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That was a very good reply Eamonn and reflective of a typical well run district.


One thing that I learned about districts is that they set the tone for how the units run their programs. We talk here a lot about units being left alone and doing their own thing if the district would just get out of the way. But, there are very few adults that can just step into running a unit successfully without some passing of knowledge. There has to be (should be) a known common approach to guiding units toward the common goal of success.


Without even getting into the information given in each training course, you would be surprised how much influence the training committee has on unit programs. Truth is only 10 percent of units are independent enough to do their thing without some outside guidance. The training committee is the most common method for tying all units together as a district. All districts teach the same syllabuses, but all district training committees have their own specific personalities and expectations. I used to teach adults at Wood Badge that if they want to change common bad habits at a unit level, get on the district training committee. I know this by experience.


Also, few people really respect the power of the Key 3 leadership. The personality of the Key 3 sets the general tone of how units will run their program. And, I personally believe that the District Commissioner is the key person of the influence. A good DC will handle the DE and use him to the Districts best advantage with the council, as well as guiding the District Committee Chairman to managing the district chairman. Plus, the DC has one other big advantage and that is the army of UCs to help tract unit programs and shape unit performance, OR NOT. Good or bad, I beleive in most cases that the quality of units in a district are the reflection of the District Commissioner. District Commissioners rarely get the credit they deserve (good or bad) because they work in the shadows of all the other chairs and leaders.


To me it’s not a chicken or egg concept with District and units. The district is simply the higher level of expectation and quality performance of units. Without the district, the unit is only as good as their best leader. But the district has the responsibility of setting expectations and guiding the units to perform. They have the power if they just use it correctly.



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@, based on other posts your district sounds like it comes straight out of Dante's 7th Circle of Hell, so I can understand your cynicism.  Our district, while not ideal or perfect, provides us with a

The pattern in this area for some time is that 1/4 to 1/3 of units are covered by functioning UCs.  Honest councils will not count UCs who do not do the job. 

If your district committee is NOT helping your units deliver and develop solid programs for your units then they do not belong in their current positions and should be replaced  ASAP.

After consolidation, the new district that contains the area in which I Scouted for thirty years has had no Training Chair or Scout Training Chair for almost four years and no Roundtable Commissioners for the same period.  The vast majority of units have no Commissioner service.  Correcting this situation seems to have no priority. 

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Without knowing what was going on in the units, it was hard to know what help they might need.


Working with new Units has it challenges. But a lot of the time working with the better more established Troops and Packs is harder.

Even with the most intentions trying to overcome the "We've always done it that way!" Is next to impossible to change.

Rarely if ever do units ask for help.

Sadly what can happen is that when a good unit starts to go down hill, no one notices until it is almost to late.



I would agree with this thought process.... but this is almost a topic for another thread!

I recognize in the case of my unit, that a good UC might have recognized the potential issue of what we have struggled with since long before I joined with my Tiger son....  For example, it took me a while to realize what inherent dysfunctional problems my unit has just from the folks involved.... a completely disengaged CO rep, the CC that is not a CC, a barely helpful committee, and the CM that by default does many jobs that should be taken care of by others.... 

so, a good UC might have raised a flag years ago and pushed hard for a better functioning committee structure to model.... so this dysfunctional "doing the way it always has been" doesn't just keep getting passed along.


This really parallels my point earlier about the need for more consistency in direction... the one program for all idea..... but that's another thread too!


Bringing this back around..... does the UC need to be district?

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Posted Today, 03:31 PM

After consolidation, the new district that contains the area in which I Scouted for thirty years has had no Training Chair or Scout Training Chair for almost four years and no Roundtable Commissioners for the same period.  The vast majority of units have no Commissioner service.  Correcting this situation seems to have no priority. >>



A new District Chair and District Commissioner are needed.


Google "district nominating committee" and read up on the BSA procedures for electing district leadership.



My district had been in a death spiral for years when led by district leaders that were exhausted and unable to recruit new volunteers to help carry out the district program. 


I made a big stink about appointing a district nominating committee,  which was done eventually and the new district leadership that was elected to serve has ended the downward death spiral and is building effective new leadership at the district level. 


It CAN be done!

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I really enjoy the time that I have spent and sometimes still spend doing Training.

I think that over the years I've been involved in just about every Boy Scout and Cub Scout course that has come down the pike. Even the old Cub Scout Wood Badge! (I never staffed very many Venturing courses.)

Our Council is part of a cluster when it comes to Wood Badge, we work with six other Councils.

While it's nice to get to be at other camps and get to know adults from other Councils.

There is something really great knowing that when you work with people close to home that you are helping the kids in your area and your community.

It is also a wonderful ice breaker, the new guys and girls get to know people from outside of their unit and the District gets to know these new faces.

It should be the time when the District gets to shine.

Sadly even the best laid plans can go wrong.

I was running one of the old Boy Scout outdoor fundamental courses.

We had an older guy who had been active in our area moved away and then moved back again.

He came back and volunteered as a Unit Commissioner.

He did know a lot about Scouting and had the outdoor skills.

He was always very well turned out in correct full uniform with a Smokey the Bear campaign hat. 

Other then the fact that he liked to go on a bit and seemed to think that anything and everything from days gone by was better then today, he was a nice enough fellow. His name was Matt.

I had let Matt know that he had only so much time for his bit and that we were tight on time.

So Matt get to do his bit.

He starts off by saying "Let me tell you about my hat .."

Twenty minutes later he was still going on about his darn hat!

If I'd had a big hook I'd have gladly dragged him away.


Kinda sad that my son never liked him because he'd be at every OA weekend telling his how much better things were tales.

He lived alone and when he wasn't seen for a few days the police and paramedics were called in.

My kid was the first paramedic on the scene.

OJ felt really bad about having not liked him. 

When some of us are telling war stories Matt and "Let me tell you about my hat" and how mad I was comes up frequently.

I'm betting that he is more then lightly up in Heaven wearing that hat.


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