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Commissioner Service/Training

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  • Barry Smith
    Hi all, Having served as a District Commissioner, I cannot stress enough the recommendation that a commissioner NOT serve in their own units. Effective
    Message 1 of 2 , Jan 23, 2006
      Hi all,

      Having served as a District Commissioner, I cannot stress enough the
      recommendation that a commissioner NOT serve in their own units.
      Effective commissioners are considered objective/friendly by unit
      leadership. This is very helpful when problems between personalities
      arise. Hard to do when you have a history of leadership within the
      unit.

      Good unit commissioners are mentors to the unit leadership,
      particularly to Charter Reps, Committee Chairs, and Unit Leaders. If
      those three (key) leaders are on the same page, the existing program
      can run smoothly, and the UC can then coach them to turn the page,
      delivering more/better program within the unit. Velvet glove, NO stick!

      The Commissioner Basic training is an overview of the total
      commissioner service. In our council, we offer it twice a year. Also,
      District Commissioners and the Assistant DCs are encouraged to do the
      training on a flexible schedule within their district.

      Wearing the wreath is a rewarding and enriching experience. You will
      get to know the meaning of "servant leadership." Good luck and have
      fun.

      Yours in Scouting,
      Barry Smith
      Assistant Council Commissioner
      Great Trail, Akron, OH

      "Tis better to build boys than mend men."
      (But mending is what commissioners do.)
    • Chad C. Cooper
      I would like to echo Barry s excellent point! ... If a UC is serving their own unit, not only are they not in a good position to deal with personal conflicts,
      Message 2 of 2 , Jan 23, 2006
        I would like to echo Barry's excellent point!

        Barry Smith wrote:

        > Hi all,
        >
        > Having served as a District Commissioner, I cannot stress enough the
        > recommendation that a commissioner NOT serve in their own units.
        >
        If a UC is serving their own unit, not only are they not in a good
        position to deal with personal conflicts, they are also not likely to
        objectively see problems as they arise.

        A personal experience... (sorry, this is a little lengthy)

        Our Council encourages districts to form partnership relationships
        between packs and troops. My Pack's leadership watched our partner
        Troop struggle for years. Some of our boys had really bad experiences
        and either switch troops or drop out of Scouting all together. Our
        district chose not to address the problems and, for three years we sent
        our boys to other troops. Finally people started to notice.

        Three years ago we had a large group of Webelos, one of which was the
        son of our pack's CC. Our CC had strong leadership skills and a great
        deal of commitment to Scouting. She worked with the district team, the
        current troop leadership and brought a big group of her boys into this
        troop to try to revive the unit. As she retired as the pack CC, she
        stepped into the role of UC for the pack and troop to help keep things
        going in the right direction. And, things did appear to be going well.

        My den came along the next year and we convinced my son and two others
        to join this unit. Within six months, my son and I switched units
        (after many offers of positive assistance from me). By the end of the
        year, the other two of my boys had left. Last year, all of our Webelos
        went to other troops (without any influence from me). This year I have
        already heard of bad experiences from our Webelos.

        The UC's son appears to be still enjoying the program and the UC has
        good friendships with the troop's SM and CC. They are all nice people.
        But, the UC isn't able to be objective and she doesn't see that their
        program is not working for other boys.

        Even though it is more work, a UC shouldn't serve his/her own unit(s).

        - Chad
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