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    • BSA used to have a manual called Commissioner Helps for Packs, Troops, and Crews, no. 33618.  The last version I have was updated in January 2011.  It is organized as a number of unit operational elements, with each element having one or more standards to be used by Commissioners in assessing a unit.  It also includes a number of suggested actions Commissioners can take to help the unit achieve each standard.  The standards for "Top Unit Leader" are:      1.  The unit leader is fully trained, is respected by youth and other adults, and has a keen interest in youth.      2.  [Troops and Crews] Youth have a major role in leadership.      3.  The unit leader has a trained assistant leader for two-deep leadership and shares the leadership responsibilities.      4.  [Crews] The crew Advisor is strictly an adviser and coach; Venturers run meetings and activities whenever possible. The listed "Commissioner Actions" are mostly what you would expect (take the leader to training and roundtable, for example), but no. 9 states:  "Work closely with the head of the chartered organization to see that leaders are the type of persons you would choose to lead your own children." Useful feedback would be a checklist of specific standards that shows whether the unit is in compliance.  The problem, as @SSF has noted, is that BSA isn't doing enough to ensure that units are doing what they are supposed to be doing.  BSA doesn't have a mechanism for enforcing quality standards in units.  For all of its hand-wringing about membership numbers, BSA seems to ignore the direct relationship between unit quality on the one hand and member recruitment and retention on the other.  All recruitment is by local units. All retention is by local units.  Membership numbers could be improved substantially if the vast majority of those units met quality standards of the kind found in the Commissioner Helps book.
    • All these years of training classes gives these folks who want to be commissioners something to do...instead of you know....commissioner stuff The commissioner program is great in the abstract.  The actual process of a commissioner doing some action to support youth programming at the unit level is often not there. I have worked with 6 different units in 2 different councils.  In my 30 plus years on adult leadership I think I have seen a commissioner twice actually in the wild (you know at a unit).  I have seen many of them at council events, camps, etc hanging out...commissioning (I guess that is a verb) Sort of like with fundraising...Do we have commissioners so we have good Scout Troops OR do we have Scout troops so we have commissioners
    • In my neck of the woods, there is an extreme shortage of unit commissioners. Is this complicated (and overly pretentious, IMO) training system supposed to make it easier to get people to volunteer?
    • The best feedback? Roundtable, camporees, and jamborees. Be honest to other scouters about how you operate and compare notes. Look for the scouts with the biggest smiles on their faces and say, "Take me to your leader."
    • Here is what is listed through the Western Massachusetts Council   Sorry for the breaks and length.  Bachelor Degree Prerequisites: Current registration as a Commissioner, Current BSA YPT Certificate, Completion of "Commissioner Basic Training" Course Requirements: Completion of seven courses of instruction, at least 5 of the courses at the Bachelor's program level   Roundtable  Bachelor Degree (some councils require 2 year commitment) Prerequisites: Current registration as a commissioner, Current BSA YPT Cert. Completion of "Roundtable Commissioner Basic Training" Course Requirements: Completion of seven courses of instruction, at least 5 of the courses at the RT Bachelors program level.   Masters Degree Prerequisites: Current registration as a commissioner, Current BSA YPT cert, Earned Arrowhead Honor, Completion of Bachelor's degree or have been awarded the COmmissioner's Key Course requirements: Completion of seven additional courses of instruction (total of 14), at least 7  of the courses at the Master's level   Roundtable Masters Prerequisites: Current registration as a commissioner, Current BSA YPT cert, Completion of "RT Commissioner Basic Training", Completion of Bachelor's Degree or have been awarded the COmmissioner's Key Course Requirements: Completion of seven courses of instruction, at least 5 of the courses at the RT Bachelor program level   Doctoral Candidate Certificate Prerequisites: Current registration as a commissioner, Current BSA YPT, Completion of Master's degree, Have been awarded the Commissioner Key Course Requirements: Note: Earning the Doctor of Commissioner Science Degree does not automatically qualify you to receive the Doctorate of Commissioner Service Knot Award!!! Completion of 10 additional courses of instruction (total of 24), at least 5 of the courses at the Doctor's or Continuing Education program level, courses may not have previously been counted toward other college degrees. Thesis or Project: This can be on any topic related to Commissioner Service, The topic must be pre0approved by the College of Commissioner Science Committee, Complete the thesis/project using the approved format as determined by the college.  Completion of a thesis or research project on any topic of value to Scouting, The topic and final paper must be approved by the Doctoral Review Committee.   Doctor of Commissioner Science Knot Award: Doctor of Commissioner Science Knot Award Current Registration as a Commissioner, Current BSA YPT Cert. Completion of Doctoral Degree, Tenure (Serve as a Commissioner for a minimum of 5 years (years need not be consecutive), Service can be in one or more roles or positions Commissioner of service Recruiting: Recruit or assist in recruiting at least 3 new Commissioners during tenure as a commissioner. Final Approval: Approval of Council or assigned Assistant Council Commissioner  
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