John Fernandez, district commissioner, Marion District, North Florida Council:
The best part of the Commissioner Week at Philmont was sharing information, new ideas, latest changes, and what’s coming soon. I enjoyed exchanging ideas with other commissioners from around the country. As a direct result of this important conference, our district commissioner team has developed and conducted our own commissioner conference. It was also important to have met the national commissioner leaders who actually put The Commissioner newsletter together. Our district team has been revitalized, energized, and now know the latest tools we need to service the youth in our area. We are recruiting more of our team (three attended this year) to sign up and attend the Commissioner Week at Philmont for 2013. Nowhere else can a commissioner get the best and latest information while sharing ideas with other commissioners than at Philmont Commissioner Week.
Rick Bronson, unit commissioner, Cherokee Area Council, Oklahoma:
I was especially encouraged with Tim Acree’s presentation on the completion of the commissioners’ curricula and availability. … I have downloaded most of the courses already. I am quietly campaigning across my council on the need for an assistant council commissioner of training.
Commissioners meetings are frequently the last 15 minutes after roundtable, just before we have to clear out of the school room. I want to have dedicated commissioner meetings so we can actually provide some education! And I am willing to travel to the other side of the council to do it!
John Blanchard, Narragansett Council:
Gosh, there are so many things that I have taken from the course and my week at PTC. It seems every day I am reflecting back on the Administrative Commissioner course. One of the items that has been very successful so far is to start to recruit commissioners. The course has enabled me to look in some unlikely places for unit commissioners and challenge existing Scouting volunteers and council staff to make recommendations. I have started to research some of these names, have scheduled interviews, and I am starting to see the fruits of that effort. It looks like shortly we could recruit perhaps as many as five new unit commissioners and have a good working list of perhaps another 10 possibilities.
Chuck Hartill, Grand Canyon Council:
The opportunity to share ideas with similar “gray-haired” Scouters from all across our wonderful country allowed us to have as much learning in the tent cities and the dining hall as we had in the classroom. The wealth of experience and knowledge of different approaches to problems gave us a new and re-energized approach to our own Scouting programs. As only a small token of the ideas we learned and will use, we will be doing the “cold call” recruitment exercise for our next commissioners conference.
James Dixon Gardner, district commissioner, Konza District, Coronado Area Council, Kansas:
Since coming back to Konza District in Kansas after the training in Philmont, I feel that I have discovered that I was doing about half of what needs to be done in our district for good unit service. As a Key 3, we discussed the importance of volunteer leadership and plan to use the rechartering process to increase the unit commissioner service activities in improving all of our efforts. This coming weekend we as a council are offering the new up-to-date basic training for unit commissioners and we will also have afterward an hour of focus for the new-unit commissioner concept. I especially was inspired to work harder and better by the national leadership imparting their words of wisdom. Philmont itself was a new experience for me and I was very impressed with the organization and facilities and enjoyed the two hikes that I went on. I have a son who recently was recruited to work with the young men in his stake and encouraged him to step up and volunteer as a unit or assistant commissioner in his home district. I shared with him some of the education that I received from Philmont.
George Burnett, Indian Waters District, Columbia, South Carolina:
Aside from the contact with distinguished Scouters from all over the country and sharing thoughts and problems, the most valuable part of the course was the deeper understanding of how to be a district commissioner. I am able, I trust, to be more assertive in taking charge of the commissioner corps and assisting the chairman to run the district more effectively. I have drafted and gotten acceptance of a “vision statement” for the commissioner corps so that whenever the time comes for me to move out, I will leave a strong functioning group of commissioners and a district chair who will take charge of the district with the district executive’s guidance.
The contact with the national Scouters who attended was most helpful. It helps to “know” who to call with a problem with, for example, UVTS. The talent available to teach the courses and run the Commissioner Week was impressive. I really could go on and on. I wish I could attend every year but, I fear, it’ll be several years before I can get back to “God’s country.”
David Sitler, Northern Lights district commissioner, Northern Star Council, St. Paul, Minnesota:
I consider my experience at the Administrative Commissioner Conference 2012 on par with Wood Badge. The knowledge I gained has enabled me to more effectively manage my district. I have established a set of goals for the next 12–18 months similar to a Wood Badge ticket. I will use the things I learned from our instructors, our national commissioner, and his staff to mold the future of my district’s commissioner corps throughout my remaining years of tenure. This conference has given me the tools to build a legacy of superior unit service, which will benefit our youth of today and tomorrow. The interaction between my peers from across the nation was both rewarding and empowering.
Harold and Carole Booth, district commissioner and unit commissioner, Blue Ridge Mountains Council, Virginia:
My week at Philmont and the training was priceless. It has helped me know how to run our district meeting as well as understand how the commissioner is supposed to work. The week with all those Scouters and all there was also priceless. We enjoyed every minute of it, even my wife. Thanks for all the info.