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I am a brand new UC with only a year of adult leader experience, I was an ASM about 6 years ago. I have plenty of experience as a youth, AOL, Eagle, Brotherhood and so on. I am really looking forward to getting started helping these units:


One crew that has dwindling membership, it currently has two girls and three boys. Its Advisor is also Scoutmaster in a troop, same CO. They are considering folding the troop and it's members joining the crew. It does not have any boys too young to join the crew, as of now.


A pack with a new Cubmaster that needs some help getting started.


And a troop without a Scoutmaster, plenty of ASMs but none are willing to step. This troop has the same CO as the pack.


I actually will probably working with the troop that has the same CO as the crew, until that situation gets straightened out, or it gets its own UC. My district has plenty of UCs on paper but I am the only one that is going to be active so it might be a while until the troop gets its own UC.

(This message has been edited by click23)

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Yah, click. Way to go, eh? Welcome to da commissioner corps!


I am really looking forward to getting started helping these units


First rule, remember that you're not the one helping the unit, eh? ;) Your job is to help the leaders in that unit, so that they make the unit stronger themselves. If yeh want to actually help a unit, be a unit leader.


Given your limited experience on the adult side, I'd strongly encourage you to begin your commissioner duties by goin' out and visiting strong packs, crews, and troops in your district. Talk to da CC's and unit leaders in units that are stable, or growing, and that have kids learning, and excited. Watch how they do things. See all the different methods and interpretations and ideas that make up "good" and "great" units. See how even great units have weak spots, and how those don't really matter much; better to celebrate strengths than pick on weaknesses. Learn to respect good volunteers, and their (often different) approaches. You'll find a lot of successful units are not the way your troop did it when you were a scout, but it will increase your appreciation for the value of scoutin'.


You'll need all those ideas, and those contacts, in your "bag of tricks." That's quite a challenge your DC set you up for, eh? Your best gift to the units you serve is to bring a sense of calm, outside, friendly perspective and a few new ideas and contacts.


Listen a lot. Be creative. Maybe a unit doesn't need a SM, it needs a team of 2 or 3 SM's (with one registered as SM for paperwork purposes). Maybe a committee needs to take some of the grunge-work off of the SM's job description. Offer ideas, but don't push 'em. Help where asked, but remember it's their game, not yours.


And find some other commish's to have a beer with at least once a month, or invite some of your districts best unit leaders to join you. Yeh need a community to support you, too, eh?






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I am heading to the annual combined roundtable tommorrow, so I will get to meet a lot of leaders. I was planning on asking a few of the scoutmaster and cubmaster of the strongest unit if they would mind me coming in and just watching. These are units are the ones the DC felt needed the most help. As for getting together with other commissioners, there are only thee of us that are going to be active, the DC/cub scout round table commissioner, the boy scout roundtable commissioner, and myself. I am also attending basic next weekend at the commissioner college.

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  • 11 months later...

Being a Unit commissioner is nice, but in my opinion most of them take on the job for the sake of publicity/politics in helping a youth program, like the Boy Scouts of America. If you notice many politicians in their resume, claim to be members ? It helps them to create an image that their are youth oriented individuals, therefore increasing their chances to get more votes. Welcome to the politics in Scouting...I have seen it...and I don't like it !


If you really want to help our youth to become better citizens ?I suggest, join us in the trenches of Scouting,and get dirty !By becoming a leader of boys. You will learn a lot from them, and it will help you , to become a better Scoutmaster. jambo

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Jambo, I don't know what experiences you had personally with UCs, but as a UC myself, I can assure you I (and most every UC I know) didn't take the job for ceremonial purposes -- I geniunely want to help units outside of my own (and yes, I'm also very active as an ASM in my son's troop).


Its possible there are people out there who take on a UC role for whatever glamour there is (I've found darn little, myself!), but in my experience, those folks don't last long.


Yes, my district has non-active UCs, but my DC purged them pretty quickly.

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It's true ,many join the Commissioner Staff to hide out in plain sight and wear the red coat and drink coffee....


(dont spread it around)


When I became a District Commissioner after 3 years an ADC and 4 years a UC , I already knew the players from the posers.


The players were ever faithful and diligent as long as life didnt mess with them.


Truth was I wanted them posers to fill my "numbers" , help make Quality District and from time to time tap their unique forte' to some special duty.


I had an agenda and it required some "black sheep" from time to time....(Isnt covert scouting fun)


Over the nine years as a sitting DC I enjoyed so many suprises and lessons in human capacity and motivation from these player and posers alike


The key to good unit service is not having a red coat or or being up to tune on the latest QU or Advancement report and commissioners should not pay to much attention to the begging cup of the Dist/Council either.


Your is to bide your time, know the problems of modern scouting in your sphere of influence and know the players .


That way you will be in the right place at the right time to administer the right amount of unit service and walk away with that warm fuzzy feeling that you did your duty and a unit will not fail on your watch....


Now go make a visit.....


Campfire Chatter











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To all the Scouters who replied to my threat:

Wow !What a reply , from so many of you, that I barely have enough time to answer you all.

_________About our glorious UC commisioners ? I will withhold my comments until further notice. I will tell you stories, that will curl your hair.(ha,ha)

__________Did you ever see the BSA national by-laws ? Well, you should...it is as large as the Bible, and it deals about every subject imaginable. It took me 3 hours to read it, since it was writen in legal language, and I still could not caprehend it.

________Our bus at first was owned by the Troop, then we had the title transsferred to our Church, We had 3 adults, who had CDL licences, and one father was a mechanic. Our Insurance was not a commercial one but a Non profit one limited driving type.Oh, yes we still had our BSA decals, we sort of disobeyed DE request to remove them.Every one thought it was our Troop's bus .

_______The Charter orginization ussualy does not want to bother with this equipment left behind by disbanded unit. They call the council to get rid of it.

______Clarification on my opinions ? Well, you see the BSA does not tell about these so called "odd and geeky "stories, you ussualy hear them on some, at the coffee cluthes, at roundable, scouter dinners,camporee/jamboree ,from Scout leaders who have left Scouting or got dismissed by an over bearing Commitee Chairman, who most likely had a personality conflict with this unit leader.

________I have to talk to my ex chairman,who was much more involved with OA, then I. He is the one who told me about the OA chapter that got disbanded ! He was pretty high up in the proffesional leadership at the regional office. ( that is above the Council and below the National higherochy ) He was my friend,and we discussed many good and bad atributes of our organization. He also, indicated to me that he had very little input to change, correct certain BSA policies. I as a volunteer, could do much more then he did. becouse he had to tow the line, or he could be fired. He had a nice house and a family and he could not afford to go against some of the policies.


Thanks for your oppinions fellow Scouters,.." live and learn " jambo

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  • 7 months later...

Wow, click on this thread, find a new UC who is burning to assist, and see that it becomes someone's sounding board about the Commissioner Service. I haven't met any bad UCs yet, but I've only been working with District scouters about 10 years. Met some sharper and more congenial than others, but they sure were not politicians.


Hats off to you click, it seems like an uphill struggle at times, particularly with units that have leaders with their own agenda that differs from BSA's.

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Mr Walston,


It's helpful to look at the dates of posts. The original poster and Beavah had the critical colloquy two years ago. This thread has probably been in the dark recesses until it was brought back to life.

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I was aware of the dates. I read the post as I am an ADC and was aware of new UC problems. Didn't view that the fact no one had commented on this in some time also meant it wouldn't be read at a future time.(This message has been edited by jmwalston)

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