Commissioner Week at Philmont an Opportunity to Learn

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Week 6 at Philmont Training Center was June 16–20, which coincided with Commissioner Week. In addition, the National Executive Committee held a meeting at PTC the weekend of June 13–15 to transition to the new BSA leadership. Because of the overlap of these two events, everyone at the training center had the opportunity to attend a rather unique event—an evening with the national Key 3 and both the incoming president and Chief Scout Executive!

Commissioners enjoy a reception at the L. Martin Pavletich Art Gallery in Cimarron, New Mexico.

Sunday evening began with a meeting hosted by outgoing President Rex Tillerson, retiring Chief Scout Executive Bob Mazzuca, incoming President Wayne Perry, incoming Chief Scout Executive Wayne Brock, and National Commissioner Tico Perez. The meeting—the first time such an event has occurred—was an open forum where each addressed the audience and then the floor was opened for questions. The questions were direct and some of the answers were quite interesting. It was obvious that both professionals and volunteers are very passionate about Scouting. Everyone who attended left the meeting enthusiastic about the direction Scouting is headed and the new leadership. What a fantastic way to start the week!

Continuing the special events for Commissioner Week, a reception was held Tuesday evening at the L. Martin Pavletich Art Gallery where there was a brief program and an extended social hour. Martin, who offers some very distinctive paintings of the area, was a very gracious host who opened his gallery especially for this event. It was a good opportunity to relax and network with commissioners from other councils.

As previously announced at the National Annual Meeting in May, Mark Wappel and Ellie Morrison are moving to the new-unit committee. At the reception, Mark was presented a gift for his support of commissioner service as the professional liaison for the past four years.

Chief Scout Executive Bob Mazzuca, President Rex Tillerson, incoming President Wayne Perry, National Commissioner Tico Perez, and incoming Chief Scout Executive Wayne Brock at an open forum during Commissioners Week.

On Friday the How to Conduct a Commissioner College class conducted a commissioner college. This is the third year the college has been held. There were 32 commissioners who attended the Bachelors course, 16 who attended the Masters course, and 37 who attended the Doctorate course. A total of 35 degrees were conferred. This class is a unique workshop where the participants have a day and a half of instruction and then spend the rest of the week in a workshop in preparation for the college on Friday.

All who attended the week received a special patch at the beginning of the week, and those who attended the college received a special patch at graduation.

This year, the following commissioner courses were offered at PTC:

  • Administrative Commissioner—Instructors Tom Armstrong and Darlene Sprague
  • Council Commissioner—Instructors Larry Chase and Ellie Morrison
  • Roundtable Commissioner—Instructors Cheri Pepka and Richard Keisker
  • How to Conduct a Commissioner College—Instructors Terry Chapman, Jeff McKinney, and Tim Acree
  • Unit Commissioner—Instructors Dave Fornadel and Kevin Taylor

Our national commissioner and many of the national commissioner support team spent a week in July at Philmont for Commissioner Week. We thought it would be beneficial for commissioners across the country to get an idea of how valuable this training can be for them. Following are descriptions of each of the courses with a link to specific comments from the more than 100 commissioners who attended Commissioner Week.

The Council Commissioner conference is offered annually during Commissioner Week. This conference is a hands-on experience that is specifically designed to help council commissioners improve unit service by developing a personal vision as well as supporting goals for their term of service. Assistant council commissioners and professionals supporting council commissioners can also benefit from and contribute to the conference.

Click here to see participants' comments.

The Administrative Commissioner course is offered annually during Commissioner Week for district commissioners, assistant district commissioner, and assistant council commissioners. This conference is for experienced commissioners seeking more insights to help units deliver a quality program to youth. Learn about advanced strategies for quality unit service, implementation of a strong commissioner program in your district or council, strategic planning objectives, and other district and unit topics. You will leave with a vision for success and tools for setting a clear direction in improving commissioner service in your district and council.

Click here to see participants' comments.

How to Conduct a Commissioner College is a course where participants learn how to conduct a commissioner college and then actually plan a one-day college that is conducted with all those attending Commissioner Week. Participants can complete their bachelor's or master's degree during the college, while doctoral students learn how to write their thesis or do a project.

Click here to see participants' comments.

The Effective Roundtables conference is offered annually during Commissioner Week. This conference is a hands-on discussion and problem-solving oriented program specifically designed to help roundtable commissioners understand how to improve unit service by preparing unit leaders to deliver better programs to youth.

Click here to see participants' comments.

Next year, Commissioner Week is scheduled for Week 3, which is June 23–29. Plan to attend and bring your family as well. The national commissioner support staff will be in attendance, along with Tico Perez, our national commissioner. While we may not have another opportunity to meet with the incoming and outgoing presidents and Chief Scout Executives to kick off Sunday evening, it will be another excellent week. It truly is something you need to put on your list of things to do!