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UCEagle72

How do you know the Commissioner Corp is providing a quality experience?

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Beavah --

 

As you requested, I spun this off of the CO/CoR thread.

 

Aside to UCEagle72... much as I think UC visits are fine and havin' good UC assignments are fine, da struggle I have with the "numbers emphasis" on such things is that generally speakin' the quality of commissioners and commish contact is pretty low. Yah, yah, I know Irving loves da numbers games. But that push to fill slots like as not means that some Cub Scouter becomes UC for a crew, and doesn't know beans from turnips. I'm curious how you're addressin' da quality issue, or if you're even lookin' at it. UCs are only effective if they have some real depth of knowledge and wisdom beyond da trainin' courses.

 

That's really a key part of the DC's role. And that is why I spend time at roundtables, camporees, courts of honor, and even unit meetings, chatting with unit leaders to ensure that they are getting the "proper" help they need.

 

Sometimes that means changing out UCs. Sometimes that means they need to be replaced.

 

But I try to match my UCs to their strengths -- I don't have any folks who only have experience in the cub program working with crews -- now ...

 

I keep tabs on the numbers, only because I need to ... self-defense you might say. What I learned from the scouter who mentored me on commissioner service many, many year back, was that we need to ensure that all units are getting the appropriate level of service, and the appropriate "personality" of service. "Good Commissioners need both Head and Heart" as one of the Master of Commissioner Science courses say.

 

How do others approach the "management" of their commissioners' staff?

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UCEagle72 and Fellow Scouters,

 

Greetings!

 

In my experience. I've served as a UC, ADC, and R/TC. Again, serving as a unit Scouter, I don't get to assign the UCs.

 

I guess you can say I measure the UCs that visit. The highest measure is that I have a really good quality Commissioner, the lowest measure is that I have a good Scouting buddy (coming over for a visit). I gauge the difference, if I learn something new from my UC, or if the UC is learning something from me and is constantly saying "Gee, I didn't know that".

 

I've had a few Scouting buddies swing on by, and taken a report to the district and council. Then I've had only a few quality experience Commissioners. Neither are bad, but few are definately high quality.

 

Scouting Forever and Venture On!

Crew21 Adv

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In 2004 I was asked by the District Executive to be UC for a failing Cub Scout pack.

 

The pack had lost their "Cubmaster who did everything" and no one even had a roster to help get the pack started in the fall.

 

I had experience with Boy Scouts, but none with Cub Scouts.

 

 

Well, I did my best to help get recruiting going for the fall, find adult leaders and set up a program for the year.

 

 

We had a couple of rocky years getting things up to speed, but at the Blue and Gold the pack crossed 15 boys over to Boy Scouts.

 

The program I helped gin up includes several pack events that are still being done each year.

 

The pack now has a history of doing pretty much everything pretty well to excellently. I keep an eye out for weaknesses that need attention, but don't find much. The only real work I do is setting up the fall and spring recruiting.

 

So I think people can learn on the job, although experience is best. If my services, however marginal, hadn't been available, probably no Commissioner would have been available to help.

 

Would the parents have been able to get things going on their own? Could be --- or it might have resulted in a failed pack.

 

I suggest there are worse things than a Commissioner who doesn't have experience in a particular flavor of Scouting.

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Yah, da flip side SeattlePioneer is that new UC with a cubbing background that thinks a youth-run troop is Lord Of The Flies, and keeps telling da troop scouters that they need to stop all this PLC and patrol method stuff because that's not appropriate. And by the way, it would be better if all the boys got MBs at the same time so they felt good, because every boy did his best. :p.

 

Been there, seen that, put da fellow out of his misery.

 

The national metrics are all base on counts, eh? Assignments and visits. So I'm really curious how others handle the real issue - quality of service. UCEagle offers a really fine, hands-on model with an active DC with his fingers on da pulse. Any other thoughts?

 

Beavah

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I've had 2 UC's. The first was a good guy, but didn't do much. He did show up on schedule. The second has been once in 18 months. I'm told that my unit is "on cruise control" and we don't need them. I gather from that comment that UC's are here for damage control, fire fighting and mop up duty, when the adults can't play nice.

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I have been impressed with our UC. I am in process of stepping up from ACM to CC and will be taking over at the end of the program year, Our UC has been aware of the change and makes a point to check in with me about the transition and let me know he is available to help with transition whenever we run across each other, UC visits, Blue & Gold, Roundtable, training whatever so I feel that he is "on board" and will be an asset during the transition.

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My first experience with a UC was while I was Cubmaster. Our UC was the wife of the twice prior Cubmaster. Eight years later, she is now the Council Commissioner, and a close scouting friend.

 

I joined the troop committee a few short years later, and the troop UC was a close friend of mine from church, who had just stepped down as BSRTC. He stepped away from the commissioner staff two years later and is now our Committee Chair. Our current UC is a close personal friend and co-worker. He is a personal, professional and scouting mentor to me: what more could one ask of a UC?

 

I have also served on the commissioner staff, as CSRTC, VFC, and UC for Sea Scout ships and Venture crews, serving a total of 5 years in these capacaties. I have attended 2 Commissioner Colleges, and presented at the another. I know and understand what is expected of a unit commissioner. I have had great ones, and have been fortunate in that regard. From the viewpoint of a former UC, the greatest challenge facing a UC is being welcomed by a unit. If the unit does not welcome the commissioner, there is almost no way he can assist or provide support. Yes, there are bad commissioners out there, but in my experience they are not the norm.(This message has been edited by Buffalo Skipper)

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How do I know ...? The answer is, I don't know. It's all based on trust. I tell my UC's what their job is and I go out of my way to make them feel guilty if they don't do it. But, in the end, they are the one's who have to work with the unit leaders and help them deliver a quality program.

 

If a unit starts falling apart, I have to jump in anyway. More silver tabs showing up at a unit meeting gets their attention.

 

How does my Council know? Right now, it's all about recording visits and contacts in the Unit Visit Tracking System. And, half of my UC's either don't use it or have no contacts nor visits to record.

 

The BSA makes such a big deal about being a Commissioner that people volunteer in order to get the position patch and then don't do the job. It's also the pressure to achieve a 3:1 ratio of units to UC's. The BSA has backed off a little on the 3:1 ratio, because its not an objective in the District's Journey to Excellence. But it is still an objective in the Council's JTE.

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As soon as I figure out what they are supposed to be doing I'll let you know.

 

If it is showing up at a meeting once a month then the current UC is a vast improvement over the last one.

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Here's a start: ask the registered adults in the unit if they can name their current UC.

 

Here's another thought: find out if the UC has gone through any of the training (reasonably current training, that is, not 20 years ago) for the key positions of the unit(s) they serve. Hard to imagine someone being a UC for a cub pack, and not having done any cub leader specific training, for example.

 

And a third metric: Ask the key adult leader(s) (SM, CC, CM, Crew Adviser) when was the last time they asked their UC for input on a problem or info about some aspect of their program, and whether or not the UC had a helpful response. Units that have good working relationships with a UC that is doing the job well, should be far more likely to turn to their UC with the occasional question, problem, or issue. Units where UC service is inconsistent, shoddy, or absent, will simply go elsewhere when they need a sounding board or when they need serious help.

 

By the way: I'm a currently unregistered scouter. "Scouter without portfolio!" I've thought plenty of times about volunteering as a UC, even went to commissioner college a couple years back. But you know, I don't want to be a UC for umpteen units. I'd like to do it for just one because honestly, that's what I have time to do. And since that's apparently not an option (they all get loaded down, around here), I have ended up not doing it at all. Seems like a flaw in the system, to me.

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>

 

 

 

Strictly speaking, I'm only UC for one unit and that since 2004.

 

 

I think being a UC for a single unit is a great idea if that's what you want to do. And frankly, how can even a pushy District Commissioner MAKE you do more?

 

Doing a fine job with one unit is a great contrbution, in my opinion.

 

 

 

 

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May not be your case, but I know some folks who saw their "you're-my-only-unit UC" as intrusive ... sort of an SM-emeritus.

 

Probably if that fella had 3 other units to attend to, he could have balanced out that impression.

 

On the other hand, the SM may have just been taking things a little too seriously.

 

Don't know how you guys would factor any of that into the numbers game!

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I feel very fortunate that i have 37 UC's which only 6 have more than one unit out of the 53 units in my district. Most of them regularly visit their units. Now if i can only get them to input the information into the UVTS :(

 

It is a lot easier to sign up a commissioner for one unit than to multiple units. When i tell them it is an hour a week, i mean it.

 

Alas, my work is not done as I need sign up a 5 more to cover some new units and to replace some others. Crossover is here and i have my eyes on some ex CC's DL's and CM's :)

 

 

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