Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind

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Scott Sorrels
National Commissioner Service Chair

Scouters, no doubt, will recognize the four words helpful, friendly, courteous, and kind. We instinctively know why they are listed in this order. When we talk about commissioner service, we often speak in terms of the commissioner being a friend to the unit. We should all strive to become the trusted advisor that the unit leadership, unit committee, and, yes, the chartered organization recognize as a talented and passionate volunteer resource.

While the unit leadership and the unit committee may get a lot of our attention, perhaps now would be a great opportunity to ensure that our service to the unit includes a good dose of being helpful, friendly, courteous, and kind to our chartered organizations and their representatives. As we know, our units would not exist without our chartered organization relationship. Our chartered organizations are critical to our ability to serve youth in our local communities, and we as commissioners, along with the rest of the Scouting community, should make sure they understand the support and appreciation that we have for their critical role. An extra thank you is appropriate.

You may discover additional ways that we can support a unit or otherwise bring more Scouting opportunities to a local community. Recent changes allow Scouting’s members and parents to select local units chartered to organizations that best meet the needs of their families. When a unit, a chartered organization, or a parent turns to the local Scouting community for support, we want to make sure we are ready to respond with great opportunities that meet the need of every Scouting family. Part of our role as commissioners is to support the district committee and the district membership functions, and serve as a communications link between our identification of a need, such as for a new unit or a new home for a prospective Scout. We can be part of the support role that helps ensure that we have quality units to meet the demands for Scouting in the community.

A good starting point for you to understand the hallmarks of a properly organized and sustainable unit is the Unit Performance Guide, and it should be required reading for all commissioners. Scouting knows how to organize and support quality units that embrace the chartered organization and provide Scouting memories that will last a lifetime.

As we make our visits during this new Scouting year, let’s make an extra effort to say “thank you” and to be helpful, friendly, courteous, and kind to our chartered organization and unit leadership. They are on the front lines of serving youth. Thank you as commissioners for being the glue that makes our program work for so many young people.