Why Recognize Commissioners?
Click here to print a copy of this article.
National Commissioner Service Recruiting and Retention Chair
It's a fair question: Is there really any value to be gained from
And there's probably a related question: Do commissioners
even care about recognition?
Recognition has been a fundamental concept in Scouting
from its beginning. Done right, it's a powerful tool that offers at
least four benefits:
Celebration of Achievement and Commitment
Probably the first benefit to come to mind, recognition
does offer the opportunity to acknowledge individual
achievements. Equally important for commissioners,
and beginning with the commission they receive, it
demonstrates the commitment they have made to
help our units serve more kids better.
In Scouting, we know (or can easily find out) what
it means to achieve the Arrow of Light Award, or the
Eagle Scout rank, or the Quartermaster Award, or the
Silver Award, or the Award of Excellence in Unit Service.
The definition of requirements that Scouting recognitions
provide not only tells us what has been accomplished but
also facilitates personal and team goal setting.
Learning and skill development are an important
byproduct of recognition. Even receiving their commission
results from newly appointed commissioners having
completed basic training, received an orientation to the
role they have accepted, and completed some of the
fundamental tasks that position requires. With more
advanced recognition comes increased experience and
the development of advanced skills that enable greater
effectiveness in supporting units.
We're inspired by achievement. Seeing what others have
accomplished enables us to see greater potential in
ourselves and to strive to fulfill it.
Knots, pins, patches, and certificates may not be important
to all commissioners, but serving more kids better is. Also, what
we say to them in acknowledging their achievement can have a
powerful impact—on them and on other commissioners present
(and we should always strive to recognize achievements publicly).
The recognitions available to commissioners help define the
skills and experience needed to provide effective unit service.
And that's why we're working on revisions to commissioner
recognitions: to ensure they incorporate the tools and techniques
that our units need in Scouting's second century. Changes to the
Commissioners website will make it easier to learn about those
recognitions, track progress, and provide tangible appreciation.
Elsewhere in this issue you'll find an article detailing success
stories about our newest recognition for commissioners, the
Commissioner Award of Excellence in
Unit Service. That article tells how two
councils have leveraged recognition to
improve unit service.
There is real value in recognizing
commissioners: Done right, it helps us
help more units better serve more kids,
and that's what unit service is all about.