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.
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
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
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
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
received/picked-up their rechartering packet
and reviewed the contents.
Working with the
Committee Chair to explain anything in the
rechartering packet or process they may not
fully understand, answer any questions they
Make sure the * items
are completed/covered (i.e. two-deep
leadership and training etc.).
All Youth Protection
Training has been accomplished and documented.
applications for all new leaders and/or new
JTE Scoresheets is
filled out, signed, and turned in.
Ensure all signatures
are on the recharter including Charter
Turn the recharter
packet in early. This allows time for review
and corrections to meet District and then