A Commissioner is according to the BSA Commissioner website is “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. ” Commissioners are also a friend, representative, doctor, teacher and counselor to the unit.
There are four primary areas that Commissioners are to focus on as well.
1) Support Unit Growth through the Journey. to Excellence.
2) Contacting units and capturing their strengths and needs in Commissioner Tools
3) Linking unit needs to district operating committee resources.
4) Supporting timely charter renewals.
So, what does all that mean for me as the District Commissioner in Skyloo District? It means that as Commissioners we are there to “help scout units succeed”. The Scout Units need support, even if they are the best unit ever, on a routine basis. Even if we check in several times a year and see that the program is working. We are there to help ensure that there is a program and that it is working. If the unit has issues, the Commissioner can provide the support and/or reach out to the District and gather support.
It could be as simple as contacting the Training Chair and scheduling Merit Badge Counselor Training or a Unit Leader training for new Den Leaders. Also, the Unit Commissioner could reach out to a Troop to introduce the new Cubmaster to the Scoutmaster so Den Chiefs could be engaged. On the Troop side, maybe a Scoutmaster asks questions about the Order of the Arrow and how to get more involved. Having a OA Troop Rep on the PLC is just like having a Den Chief at a Pack. It helps the flow of information and creating a better program. Which all leads the Unit to have more fun.
Being a Commissioner also helps in the administrative side of Scouting. Yes, applications, forms and other boring tasks that get pushed aside because the Scouts need to be OUTSIDE making memories and learning how to pitch a tent and make fires!
Journey to Excellence, logging service hours, re-charter process and logging visits into Commissioner Tools. All of these processes, data entry/data dump and things that boil the metrics into great dashboards and other reports are needed. These are items are here for several reasons. They are to help the unit understand what is needed, how they are doing and how to show others outside the unit what is happening within. And yes, someone figured out how to create a pivot table out of all of it.
So, within Skyloo District, Commissioners are going to be there to help scout units succeed. We have not done a great job of that over the years, but that is changing.