National Commissioner Minute
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My fellow commissioners,
Commissioner Tools is LIVE!
You may ask what is so significant about a new software
tool for commissioners. Our role as commissioners is to work
with units to make sure they are offering the best BSA program
to our youth. Over the years, our unit commissioners have
not always had access to the data they need about the
units they serve, such as rosters, contacts, training
records, advancement records, or the charter renewal
progress. Well, now we have most of this information
at our disposal with the launch of Commissioner
Tools. I say most, because advancement and charter
renewal information will be coming along shortly. How
empowering this is for the commissioner corps!
Commissioner Tools is not just a place to record a visit
like we did in UVTS. We think that you will find Commissioner
Tools to be an intuitive, user-friendly program. All the data is
there for a commissioner to assess a unit and its health. But
it is not the data alone that makes it powerful. The tools have
a place for the commissioner to keep a record, or journal, of
contacts with units and, most important, identify priority unit
needs for further support by the district or council.
When coupled with the new Unit Service Plan—the cycle
of assessing a unit, creating a Unit Service Plan, working
with unit leaders and district volunteers to provide guidance
and resources, and supporting on-time charter renewal—the
Commissioner Tools provides information and a place to record
progress in the commissioner’s hands. Better yet, the Unit
Service Plan is completely integrated in the Commissioner
Tools—by filling out the tools, you effectively help the unit create
a Unit Service Plan.
The launch of Commissioner Tools means that we are able
to deliver to the commissioner corps the information needed to
more effectively identify the needs of the unit and link resources
to the unit so we can boost unit retention. Our testing is coming
to a close, and councils have begun the adoption process with
four councils going live in the first few weeks. The positive
feedback from those using the tools has been great! More
councils are slated for October and November. Every council
should be selecting a launch date sometime before March 1,
2015. You will find further information about the content and
rollout of Commissioner Tools in this edition of the newsletter,
as well as on the Commissioners website. Visit the Unit Service
Plan and Commissioner Tools Web page for information about
preparation for the launch.
A special thanks to an incredible team of volunteers,
commissioned personnel, and technical professionals who came
together to design what we needed to better serve our units and
have worked so hard to make Commissioner Tools a reality.