Training for Commissioner Service

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 Tim Acree
Tim Acree
National Commissioner Service Training Chair
tim.acree@comcast.net
 Tim Acree

Commissioner training will be going through a revision for 2012. Below is a listing of the formal training sequence available to commissioners. It does not take into account personal coaching or training awards. This overview is a preview of the training goals being developed for the second century of commissioner service. The new and updated training should be available shortly after approval at the National Annual Meeting in May.

Orientation

Commissioner training starts with an overview for those who are new to Scouting and those who are new to commissioner service. New commissioner training begins by completing the following e-learning sessions:

  • Youth Protection: required to register as an adult volunteer
  • This is Scouting: provides a basic understanding of the Scouting movement (if needed)
  • Unit Commissioner Fast Start: provides a basic understanding of the commissioner’s role
  • Unit Visit Tracking System video: provides an understanding of how to report unit visits

Youth Protection can be taken without logging into with MyScouting, but a MyScouting logon is required to complete the remaining courses. Links to all courses are in the E-Learning section of MyScouting.

Basic Training

Assuming the commissioner has completed the e-learning sessions above and is still interested in commissioner service, Basic Training is the next step in the process. Note that Basic Training is undergoing a major revision. Rather than having three two-hour sessions with role-playing exercises and buzz groups targeted at unit commissioners, the new training will be position-specific and will be one two-and-a-half- to three-hour session. This training will be basically a transfer of knowledge necessary for the role so that a commissioner can get started as soon as possible after being recruited. It should also allow a higher completion rate since completing three separate sessions is no longer required. Note: Every commissioner is required to complete Basic Training, and a yearly review is not a bad idea!

Continuous Training

District commissioners are responsible to see that every member of their staff receives adequate training. After completing Basic Training and being commissioned, commissioners should attend training at the monthly district commissioner cabinet meeting. It is the responsibility of the district commissioner to provide monthly training at the cabinet meeting. As a result, every month commissioners are enhancing their knowledge of the program and learning how they can best serve units through continuous training.

Annual Training Event

Learning is a lifetime activity. As commissioners, we must continually adjust our skills to provide a more valuable service to our units. Therefore, commissioners should view learning as an important part of their Scouting lives—every month, every year.”

Administration of Commissioner Service manual, Section III preface

One of the principal responsibilities of the council commissioner is to see that a complete program is in place to train every Commissioner in the Council. In addition to enhancing their knowledge at the monthly cabinet meetings, a Commissioner should plan to attend an annual training event which can be in the form of a commissioner conference or the College of Commissioner Science or both. Nationally developed courses, resource materials, and training recognition provide the structure for good commissioner training. It is the local council’s mission to provide fun, sparkle, motivation, and frequent training opportunities so that commissioners will learn good unit service skills.

The courses available for the College of Commissioner Science are being reviewed and updated. Section III, Chapter 4 of the Administration of Commissioner Service is being rewritten and will have more detail about conducting a college as well as additional guidelines for doctoral projects. (For more information, see this month’s article, College of Commissioner Science: Possible Doctoral Projects.

National-level Training

The national commissioner conferences that take place each summer at the Philmont Training Center near Cimarron, New Mexico, offer commissioners:

  • A mountaintop training conference with a topflight faculty
  • The inspiring ambiance of a big sky sunset over a working ranch in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains
  • Family programs for all groups from nursery through adult—the whole family benefits
  • Recreation and personal time in an area rich in history and natural beauty
  • A week of Scouting fellowship

Courses are also being offered at Florida National High Adventure Sea Base in January. The council commissioner course is scheduled for this year.

Training Overview

Note: The following chart is a summary of the concepts expressed in the article and is not an absolute guide.

Unit Commissioner

Unit Commissioner

Roundtable Commissioner

District Commissioner and Assistant

Council Commissioner and Assistant

E-Learning

Youth Protection

Required

Required

Required

Required

This is Scouting

If new to Scouting

If new to Scouting

If new to Scouting

If new to Scouting

UC Fast Start

If new to commissioner service

If new to commissioner service

If new to commissioner service

If new to commissioner service

UVTS Video

Yes

Suggested

Yes

Suggested

Basic Training

UC-specific

RT-specific (pending)

DC/ADC-specific

CC/ACC-specific (pending)

Monthly Training

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Annual Training

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

National Training

Strongly recommended

Strongly recommended

Strongly recommended

Strongly recommended

If you have any questions about commissioner training, please contact Tim Acree, national commissioner service training chair, at tim.acree@comcast.net.