a publication for commissioners and professionals

Fall 2021


Mike Moegenburg 
Marketing and Communications Chair


Culture Starts with You

There are many ways to define culture, but there is overlap among the definitions on these key points: Culture includes a set of underlying beliefs, values, principles and ways of interacting within an organization.

Our beliefs, values and principles are summarized in the Mission of the BSA, which is “to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law.” Your way of interacting within an organization starts with you. If you want to help units fulfill the mission of the BSA, the best first step is to ask yourself “Why do YOU serve as a commissioner?” The WHY, according to author Simon Sinek, is the purpose, cause or belief that drives every one of us. Understanding why you do what you do will help you decide how you will interact with others.

Be the Heart: When you know why you are serving units and you know the mission of the BSA, you will interact with others differently. Your actions will be based on the Scout Oath and Law. The shorthand we often us is 4, 5 and 6. Friendly, Courteous and Kind should be modeled in your words and actions. Your actions are not about you; rather, they are focused on the needs of others. These principles make a huge impact in how others receive you. Also, keep in mind that we are part of something bigger than ourselves, which keeps us humble. When you do what you can to help units deliver Scouting, you are the heart of Scouting.

Build Relationships: Scouting has a rich social tradition. Whatever Scouting event you attend, it will offer many opportunities to get together with friends and meet new ones. But Scouting is so much more than a social club. If you want to make an impact, you will need to work with others. That starts with having a relationship with the team you are working with. Think about how well you know them. Can you tell others about their families, their occupations, their hobbies, what motivates them? The better the relationship you have, the more likely you will be successful.

Change Lives: When you serve others as a commissioner, the impact you make changes lives. Helping units deliver the promise and mission of Scouting will not only change the lives of our Scouts, but also the lives of our unit leaders and other Scouting volunteers.

By the way, as you serve units, be sure to communicate what you’ve observed, what has changed and what the outcomes have been. If a tree falls in the middle of a forest, and no one is there to hear it . . .

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