Commissioner Training Update

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Tim Acree
National Commissioner Service Training Chair

As you may remember from previous newsletters, committees were formed at the beginning of 2014 to update all commissioner training with the intention of posting all updates to the Commissioners website before the National Annual Meeting in May. This update was primarily driven by the new Commissioner Tools but was also intended to include new programs such as Voice of the Scout, the updated Unit Service Plan, and updates to JTE. However, Commissioner Tools was not released in March as planned. Thus, all training updates were suspended until Commissioner Tools became available. Now that Commissioner Tools is beginning to roll out to all councils, we will reinitiate the training updates at the beginning of 2015 with the intent to have all courses updated and posted to the Commissioners website by the National Annual Meeting in May. The updates being planned are described below.

Basic Training

  • Dave Fornadel—Team lead for Basic Training

All seven of the Basic Training courses are being updated by a team led by Dave Fornadel. Dave will incorporate the Commissioner Tools and the new Unit Service Plan as part of the Basic Training updates.

Commissioner College Courses

All 68 Commissioner College courses as well as the supporting materials in the General folder will be updated by the team listed below:

  • Dick Kroll—Continuing Education courses
  • Peter Matrow—Doctorate courses
  • Craig Donais—Masters courses
  • Bill Kropa—Bachelor courses
  • Suzanne Windisch—Supporting materials in the General folder

This team will make sure the course materials contain the most current information. The goal in making the updates is to make sure that we are offering current, up-to-date training that is aligned with the BSA’s major initiatives. We also want to provide an outstanding learning experience for every commissioner whether they were just commissioned or have years of experience.

In addition, Dan Maxfield has approved seven additional courses as support for roundtable commissioners. Thus a college will be able to offer a bachelor degree in Roundtable Science. These courses will be posted at the same time as the others above. Selection for the development committee will begin next month.

Scouting U

In March 2014, Diane Thornton was named BSA chief learning officer for Scouting University. Diane is now responsible for all training development within the BSA including commissioner training. While commissioner training is still very separate from program training, the goal is to make sure that all training is aligned. Diane attended Commissioner Week at Philmont this year. She is interested in developing a strong relationship with the commissioners and making sure we are included in all future training development.

In addition, Diane and her team of course developers are available to assist in the future development of commissioner courses. Therefore, Tim Acree will sit on the review committee for Scouting U as the representative for commissioner service. The relationship between commissioner service and Scouting U is very strong, and we will work to make sure commissioner service is mentioned in all appropriate future training development. We welcome the opportunity to work with Diane and her team.

Florida Sea Base Commissioner Training

Whether you directly serve a unit, serve as a roundtable commissioner, or are an administrative commissioner, this conference, scheduled for Jan. 18–24, is for you. You’ll learn how to link the unit with district and council resources and communicate more effectively. Your experience this week will teach you how to support and retain new units. We will also discuss best practices, the new Unit Service Plan, and the rollout of the new Commissioner Tools.

Click here for more information.

Philmont Training Center Commissioner Training

Commissioner training will take place June 14–20 at the Philmont Training Center with an additional Unit Commissioner course during Week 8, July 26–Aug. 1.

Courses include:

  • Commissioner Service for Non-Traditional or Faith Based Units
  • The Council Commissioner
  • District Commissioner and Assistant District Commissioner
  • Effective Roundtables
  • The Unit Commissioner

Click here for more information.

If you have feedback on how training can be improved, please contact Tim Acree, national commissioner service training chair, at