a publication for commissioners and professionals

Fall 2021


Larry Chase
National Commissioner Service Chair

Culture – So What

In our last issue we discussed this simple picture of Unit Service: 

For a quick refresher: Retention Enables Growth.

Much of that picture should be familiar, but “Culture” likely isn’t.

My friend Mr. Webster tells us that “culture” is our way of life as a group; it includes our characteristics and skills; it defines our approach to achieving our mission and fulfilling our vision. So what?

It’s easy to get wrapped up in all the “stuff” going on in Scouting today; there are lots of distractions. And then there are organizational changes, goals, data…the list just seems to get longer. Your service team spent time during its annual planning session talking about what, how, and why we serve Scouting – our culture. As a result, you’ve probably started to see some variation of another picture:

Think about how effective Unit Service can be if…

  • Commissioners are the heart of Scouting. You’ll hear some volunteers speak of a servant’s heart; others will talk of putting others first, caring for others, loving others. Or perhaps it’s as simple as “4 – 5 – 6” (Courteous – Friendly – Kind). They all speak to the commissioner’s role as the heart of Scouting. We also support program delivery; membership growth; leadership development; starting, sustaining, and growing units; and attracting and retaining young people and adult volunteers. Those are all at the heart of Scouting; we need to be that heart.

  • Commissioners build relationships. Relationships with volunteers, professionals, and also with the young people Scouting serves – relationships based on respect, candor, and trust – are the foundation of everything we do. Without those relationships, we can’t be effective.
  • Commissioners change lives. Our work helps Scouting achieve its mission. We’ve all seen how that can change the lives of the young people we serve, but think about the volunteers and professionals you’ve worked with. Scouting changes their lives – and our lives – too.

Throughout this issue your service team will speak to how our culture enables our work as commissioners…work that is the heart of Scouting, is based on relationships, and changes lives.

On the uptrail…

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