The Magic of Empowered Volunteer and Professional Relationships
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Our ability to provide Scouting to an ever-increasing
number of youth depends on our ability to combine the
efforts of passionate, empowered volunteers with talented
professionals. In the past quarter, I have witnessed some
amazing accomplishments by volunteer/professional teams.
These bold initiatives demanded strong execution skills and a
fervent desire to get it done “yesterday.” By way of example, one
council is celebrating 29 years of membership growth. Another
major metropolitan council scrapped its history of holding
multiple Friends of Scouting dinners in favor of one large event,
garnering more than $1.2 million. A common denominator in
both councils is that the volunteers and professionals refuse to
accept anything less and they hold each other accountable to
create and drive change.
On the national front, a special thanks to another
change agent—the volunteer and professional/National
Council team that has been at the forefront of the
design of the new Commissioner Tools. We are moving
quickly on the promise of technology to make our roles
easier and more effective. Unit commissioners will have
new, intuitive tools to record unit visits and to identify
and communicate unit needs to the district committee
leadership. Tico Perez, our national commissioner, has worked
tirelessly behind the scenes to keep commissioner technology
items on the front burner, and Dave Campbell, the BSA’s chief
information officer, and his team have been with us all the way.
A large group of volunteers, frustrated by the old system, came
together to demand that we provide better solutions. The group
has been holding conference calls multiple times a week for the
last quarter in order to chart the new course.
Something tells me that you may not miss the Unit Visit
Tracking System. I think you will appreciate the “simple
and unified” approach to the tools that concentrates on
eliminating steps and forms, all in the interest of making your
role in Scouting more rewarding. We also realize that we need
to support those volunteers who are not able to access a
technology-based system, so these tools will accommodate
data entry from multiple persons and sources. We’ll work
together to support our unit commissioners. The toolbox may
not have everything on day one, but it will be a living, developing
support tool that will evolve in response to volunteer feedback.
Let us know what you think.
In closing, a special shoutout to our volunteer and
professional/National Council tools team, particularly Darlene
Sprague and Larry Chase, from the National Commissioner
Support Team; Area Commissioners Rick Hillenbrand,
Ron Hathaway, and Marty Kasman;
Assistant Council Commissioners
Larry Tuell, Scott Hoopes, and Dom
Bee; District Commissioner Bill Yoder;
Assistant Area Commissioners/Unit
Commissioners Bob Hoffmeyer and
Garry Lewis; Steve Sawyer, National
Commissioner Service professional
advisor; and our information technology
team, Dave Campbell, Debra Kendrew,
Daphne Brizendine, Tom Ritchey, and
Chaz Forester. Thank you, one and all.