“Peg the Needle” Effort a Success

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Scott Sorrels
National Commissioner Service Chair

The magic performed by Scouters every day is not hard to measure. We hear stories every week about one success story or another where Scouting made the difference in the life of a youth member. In every case, a group of volunteers—often unheralded and definitely not thanked often enough—is responsible for the difference.

The story is just as true with the commissioner corps, as demonstrated by the extraordinary response to the effort to “Peg the Needle” in unit visits following the membership standards vote at the National Annual Meeting in May. We asked the commissioner corps to make an extra effort to reach out and touch units across America, reminding them that the BSA is here to serve youth and that the commissioner corps is here to serve the unit. The results were amazing, with a more than 30 percent increase in year-over-year recorded unit visits in the Unit Visit Tracking System. That is truly extraordinary, and we want to say thank you.

The commissioner corps lives on the front lines of ensuring that Scouting units continue to meet the needs and expectations of our membership. The unit commissioner, supported by a talented administrative commissioner corps, works to ensure an effective Scouting program. We encourage you to stay informed by reviewing the new support materials, tools, and other resources that are available on the Membership Standards website.

We acknowledge that it has not always been easy. Our task requires the very best in all of us as commissioners, and sometimes a little patience. One challenging aspect of the “Peg the Needle” effort was that we had delays and outage issues in posting visits to UVTS. Believe me, we understand the frustration. The task force took your calls and issues to the senior levels of the national office within hours of their receipt. We will continue to work with the national office to improve this situation, but as with anything involving rapid change, it does not come often or fast enough. We will continue to work to make the responsibilities of the commissioner corps as easy and rewarding as possible.

The effort represented by the “Peg the Needle” campaign needs to continue every week. Whatever the needs of the unit, we need to identify them and link the resources of the district to address them. We should be systematic in our approach, using tried-and-true tools like the unit service plan and selfassessments and our new training and roundtable materials to help us identify and meet those needs.

Thank you. Thank you for the many thousands of unit visits that have been made in the last several months and for your continuing efforts to support the delivery of the Scouting program.