Commissioner Training at Philmont

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Commissioner Week 2014 at the Philmont Training Center was Week 2, June 15–22. The attendance for the 2014 conference is listed below:

Course Students Faculty
The Council Commissioner 16 3
District Commissioner and Assistant District Commissioner Training 32 3
Effective Roundtables 12 2
How to Conduct a Commissioner College 9 3
The Unit Commissioner 11 2
Commissioner Service for Non-Traditional or Faith-Based Units (new) 7 6
Total 87 19

Special thanks to our outstanding faculty. “The Council Commissioner” was taught by Gail Plucker, Larry Chase, and Craig Bailey. “District Commissioner and Assistant District Commissioner Training” was taught by Ellie Morrison, Randy Corgan, and Dave Lown. “The Unit Commissioner” faculty was Dave Fornadel and Steve Swain. “Effective Roundtables” was conducted by George Costigan and Dave Lyons. “How to Conduct a Commissioner College” was taught by Terry Chapman and Jeff McKinney. And of course, Friday was the fifth annual PTC Commissioner College, conducted by the “How to Conduct a Commissioner College” students.

Be aware that “How to Conduct a Commissioner College” will not be on the agenda next year. A Commissioner College has been offered at Philmont Training Center for the past five years and more than one-third of councils have been represented in the conference.

Commissioner Service for Non-Traditional or Faith-Based Units

Commissioner Week 2014 offered a new conference this year—“Commissioner Service for Non-Traditional or Faith- Based Units.” This conference was coordinated by Tom Hunsaker, Espy Randolph, the Rev. Chip Turner, and Tim Acree, and was taught by six faculty members, each of whom is a specialist in their area of instruction.

Those who attended the “Commissioner Service for Non-Traditional or Faith-Based Units” conference earned the Thomas S. Munson Award. Showing their awards are (front row, from left, Mary Bauer, Colleen Chapman, and Cheryl Weishaar, and back row, Richard Parrish, William Miller, and Carroll Golden.

Tom Hunsaker was joined by Mark Francis to discuss how The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints implements the Scouting program within the Church. Mark is a professional Scouter and LDS liaison as a member of the National Alliances Team. Rabbinical student Todd Zinn, who was resident on-site as a Philmont chaplain, presented information on how those of the Jewish faith use the Scouting program, and guest speaker Haris Qureshi, a Pakistani Scout on the Philmont staff, talked about the Islamic faith. Turner completed the faith-based portion by explaining the benefits of a chartered organization being faith based. He also discussed how several other faiths have used Scouting to augment their youth program.

One of the highlights of the conference was that the entire class earned the Thomas S. Munson Award. This award is available to anyone interested in learning more about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Click here for more information.

The second half of the week, Espy Randolph discussed ScoutReach and how it has helped strengthen Scouting in the Circle Ten Council. Maria Dahl, a professional Scouter who is the director of All Markets Strategy, also presented information on how the demographics of America are changing, how the family structure has changed, and how the attitudes and behaviors of the millennial generation are different from preceding generations.

The intent of all these presentations was to equip commissioners with the knowledge and tools they need to provide effective commissioner service in units with Scouts of different faiths or demographics than their own. The most common comments throughout the week were “Every commissioner should be required to take this class,” “I never knew Scouting was so vast,” “I didn’t realize Scouting was so inclusive,” and “I didn’t realize that Scouting was open to so many religions.” If you are a unit commissioner or an administrative commissioner, this conference has something for you.

Commissioner Week 2015

Unfortunately for 2014 our attendance dropped off a bit from the previous year. Let’s get back on track this coming year! Consider attending national-level commissioner training in 2015, and you will be glad you did. Commissioner Week at the Philmont Training Center for 2015 will be Week 2, June 15–21.

A new conference titled “Advanced Administration of Commissioner Service” is being offered in 2015. The conference is open to all region and area commissioners as well as anyone who has attended the “Council Commissioner” course at Philmont. Exceptions to these guidelines can be made by sending an email to Tim Acree. The conference will include the significance of leaders, how to build better relationships, aspirations of leaders, mentoring and coaching, and how to leave a legacy of leadership.

All of the conferences offered this past year will be offered again in 2015 with the exception of “How to Conduct a Commissioner College.” Please see the Philmont flier. Click here for more information and to register. Consider making a personal commitment to attend

If you have any questions about commissioner training, please contact Tim Acree, national commissioner service training chair, at