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Hmm, I ask to be a UC to another unit and get offered ADC

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So, now I'm the acting Asst District Commssioner for North Mpls. (They offered it to me since I've been acting like an ADC, helping get paperwork and communications going with units without UCs...)


So...what's the learning curve like for this job? Unfortunately, I wont be able to attend U of Scouting this month because I'm bringing my GS troop to the Wirth Park Trail Day, to build some more ski trails and bust up some more buckthorn.


I'm working up some names to approach about serving as UCs for these units - but wondering how to go about this, and how do you tell whether a particular person is going to be a good fit for a unit.


I'm also working on a website to coordinate information on all the units in our area, both our district and the scoutreach units. It's like pulling teeth to get info on the scoutreach units! If someone would like to PM me, I'll give you the url to look over and tell me what you think - I'm not really going "live" with it yet.


This is a chunk of the city that hasn't really had commissioner service for at least 20 years. (Hard to believe!! I know...) So I'm building from the ground up and really want to get it right.


Anne in Mpls

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Anne, With an ADC, it's mostly learn-as-you-go. You're biggest challenge will be finding UC's for the units in your assigned area. The problem with finding good UC's is the people most qualified probably already have a job in scouting - you can't "steal" from a unit's leadership corps. You can try asking a unit for names of adult leaders who used to be active in a unit and have stepped down from their position, for whatever reason. You might even find some people who were UC's at some point in time and are looking to get active again.


Good people skills is a must for a UC. If you pick the right people, they should be able to serve any unit without any issue of whether they fit or not. The UC has to treat the leaders with respect and try to help them any way they can.


Don't rush into naming UC's, if the area has gone 20 years without, it can wait a little longer. Keep stressing the basics, focus everyone on the same goal and you will make steady progress as an ADC.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi folks,

I know there's a lot going on on the board lately - just was hoping for some more input here.

Steps I've taken so far:

I've been trying to get communication going with the Scoutreach DE - not happening.

I've got families needing a cub pack in the areas where Scoutreach has units - you'd think they'd be wanting to share some info! But no...

I've been trying to get better info on the status of the units I'm serving: now 2 Cub packs, one in a nosedive, the other doing ok, but I've had no contact with them as yet, and three troops, one too small, one about to let charter lapse because all are aging out, and the other noncritical but I've had no contact with that troop yet. These represent three Chartered orgs, all churches - I've not yet had contact with the IHs.

With my pack in a nosedive, the DE has apparently been having conference calls with them and another pack in the neighboring area - DE did not give me a heads up on this. I think this is a problem, no?


All of which points to problems to solve in the area of communication streams - which makes sense, given that we've *had no commissioner service in this area*. If we did, those communication streams would be in place. How frequently should I be in contact with my DC, given that we have at least two units in crisis? How much communication should I be having with the DE - should I know about potential mergers of units across area borders, etc? Should I find out by way of the DC mentioning a "rumor", then getting flak from the unit when I ask? I'm thinking....nah...this is not considered "best practice" ;) What steps do I take to begin correcting course, so I don't get hit in the head as the sail swings around? :)


It's my understanding that I am the provider of unit service until I'm able to place UCs - is this correct? If so, what is critical to laying a solid groundwork so things flow better for a future UC coming in? Does the unit service monthly plan make sense for units in crisis? What other questions should I be asking?


I think one goal will be to have direct contact with all 3 IHs by the time we recharter.


My next goal is to have unit-level visits (troop meetings and pack meetings) with each unit before recharter.



Anne in Mpls

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Anne - it sounds like you have a good handle on how to serve your units. It may be that what you have been doing in the past is exactly what you should be doing now, execpt you have a different title.


By the book, an ADC temporarily assumes vacant UC positions and helps the DC fill those positions. In reality, there are always vacant UC positions; it's a role in scouting that is not well understood or supported. Try your best to find the right people to be a UC and in the meantime serve your units the best you can. You should focus your efforts on the one's you know that are in most need of help: low membership, not meeting, no leaders, etc.


Also, by the book, ADC's are administrative commissioners and should not be serving units. If you feel that your best talents lay on the administrative side of commissioner service, then divest yourself of unit service as soon as you can.


The best advice I can give you is to talk to your DC about how you should be serving your district. The position of "acting ADC" should not mean "UC with more units". Does the "acting" part mean you become a full-fledged ADC when you recruit enough UC's? Find out where you stand with this - it will help better understand your role in scouting.

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LOL! Yes, somewhere between opening this thread and last week, my name was added to the district website as an official ADC.


I'll put my focus on unit service for now and get those communication issues straightened out!


I dont want to lose any more units! If anything we need more units in this area - not fewer - especially because most of the Scoutreach units have gone to meeting during the schoolday.


Thing is, though...feels like our district has just resigned themselves to seeing units dropping off like flies. How do you fix that???

Anne in Mpls

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Be careful, or you might find yourself as the next DC. :)


I don't have any suggestions for you as I've learned to say "NO" very well: "If you want me to do that, you first must find volunteers to take on the various positions I currently hold..." :)



Good luck!

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I think that one of the most important things is to be willing to communicate with the units. Our packs UC, who is also ADC, was quite helpful last year, but this year, when the pack is in worse shape, and likely to fold, I cant get our UC to return e-mails or phone messages. I wouldnt mind a call saying the UC is overwhelmed, but its frustrating being ignored. So as a first order of business, call back the Cubmasters asking for advice and offer a bit of sympathy.

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DenZero, thanks for your reply, and sorry to hear of your pack's difficulties.

I would tend to err on the side of too much contact...

Everything I've read about quality unit service seems to point to needing consistent contact over time.

I've revised an ADC reporting form for my own use that tracks contacts throughout the year.


Is it possible your UC is just plain gone? I've been surprised to find that many of the commissioners who welcomed me last spring on no longer listed on the commissioner roster! I thought this group had little turnover..


I do hope you're able to hold onto your charter. If you're not hearing from your UC, put your DE and District Commissioner on notice - you need unit service from someone! You would not be ignored in my area ;)


Blue skies!

Anne in Mpls

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