Three great new developments—Commissioner Tools, the updated Cub Scouting program, and the new roundtable guide for the Cub Scouting and Boy Scouting programs—lead the way as we move forward in 2015.
The rollout of Commissioner Tools is nearing completion and we are pleased with the early feedback. We will provide increased support as the product moves forward through the implementation phase in local councils. You will continue to see new orientation and training materials become available on the Commissioners website, reflecting that the task force is working to integrate all of our commissioner resources with the new world of Commissioner Tools, the updated Cub Scouting program, and our emphasis on more effective roundtables. We hope that you recognize that we crafted a “simple and unified” technology platform to make unit contacts more effective, while eliminating a lot of paperwork and improving the planning process through a coordinated Unit Service Plan. In designing Commissioner Tools, we continually asked about the needs of unit commissioners and how we could make your role easier and more rewarding. It’s pretty good now, but we think you will see even greater utility as you get used to the power brought to you by Tools.
Did you know that the BSA is launching a new Cub Scouting program this summer? The new materials will be available about the time we release this newsletter. The program is designed to emphasize the adventure in Cub Scouting, with the needs of today’s parents and communities in mind. The general structure of the new content is a series of “adventures,” which Cub Scouts (individually and as part of their den) will experience while working on their badge of rank. Once a Cub Scout has completed seven adventures, including one Duty to God adventure, he will have earned his badge of rank. At each level, seven adventures must be completed, but the combination of required adventures and elective adventures varies with the rank being worked on. There are additional elective adventures that members of the den may earn. Each adventure is designed to take roughly three den meetings to earn, one of which may be an outing, ranging from attending a sporting event as a den or taking a hike to visiting a museum or going on a campout. At the conclusion of each adventure, a recognition device is awarded. Take a look at the new materials when they are available in May. Cub Scouts are our future, so please take the time to familiarize yourself with the new Cub Scout content so we can support our local districts and units.
This edition of The Commissioner emphasizes the importance of roundtables. Roundtables are important! The roundtable is a form of commissioner service and supplemental training for volunteers at the unit level, and it is one of our primary communications mediums to reach our unit leadership. Effective roundtables provide leaders with program ideas, information on policy and events, and plenty of different types of training opportunities. When skillfully executed, the roundtable experience will inspire, motivate, and enable unit leaders to provide a stronger program for their Scouts. The launch of the new roundtable guide this May is our next evolution in support for how to plan and execute an effective roundtable. The roundtable guide is even more timely because it has a special section devoted to the new Cub Scouting program.
We welcome your feedback on these and many other tools, methods, and resources. I hope that you share my enthusiasm about commissioner service in 2015 and beyond.