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The first College of Commissioner Science Dean’s
Retreat was held August 28–30. The facilitators were Peter
Matrow, Terry Chapman, Dave Fornadel, and Tim Acree.
The retreat was held at the Scouting University Westlake
Campus, which is the facility where professional Scouters
attend their training classes and are commissioned. A total
of 38 commissioners were in attendance.
Friday afternoon started with a tour of the National
Scouting Museum and the national office.
After the tours, the group went to Hard Eight for
Texas barbecue and then to a Texas Rangers baseball
game, providing opportunities to get acquainted and
Saturday morning kicked off with Gary Butler
discussing the importance of continuous training and
how commissioners and the professional staff can work
together. The focus of this retreat was group interaction
and no PowerPoint presentations were used by the
facilitators. We discussed the latest course updates
featuring Commissioner Tools as well as the new
roundtable courses. And there was an overview of the
support information contained in the “General” folder
on the College of Commissioner Science page. We also
had a lively discussion about the differences between
commissioner colleges and universities of Scouting.
Lunch concluded with an open conversation with Tico
Perez, the national commissioner. We then continued
our group discussion with an emphasis on tracking
course and degree qualifications, doctoral thesis/project,
the doctoral review committee, and the difference
between the doctorate degree and doctoral knot. We
wrapped up with additional discussion on marketing and
promoting the college, our relationship with Scouting U,
requirements and reciprocity, and using training codes.
Debra Kendrew provided an overview of Commissioner
Tools just before dinner, which was catered at the facility.
Sunday morning Dr. Diane Thornton, chief learning
officer for Scouting U, addressed the group and
discussed how Scouting U is blending training with the
professional staff and volunteers. Then Steve Yackel,
team leader of instructional design, gave an excellent
overview of the new learning management system.
The support from the staff at the Westlake campus was
first-rate. The reviews for the weekend were outstanding,
with almost everyone requesting a longer session. This
was an experienced group of Scouters with more than
1,260 years of collective experience and an average of
34 years of service!
More photos and information are available at
The general consensus was that the retreat should be
offered on a yearly basis. Next year’s Dean’s Retreat will
be promoted more aggressively. Dates will be published
in the next newsletter.