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I am quickly coming to the conclusion that I should stick to working with those in my local Pack and District as that seems productive and those with whom I interact focus on facts. I've interacted via the internet since the Bitnet days and this is the first time I have ever resorted to the squelch option for any members.


One last attempt - I have posted what the BSA literature that I have gotten from my very recent Commissioner training states. No one has contradicted what I have posted by citing, referencing, or otherwise pointing to any other contradictory authority. What has happened is a huge number of Resorts to Authority - which is a logical fallacy - by merely asserting how the poster "knows things are" and in several instances people have essentially pointed to their chest and implied that because they have more knots they know better. I have also seen personal attacks which are either done snidely or in a veiled manner. None of this impresses me nor does it do much to increase my respect for either the posters or this forum.


I have genuinely attempted to post facts, citations, and be helpful in doing so. On the several occasions, in other threads, where I have had errors in my posts pointed out I have endeavored to apologize and absorb the information. The goal is to both live by the Scout Laws and be improved in my ability to work in making the programs for the boys (I'm a Cub Scouter and we don't serve girls) better.(This message has been edited by docrwm)

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From the American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms: "Will it play in Peoria?" - will it be acceptable to an "average Joe", symbolized by someone from the small town of Peoria, IL. Bein' "from Peoria" means bein' an "average Joe."


BobWhite, my post was not all about you, it was about da challenges of interpretin' a lot of internet sources, from da USSSP's "Ask Andy" (also an "average Joe") site to this one, eh? My post was about how on the internet, just like at a camporee or a roundtable, we find all kinds of folks, eh? Some with a lot of experience, some with a little. Some with quite a bit of knowledge, some with a little. Some quite opinionated, others pretty laid back.


Goes with da territory, eh? Bunch of average Joes we are. Adults from all walks of life, volunteering in a children's program. I reckon I'm grateful for the mix, but especially those with a lot of experience who share that. Me personally, I can't see gettin' my shorts in a knot over da meaning of a wreath on a patch or what level of poohbah I am as a commish. My role is just to be a friend to unit scouters and to be helpful, eh? As long as a commissioner on my staff understands that, we're good.


Docrwm is a new commissioner, fresh out of training. Like all folks new to a job, now that he's done trainin' he can start learnin'. There are a lot of folks with a lot of years in da Commissioner Service here, and hearin' our perspective I reckon is what he needs now, eh? Not a bunch of book quotes, but practical advice on how to do the job well. I hope he sticks around and asks more questions, and I hope we respond to him in that way.


But we all get heated occasionally, just like around a campfire. This thread does have one comment I made to ASM59 in error, which I apologized to him for personally some days back but which I'll apologize in public for. I was respondin' to try to tone down da Nazi references of another poster and typed his handle by mistake, not readin' carefully. Sometimes, we just goof or misunderstand each other, and rely on fellow scouters to recognize us as fellow scouters - good people at heart - and see through our foibles.


Now BobWhite, forgive me for bein' blunt, but yeh seem like a blunt kind of fellow. I reckon you see posts as bein' "attacks" because that's the way you seem to treat other people, and yeh assume other people work the same way. When yeh respond to 'em, you always seem to try to get in a "dig," or some comment about how we're all less than good scouters. I reckon other folks are motivated by other things, or at least don't approach things quite da same way. Where you see an "attack," I only see someone tryin' to be helpful or offer a different perspective, and perhaps gettin' a bit exasperated by havin' it thrown back in his face.


I suspect I'll never convince yeh or get yeh to change. But I hope along da way the perspectives others share will help yeh in your work with young people.


'nuff said.




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The Commissioner training that I took told me that the main role of BSA Commissioners is to support units, help them access resources, clarify how BSA sets out things to be done, and generally to be Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent. We were also given several examples of how we might have folks in units who had been there a long time, were wedded to how they did things, and would argue that they knew best because of their tenure..........



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Bob White,

Maybe I'm missing something in the translation?

But ...

"The Wreath is indeed a sign that they are Commissioned by BSA National"

Just is not the case.

Commissioners are commissioned by the local Council. Unless of course they serve at some other level, which very few do.

If I'm selected by the Council Commissioner to serve as a District Commissioner, I serve for a 12 month term with the approval of the Council Executive Board.

I really don't know about having a SE sign off on the application? That was something I had never heard of. I'm not saying it's right or wrong! Just something that I wasn't aware of.

I suppose a lot depends on how much or how little one wants to read into "...they are Commissioned by BSA National"?

On one hand they are not and were not selected by National and didn't receive their Commission from National.

But on the other hand it might be said that once they receive this commission it is recognized by National.


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It is really too bad that you took the misinformation on commissioners given by Bob to heart because it will not help you understand what a commissioner is all about or what they really do. So believe what you like but you will see on other issues that the old saying garbage in garbage out applies when you rely on the information of just one poster who sets himself up as an official BSA spokesman.

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Who determines that commissioners and professionals wear the wreath of Service? National not council


Who determines the responsibilities of Commissioning? National not Council.


Whose program policies and procedures does national say the commissioner supports? National's


Are they commissioned by the BSA, Yep.


Do I agree that they are registered at the council level? Yes. Is their area of service restricted to the council they are registered in? Yes, fs they are commissioners at the council level (not all commissoners are registered at that level).





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All commissioners are registered at the council level. districts are, for lack of a better term, sub units of the council.That's why district level folks wear silver loops. Further district boundaries are made and dissolved by the council.

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I'm sorry Bob White. Maybe the coffee hasn't kicked in yet? But I fail to see your argument.

I could just as easily remove the words that have to do with Commissioner from the points you bring up and insert "Scoutmaster" or Scoutmaster position patch.


All adult applications within a Council are managed by the Council. For Commissioner Staff these are approved by the Council Executive Board.

Back when I was a District Commissioner, I'll bet very few people in the National Office knew who I was or anything about me.

I am aware that not all Commissioners work at the Council level (I thought I'd covered that with: "Commissioners are commissioned by the local Council. Unless of course they serve at some other level, which very few do."

I didn't go into detail because the truth is that I know some changes have been made at the Area and Regional level and I haven't taken the time to read that much about these changes.

Again I suppose a lot depends on how you see things.

It is true that an officer in the British Military receives his /her commission from the crown (At this time the Queen.) But to my way of thinking this is symbolic.

As you know I'm very proud of the fact that I'm a Queen's Scout.

While my certificate does carry a printed royal signature, I know that the Queen didn't play any part in my work toward earning this award.

I know that the requirements and supervision of these awards lies in the hands of the UK Scout Association.

Other than allowing her name to be on the award, Her Majesty really plays no part in the award or who receives it.

If your interpretation of "Commissioned" is along these lines? You might have a point.

Not to change the subject but I just looked at my desk and there is a Distinguished Commissioner plaque in the corner.

I can't help feeling that I never was very distinguished. -Oh Well.





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Does ANYONE here read the content of posts prior to posting? Sometimes I do wonder.


I quoted both the relevant BSA manual AND the actual Commission (you know the document from NATIONAL that says you're a Commissioner) both of which say that "on advice of local Council" BSA National Commissions such-and-such.


Are local Commissioners "managed" by the local Council - yes and no. Unit Commissioners actually are "managed" by the District Commissioner. The ADCs are "managed" by the DC. Roundtable Commissioners are "managed" by the DC. Who manages the DCs? The Council Commissioners.


Who "manages" them does not change who commissions them. A Commission in the US Armed forces comes from where? Does that mean that all Officers are "managed" from that same source or perhaps they have a Chain-of-Command and a local "manager"? Doesn't change who commissioned them nor does it give the local "manager" the authority to commission their own new officers (leaving aside Brevet Commissions for the time being).


(This message has been edited by docrwm)

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Yah, Docrwm, I reckon what Eamonn and others are tryin' to tell you is that the certificate you're talkin' about is just a bin item, like one of da "National" certificates lots of units pick up at the scout shop to present to Scoutmasters and SPLs and such. Our names as commissioners are never sent off to National for approval (beyond bein' typed into Scoutnet), and nobody from national reviews 'em or actually "commissions" us. But if it makes anyone happier thinkin' that their wreath comes direct from Irving, no harm, no foul.


Yah, Eamonn, I hear yeh on da "Distinguished Commissioner" award, eh? At the time I earned it, I certainly didn't feel very distinguished. Even many years later, I feel like I'm a better commissioner, but I still don't feel worthy of a recognition. Mostly it's a friendly job, sometimes it's firefighting, but at the end of the day I'm never really sure whether I contributed to da life of kids, eh? I hope by smoothin' things for adults, keepin' goals and values in the forefront, and maybe sometimes bein' an example of service that perhaps I've had an effect down the chain? Maybe? But I'm never sure. Certainly don't feel deservin' of a wreath. ;)


I think it's fairly clear across da country that the Commissioner Service is mostly a dyin' breed. Not very many districts and councils have active and good ones, and in many cases I've seen folks just plug positions with warm bodies. I think some of what we used to do "back in the day" is bein' replaced by online information and such. The rest of the traditional role of commissioner, still present in international scoutin', has been mostly subsumed by da professional service.




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Both Eamonn and Beavah, as do I disagree with you, how many people have to tell you that you are wrong before you realize it. Doc refers to certificate that is produced by national supply division and has absolutely no connection to being a national commission.


You are in error once again and all you are doing is confusing Doc even more. (This message has been edited by a staff member.)

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Doc came to his understanding by taking the training and reading the BSA manuals for commissioning.


Doc is not agreeing with me nor I with him. We are agreeing with the training and resources of the BSA. You want people to agree with you because of being a professional for a few years once in the past. Eamonn is asking questions trying to understand the topic. Beavah is basing his position on his personal opinion and ability to type with a northeasternish accent.


None of that alters the topic of the thread or the correct answer to ASM59's question. Who does the BSA rely on to represent its programs, policies, and procedures? The folks wearing the wreath of service according to the BSA.


(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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"The people wearing the wreath of service according to the BSA" quoting BW's last post as to who actually represents the BSA's policies, programs etc.


All I can say Bobby is what about all the volunteers who devote countless hours helping young people grow into good and decent people, from the den leader to the scoutmaster to the venturing advisor to the district and council volunteers who not only represent whats best about BSA programs and procedures, they teach them to our youth. As a volunteer scouter for over 25 years and a professional scouter for five years I have seen both sides of the picture and I tell you that every volunteer leader is the true embodiment of scouting not just one elite group of individuals. To state otherwise is to personally insult every adult who has ever put on the uniform of a BSA volunteer.(This message has been edited by BadenP)

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"All I can say Bobby is what about all the volunteers who devote countless hours helping young people grow into good and decent people, from the den leader to the scoutmaster to the venturing advisor to the district and council volunteers who not only represent whats best about BSA programs and procedures, they teach them to our youth."


As you used to be a BSA professional for a few years I am surprised you have to ask that question BadenP. We are the people that promise the BSa to deliver their program. We each have our own set of responsibilities. The unit volunteers to serve their chartering organizations and deliver the Scouting program (the BSA Scouting Program that can be found in the training an resources of the BSA). The District and Council to support the Charter organizations Scouting programs, including training their leaders, and the professionals and commissioners to represent the national programs policies and procedures and to see that "every eligible youth has the opportunity to belong to a quality Scouting Program".


I hope that helps you BadenP if you have any other questions please feel free to post again and I am sure one of us can direct you to the BSA training or resource where you can find the correct answer.


You can learn more about the differences between the Commissioners responsibilities ant the unit leaders responsibilities by attending Commissioner basic training and the administration of commissioner training, as wel as the Leader specific Trainings for each of the programs.

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