The Commissioner Tools
Click here to print a copy of this article.
By Darlene Sprague, Resources chair
Scouting professionals and volunteers have likely seen new
my.Scouting Tools appear when they log in to MyScouting.org.
These new tools are based on their position in Scouting and are
being constructed so everyone has access to the information
they need to fulfill their responsibilities. For volunteers, this is
information that was not available in the past unless they asked
at their local council office.
A team made up of volunteers and professionals, including
unit commissioners, administrative commissioners, members
of the national commissioner support staff, and advisors, has
been working since September to provide commissionerspecific
input to the development manager and business
analysts working on the my.Scouting Tools suite. The team
members have taken all of the suggestions received since
the launch of UVTS (Unit Visit Tracking System), as well as
suggestions about other information that commissioners need
in order to service their units, and have begun to create the
These tools will be available sometime in the first quarter of
2014. One goal is to have a replacement tool for what is known
as UVTS, but for now the development team has been able to
give us some other tools. Because the Commissioner Tools are
being built simultaneously with many other areas of Scouting
(Membership, Advancement, Program, etc.), additional
functionality will be added as these other areas
The replacement tool for UVTS will let commissioners record
their contacts (visits) and other pertinent information about
the units assigned to them. And yes, there will be functionality
built in for one commissioner to help another commissioner
enter contact information. This function will also allow for the
entry of data on behalf of commissioners who may not be as
comfortable with technology or who do not have ready access
to a computer or other device for data input.
While the contacts will still be used for the Journey to
Excellence, the main purpose of the tool is for commissioners
to better serve their units in part by identifying and linking to the
resources of the district and council to meet the specific needs
of each unit.
The tools team has been working very closely with the team
developing the new Unit Service Plan (see “The Unit Service
Plan” elsewhere in this newsletter), and the updated unit
assessment is being built into the tools instead of the current
Quality Indicators in the UVTS system. By doing so, the team
has tried to eliminate forms and steps, and in the process keep
to the Commissioner Task Force theme of providing simple and
unified tools to support commissioners. Commissioners can
make reports on their units using these new unit assessment
items, which relate largely to the unit’s health and the Journey
to Excellence criteria.
The initial release of these new tools will include
commissioner information and unit information available
to commissioners depending on their role. The tool uses
something called “natural context” to determine what
information a commissioner has available for his or her use,
and a commissioner’s Scouting position determines the natural
context. Training information about unit leaders will be at the
commissioners’ fingertips, as will a host of other information
about the unit and district. Information about the contacts in the
districts is being built in, so you will have it to refer to when your
unit needs some additional help.
While all functionality may not be there on day one, there will
eventually be the ability to send a message to unit contacts or
commissioner contacts from within the system.
A PowerPoint presentation that highlights the functions
included in Release 1 has been developed. It is important to
note that not everything you may want will be in the tools to
start, but periodically new functions and information will
Remember that my.Scouting Tools
is being built for all Scouters, but
commissioners will have their own
portion called the Commissioner Tools.
A new page will be added to the
Commissioners website titled The
Commissioner Tools. Watch this page
for updated information on the tools.