Commissioner Support Team Roadmap

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Unit Commissioner PatchAs the national commissioner’s support staff works in concert to prepare and update information and resources relevant to commissioners, we thought it might be a good time to provide a roadmap of where we are going. The materials that each team leader puts together are intertwined with other members’ initiatives. As many of these materials are updated, we must make sure the information is consistent across the commissioner organization. We have found that creating the new information in a format that can easily be updated and kept current is essential. For this reason, the Commissioners website is the repository for all things related to commissioner service.


Commissioner Basic Training and college courses were posted to the Commissioners website last summer. As detailed below, the commissioner manual set will be transitioning into an e-book or Web-based module system. The chapters on commissioner training will need to be updated to the new standard and to reflect the updated training continuum. The current set of courses will also be reviewed and brought up to date with pending changes in commissioner role descriptions and recognition.

Region Commissioner Basic Training and Area Commissioner Basic Training are in development. Currently the plan is to make the modules self-paced with learning exercises. The team is investigating technology for making the courses interactive.

We are also investigating creating videos that can be downloaded from the Commissioners website. This means you will no longer have to chase down a professional or purchase DVDs for commissioner training. Additionally, the existing videos need to be brought up to date.

Recruitment and Retention

Recruitment and retention has three primary objectives over the coming year:

  • Update and simplify commissioner role descriptions
  • Revise commissioner recognition opportunities
  • Improve access to recruitment and retention resources

The commissioners’ mission—helping units succeed—hasn’t changed in Scouting’s second century. But the tools and techniques they use have, and our descriptions of the tasks they do and our ability to recognize their efforts haven’t kept pace.

Journey to Excellence enables us to focus on the results of our efforts to serve youth through Scouting; commissioner role descriptions, however, tend to be lengthy lists of activities that don’t accurately reflect how commissioners can best spend their time and what outcomes their efforts should produce. Administrative commissioners, particularly our assistant district commissioners, are directly responsible for strengthening unit service by recruiting new commissioners. They will be most successful at identifying and recruiting candidates when equipped with tools that accurately describe the work to be done and the results desired.

Recognition of the efforts of individual commissioners inspires the performance of all. Commissioners should be recognized both personally and publicly for commitments and accomplishments that support and demonstrate the delivery of effective unit service using contemporary tools and techniques. Changes to commissioner recognition opportunities will establish consistency, encourage the use of contemporary tools and techniques, incorporate our simple and unified approach to unit service, encourage visioning by district and council commissioners, and also encourage goal setting and planning by all administrative and roundtable commissioners. Changes will not eliminate recognition opportunities that are important elements of the traditions of unit service, such as the Arrowhead Honor, Distinguished Commissioner, and Doctorate of Commissioner Science Award. They will, however, build upon the foundation of the Award of Excellence in Unit Service, renew emphasis on the commission, and provide consistency in recognition for all commissioners.

Throughout the process, access to information and tools to support recruitment and recognition of commissioners on the Commissioners website will be expanded.


Resources has the following primary objectives this year:

  • All of the material contained in the commissioner manuals will be updated to align with the mission of the commissioner corps.
  • The Commissioners website will be updated with all of the new materials being produced by the commissioner task force and will provide links to other resources relevant to commissioners. Web pages will provide more depth and subpages of information.
  • A Graphics and Forms section will be added to the Commissioners website.

Manuals Content Update

Keeping multiple large manuals updated and in synch is a monumental task, as you might notice as you read the current manuals. To make everyone’s life easier, especially the commissioners in the field, we are going to create manual/information modules. For example, the materials that are being revised for recognitions and awards will be published in a module called Awards and Recognition. They will reside on the Commissioners website and can be selected and printed or just used as a reference electronically. Eventually this body of work will be published as an e-book. A companion document will suggest which modules to “bundle” based on a commissioner’s role.

This body of work will be published much like the new training materials that are now on the website. Each module “folder” will have the module itself and any related publications, links, or documents.

Commissioners Website

The Commissioners website will undergo some changes in its structure. Instead of having very long Web pages with topic information, we will better organize materials into subpages.

Graphics and Forms

Over the past year or so, the commissioner patches and graphics have been changed and updated. A new section of the website will contain updated graphics for commissioner patches and other materials, all in one place. Forms that commissioners need will all be housed in one spot as well.


Roundtable guides were updated between January and March of 2013 and will be available for the National Annual Meeting in May 2013.

Integrating technology into roundtables will be explored further during the next year, along with updates to the roundtable commissioner training programs.


Summer 2012—Basic training and College of Commissioner Science training materials released and published to the website

Fall 2012—Additional basic training modules completed and published to the website

Spring 2013—Manuals Project Task Team created and charged with creating modules

Awards and Recognition redevelopment effort started

May 2013—Roundtable guides published to the Commissioners website

Commissioner graphics published to the website

Basic training modules updated and posted to the website

Training codes updated to reflect the new training modules

Several new College of Commissioner Science courses added

Initial view of new commissioner role description format published

Summer 2013—Commissioner information modules (formerly manuals) to begin appearing on the website

Awards and Recognition materials to be added to a new section of the website as they are created

First new award recordkeeping tools and recognition certificates made available

Fall 2013—Commissioner information modules added

Awards and Recognition items added

Winter 2014—Basic Training modules updated and posted to the website

College of Commissioner Science courses updated for 2014

Implementation of revision to commissioner recognition

Additional recordkeeping tools and recognition certificates made available

Commissioner information modules added

Spring 2014—Region, area, and council commissioner basic training released as Web-based training modules (proposed)

Updated commissioner videos available for download from the Commissioners website (proposed)