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How competent is your Unit Commissioner?

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UPDATE:

 

Our ADC finally called our Crew Advisor last night: "What can we do to convince you not to close your Crew?"

 

His answer: "All but 3 of the kids are scattering to other Councils and other units as they go to college. Why should we keep a Crew open?"

 

The response, according to the Advisor: "But...but...but... we won't get Quality District!"

 

His answer: "And that affects the size of my Scouting paycheck in what way?"

 

BTW, knowing my Advisor (he's a WB fox and was a TG for my WB course), he might have answered differently had ADC asked "How can we serve the remaining 3 youth?"...(This message has been edited by John-in-KC)

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A UC has to walk a fine line. He doen't want to intrude, take over but yet doesn't want to become invisible. As a unit commissioner I make sure I'm available yet I usually only go to one or two unit meetings a year (never unannounced to the unit leader).

 

It is a job that is not really needed for well run units and so sometimes the UC presence alone makes some units feel uncomfortable. The first thing a UC should communicate is what his role with the unit is. I try to be a friend to the unit and help out when asked. I rarely make suggestions when not asked. Please remember, a UC is just like the rest of the volunteers - just trying to make the program work for the boys.

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I am on the committee of a new Pack. We started up in May 07.We have never been contacted by our UC. The town I live in has 5 units. 2 Troops and 3 Packs. In the Council newsletter I got just yesterday says A Distinguished Commissioner Service Award was given to a man in our town for having 5 units. I guess someone thinks he's doing a good job. But our little Packs Leadership will hold out until we meet him to decide if he's Distinguished or not.

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Beasties Mom,

 

For the moment, I will recommend you attend RT and make sure all your leaders attend the various trainings afforded by your District for Cub Scouting.

 

We can go forward from there :)

 

By the way, which side of Reno are you on? South towards Carson City and the Carson Valley, or North (which I've not really explored, since my folks live in Gardnerville)...

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Well, as with all things Scouting some of our committees, Councils, and Commissioners are better than others. Having been a new ASM, I didn't really expect to have contact with the Commissioners - I figured they were talking as necessary with the Scoutmaster.

I will be going to the next Roundtable as a new Scoutmaster and will attempt at that time to find out from the attending Commissioners who is my new friend.

 

The question for those who have bad service from their commissioners, is have you tried to find them or have you just been waiting for them? I know, almost everyone who has posted here has given the story of finding them at least once. But if my Commissioner was getting an award for my having started a new pack/troop I'd want to see if he was really just a placeholder or on the ball and had somehow missed me.

 

I hope to eventually report back that I have found a new friend in Scouting...

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Hello,

 

Some on the forums here know that my son and I switched to a new Troop at the end of 2006. I was the last active leader, an ASM with an inactive SM who would get angry if he didn't agree with decisions that I made or allowed the boys to make. Note; by inactive, I mean he went on no outings and attended no meetings for about a year. We also had committee problems which meant that I could not get help there either.

 

So, at the end of 2005 I contacted our UC by phone. He agreed to go out for a cup of coffee with me some weekend to discuss the problems. He said to e-mail him with a good day and time to meet. He never responded to my e-mails. So, I called him again, but everytime I called, there was no answer. I left messages, but never received a return call. This went on for 5 months. Then I saw him at a school function, where he acknowledged getting all my e-mails and voice-mails, and appologized for not calling me back. We agreed to meet that next weekend for coffee (set a day and time), but he did not show. I called and e-mailed for another two months and then contacted the DC. Guess what? No help there either. I finally ran into the UC at Summer Camp and he told me that there was nothing that he could do to help our situation. He never listened to our problems, but made a judgement call that he could not help.

 

Sorry for the long story, but as you can see, our UC was not very competent at all!

 

By the way, I am in a new Troop now and that Troop is in a different district.

 

ASM59

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We were contacted by the acting DC in July. (for something else) and the CM asked about the UC and was told none assigned yet. First about the leaderships training. CM and ACM have been doing Scouts for 5 years they both have all the Training that there is for Cub Scouts. I have all the Cub training plus Troop Committee training there is including safe swim,safe float.and Commissioner training.I have been the Districts Daycamp Director for 3 years. I have been in the Scouting program for 11 years.Needless to say the news from this newsletter was a surprise to us. The problems here don't start with the UC but with the former DC who was removed by the Troop Committee as ASM.That Troop we all have some ties to. Anyway the problems here are far to many to go into on this forum.

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One more thought...

 

Two days after we had joined the new Troop, I went to our local Scout Service Center to buy new numbers for the uniforms. The DE for my new District, who I know from Summer Camp, was in the store and saw me. He already knew that I had switched Units, and asked if I had tried to contact my UC. I told him what had happened, and he said that he would have sent one of his UC to help us out if he had known about the problem. He said that he would have come over himself to help if one of his UC's couldn't. So, it seems that there are good and bad within the same Council; at least he made it sound like his UC's would have helped.

 

ASM59

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ASM59, I'm sorry your UC was so sorry, but that DE sounds like someone to buy lunch and see what resources are available.

 

beasties mom, I'm sure the problems in your unit didn't happen overnight. Just take the issues one at time and you'll find your program growing. In my perverse way of seeing things - at least you know you have problems, so you are looking for ways to fix them and not just sitting there wondering why things aren't working. Let us know if we can help.

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It is very easy to measure the UC to unit ratio. It is much more difficult to measure the quality of a UC. Therefore, many districts/councils strive to meet the numbers and work on quality as afterwards.

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What Unit Commissioner?

 

I started the Ship last June.

When I asked the DE who was my UC I was told if I wanted one I had to recruit one myself.

The DC stopped in at our Open House last year.

I asked him about getting a UC.

He said that he should be able to find a boating person for a UC for us.

I have yet to see one.

 

Our Council Commissioner wrote in our council newsletter last winter that if its been sometime if we were visited by our UC we should contact him and he would make sure someone would pay a visit.

After contacting him he told me that he would make sure that we would get a visit by a UC.

Its been 7 or 8 months and I havent been visited by a UC or even our Council Commissioner.

 

A couple of months ago in our district newsletter the DC wrote that the District Committee was looking for more Commissioners but so far hadnt been able to find anyone.

He went on to say that some units didnt have a UC and some units never will.

 

At this point I dont ever expect to have a UC (unless I find one myself).

 

P.S. My DC did come out to train the Ships committee on how to run a BOR. I dont consider this a visit by a UC as we really didnt discuss the health of the unit or where we needed help.

 

 

 

 

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CNY,

 

As I understand things, one task of a Commissioner is to assist in obtaining or presenting training to cover specific shortfalls in a units' collective skillset.

 

To the extent your Crew needed to learn how to run a BOR, that could certainly be taken as unit service by a Commish.

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Who needs a unit commissioner ? that was my question for many years. My committee and my ASM's, whenever he came, have decided that he was there to spy on us ,for the district. But, since our troop had 40+ members, calender of activities, most scouts advancing in scout rank....he stopped nagging me that I don't run a 100 % , " boy run unit ". The only benefit that I see of UC is that the registration money brings income to the BSA, inc

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OK, its time to bring up my standard unit commissioner joke (you guys that've heard this can skip to the next post / thread now):

 

 

 

QUESTION: What's the difference between a unit commissioner and a UFO?

 

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ANSWER: Some people have actually SEEN UFOs!

 

 

 

Now, being a UC myself, it pains me to admit that there is much truth to that joke (well, at least with respect to the alleged invisibility of UCs; I'll leave the "reality" of UFO sightings for another day!)

 

I try to visit my units regularly, but having five packs and a troop, with the troop meeting on the same night as my son's troop (where I'm an ASM), makes it hard to do.

 

Let me say I NEVER visit my units unannounced. I think it is common courtesy to ask for permission to come, if for no other reason than to confirm I have the right date, time and location.

 

I try to stay in regular contact by telephone and email, so I know when problems arise. I don't want to be a UC who only shows up when there's a problem, or when its time for the annual FOS campaign, or just to get a free meal at B&G or COH.

 

I like to stay on good terms with the unit leaders and committe chairs so they are OK calling me when there is a problem that I don't already know about.

 

I believe I have a pretty good relationship with my units, but its entirely possible they might have another take on it.

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I'm piggybacking on this older thread because I was doing a bit of searching for threads about Unit Commissioners, and this one seemed apropos...

 

In the three years I've been involved with this troop, including the past year and a half as committee chair, we've never had a Unit Commissioner. Not saying that's a good thing or a bad thing...

 

We've experienced a great deal of growth in that time -- doubling once and then doubling again. Currently we have about 36 active scouts, and anticipate 4-5 Webelos crossovers next month. We have a pretty even spread of Life, Star, First Class, Second Class and Tenderfoot scouts, and anticipate 2 to 4 advancing to Eagle in the next year. We've successfully transitioned the troop from adult-led to boy-led with an active PLC. We're sending a crew to Philmont for the first time in four years. Our summer camp roster has grown from 6 to 27 in the past four years. We camp once a month, and do our own version of a high adventure trip every year after school lets out. In short, we feel we are doing pretty well.

 

So a few days ago, we're having a joint meeting with another troop in the area, and their committee chair introduces himself to me, and when he learns I'm the committee chair, starts asking me if I need any help with our troop recharter. I thank him, tell him no, and ask why he wants to know. "Oh," he says, "I'm your unit commissioner."

 

Huh. I had no idea when this came about. We've never asked for a Unit Commissioner, and I'm not sure what this guy can do for us. I know his troop has been shrinking. And his reputation has preceded him -- I've been told stories about this guy from other adult leaders in our troop, and none of them are very flattering.

 

Last time I spoke to our District Exec a few months back, he told me he thought we were doing very well, based on our growth and advancement. Granted, I'm wary based on the scuttlebutt I've heard about this guy, but do we really need a Unit Commissioner? So, I guess my question is: what can I expect may happen? I gather that he may want to visit us and so forth, but it's not like we're looking for help.

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