a publication for commissioners and professionals

Spring 2021


Larry Chase
Service Chair


Celebrating Service

Eight dedicated volunteers are completing terms of service in which they’ve dedicated themselves to helping ensure that every member of the BSA has a great Scouting experience.

Jeff Bostwick, National Commissioner Service Team Recruiting & Recognition Chair
Jeff’s term of service (approx. 18 months) has been comparatively short, but his contributions have been significant. He’s created and delivered both in-person and virtual training on new approaches to recruiting commissioners, revised our Commissioner Recruiting web page, and built a diverse team of subject matter experts who are working hard to develop resources to enable us to build a unit service team that reflects the communities and unit leaders we serve. Jeff has been called to serve as chair of the national Scouts BSA committee, and your service team will look forward to working closely in that role. His experience on the team strengthens both unit service and the Scouts BSA program.

Rick Hillenbrand, National Commissioner Service Team Technology Chair
Rick has worked tirelessly in a variety of unit, council, area, and regional roles. His contributions are broad, but none are greater than those resulting from his efforts to provide volunteers with applications that make it possible to work more effectively and efficiently. It wasn’t always a smooth road — developing and implementing technology (in any setting) never is. But since joining your National Commissioner Service team in 2014, he never stopped asking what commissioners and unit volunteers needed to help deliver Scouting, and he never stopped trying to meet those needs. He has always been there to support us, whether by responding to an email, developing and delivering training, or traveling anywhere in the United States in support of our local councils. All of us, and especially commissioners, are better off as a result.

Sue Simmons, National Commissioner Service Team Starting, Sustaining, and Growing Units Chair
Sue Simmons has also had a comparatively short (~2.5 years) but impactful term of service. During this time, she helped shape a new role on your national service team, created our Starting, Sustaining, and Growing Units web page, developed and delivered both in-person and virtual training, and built a diverse team of subject matter experts. Sue has been called to serve as a commissioner for one of our new national service territories. Her experience on the team strengthens both unit service and a national service territory.

Darlene Sprague, National Commissioner Service Team Resources Chair
Like many, Dar’s Scouting career started when her son joined Cub Scouts. Little did she know that would lead to council, area, regional, and national opportunities to serve, including joining your National Commissioner Service team in 2011. Much that we take for granted — our quarterly newsletter, our website, our manuals, even our ability to order a hat, jacket, or shirt that identifies us as commissioners — is the result of her efforts. Many of the communications you receive as commissioners are the result of her efforts to facilitate their publication through a variety of channels. Her support never faltered, nor have her contributions to the development and delivery of commissioner training and her willingness to travel where needed to support our local councils. Once again, all of us, and especially commissioners, are better off as a result of her service.

Linda Baker, Northeast Region Commissioner
Jim Libbin, Western Region Commissioner
Gail Plucker, Southern Region Commissioner
Mike Weber, Central Region Commissioner

Our regional organization is being dissolved with the implementation of our national service territories. Regional commissioners have been a vital link in the support of unit service in our local councils. The direct engagement of regional commissioners with your national service team has increased significantly over the last few years and, as a result, so has the quality of support we’ve been able to provide to local councils. Linda, Jim, Gail, and Mike have taken on what was always a challenging assignment during a time that was even more demanding. And its complexity only increased with their engagement in helping design and implement our national service territories. Organizational change is often bittersweet: We regret the loss of good friends who have been an important part of our team, but we also celebrate their service. And there is good news: None of these dedicated volunteers are leaving Scouting; we’ll still be working with them, just in different roles. And the youth we all serve will continue to benefit from their commitment.

Please join in thanking them for — and celebrating — their incredible service to Scouting!

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