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Should a Commissioner be a SM?

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We all KNOW the rules and that they are bent/broken by a LOT of Councils. The fact that someone wants to follow the BSA rules does NOT make them any less a Scout.


Your references above show a manual, Administration of Commissioners Service, on page nine states:


Recruiting Cautions

Commissioners must not be registered as unit

leaders. Although some commissioners may be registered

on a unit committee because they have a child in the unit

or because of previous personal history in the unit, their

principal Scouting obligation should be with commissioner


Please dont assign unit commissioners to their own

units or chartered organizations. A commissioner

needs an objective view as an arm of the district and

council. Avoid potential conflicts of interest.

Commissioners may be currently registered in only one

commissioner position.

Please dont ask units to provide their own commissioner.

Commissioners must be selected by the district

on the basis of qualities needed to adequately represent

the district and council.


I have yet to see a "FAST START" that taught ANYTHING truthful about a job in Scouting.


So John was right about what BSA wants and you are right as to the double-talking-easy-way-out beaurocrats that we have in the system and the people they have trained with THIER truths. I too have been RTC/UC/MC/ASM and still am the RTC/ASM. I dropped the UC and Distric committee Member because the District wanted me to pay for the privilege and I declined.


Enjoy Scouting before it changes too much.


My $0.02



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I checked in the new Fieldbook, and you are correct that the bit about serving in one commissioner role was removed since the last version. However, the more important part about commissioners not serving as Unit Leaders is still there. Ghermanno is correct that it is still mentioned in the Administration of Commissioner Service Manual which is intended for the "administrative commissioners." This is probably the correct place for it as it is the DC and Council Commissioners" role to make sure that these requirements are followed. It would not be in the individual commissioner position training because it is not the individual commissioners job to follow it rather it is the administrative commissioners job.


I think you are taking me a little wrong. I do not begrudge the individual Scouter who is fulfilling all of these roles. They are serving admirably and doing more than they should. I am really saying that all of the DCs and Council Commissioners out there should not be letting this happen. They need to do their job and recruit a proper staff in accordance with the requirements. They are taking the easy way out by taking advantage of a core group of over worked volunteers. These key leaders need to step up to the plate and do their job.


SP, I think it is wonderful that you have stretched yourself so much.




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I had to drop my position in my son's troop committee when I took on the DC role. It was a requirement in JTE for the District that both the District Committee chair and DC had to not be registered with a unit. I have one ADC who is a SM, but he is stepping down when the district recharters at year-end. The only ones I can't have a say in are the LDS units. There could be dual-registrants there. Just don't know as those folks get moved/called/recalled a lot.

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I think this discussion has pretty well proven that "rules" stated in BSA literature should be taken as recommendations or guidelines rather than as commandments by leaders.


This raises the issue of how many such "rules" should be taken in that light.


When is a "rule" a commandement and when is it merely guidance for a leader to consider?

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I couldn't agree more with the final post. The point needs to be how well is the person doing in ALL of their positions. If they are doing the job well then there are no problems. If they are not and people have talked to them and they do nothing then there is a problem. The final point for me is this: Why are we doing this? We are all volunteers (for the most part) The wonderful joke "it's only an hour a week!" We are all doing this for the boys! Right!

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Thanks for the responses everyone.


Someone commented on "Collapse Syndrome." I can tell ya from first hand exp. that it totally and completely sucks. We didn't have a CS RT for over 3 years. When I went to RTs the first 2.5 years as a Cub leader, with the exception of when day camp was the topic, I attended BSRT to find out what was happening, policy changes, and of course, socialize.


The is only one thing worse than Collapse Syndrome, but that is another story for another time. And it was the reason why I broke down and took the RT commish job after declining for 2 years to focus on Day camp.

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When is a "rule" a commandement and when is it merely guidance for a leader to consider?


Rules are almost always just guidance. Some rules have a lot of weight behind them and you'd need a really good reason to break the rule. There are some rules that are so important that the BSA won't let you break them, but these are pretty few. The vast, vast majority of rules are guidelines that serve as the default approach to a situation, but that people will use their judgment to decide when they apply. Disagreement often comes over where to draw the line, but some rules can become so ridiculous that no one follows them in certain situations.

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Yes, that seems correct to me based on this discussion.


I've now concluded that the "rules" advocates are mostly just plain wrong. The "rules" are mostly properly regarded as guidelines providing guidance which leaders may, or may not choose to follow.


Unfortunately, along about tomorrow we are going to have new "rules" advocates snippily proclaiming that everyone who isn't zealously following every rule is a bad Scout leader, which is annoying.

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Unfortunately, along about tomorrow we are going to have new "rules" advocates snippily proclaiming that everyone who isn't zealously following every rule is a bad Scout leader, which is annoying.


And by the day after, they'll be tellin' us insurance won't cover us unless we follow the Insignia Guide. ;)




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