Commissioner Manuals and Resources


Four important books guide the service of commissioners and their professional staff advisors in the Boy Scouts of America. The current manuals are undergoing a revision. The new format will be in the form of modules or topic chapters. These will be posted electronically on the Commissioner website and will contain links to other electronic sources. Commissioners will be able to create their own ebooks with the chapters they need. A suggested collection list will be posted by position. Keep an eye out for announcement of new modules due out by the end of the year.

Obtain the latest revision from your local council Scout shop or from National Supply Division, 1-800-323-0732.

For all commissioners

Commissioner Fieldbook for Unit Service, No. 33621
Consider this handy book the commissioner's best friend, the book every commissioner should own. It's packed with essential information on commissioner style, commissioner lifesaving, commissioner responsibilities, and dozens of other topics on providing unit service. It's the definitive reference on unit charter renewal. Download the Commissioner Fieldbook for Unit Service, by clicking here.

For Council Commissioners

Council Commissioner Manual, No. 522-015
This manual was compiled and written from the point of view that it would be a basic, yet comprehensive, guide for someone who has never been a council commissioner. It is meant to orient someone who does not have many years of Scouter experience at the council level and who is not familiar with council operations. It also is intended to be a comprehensive manual, covering all subjects one might need to know to perform the task.

For all commissioners

Administration of Commissioner Service, No. 34501
This manual has combined the previous editions of the Administration of Commissioner Service, Basic Commissioner Training, and Continuing Education of Commissioners. Some great additions have been made to the manual to support council-level commissioners and their support to districts, as well as some new sessions of commissioner training to be offered at all levels.

For all commissioners

Unit Performance Guide

The Unit Performance Guide is the approved BSA best method strategy for creating and sustaining high-performing units for local councils. This book provides extensive new-unit resources for volunteers and professionals and covers the following topics: Know the Market, Make the Call, Build the Team, and Grow the Unit.



Unit Commissioner Program Notebook, No. 26-006
This pocket-size commissioner planner, calendar, and resource guide helps unit commissioners plan and schedule their weekly and monthly service to units. It's available annually from Boys' Life magazine.

Selecting Cub Scout Leadership

Guiding a chartered organization in the process of selecting unit leaders is one of the commissioner's most important tasks.

Year-Round Service to Chartered Organizations

Selecting District People, No. 34512

Volunteers are the single greatest resource of the Boy Scouts of America. They provide leadership for boards, committees, units, and finance. This book is designed to help key district leaders determine the number of people needed to operate an effective district, and then to locate, select, and recruit them.


The Commissioner Award of Excellence administered by the local council.


Commissioner Assessment Forms

The forms below are blank detailed assessment forms taken from Commissioner Tools. These may be used as paper information capture sheets if a commissioner does not want to work on the computer live while contacting a unit. Alternatively, they may be used by a commissioner who does not have access to a computer, and a “commissioner friend” will enter the information. They may also be used when collaborating with a unit to complete the assessment of a unit’s strengths and needs.

Crew Detailed Assessment Blank Form

Pack Detailed Assessment Blank Form

Ship Detailed Assessment Blank Form

Team Detailed Assessment Blank Form

Troop Detailed Assessment Blank Form

Unit Assessment Forms

The forms below are blank assessment forms taken from Commissioner Tools. These may be given to a unit leader to complete prior to the Collaborative Assessment being completed by the unit Key 3 and the unit commissioner. Ideally, the unit should complete these within when they are sent to them by the commissioner; however, they may be used a worksheet prior to entry in They may also be used when collaborating with a unit to complete the assessment of a unit’s strengths and needs.

Crew Assessment Blank Form
Pack Assessment Blank Form
Ship Assessment Blank Form
Team Assessment Blank Form
Troop Assessment Blank Form

Assessment Exercises

The Unit Assessment Exercises are designed as a training tool for commissioners. District and council commissioners may wish to use them with their staff. They provide a scenario and an exercise for assessing a unit.

They are aligned with the 2015 JTE criteria.

The idea is that a group can use a packet to do both a simple and a detailed assessment, with the detailed assessment including the components of the Unit Service Plan. The “Unit Service Plan” form (last page of each packet) is wider and shaded grey. This format will enable the presenter to make the point that Detailed Assessment in Commissioner Tools actually supports both a detailed assessment (separate scoring of each element of Planning and Budget, Membership, Program, and Volunteer Leadership) and an “intermediate assessment” (scoring of only each objective category). This will help demonstrate the flexibility that Commissioner Tools provides, and to get folks thinking about options.

Pack Assessment Exercise
Crew Assessment Exercise
Troop Assessment Exercise