Six Major Tasks for Volunteer Success

To Strengthen District Committees and Commissioner Staffs

Volunteers are the heart of successful district operation. Volunteering is the heart of successful Scouting.

District Operations Manual for ProfessionalsDistrict volunteers reach beyond their paid employment to extend the Scouting program through more units and help those units provide a better program to youth. They contribute their time, talent, and money in ways that are beneficial to Scouting as well as satisfying to themselves.

Council volunteers and professional staff members strengthen district committees and commissioner staffs with six major tasks:

1. Define Responsibilities

Volunteers must know what is expected for them to be successful. Carefully define, in writing, the responsibilities for each position. Use Commissioner Volunteer Duties Cards, No. 34265D; Volunteer Duties Cards for the District Committee, No. 34266E; and the district highlights books to assist you.

2. Select and Recruit

Fit the right person to the job. Consider each prospect’s skills, interests, and other relevant factors. Consider the variety of motivating factors for people getting involved in Scouting. Use all the prescribed steps in recruiting district volunteers and use the recruiting resources of the BSA. Helpful recruiting resources include Selecting District People, No. 34512F; the district highlights books; and the District Nominating Committee Worksheet, No. 33157E.

3. Orient and Train

Provide each person with prompt orientation on the individual assignment and with adequate training to be successful. Use the District Committee Training Workshop, No. 34160D; Continuing Education for Commissioners, No. 33615E; and Commissioner Basic Training Manual, No. 33613F.

4. Coach Volunteers

Provide ongoing coaching as needed. Build a volunteer’s confidence and self-esteem. Help conserve a volunteer’s time. Coaching should be provided by the appropriate committee chairperson or professional.

5. Recognize Achievement

Prompt volunteer recognition has an important impact on the tenure and quality of service in the district. Recognition must be sincere, timely, and earned. Use the great variety of formal BSA recognition items, but also be creative with frequent locally devised thank-yous. Even more effective may be the personal “pat on the back” for a job well done. Recognize volunteers on a face-to-face basis, from a person of status, and preferably in front of the volunteer’s peers.

6. Evaluate Performance

Help district volunteers regularly evaluate how they’re doing. Use the Self-Evaluation for Unit Commissioners in the Commissioner Fieldbook for Unit Service, No. 33621E; A Self-Evaluation Guide for Successful District Operation in the Fieldbook; and the “How Will I Know I Did A Good Job?” section in each of the district highlights books.