This weekend was the 2017 Commissioner Conference for Cascade Pacific Council. We had 33 Commissioners register and about 15+ showed up day of the event. This was great since last year only 10 were signed up and it was canceled due to low numbers.
This year it was called a Conference instead of a college as it was held in the style of a Ted Talks. The conference also offered both the Unit Commissioner and Roundtable Commissioner training. About 5-6 Commissioners took each course. It was a great turn out and a lot of training and information was presented.
A vast array of topics were offered. How to be a Commissioner, What is Commissioner Service, Commissioner Tools, Roundtable and LDS Commissioners. We also heard from Kevin Baker that Western Region Area One Commissioner, as he was our guest of honor.
Dolly Olson, the CPCBSA Council Commissioner gave her State of the Council speech. In which she dived into why she is passionate about being a Commissioner and her reason for being where she is today. Dolly tasked us to go out and visit Scout Units, make contacts and to log them. Our council is incredibly lite on recording visits.
We also heard from Mike Volz, the Cubscout Roundtable Commissioner for Sunset Trails. His main message is to keep promoting events, make the content different, meaningful and fresh, have a full calendar published for the year. He also made a very good point of making people feel welcomed. Greet them at the door, follow up with them directly and ask for input. The program you put on at Roundtable should be an example for what is put on in the units.
Eric Pond who recently became the LDS Council contact and a longtime Scouting Volunteer put on a great session on Scouting in the LDS Units. He provided a great overview for those outside the LDS as to what goes on within the Units. I have taken several courses at the University of Scouting over the years and talked to my LDS Scouting friends to learn more about this topic. Because of my new position within the District as District Commissioner, this was very helpful. Eric explained who the Commissioners and Charter Org Reps are based upon their position within the Stake and Wards. He explained the how Stakes and Wards are set-up and how it relates to Districts and Units. A lot of good information.
Sheryl Shake, our Commissioner Conference Dean, provided not only the whole coordination of putting this event on, but also provided on where to go for more Commissioner information on the Scouting.org website. There is a lot to know and learn. The tools are there, but a lot of the time hard to find. This was good information to share.
I gave a 60 minute presentation on Commissioner Tools and many of the reports that can be created. I went through the basics of how to assign or change a Unit Commissioner and how to make Unit Contacts. I also had one of the District Commissioner’s login to show her account since mine covered the entire Council. We walked through more basics of logging calls, why to log a call and what a call could be. She also shared what reports she uses and why.
Finally, Kevin Baker our Western Region Area One Commissioner spoke. Feedback is a gift and it was good to hear his comments about the talks. He helped validate many of the same issues we see in CPCBSA, is the same in the other councils. He is also the recently former Area Training Chair and said that Commissioner Service and Training go together.
Circling back to what Dolly talked about for Commissioner Service, Kevin went further and added Commissioner Image. Service and Image. Commissioners are there to help the unit succeed and also provide the example of how the face of Scouting. We help get the word out about Scouting from the National, Council and District levels to the units. We also help get the word back to the District, Council and National level through reporting via Commissioner Tools, JTE and Service Hour reporting.
This conference just reaffirms several things to me about being in the position that I am in and always have been. I provide and connect people to resources and others to help them enable themselves and units to be better than they are. This is through my positions of Trainer, Cubscout Roundtable Commisioner, Assistant Council Commissioner and District Commissioner. It was also the case as the Troop Committee Member and Ast Scoutmaster. Sometimes it is through Guided Discovery and other times it through basic explaining of the rules and functions of what needs to happen.
Time to get busy in the District and bringing service to the units.