Jump to content

Recommended Posts

"This is weird to write but "Baden Powell" is just plain wrong about Commissioners, their role, the fact that they are indeed directly commissioned by BSA, and just about everything else he's asserted regarding Commissioners and their role in BSA."


Hard to believe but the writings of BP are not inspired holy writ. The founder can, on occasion be incorrect.


Two other thoughts:


1) BP was writing about Commissioners as they were in the UK, not in the BSA which is structurally very, very different

2) BP was writing about Commissioners as they were in the UK in the 1910-1920 time frame, not as they are in the BSA in 2008.


Great that you had a chance to be with Tico. He's a very special guy.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 93
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

NeiLup wrote:

......... (quoting me) Hard to believe but the writings of BP are not inspired holy writ. The founder can, on occasion be incorrect.


He wrote:


"Two other thoughts:

1) BP was writing about Commissioners as they were in the UK, not in the BSA which is structurally very, very different

2) BP was writing about Commissioners as they were in the UK in the 1910-1920 time frame, not as they are in the BSA in 2008.

Great that you had a chance to be with Tico. He's a very special guy. "




Sorry for the confusion - BadenP is a poster here and certainly NOT the famous Baden Powell to which you were referring. Sorry I was not clearer about it but I did put it in quote marks. Essentially, the BadenP here posted some misinformation about what Commissioners are, what their role is, etc. My response was to his misinformation not a response to the founder of Scouting.




Link to post
Share on other sites

I subscribe to the idea that here in our organization, no one "Out Ranks" any one else.

Each of us accepts certain responsibilities and many of us report to some other person.

The Training Chair does ask a member of the Training Team to present a training. The Chair will ensure that the person has all the resources that this person will need to get the job done and is capable of getting the job done.

The Chair will do what he can to help and ensure everything goes as it should. After the course the evaluations will act as a guide as to what went well and what didn't.

In a Troop setting the SM asks an ASM to take care of overseeing a project of some kind. The Den Leader, might ask an Assistant Den Leader .... and so on.

But as far as "Out Ranking" No one out ranks anyone else.

While a SE does have the authority to revoke a persons membership this is only done very rarely.

Back when I was serving as a District Commissioner there was one SM who for some unknown reason (Unknown to me!) would see any contact from me as somehow to his way of thinking meaning that he was on the carpet for doing something wrong.

While there were times when I did see what was happening and did look for ways of trying to help him maybe do a better job. I seen my visit much as I see a friend looking in to see me at home.

If and when I offered a word of friendly advise, he was of course free to take it or leave it.


Everyday common sense along with maybe a sense of intuition (If it seems that what you are doing isn't right, chances are that it isn't.) Are what is needed for us to do the job that we have said that we are going to do.

No book of rules or guidelines is ever going to be able to cover each and very situation.

The BSA does provide Training's and Publications that do inform us what what is and what isn't the right thing thing.

Very few publications go as far as saying what the consequence is for not doing the right thing.

Chartering Organizations are supposed to select the people that they believe will look after the youth in their charge and set the example that is in line with the values of that organization. How and when this works? Is maybe something for another thread.

Do people mess up?

Yes! Of course they do. (One only has to look at one of the Sea Scouting promotional videos, to see a group of Sea Scouts on deck sailing with no PFD's on) Most times these "Mess Ups" are not a hanging offense. We learn from our mistakes and move on.

I at times am very surprised at how very few "Knuckle-Heads" we have in an organization as big as ours. Most of us are willing to accept help and advise when and where we need it. Many of us are fortunate enough to have people around who are in the know and willing to provide this help and advise in a kind and understanding way.

Most of us are unwilling to take on tasks that we know will result in failure or leave us with egg on our face.

While here in the forum I read a lot about Liability. The truth is that I really have never met a volunteer who has been sued.


Yesterday I was driving home on the PA Turnpike. Some signs warned me that I was entering a work zone and that the speed limit was reduced. I slowed down. After a few miles of seeing nothing happening, just miles of orange and white markers I drove a little faster than the set speed limit. Just before the end of these markers sat a PA State Police car. The officer didn't seem to be doing very much. But never the less I slowed down to the set limit.

I knew in my heart of hearts what I was doing wasn't right.

I also feel in my heart of hearts that I wasn't pushing my luck and that had I not slowed down, nothing would have happened. Still I slowed down.

I'll admit that after driving several miles and not seeing any reason for the reduced limit, I thought the reduced limit seemed to be redundant. Had I seen people doing something I would have of course followed the set limit.

But no matter I was still very aware that what I was doing was not right.

Had the officer seen fit to give me a ticket I really would have had no defense. But the fact he was there, seemingly doing nothing was enough to give me the friendly kick in the pants I needed to do the right thing.

We don't have Officers sitting around policing the road, we do know when we are not doing the right thing and maybe there are times when we rely on each other for that friendly kick in the pants that is needed to help us do the right thing?



Link to post
Share on other sites


What exactly did I write about commissioners that is wrong? A commissioner in a district or council is NOT commissioned by National, it does NOT give you jurisdiction anywhere in the U.S., your application is approved locally by the SE, and you must reapply for the position if you moved out of your council, so no way is it a Nationally approved commission. If you were told otherwise in training you were misinformed. You can verify this by contacting National directly if you like. Bob White was incorrect in his statements not myself.(This message has been edited by BadenP)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Something somewhere is out of whack!

In the Council I serve.

District Commissioners are selected by the Council Commissioner. (The Council Commissioner is voted in at an Annual meeting of the Council Executive Board)

District Commissioners select the Commissioner Staff that serve at the District level.

All commissioners are approved by the Council Executive Board.

The SE is not a voting member and while I'm sure he or she can voice an opinion when he meets with the other members of the Council Key 3.

But he has no say in who serves as a commissioner.

Commissioners are commissioned by the local Council to serve in that District or Council.

Now we might be doing this all wrong?

But I think if I were a gambling man (Which I'm not) I'd be willing to bet that we are in fact doing this by the book and the correct way.



Link to post
Share on other sites

No Eamonn you are correct, the council commish approves the commissioners and the SE signs off on his recommendation. One reason for this is if a person is selected that does something resulting in a lawsuit the council and SE are ultimately held accountable, its like a check and balance system.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The fact that the Commissioner is registered through the council does not alter the fact that their role is to support the program, policies and procedures of the BSA.


Much of what BadenP posts is merely to try and attack whetever I post, it is a hobby that he and only a couple of other posters spend too mush of their time at, it is unfortunate but that is the case. You will note that with the abundance of official BSA references readily available to him he does not support his opinions by using any of them.


DocRwm is correct in his posting on the matter and he uses current, and correct, references to support the facts.

Link to post
Share on other sites



The first line of your last post supports all I have been trying to say and refutes your own prior posts, "commissioners are registered through the local council", so as I stated earlier they are not National officers. Second, I never said anywhere that commissioners do not inform and advise BSA policies, that is exactly what they do. Commissioners are not BSA police however and should never be put in that situation, they are advisors. So you see Bob everything I stated was correct and is contained in a myriad of BSA pub's. Attacking you as you call it only comes from when you post something that is so wrong it needs to be challenged. Too many posters take what you post as gospel most of the time when in fact many times it is just plain wrong.

Link to post
Share on other sites

BadenP You cannot agree with me and disagree with Doc as we have said the same thing and we both find inaccuracies in your posts. When I post I give the BSA references to back it up as did Doc, if others want to accett the BSA program as the authority on the BSA then good for them, As a former BSA professional for a few years I cannot understand why that should bother you, but it obviously does.


I never said that the Commissioners were the BSA police, In fact if you read tmy posts you will see how I specifically said that was a poor representation of their role. So why you continue to belabor a point that was not mine is a mystery. Well sort of a mystery.







Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it's funny when an assistant unit leader in Peoria makes himself BSA spokesperson, eh? Part of the zest of online forums.


And it's really interestin', because it shows where our literature and trainin' haven't accomplished what they should. How easily misinformation gets passed on "definitively" with much bluster and blow.


That can become a particular problem for us, as on-line learnin' and communication expand, and folks get a lot of their information online, whether from "Ask Andy" or from email lists or forums. I'm not sure it's really any worse than local trainin' problems, as GW mentioned in da CC thread. "Train the trainer" really doesn't verify a person's understandin', nor does it seem to keep people on the official curriculum. Been to a few districts over the years where things had sort of run off the rails.


As long as there's perspective provided by former BSA professionals like BadenP, some of our gold-tab scouters like NeilLup, and other folks who have served in perhaps healthier councils and districts, I reckon it's just fine. Folks then get exposed to lots of views, and can choose what's effective. My worry would be that a forum or exchange would get selected by some like-minded folks, who just reinforced misinformation or incomplete understandin' without anyone contributin' a different perspective. Yah, I reckon lots of us have seen that kind of "old boy's clique" in some districts, eh? It would be worrisome if the same thing happened online.


So for my part, I don't reckon it's "attacking" anyone to offer additional and possibly better information, or a different perspective. It can be an act of kindness or helpfulness.




Link to post
Share on other sites


Having an entire post about your opinion of another poster individual does not support your knowledge on the BSA or prove the content of the program.


In addition, to suggest that I am from Peoria, IL is innaccurate, and to attenpt to post personal information on people on the internet is improper and borders on the illegal (see the cyberstalking and Internet harrassment laws that many states have adopted). I would hope that the moderators on this forum would closely moniter such poor ettiquette and unscout-like behavior.


To suggest that a person's knowledge of scouting can be determined by a current position with disregard to their total history, training, and experience, is misleading and mistaken.


If you have factual knowledge of the topic of this thread your time would have been better spent sharing the official resources that you have found that would contradict any of factual material already shared.


Again your attempts to try and support your opinions merely by attacking me personally only emphasizes the lack of evidence you have to factually support your opinion on this and other topics, where you have employed the same strategy. This is just another smoke screen you often use to cloud the actual issues of the threads and to distract fron the information readily found in current offical BSA resources.


I hope the moderators join me in hoping you will confine your posts to the topic of the thread, rather than your personal opinions of other posters or in trying to expose personal information about them.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...