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Unit Leaders as Commissioners

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  • #16
    My problem with the mentoring program is that they are entering the visits in the UVTS. This system is clearly for Commissioner visits only and this program is being used to circumvent the spirit of the BSA policy.


    • #17
      Hello moosetracker,


      When I was reading through the "Administration of Commissioner Service" link provided earlier, I thought I saw a rule prohibiting Unit Commissioners from also being Roundtable Commissioners.

      You motivated me to go back and read through that again more carefully, and this time I didn't see it. So I guess I'm now "legal," as both a UC and Roundtable Commissioner.

      That's an excellent resource, incidentally, and it's the first time I've seen that publication:


      • #18

        If they are using UVTS, then they are listed in SCOUTNET as commissioners as that is the only way to access the program.

        Again I personally like the "1 person, 1 job" concept because I know how difficult doing some of these jobs are, let alone multiple ones. I've seen burn out, I've seen people spread so thin that none of the jobs gets the right amount of attention, etc.

        But unfortunately the world is not black and white. There is a critical shortage of not only commissioners, but good ones. Heck in some areas there is a critical shortage of volunteers for all levels. I remember when I was a brand new DE that every single commissioner and district committee member was wearing both unit leader and district hats, and some were doing multiple unit, multiple district, and multiples of both!

        So I think national realizes that it is necessary to have people multiple register as commissioners and unit leaders. Otherwise the situation would be worse than it is.


        • #19
          ADC in NC posted..."UVTS reporting is done by me or one of my ADC's for the mentors." So the "mentors" are not registered as Commissioners and cannot use UVTS so ADC is entering their visits for them. This is what I mean by circumventing the rules.

          I do not believe that National knows (condones) this. If they did they would use language like "should not" instead of "must not."

          (This message has been edited by johnponz)


          • #20
            By the way, I have met Tico Perez, and he does not seem to be the type that would want other Commissioners to break policy so I do not really believe that "national realizes that it is necessary to have people multiple register as commissioners and unit leaders."


            • #21

              Gotcha. I agree a commissioner should not fill out another's UVTS except in a few rare circumstances, i.e. the commish doesn't have the IT capabilities, paperwork not processed yet by council and he's already started the job (that was my case) etc. AND THEN it needs to be noted that the visit was done by XYZ commissioner.

              As for national being realists, I can tell you first hand that the folks in Irving are realists. I know at PDL-1 we had discussions on what SHOULD be happening, and how things ARE SOMETIMES DONE.

              One constant theme was that DEs need to multiply themselves as much as possible, using all, stressing ALL, resources possible to provide a quality program. And volunteers are considered resources to help provide the program.


              • #22
                Eagle92 - You are right, it really is all about the program, what is best for the youth. That is who we are here to serve.

                John - What is best a UC who is only a UC and does not do his job or someone who holds two positions but does them to the best of his ability? The UC for the unit I am SM for has visited our troop once in the past two years. Every couple of months he asks me how things are going at roundtable.

                I try and visit the unit I UC for at least once a month and am getting to know the scouts in the troop.


                • #23
                  Let me make this simple: my UC has not darkened my crew's door since its inception. So where do I go for outside help (besides these forums )?

                  I have certain seasoned advisors on speed-dial. (The advisor's advisors, if you will.) They all are leaders in their respective units. I'm pretty sure none of them have logged the amount of help they've given me, but other than that, I consider them my mentors.

                  I'm not about to question the propriety of this. I just thank God that they took time out from managing their respective units to coach me along the way.

                  'nuff said


                  • #24
                    As a District Commish. I never asked a unit leader to serve on the Commissioner staff.
                    Not because of any rule or whatever but just because in my book serving the unit is the most important job.
                    At one point in time our Council Commish did try and push the recruiting of unit leaders but it never took off.

                    I think if the truth be told that any real Commissioner service died a long time ago, but no one seems willing to admit it.
                    I also tend to think again if the truth be told that the numbers given as active U/C's are way off.
                    While having someone who represents the grass root Scouter's and the units on the Council and District key 3 is a very good thing. Unit service just doesn't happen and in places where it is still gasping for life the quality of service leaves a lot to be desired.
                    I have never been a great fan of people wearing too many (More than one!) Hats.
                    I do believe whole heartedly that their heart is in the right place.
                    I just don't think that they can do a good job or maybe I should say good jobs.

                    When I first became a District Commish. I had a staff of 27.
                    Most of these were elderly, some weren't allowed to drive after dark.
                    A good many were miss fits that someone had pushed into service because they just didn't fit in any place else.
                    I thought this the poor quality of service was something that was unique to my District and the Council. So I packed my bags and went to the Delivering Commissioner Service Conference at Philmont.
                    I sat and heard the horror stories from other Councils and returned having not learned very much but thinking my band of OAP's and misfits were better than most.


                    • #25


                      • #26
                        @SP - don't forget to check the "drop leaders" list from your last recharter cycle (which should be pretty new for most of us) - I have managed to "recover" several good UCs from that list too -- and it is one that is frequently overlooked.

                        I don't recruit unit leaders (CM, SM, VC, VA) to be Commissioners, of any stripe, including RT.

                        But their assistants, committee members, den leaders, parents, etc., are ALL fair game.

                        The BSA has said that Unit Leaders should not be UCs for many, many years. (And that is from reading even the earliest versions of the "Fieldbook" from back in the '50s.)

                        Now, when I was CM & SM, I continued to serve as a UC, but that was my choice - and I served units that were far removed from my own. Today, I would encourage others NOT to follow my example. (I honestly realize I was not the best UC I could have been during those years. Yes, I did my job, but I really did not deliver great customer service.)

                        (Oh, and I was teaching MCS 402 - Recruiting - at the CFC CoCS yesterday, and these are all points that I made.)


                        • #27
                          I's also like to add that some folks think 'commissioner" is a twilight position for those who can no longer be active. That was mentioned at one commish meeting I attended. Individual was an active commish up until a year ago, and is in really bad shape. Folks wanted to keep him registered. I mentioned the "Retired" strip, and think it would be more appropriate.


                          • #28
                            Eagle92 is closer to the policy as written by the BSA. However, "Assistants" shopuld be included in the general term "Unit Leader" per the following:

                            The Commissioner Administration of Unit Service Publication

                            Here on page 3 it states, "In Cub Scouting, the unit leader is the Cubmaster,
                            who shares the responsibility with den leaders; in
                            Boy Scouting, it is the Scoutmaster and assistants.
                            In Venturing, it is the Advisor and associates." So you can see in the Commissioner context the Unit Leader position really refers to the entire Unit Leadership team not the specific unit leader. This is further corroborated by the fact that the publications specifically state that a Commissioner can be a Committee Member. This implies that they cannot be in another direct leadership position such as ASM.

                            I am really only pointing this out so that everyone understasnds what the actual policy is. I have given up on trying to convince people that they need to be following it
                            (This message has been edited by johnponz)