Commissioner Recognition Update

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Larry Chase
National Commissioner Service Recruiting and Retention Chair

A team of commissioners from across the country is hard at work revising unit service recognitions. Their work was interrupted by the development of Commissioner Tools and the Unit Service Plan; it became evident early on that both would impact recognition opportunities. The team plans to complete revisions by the end of this year. The results of their work will be posted on the commissioner Awards and Recognition Web page as soon as possible.

The goals for revising commissioner recognitions include:

  • Requirements reflective of contemporary unit service tools, techniques, and processes
  • Requirements consistent across all recognition opportunities
  • Electronic access to reference materials, requirements, record keeping tools, and certificates
  • Requirements that enable roundtable commissioners to participate fully in unit service recognition opportunities

Unit service recognitions will fall into one of the following categories:

  1. Commitment: Recognition of a Scouter’s commitment to serve. Examples would include a badge of office and participation in a commissioning ceremony.
  2. Development: Recognition of a commissioner’s effort to develop the knowledge and skills needed to provide effective unit service. Examples would include the Trained Leader emblem, Arrowhead Honor Award, Commissioner’s Key, and Doctorate of Commissioner Science Award.
  3. Impact: Recognition of the impact a commissioner’s service has had upon units and the youth he or she serves. Examples would include the Commissioner Award of Excellence in Unit Service and the Distinguished Commissioner Service Award.

Unit service recognitions will also fall into one of the following classifications:

  1. Selection: Recognition that results from an individual being recruited and selected to serve in a unit service position. A badge of office and participation in a commissioning ceremony would be examples.
  2. Application: Recognition that results from a Scouter’s decision to pursue recognition with a defined set of requirements. Examples would include the Arrowhead Honor Award, Commissioner’s Key, Commissioner Award of Excellence in Unit Service, and Doctorate of Commissioner Science Award.
  3. Nomination: Recognition for which there are guidelines, rather than requirements, and for which commissioners must be nominated. The District Award of Merit and Silver Beaver are conceptually similar. As the highest award given to a commissioner for commitment, development, and impact, the Distinguished Commissioner Service Award would belong here.

As in the past, each unit service recognition opportunity will usually include prerequisites that reflect the development process for commissioners. Prerequisites for the Commissioner Award of Excellence in Unit Service, for example, will include:

  • Being registered as a commissioner
  • Having earned the Arrowhead Honor Award
  • Providing unit service over two consecutive years
  • Having exhibited a high degree of Scout spirit

The work being done by this dedicated team will provide all commissioners a simple and unified approach to well-deserved recognition. Our commissioners, including those who deliver quality roundtables to unit leaders, work hard to help our units better serve more youth through Scouting. They deserve timely recognition of their commitment, their development, and their impact. Our revised recognitions will do just that.