceptable for doing the job.
                          One meaningful contact with the unit each month (meeting, campout, phone
                          call, etc.) and one meeting. One can do more and may decide to do more.
                          But I'd much rather have a full Commissioner's staff doing that rather than
                          only have the small number of people doing what you specified.

                          Best wishes,

                          Neil Lupton


                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • Dave Loomis
                          You re right. I should have said a unit OR committee meeting each month. Thanks, Dave ... To reply, click on the address below. Dave Loomis
                          Message 12 of 15 , Jan 23, 2006
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                            You're right. I should have said a unit OR committee meeting each month.

                            Thanks,

                            Dave

                            NeilLup@... wrote:
                            > In a message dated 1/23/06 12:31:27 AM, dloomis.nh.ultranet@... writes:
                            >
                            >>
                            >>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.
                            >>
                            >
                            >
                            > With respect, Dave, I believe this expectation is way over the top for a
                            > Unit Commissioner. In fact, if I were a committee member and the Unit
                            > Commissioner showed up every committee meeting, I'd wonder why the
                            > district/council didn't trust me.
                            >
                            >
                            > Best wishes,
                            >
                            > Neil Lupton
                            >
                            >
                            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            >


                            To reply, click on the address below.

                            Dave Loomis mailto:dloomis.nh.ultranet@...
                            245 Union St. (603) 431 5342
                            Portsmouth, NH 03801-4349
                          • John Halter
                            Actually, if you have three units, you could realistically visit a committee meeting and unit meeting each month and still only be visiting each unit once a
                            Message 13 of 15 , Jan 24, 2006
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                              Actually, if you have three units, you could realistically visit a
                              committee meeting and unit meeting each month and still only be visiting
                              each unit once a quarter.

                              Thank you,

                              John Halter
                              Pack Trainer
                              Pack 230 Apopka Florida
                              www.pack230.com
                              Assistant Scoutmaster
                              Troop 936 Longwood Florida
                              Wekiwa District Cub Scout Roundtable Commissioner
                              www.wekiwa.org
                              "PackDude" at www.Scoutboard.com
                              ...and a good 'ol Bobwhite too! SR442



                              Dave Loomis wrote:
                              > You're right. I should have said a unit OR committee meeting
                              > each month.
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