a publication for commissioners and professionals

Spring 2021



John Cherry
Development Chair

Developing Commissioners to Enable Them to Serve Units Effectively

One of the new areas of focus as we continue to adapt to change is “developing commissioners to enable them to serve units effectively.” Your Commissioner Development team is focused on several areas to support local councils in this effort:

Continually updating national training resources Basic training and onboarding is an important tool for getting new commissioners prepared to perform their duties effectively. There are online options for all commissioner roles and instructor-led courses for unit commissioner, roundtable commissioner, and district commissioner. All of the basic training and onboarding material is being refreshed in 2021.

The College of Commissioner Science is one of the primary vehicles of continuing education for commissioners. The various degree programs provide increasing levels of knowledge on key unit service topics.

Updated bachelor’s courses were published in January 2021; master’s courses will be published in the second quarter of 2021. Doctorate and continuing education courses will be published in the second half of 2021. The topics covered in the continuing education track are being completely overhauled to address the most relevant and

Short Training Topics are ideal for administrative commissioners to utilize in their periodic staff meetings. The Commissioner Development team has recently launched an ongoing effort to create meaningful content for these topics starting in the fourth quarter of 2021.

Distributing delivery of in-person training
Weeklong conferences at national high-adventure bases have been a mainstay of the Commissioner Development effort. Commissioner Week will be held June 6-12 at Philmont Training Center. Eight different conferences will be conducted and cover a variety of relevant topics at an in-depth level. We generally have a conference at the Florida National High Adventure Sea Base in January and are looking at options at the other high-adventure bases. While it does take a significant commitment to attend one of these conferences, feedback has consistently been very favorable.

Impact Sessions are weekend-long, in-person events that cover a specific topic of relevance. As soon as it is safe to re-engage, there will be four of these sessions planned for each calendar year, and they will be conducted at locations across the country.

Using virtual tools to expand access
The COVID-19 pandemic caused an acceleration of plans for a more robust portfolio of virtual offerings.

Virtual Impact Sessions are two-hour live training sessions that address a single topic. There are nine to 10 of these sessions scheduled each year, and we expect them to continue for the foreseeable future

Tools to deliver virtual Colleges of Commissioner Science have been developed for local councils and will be available in the near future. In addition, there were two Virtual Impact Sessions on this topic earlier in 2021.

Many of the items mentioned in this article can be found on the Commissioner Development section of the commissioner website at

Now is the time to make the opportunity to become a better commissioner. What specific action are you going to take?

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