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Scout Commish

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About Scout Commish

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    Southern Region
  1. Commissioner Service appears to be on the upswing. Change is usually an evolution, not a revolution. If you read the last couple of Commissioner Newsletters, you will find many improvements outlined. Our National Commissioner has been busy. http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/522-975_09_SpringSummerP2.pdf http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/522-975_FallWinter09_web.pdf These include: An increasing focus on unit visits and the gradually improving UTVS. A volunteer driven national support staff for Commissioners. Increased communication. These support staff folks even have email addresses so that you can let them know your ideas and opinions. Improved Philmont Courses including a Council Commissioner course. Hopefully they are also improving the level of instructors. Appointments of Area and Region Commissioners to put an increased focus on Commissioners. An increased emphasis on Council Commissioners leading the commissioner staff. Increase pride in being a Commissioner. It is a little thing but the new centennial Commissioner position patch is a great example of this. Now if you were the National Commissioner, what else would you do? Here are some ideas to chew on. Emphasize boys not units as a goal for the professional staff. Most Commissioners would rather see a successful pack of 30 boys instead of 2 packs of 15 boys with mixed dens. One reason that we have membership issues is that we lose boys when these weak packs fold. Who cares if we have a 3-1 ratio if the Commissioners are not making visits? It is time for a new ratio that is based on the average number of visits per Commissioner. To improve this ratio, the DC would need to add more functioning Commissioners, get rid of paper Commissioners, or increase the number of visits that the Commissioners are making. Teach the DE in PDL that a good functioning Commissioner Staff can make their life easier. Teach them to remain in the background and utilize the Commissioner staff to answer everyday unit leader questions. Maybe this new support staff can outline what professionals need to know about Commissioners. There needs to be a registration for older scouters. Go back to the Scouters reserve. This can become the pool to pull from for FOS, Camporee staffs, etc instead of asking the Commissioner staffs to do everything. Add a Commissioner position to Wood Badge Staff that can only be filled by someone that has had Commissioner Training. Make visits with the CORs or institution heads part of the Commissioner service plan. Add Commissioner support to the initial training for leaders. Better use of the Commissioner service plan How can a Commissioner get to know a unit if they visit only every third month. Increase to 2 visits per month per Commissioner. Roundtables need help. Create a Council annual service plan for Roundtable Commissioners. Have an ACC for Roundtables. Lets not hear more war stories. Do you have any concrete ideas that you would implement if you were the National Commissioner?
  2. I've got my new uniform. Nearly everything is good about it. The cargo pockets are useable. The regular pockets are still not as deep as I would like. The Boy Scouts of America above the right pocket is not embroidered. I'm not sure what it is and wonder how it will hold up. The flags are also a different material. I got the short sleeve and it seems to have room for the Commissioner Arrowhead. They seem to run a little on the large size.
  3. By Googling Quality Unit Patches, you get The Quality Unit Patch site. From the site: 4. Q: Help! I'm a new Cubmaster who's confused. Isn't the award earned for the calendar year? A: Earning the National Quality Unit Award is based upon the past charter year achievements. It is earned by the unit during the month following charter renewal. For example, a unit that rechartered in December, 2002 (Dec. 31) earns the award in January, 2003 (Jan. 1). They would wear the 2003 emblem. On the form, the unit's leaders make a commitment for the new charter year. This is meant to be used as a planning and goal setting tool for the unit.
  4. Try this website for "The Scout Patch Auctions". http://tspa.com/Forum/greymatter/archives/YIR2005.pdf The record patch price at auction was $71,000 for a 1947 World Jamboree patch. They say that the previous record was $28,000 for a lodge 4 chenille.
  5. This was first envisioned at the OA Adviser training at Philmont in 2000. In BSA terms, this was accomplished relatively quickly.
  6. And the next department that needs shaking up is Public Relations. The current group needs to be renamed "Damage Control". When is the last time that you read a positive piece in the paper or on TV that was generated by national? It appears that National is suffering from inbreeding. When you have a troubled department or area of responsibility, it is sometimes a smart thing to hire from the outside and gain some new ideas and processes. Restructuring is also a way to get rid of the fifedoms that develop over time. National is overdue for a shake up. Scout Commish
  7. If I were to go in to my boss and tell him that I will exceed budget by cutting back on salespeople, reducing inventory, start charging people to enter the store, and reducing store hours; he would look at me like I was from Mars and then tell me that my talents might be better utilized elsewhere. Yet, this is essentially what happens when a Council gets into trouble. The Scout Executive cuts back on DEs, reduces Scout Shop inventory, trys to make money on events, and reduces the service center hours. Usually the board allows this because it is meant to be a "temporary" measure. The region allows this because they have a mandate to merge councils for greater efficiency. Yet nobody trys to increase revenues except the SE who is ill prepared to raise funds because he probably came from a big council where it was the finance directors job to worry about the money. His solution is to "lean" on the remaining DEs that are already doing more than one job. If restructuring is needed, it would be to create a department who's job it is to help the councils raise funds. It would be measured by the number of councils who meet their budgets in operating revenues and endowments. Scout Commish
  8. I had a Tiger jump up on the lap of the DE at a Pack Meeting. He asked what he did and was told that he was in charge of Scouting in the area. After a moment of sizing up the DE, the Tiger says, "My brother has more patches than you. He should be in charge." We later visited the USS Kidd (Destroyer) in Shreveport for an overnight. The Kidd had been hit by a kamikaze plane in WWII. We told the boys that they could look around and this boy swept his arms back in his best imitation of a plane and yelled "I'm a karaoke pilot!"
  9. There is a bin item called "Selecting A Council Commissioner". I can't place my hands on it right now but will look around for the number. What kind of Council Commissioner is you council looking for? There are those that are leaders in the council, have an interest in Commissioner service, and are experienced Scouters. This is the person that is the head cheerleader for the units and a very visible part of the key three. Then you have the Council Commish that is a figurehead and can give or influence the giving of FOS dollars. Believe it or not, which one you have may be set by the council's by laws. Although it is more likely established by the Scout Executive and the needs of the council and his own goals. The problem with the position is that it serves at the behest of the Council President. If the individual brings up to many controversial things, he can be out of a job without even a vote by the executive committee.
  10. Do not be so sure that the Area folks would be concerned. I am familiar with one situation where the Area/Region folks stood by and watched because their agenda included merging the council. The local volunteers were clueless up until the end. A provisional charter was never given. Unfortunately, the SE did alot of damage during his time in the job. I agree that in the long run, the Area Director will get involved, but that is only after several years. And most volunteers will find something else to do while waiting. You and I are also experienced enough to know that the quality of Area Directors and Area Presidents vary considerably. I recall one Area President whose hand I was afraid to shake for fear that I might break it. This was after I was tempted to hold a mirror to his face to see if he was actually still alive. Bottom line is that the only way that an SE can be removed is through the board. And the only way to influence a stacked board is by organizing the CORs. I wonder if a COR can send in his vote by proxy? I am thankful that most of the Scout Executives I've known have been true professionals and good people. It would just be nice if the BSA acted quicker on the bad ones.
  11. I had suggested the dinner. It worked for us. What it produced was experienced Scouters that had temporarily dropped out and decided to drop back in. I had to laugh because one of these people said that when they first met me at a meeting, he wondered how I was still alive considering some of the past experiences in our district with Commissioners. Having moved in recently, I had no knowledge of what had happened 5 -6 years previous. He believed in the Commissioner work, but only signed up when he knew for sure that the existing staff was dedicated and knew what they were doing. The other night we were looking over the list of merit badge counselors and plan to use this for the next dinner. Scout Commish
  12. Region patches are one of my pet peeves. The insignia guide (03-05 version) states "This insignia is reserved for regional officers, regional committee emembers, local council professional Scouters, and national staff with a regional responsibility..." "Adult regional world and national jamboree contingent staff and leaders may wear the insignia only during their assignment at the jamboree. The same rule applies to specifically designed regional insignia for a national event." I figure that about 90% of the people that I see wearing this patch, should not be.
  13. I've had success with Woolite. I add Woolite to water. Let the patch soak for five minutes. If dirty, I will lightly rub the patch with my fingers. Take it out and blot it with paper towels. Then I lay out three paper towels and place the patch on it. On top of that I will put another 3 paper towels. On top of that I will place a heavy book. Let it dry for several hours that way. Then I take the book and top paper towels off and let it air dry. I've done this with 40 year old patches and they come out great. The Woolite improves the colors by cleaning them (you can tell by the dirty water)and the fibers seem to puff up a little making the patch look wonderful. I've never had any residue.
  14. You are correct that the field was asked for input on JLTC. I also hope that people listened. But when you say "national", remember that national is us also. We have more input than many people realize. Most of the really great ideas in Scouting began with volunteers in the field. Totin' Chit, Whittling Chip, Pinewood Derby, and Webelos Dens come to mind quickly. When you are sitting around the campfire as leaders grumble about national, ask for a show of hands of how many have written letters to communicate their ideas to the national committees. The internet is making the world smaller. And while we are dragging Scouting into 21st century communications, it IS happening. I never thought I would see the day that youth protection would be web based, but it happened. JLTC asking for input online is another first. Later this year there will be some form of online BSA catalog ordering. Yes, the Scouting world is getting smaller. And I believe that the pace will speed up dramatically as National experiences continued success through the use of the internet. The end result will be a better program for the boys in the near future.
  15. The Leadership Corps replaced Senior Scouts as an outgrowth of the "new improved Scouting program" in 1972. Venture crews (now patrols) replaced the Leadership Corps in 1989. All of these programs were a way of dealing with older boys in the troop. The Leadership Corps was exactly that. A group of older scouts to be called upon to provide leadership when needed and to serve as an example of an ideal patrol. The Venture program was introduced as a way of dealing with the older scouts by giving them an opportunity to participate in a high adventure program (or sports through the Varsity program). National has provided very little guidance and literature for the Venture program. My opinion is that in many troops the Leadership Corps became "eliteist" and started operating seperately from the troop rather than serving as role models and instructors for the troop. This was further encouraged by the seperate green uniform and red berets. However, in many troops it was implemented in a way that works and continues to this day in various forms. With the overlap from Venturing, there appears to be confusion over implementing the Venture Patrol. Venture Patrols that I have seen are beginning to look alot like the Leadership Corps. It would appear that National should once again consider the Leadership Corps by examining how it works in the troops that have kept it going all these years.
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