Commissioners are district and council leaders who help Scout units succeed. They coach and consult with adult leaders of Cub Scout packs, Boy Scout troops, and Venturing crews. Commissioners help maintain the standards of the Boy Scouts of America.
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Retention Mission Statement
The retention mission of the commissioner corps is best achieved by providing an adequate number of trained unit commissioners who provide a link to district committee resources in support of a quality unit program.
Unit commissioners will focus on the following four primary areas:
- Supporting unit growth in the Journey to Excellence criteria: JTE measures performance characteristics that unlock the door to a successful unit. We should analyze the unit's program and identify JTE areas where help is needed to move the unit to a higher level of JTE success.
- Linking district committee resources to the unit: We should support the district committee's delivery of a "catalog of services" to support the specific JTE elements needed for a particular unit's health and success.
- Visiting units and logging the visits into the Unit Visit Tracking System (UVTS): Our core task remains visiting the unit. UVTS input feeds critical information to the district committee to help link resources to the unit.
- Supporting on-time charter renewal: The commissioner's focus is the retention of the unit, though we should be especially mindful of supporting new youth membership efforts as we move more toward a volunteer-led, professionally guided approach to increasing membership.
What is a Commissioners Role?
A commissioner plays several roles, including friend, representative, unit "doctor," teacher, and counselor.
The commissioner is a friend of the unit. Of all their roles, this one is the most important. It springs from the attitude, "I care, I am here to help,what can I do for you?" Caring is the ingredient that makes commissioner service successful. He or she is an advocate of unit needs. A commissioner who makes himself known and accepted now will be called on in future times of trouble.
The commissioner is a representative. The average unit leader is totally occupied in working with kids. Some have little if any contact with the Boy Scouts of America other than a commissioner's visit to their meeting. To them, the commissioner may be the BSA. The commissioner helps represent the ideals, the principles, and the policies of the Scouting movement.
The commissioner is a unit "doctor." In their role as "doctor," they know that prevention is better than a cure, so they try to see that their units make good "health practices" a way of life. When problems arise, and they will even in the best unit, they act quickly. They observe symptoms, diagnose the real ailment, prescribe a remedy, and follow up on the patient.
The commissioner is a teacher. As a commissioner, they will have a wonderful opportunity to participate in the growth of unit leaders by sharing knowledge with them. They teach not just in an academic environment, but where it counts most—as an immediate response to a need to know. That is the best adult learning situation since the lesson is instantly reinforced by practical application of the new knowledge.
The commissioner is a counselor. As a Scouting counselor, they will help units solve their own problems. Counseling is the best role when unit leaders don't recognize a problem and where solutions are not clear-cut. Everyone needs counseling from time to time, even experienced leaders.