Re: [Scouter_T] Unit Commissioners was Re: The DVD is coming! The DVD is comi ng!
- In a message dated 10/31/06 10:26:23 AM, danhammondsr@... writes:
> EVERY unit has a commissioner. At least they do if the DistrictNeedless to say, Daniel, life isn't always quite that simple. When I
> Commissioner has done the job even close to right. The ratio of commissioners to units
> will never be 1:1, it's generally accepted that the goal is 1:3. One
> commissioner per three units. That's a good goal, but I've never seen it
> achieved. The procedure is for the DC to assign every unit to a commissioner, even
> though the ratio isn't achieved.
became Council Commissioner of our council, to meet the 1:3 ratio of
Commissioners to units (not counting DCs, ADC and RTCs), we would have needed about
150 Commissioners. On the books, we had precisely 12 Commissioners of
which about half were functioning effectively. Four years later, when I left
the job, there was a major improvement, up to about 40 Commissioners,
but still far short of 150.
In our council, I simply found that Commissioner service did not meet the
needs and characteristics of our volunteer leaders. They wanted to work with
units, or in camping, or in some cases in training. They did not want to
do what Commissioners are supposed to do.
It didn't help when things happened as happened with a newly recruited
Commissioner. He was assigned a long established unit with a 25 year Scoutmaster.
At the first visit, the Scoutmaster proceeded to dump on the new
Commissioner with 25 years of things that he thought the council had done wrong. The
new Commissioner resigned that night saying "I don't need this." And the
Scoutmaster always complains that he never sees a Commissioner.
There simply was no way that we could find 150 volunteers experienced and
skilled enough to build a full Commissioner's staff, particularly when I found
that my picture was posted at the door of unit, camping and training meetings
with "shoot on sight if seen recruiting" messages. So we established triage
where we assigned Commissioners to units where they could have the most
positive impact, neither the extremely strong units that were doing just fine, not
the "walking dead" units that required more than ordinary Commissioner
service. One result was that the really strong units continued to complain that
they never saw a Commissioner. But suggest to them that they supply some
people for Commissioner service and it became "shoot on sight."
And that's not to mention the Commissioners who only wanted to serve "their"
So, it's true that every unit has a Commissioner of sorts. But if the DC
is covering 30 or 40 units because of a shortage of UCs, not much is going
to happen. And even if it's an ADC covering 10-15 units, there won't be
much userful service. And in some cases, I was covering districts as
Council Commissioner because we were having trouble finding District Commissioners.
From the unit's point of view, it is totally reasonable to expect good
Commissioner service. But looking at it from the point of view of the district
and/or council that need to provide that service and find the people to do it,
life isn't quite that straightforward.
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