By Annaleis Smith
Oct 11, 2018

Support Scouting and Become a Unit Commissioner!

Although our Council will be experiencing some changes over the next few years, they are still dedicated to maintaining the quality programs we all know and love. As always, there is a need for dedicated volunteers to support our youth. New units that are formed during this time of transition and after 2019 will especially need new leaders.

One leader that is needed, but often misunderstood, is the Unit Commissioner.  The are 3 basic types of commissioners:  1) Administrative Commissioners – Council and District Commissioners and usually ADCs are the most common type of administrative commissioners.  Their duties are spelled out in the word administrative, 2) Roundtable Commissioners – those people who put one and run roundtable for the district, and 3) Unit Commissioners – those commissioners who are assigned to and serve specific units. It’s this 3rd type of commissioner that new units are especially in need of.

What does a Unit Commissioner do?

A Unit Commissioner’s main purpose is to help their unit succeed.  There are various ways they do this, and some of it depends on the unit itself of course, but in general, a unit commissioner is a leader who is experienced and knowledgeable about Scouting (or at least willing to get the necessary training) and can help the unit navigate through all the bumps of being a new unit.  For those of you who have been to Wood Badge or are familiar with the “Stages of team development,” you know that a newly formed unit is bound to encounter some storms along the way.  Wouldn’t it be nice to have someone there to help interpret policy, to inform of training, to connect you to district resources, to help you evaluate your program, and to help your unit succeed?  As our Council goes through changes over the next year or so, there will be a need for unit commissioners to help new units along the path to success.

I wrote a blog article a while back called “What is a Unit Commissioner” that gives more detail about their duties.  Another great article can be found here.

How do I know if I’m qualified?

Do you believe in Scouting?  Do you want to help Scouting succeed in Utah?  If you have the time to make visits to units and help answer their questions… YOU can be a Unit Commissioner!  You don’t even need to have a whole lot of knowledge.  Like every other position in Scouting, there is training available to help you do your best. You could start with Unit Commissioner Basic Training on my.scouting.org.  Or, you can attend a Commissioner College to get basic training and more. We even have a brand new class called “Commissioner Service for Newly Formed Units” that is quite popular right now.  You don’t have to be registered as a commissioner to take the training or to find out more about it.  It is available even if you just want to learn more before you decide if you want to attend a Commissioner College near you.

“New-Unit” Commissioner?

A Unit Commissioner usually serves about 3 different units.  But for “New-Unit Commissioners” or Commissioners assigned to a brand new, newly formed unit, it should be a 1 to 1 ratio.  Being a Unit Commissioner to a brand new unit takes a little more work and time than just checking in with an already established unit. We hope to be seeing lots of brand new units soon in our council so that makes the need for Commissioners even greater.  Think about it – This may be where you can serve most effectively.

How & Where can I find out more?

There are 3 Commissioner Colleges scheduled in UNPC during the next few months:

Saturday, October 13th, 2018 in Spanish Fork

Saturday, November 3rd, 2018 in St George

Saturday, January 19th, 2019 in Lehi (registration not yet open)

I want to be a Unit Commissioner who do I talk to?

Currently, there are a number of ways to let someone know that you would like to be a Unit Commissioner (or any other Scouting position) to a Scouting unit in 2020.

  1. Fill out the survey provided on utahscouts.org/join
  2. Email the Baden Powell Service Area, executive.
  3. Talk to your current District Commissioner or District Executive.
  4. Tell everyone you know that YOU want to be a Unit Commissioner!

Author Annaleis Smith is a “stay-at-home” mom of 5 (3 boys 2 girls).  She has been a Cub Scout leader since 2003.  She has also been involved with district roundtables since 2008 and various council committees (including Akela’s Council) since 2010. Annaleis currently serves as a Cubmaster, Assistant Roundtable Commissioner, and president of the Commissioner College Cabinet for UNPC.

 

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