a publication for commissioners and professionals

Fall 2021


Steven Lee
Program Support Chair

Commissioner Culture – Program Support

Following Commissioner Week at the Philmont Training Center this summer, you may have noticed a new slogan from the National Commissioner Service Team: Be the Heart, Build Relationships, Change Lives. As members of the team considered new challenges and opportunities to support unit service this year, it was evident that many of our endeavors centered on this statement. Whether it was technology, marketing, development or program support, each of us had a role to play in building this new unit service culture.

Starting with Be the Heart, our Program Support team is planning greater collaboration with the BSA special needs committee. We can provide greater enrichment for our commissioners to support unit leaders in their work with children with special needs. Even though material and web resources are already available on the BSA websites, our team would like to get the word out there on growth and upcoming changes to these resources. At the same time, we are looking to expand support for STEM in Scouting in order to help units with recruitment and retention of youth through enhanced program ideas.

In the area of Building Relationships, there has been a revival in roundtable throughout the country. During the COVID pandemic, councils quickly switched over to Zoom meetings, resulting in increased attendance by Scouters. Removing commute time and providing options to meet remotely made it convenient for everyone to participate. In order to support this renewed interest, new material needed to be created regularly for each of the program areas, from Cub Scouts to Sea Scouts. As a result, members of our program support team are working with the national roundtable team to help develop a pipeline of new material from each of the national program committees. This will provide fresh and relevant information to help our councils attract Scouters to roundtable and build relationships in the process.

The last area of Change Lives involves better support for our new National Service Territory (NST) structure, especially the program leadership for all 16 territories. This entails working with the national program development committee on communication, commissioner support and resource development that will facilitate the NST mission of supporting local councils. With constant changes in all our different youth programs, it’s important that we help the NSTs stay on top of things and share this information with our local councils.

Making changes to commissioner culture is an important part of making a positive impact to the unit leaders and youth we serve. We are facing challenges in the BSA like no other time before, so going with the status quo will have limited effect in our unit service. A change in culture will help us adapt to the changes already taking place in our Scouting environment. How can you Be the Heart, Build Relationships, and Change Lives? Make sure that you explore these new assets, resources, and approaches and incorporate them into your unit service to ensure that today’s volunteers have the resources to deliver today’s BSA programs. Let’s go out there and make an impact on the youth we serve!

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