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13 hours ago, mrjohns2 said:

I can’t tell if you are being facetious or not. Our unit commissioner attends all Pack, Boy Troop, and girl troop meetings. He lets us know when he can’t. He also attends a normal unit meeting of each, each month or so. He does this for three COs. Each have 2 or 3 units. So, I’m the 3 years I have been on the troop committee, the commissioner is always there to help. He does a great great job of not “getting in the way”, but is there when needed. 

Been called many things, yes facetious is one them.  In this case I am bring very factual from my own experience

The CONCEPT of the commissioner is right on target.  The execution in most cases is lacking

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You are likely to hear/read a post-modern nomad say, "Adulting is hard." But, they are also doing some astounding things: Serving multiple tours in military reserves. Learning busin

Bear in mind that my youth scouting was in the UK, while my adult leadership is in the US. My observation tends to agree. Much as I love the Eagle program, and the merit badge programs, I see a lot of

Same here, well except the other half sounds like the bad advice I gave them.

Regarding unit commissioners, I have encountered a few, and was one. It is a thankless job. The troop I was assigned to went through 3 commissioners before me.  2 of them were ASMs with the troop prior to the SM at the time taking over, when the troop was extremely successful. Long story short, SM knew better and they left. I took over as UC trying to help save the troop. When a troop goes from 3 patrols that are youth lead, to a one patrol troop with the SM appointed leaders to focus on advancement, you got problems. No amount of trying to coaching helped. I was told, I don't know what I am talking about, Scouting needs to change with the times, and appointing leaders gives everyone a chance because the same clique keeps getting elected. 

So it is a two way streak with commissioners. Yes we need commissioners, but we also need to follow their advice when we are having issues.

Best commissioner I ever had was a a 50+year Scouting veteran. If he didn't know the answers (which was rare), he knew where to get them. Active with the three units he was assigned to, and I miss that guy to this day.

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1 hour ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

If he didn't know the answers (which was rare), he knew where to get them

This, for me, is the key to a good commissioner. I've got one now, SM for a troop for 4 years, founded our new Venture crew in the district, and just a really good guy. He approached out Committee with the idea that we are all volunteers, that we are almost all new to scouting ADMINISTRATION (we've got 3 Eagle scouts on our committee, that does NOT mean they know how to do the backend work for a troop) and that was exactly what he said: I'm here to provide you answers OR get the answers from the person with the answers.

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1 hour ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

So it is a two way streak with commissioners. Yes we need commissioners, but we also need to follow their advice when we are having issues.

Best commissioner I ever had was a a 50+year Scouting veteran. If he didn't know the answers (which was rare), he knew where to get them. Active with the three units he was assigned to, and I miss that guy to this day.

Yes, it is difficult. The struggle even for commissioners is knowing when to give unit leaders some rope to make their program. We had a very good commissioner with a lot of experience, but he wasn't as boy run as I wanted the our program, so we had some difficult discussions. However, he always let me try my ideas to see how they worked out. Every leader has a different vision and style, so the commissioner has to have some patience. to know when to guide, or just watch.

Commissioners need to be good at understanding the program and the BSA Guidelines for running the program. Units get in trouble when they make up their own rules and guidelines, so the commissioners need to inform and correct to keep units within boundaries. Our commissioner shined with committee and their functions. His Scoutmaster experience gave him the knowledge to know how to balance the program for, and with, the Scoutmaster.

I believe success with commissioners starts with a good District Commissioner because they are the teachers and mentors of the commissioners.  Start with that person, the rest will follow. It's nice to hear about units who get lucky with getting good commissioners, but we want to hear the bragging of  districts with a good commissioner corp.

Barry

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On 5/20/2021 at 10:16 AM, qwazse said:

As I went to morning coffee with my grandson on my back, we heard the click and remote-start of a car. I explained to him that in our day we opened the door and sat down before starting the engine. Not sure how much he understood of that, but my scoutmaster minute to you is that these generations are ready to go before the door is even unlocked. A lot of institutions previously relied on generations of members willing to mold to them. A post-modern nomad seeks out organizations who mold to him/her.

Ok. I just cut and pasted this into my running journal of highly insightful things I wish I was wise enough to recognize and write eloquently. There is an entire book to write in that one paragraph. If written, I might be able to put it on my shelf with "Amusing Ourselves to Death," "Life: The Movie," and "Why We Don't Talk to Each Other Anymore."

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17 minutes ago, ThenNow said:

Ok. I just cut and pasted this into my running journal of highly insightful things I wish I was wise enough to recognize and write eloquently. There is an entire book to write in that one paragraph. If written, I might be able to put it on my shelf with "Amusing Ourselves to Death," "Life: The Movie," and "Why We Don't Talk to Each Other Anymore."

Yes that really is one of the best things that Qwazse has ever said. It is so profoundly true. 

Why, though, is scouting having such a hard time seeing this? 

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5 minutes ago, yknot said:

Yes that really is one of the best things that Qwazse has ever said. It is so profoundly true. 

Why, though, is scouting having such a hard time seeing this? 

Because the underlying motive (I perceive) in many youth, and their parents, is to aim for freedom from responsibility, rather than freedom to choose your responsibilities, and then living up to them.  I hope I am wrong.

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1 hour ago, InquisitiveScouter said:

Because the underlying motive (I perceive) in many youth, and their parents, is to aim for freedom from responsibility, rather than freedom to choose your responsibilities, and then living up to them.  I hope I am wrong.

It may not be the way we want it to be but if it is the way it is, does it do any good to ignore it? You will never have a chance of influencing different behaviors if you can't even get them to knock on the door. 

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3 hours ago, InquisitiveScouter said:

Because the underlying motive (I perceive) in many youth, and their parents, is to aim for freedom from responsibility, rather than freedom to choose your responsibilities, and then living up to them.  I hope I am wrong.

As a teenager I certainly had those tendencies as well. I don't think this is a generational thing so much as a growing up thing.

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53 minutes ago, MattR said:

As a teenager I certainly had those tendencies as well. I don't think this is a generational thing so much as a growing up thing.

Yes, we all want that.  But that is the point.  Fewer are growing up.  We are a nation of children.

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, InquisitiveScouter said:

Yes, we all want that.  But that is the point.  Fewer are growing up.  We are a nation of children.

You are likely to hear/read a post-modern nomad say, "Adulting is hard."

But, they are also doing some astounding things:

  • Serving multiple tours in military reserves.
  • Learning business without business school.
  • Building their own computers.
  • Living in one part of the country while attending classes in another part.
  • Picking vaccine targets.
  • Participating in the outdoors, assertively preaching "Leave no Trace."
  • Printing rocket parts.
  • Caring for immigrants and the indigent.
  • Participating in the political process -- as candidates.

So, don't be too quick to discount the "Why won't the world revolve around us?" perception. It also comes with a dose of "How can I make the world revolve better?"

I'm getting a lot of advice from my children. Half of it is pretty good.

Edited by qwazse
Just adding: their ratio is better than one nugget per 10K posts!
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59 minutes ago, qwazse said:

I'm getting a lot of advice from my children. Half of it is pretty good.

Same here, well except the other half sounds like the bad advice I gave them. :confused:

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Slow down, folks.  We have two things here, conflating them. Maybe three.  Each has a place in this discussion, but need to be considered separately, I think.  

Scouting has two concerns.  The first is why Scouting got started:  The "program". The WHY .  How does it get presented to the kids/Scouts. WHY should  the kid (and by association, their parents) get involved? Why (and How) does the "volunteer" Scouter do what they do?  Hiking, camping, personal skills, personal confidence gained, service to others.  Outdoor, getting dirty, identifying trees and Poison Ivy.  Scout Promise and Law, how to inculcate those ideals (assuming we, the adult leaders, want to inculcate them?) ? 

The second is the "professional" part.  The "official" part.  The umpires, the referees, the bank owners. The publishers of the "Handbook for Boys", now titled "The Scouts BSA Handbook" . Record keepers.  Supposedly the "enforcers"  that have gotten into trouble by not enforcing enough.   Or , in some cases enforcing too much?  These poor folks are concerned not only with (we hope) the ideals and program us volunteers work with , but with the "company", with their livelihood.  The present problems/travails stem from that concern, no less than us volunteers not following thru with our own observations. 

The possible third thing, mentioned above, is the supposed change in modern youth's  psyche, social milieu, if you will .  How is the present day 12 year old different from the 12 year old of the 1950's or 70's , for instance?  Does schmart phone in the pocket really mean the kid doesn't want to take charge of things and plan out  hike or camp trip with his fellows?  We talk about Train'em , Trust'em , Let'em lead,  and some of us here on S dot com mention knowing some Scouters that  don't agree with one of those things , if not all of them.  These Scouters don't want the kid to grow up. Demonstrably do not want the Scout to try their wings.   How is that part of this brou haha?   What is it about today's kids (reference to Bye Bye Birdie) that really requires changing the way we recruit?  

And WHY do we want to recruit?  Why should the kid WANT to be a Scout and not just a kid running around in the woods. He/she may find the college outdoor club when they are 19, 20...   

These three items are certainly meshed together, but need to be considered somewhat separately, yes?    

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