a publication for commissioners and professionals

Fall 2021


Mike Weber 
Technology Chair


Building Relationships and Unit Health Through Detailed Assessments

Have you ever thought about the number of relationships you have; be it in your personal, professional, or even Scouting life? How about the breadth of people in those relationships? Have there been differences you’ve noted between those you have good relationships with and those relationships that have not lasted over time?

I’m sure each of you have many different types of relationships with fellow Scouters. I know I do. In fact, many of my good friends I’ve met are through relationships I have built through Scouting.

As commissioners, we rely on positive and continual relationships to do our job effectively. Administrative commissioners need positive relationships within their teams to be effective leaders; and those serving as unit commissioners need to establish and maintain positive relationships at the unit level to ensure they can help that unit be successful in serving our youth. Ultimately, it’s these unit relationships we build that enable commissioners to better serve the youth who look forward to what Scouting has to offer.

What’s involved with building and maintaining good relationships? What are the benefits to both parties and how does that help everyone succeed?

Relationships begin with getting to know one another, and, as relationships grow, trust is built. With trust, information exchange can begin and eventually lead to successful results. Talking with and working to understand each other help to build that trust. As trust grows, so does our success in helping each other grow, in solving problems, in identifying new ways of serving our youth, and even in developing long-term relationships.

As commissioners, we need to remain focused on unit and youth retention by working together with unit leaders and building healthy units. If a good foundation is established and maintained, we can increase that opportunity to serve more youth in the community.

A key method available in the suite of Technology Tools is the Detailed Assessment. It’s a tool that has been around for several years, and is a tool that each unit commissioner needs to assure is used at least once a year collaboratively with the unit leadership. The benefits of doing this Detailed Assessment are many, including: getting to know the unit leaders better, planning a balanced yearly program that is supported financially, leading youth to have fun, and ultimately growing retention.

This single activity, a valuable tool within the suite of technology applications, can be the single most important task we do with our unit. And, they only increase in value by having an established relationship with the unit leaders you serve.

An important outcome of the Detailed Assessment is the Unit Service Plan. I am fortunate to be the Chartered Organization Representative for a very successful Scouts BSA troop. I look forward to meeting with the unit leaders and our commissioner to discuss the past year and how to make the next year better. Each year we develop at least two unique plans to help the troop improve. It’s been a healthy process and I can see the results in the youth engagement and advancement each year.

As we incorporate doing a Detailed Assessment and a Unit Service plan into our regular routine, this reinforces a culture of using readily available technology to best serve our units. When we think of how to ‘Be the Heart, Build Relationships, and Change Lives into our overall commissioner culture, I hope you will agree with me that building relationships with our unit leaders is key.

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