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Commissioner's Corner

The District is always looking for new Commissioners. In addition to Unit Commissioners there are Roundtable Commissioners that plan the monthly Roundtable meetings. If you are interested in becoming a Commissioner see me at Roundtable, drop the DE a note, or let the office know. Being a Commissioner is a great way to share your Scouting experience with others.

Who makes a good Commissioner? Parents and Leaders that want to be one. Those that want to “step back” a little from the weekly duties of a unit. Parents and Leaders of Scouts that are aging out. Those that have been around for many years and know everyone. The biggest thing that make a good Commissioner is a person who understands the value Scouting brings to our community and supports the program. So with that, I ask you: Please bring your experience in Scouting to a new level and become a Commissioner.

As a reminder, the Commissioner meetings are prior to Roundtable at 6:45 p.m. Roundtable is normally the 1st Tuesday of the month at 7:30 p.m. All are welcome to both meetings.

LDS Church
750 E. Ave. J
Lancaster, Ca 93535

Commissioners should always remember the bottom line: “It is Program for the Youth not Program for the Adults.”

I appreciate the time you donate as well as all you do for Scouting and the youth in the Scouting organization. So let’s continue to keep the Antelope Valley District on track, trained and having fun.

Don Wyatt
Antelope Valley District Commissioner

What is a Commissioner?

What is a Commissioner? A Commissioner is the Unit’s link to the district to help tie the unit to resources that they may not have within their unit. Commissioners are a friend to the unit. We are not part of the unit: instead we are an outside source of expertise that can be called on to assist a unit. We are not there to grade the unit, run the unit, or conduct inspections of the unit. We are there to assist the leadership with concerns, questions, training of leaders, guidance, mentorship, and help the unit have a successful FUN program.

As Commissioners we have an obligation to ensure we receive all the training required to perform our duties in the best manner possible. This is provided not only through online training but classroom training such as Basic Commissioner’s Training and courses taught at Commissioners’ College.

Commissioners should encourage training at all levels of Scouting. Commissioners encourage Unit Leaders to go to Roundtables and training events. Commissioners can work with the units to help conduct training, put the unit in touch with the District Training staff, or recommend other District’s or Council training events.

As Commissioners we need to ensure we provide the units we serve every possible opportunity to be successful in recruitment, training, planning, program and the big one FUN. One of the easiest ways to ensure a unit has a quality program with all the successful ingredients is through the Journey to Excellence program.

The Journey to Excellence program applicable to the unit the Commissioner is working with and outlines the requirements to have a quality program. Using the guideline requirements when making the Unit’s Annual Program Plan allows units to plan and schedule activities so the units creates a plan that will provide a good program and meet the JTE criteria. Commissioners need to review the plan and the JTE scorecard throughout the year to ensure the unit is on track. Almost 100 percent of our units are capable of achieving JTE Bronze, Silver or Gold status annually because we have great leaders with high motivation, we just need to provide the extra insight into what it takes to have a great program and fun year for the leaders and youth. Commissioners need to ensure units have and are using an annual calendar.

Commissioners can help units to ensure they are planning out activities and events in advance. The unit needs to have a separate session to plan the upcoming year. For some events, the planning needs to be for multiple years. Planning for events such as a High Adventure trek to Philmont, Northern Tier, or Florida Sea Base must be started a minimum of 2 years in advance since the lottery to register for a trek is held in January – 18 months prior to the trek. The Patrol Leaders Council should be planning events in cooperation with the guidance of the adults for Boy Scout units. The adults are there to ensure the plan is realistic, practical, attainable, affordable, and in-line with Scouting safety. In Cub Scout units, the adults should perform the annual planning with inputs from the boys. The unit puts together an annual plan with updates and revisions throughout the year.

Commissioners can help units in leadership planning. In addition to a program plan all units need to have an adult turn-over plan. Boys grow up and change from one type of Scouting unit to another. Parents tend to be involved with the type of unit their son is involved in. Therefore, the unit needs to plan for leadership changes annually. As a leader’s son bridges, the unit needs to have a successor plan. If a leader relocates out of the area, there needs to be another leader step into that position. Recruitment and retention of adult leaders is important to the unit’s health just as recruitment of new boys is. Unit Commissioner should help the unit ensure there is a plan in place to ensure the leadership of the unit continues from year to year.

Just like the unit has a plan, a Commissioners needs to have a plan to help the unit succeed. Commissioners need work with the units year round to help them understand what it takes to have a quality program. For example, the Cub Unit Commissioner starts in January to ensure the boys bridging to Boy Scouts have a place to go; the next year’s leadership is in place for any adults bridging out; final school-year advancement is accomplished so that all Cubs earn their current rank before bridging up; spring recruitment is planned and then the summertime plans are in place so the Pack retains the newly recruited Cubs as well as current Cubs: and they earn the Summertime Award. Plans for popcorn and recruiting for the beginning of the school year quickly start the fall; new leaders attend training so the unit has well trained leaders; early in the fall connections are made with Boy Scout units for the Arrow of Light den so the boys earning their Arrow of Light and have options on which Troop they want to go to. In October, the Commissioner helps with rechartering for the unit to ensure the unit continues to be chartered; final rechartering is on time, all signatures and applications are in place as well as all the JTE events are annotated on the score card. Also, somewhere during the year, the annual planning session was conducted so that in January it all starts over again.

Each Unit Commissioners need to plan to visit assigned unit(s) monthly. Why? To get to know the unit and provide them with any assistance they need. These visits include unit meetings and committee meetings. Commissioners are also encouraged to observe a den or patrol meeting, observe classes taught by the older Scouts to younger Scouts, go on outings with the unit such as hikes, campouts and service projects, go to the unit fundraiser activities, and attend the Pack’s Pinewood Derby or Troop’s Court of Honors. Commissioners should invite the unit to attend District events as well as go to the events and visit other units not assigned to. By observing different units, there is always something that can be shared with assigned units on how to do something differently or better. Observing the unit performing various activities builds the bridge between the Commissioner and the unit. Additionally, other leaders besides just key leaders know that there is that outside help they can turn to for assistance outside the unit.

Commissioners help units during the recharter process. During the rechartering process help units through the process by:

  1. Ensuring unit(s) received/picked-up their rechartering packet and reviewed the contents.

  2. Working with the Committee Chair to explain anything in the rechartering packet or process they may not fully understand, answer any questions they may have.

  3. Make sure the * items are completed/covered (i.e. two-deep leadership and training etc.).

  4. All Youth Protection Training has been accomplished and documented.

  5. Adult Leaders applications for all new leaders and/or new positions.

  6. JTE Scoresheets is filled out, signed, and turned in.

  7. Ensure all signatures are on the recharter including Charter Organization Representative.

  8. Turn the recharter packet in early. This allows time for review and corrections to meet District and then Council suspense.


Boy Scouts of America - Western Los Angeles County Council - Antelope Valley District.

The Antelope Valley District Service Center office is located at 42402 N. 10th Street West, Suite G - Lancaster, CA. 93534

Service Center office is open Monday - Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. - Lunch 1:00 p.m.-1:30 p.m.
Phone: (661) 942-0582 - Fax: (661) 723-1450

The Antelope Valley Scout Shop is located at 42402 N. 10th Street West, Suite F - Lancaster, CA. 93534

The Scout Shop is open Monday - Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. - Lunch 1:00 p.m.-1:30 p.m.

Saturday 10:00 am to 3:00 pm - Lunch 1:00 pm-1:30 pm
Phone number: (661) 942-7820

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