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What would you like from your Unit Commissioner

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  • What would you like from your Unit Commissioner

    What kids of things do you expect or would like to get from your UC?

    I'm going to my first pack as their UC tonight. I'm bringing training info, upcoming council/district events, info on JTE and the new Tour Plan along with a few health forms to get them going on getting their scouts to fill them out.

  • #2
    I attend pack committee meetings to see if any difficulties are presenting themselves. I keep an eye out for leadership transitions and that new leaders are being identified.

    The thing I've done most reliably over the past seven years is to take the responsibility for spring and fall recruiting. If the pack has good recruiting results, pretty much everything else falls into place is my experience.

    But I've also suggested pack hikes when that was needed and do FOS presentations at the Blue and Gold.

    I actually set up the pack annual plan when I helped revitalize the pack seven years ago, and much of that program is reprised each year.

    My aim is to encourage pack leaders to do everything they can and will do and to help out a bit if something is failing in some significant way.


    • #3
      Wow, you are a very active UC. The pack I'm starting off with is a pretty well established unit. I don't think I'm going to be that active. I don't mind helping them in anyway I can as UC though, I guess I'll find out tonight.


      • #4
        Our UC is about what I expect at that level, he comes to 3-4 Pack meetings a year, shows up for some commitee meetings, checks in to make sure things are going well and is a "friend" to the pack if we need help but mostly is around making sure we aren't killing each other and aren't about to implode the pack (not that either is a danger but. . .)
        Oh yeah he always shows up at summer camp on Pack Out night for good food cooked in the campsite. . .and Blue and Gold for food. . .and the Halloween party for food. . .HMMMMMM. . .


        • #5
          Hmmm, free food. I didn't think about that angle. I'm really looking forward to getting to meet the pack and hopefully be helpful.


          • #6
            How active do you want to be? Our UC camps with us a couple of times a year.

            There are all kinds of volunteer things that a UC can do, but the only things I really expect/want him to do are the things that deal with the council. Help get some folks the knots they've earned. Find out if we can borrow equipment from the council. Help with recharter. Mostly it would be useful just to know that I can hand him a task related to council and have him take care of it.

            The thing I wouldn't do is give any directions. The UC is not in charge of the pack and it doesn't come across well if he tries to make any decrees.


            • #7
              Oak Tree,

              That's about what I see my job as. I don't want to become part of their unit. It's their unit and they have a great pack before I came in to the picture. I want do things like help recharter, help with any training needs, help with any council issues. I met them last night; told them about JTE, about training coming up. It went well. They are a very organized unit. I hope I can be an asset to them.


              • #8
                I'm a brand spanking new UC and I currently have a Troop and it's Venture Crew assigned to me. What I would like to know, since I've never had involvement with a crew before, is what would a crew like from their UC?


                • #9
                  @fireeagle --

                  Take the Venturing Leader Specific Training - that will help you a great deal in understanding the program. The Crews I work with generally are looking for another resource -- one that can help the advisors with new program ideas. You will also find that taking Powerhorn will be a big help.


                  • #10
                    fireeagle29, [based on everything that I as an advisor did not get from my UC over the past five years ...]

                    Ditto UCE. You might want to call the advisor, admit that you're new to this crew thing and would like to help by learning. Let him know your taking the training and ask him or any of his adults to join you if they haven't taken it.

                    After that, a phone call every few months would be nice.


                    • #11
                      fa, I reread your question and the way you phrase it, it sounds like the crew is tightly related to the troop. They probably have the same unit #s (like mine) and the advisor and SM might be the same person (unlike mine).

                      Point is, what I might express may have no relation to your two units. There is no one-size-fits all. Probably the first thing that you could do to make it sound like you are more of an expert in Venturing than what you are is get to know the adults and find out how they are leading things ...

                      Are they two units who want to act a little more in unison?
                      Are they effectively one unit who could stand to diversify a little?
                      Are they fine with how they are organized?
                      Where do the youth want to go, and do the leaders feel they can get them there?
                      How engaged is the CO in the scouting program?

                      You don't need hours of training to begin figuring these things out. Just keep in mind that there are no hard-and-fast rules as to how tightly or loosely troop and crew should operate under the same roof.

                      As you learn the lay of the land, you will get an idea if you need to touch base with two fairly independent leaders on different occasions, or if you can sit them at the same table at the same time.


                      • #12
                        There is a significant difference between how Crews run, and how Troops run -- one of the normal challenges is to get the Crew Advisor & his/her Associate Advisors to let the youth to do the planning and execution. (In one Crew where I am a Committee Member, part of my job was to put my hand on the Crew Advisors shoulder and sit him back down when ever he wanted to "take over" the meeting.)

                        Frequently I hear "but they'll forget" -- and I keep saying, "Let them forget, they'll learn from the experience."


                        • #13
                          "let them forget"

                          I think it depends a lot of what it is that they are forgetting. There are some things that they'll learn from, and some things that will just make everyone miserable. This balance is one of the hardest things to get right.

                          Troops can be "boy-led" into chaos, while the adults congratulate themselves that they have a "boy-run" troop even while most of the boys drop out due to utter disorganization. Other troops congratulate themselves on being "boy-led" while any outsider would clearly recognize the adults are running everything.

                          That said, as SM, I do spend a bit of time whispering in the ears of my ASMs to step back, let the boys answer the question, or lead the conversation, or run the meeting.

                          So yes, sometimes we forget things. But it doesn't mean it's always wrong for an adult to provide part of the framework - sometimes it's for the good of the unit that we not forget certain things.


                          • #14
                            Thanks UCEagle72 & qwazse.


                            • #15

                              We would like to get ONE thing from our UC...

                              ...Thier presence at an activity of ours of any kind at least ONCE a year.

                              A scout is honest.