What is Commissioner College?
Cub Scout Leader Pow Wow is a full day of training specifically for Cub Scout leaders and the University of Scouting is a full day of training with classes specifically for Cub Scout, Boy Scout, Varsity and Venturing leaders. A College of Commissioner Science or Commissioner College is a full day of training specifically designed for all commissioners, to help them in their unique roles and responsibilities in Scouting. It’s modeled after a traditional college, with requirements that lead you to bachelors, masters, and doctorate “degrees” in commissioner science (Separate article about these degrees coming soon) Each faculty is selected from among the most capable trainers in the council. A college often includes guest speakers and instructors from around the state.
Who should attend?
Commissioner college is for ALL commissioners. The Council has a council commissioner and he has a few assistant council commissioners. Each district in the council has a district commissioner and they each have a number of assistant district commissioners. Each district also has a large number of unit commissioners as well as a number of roundtable commissioners and assistant roundtable commissioners. That’s a lot of commissioners, don’t you think? And they would all benefit from attending commissioner college.
And of course, anyone else who would like to attend is welcome to as well.
Why should I attend?
Every boy deserves a well-trained leader and every leader deserves a well-trained commissioner.
Commissioners are there to support and help leaders provide a better program for the boys. Trained commissioners = better service to the units. Anyone who has been in Scouting for very long knows that you are never fully trained. Things are always changing and there is always more to learn. It’s also a great way to network with other commissioners and it’s fun.
It’s time well spent in making yourself a better leader and learning about your responsibilities as a commissioner.
When and Where can I attend?
Here in the Utah National Parks Council, we run four or five colleges every year. In January or February, you can find one in North Utah County (American Fork). In March or April, you can attend one in Central Utah County (Provo/Orem). In September, you can attend one in St. George and in October in South Utah County (Spanish Fork/Payson). Vernal has been known to host one every other year or two. Want one in your area? Let your district commissioner know.
You don’t have to attend the college closest to you. Feel free to travel to any or all of the ones you want to attend. In the past few years, we have had attendees not only from within our own council, but also from both of the Utah councils to the north of us, from Nevada and even from Colorado too.
To find out when and where the next commissioner college is going to be you can always check out the Commissioner page on utahscouts.org. Here you can find links to register and to get more information in general (Find the Commissioners link under “Church/Council Leaders”)
Who is in charge and how does it work?
Each college has its own dean. This dean is a volunteer Scouter who selects their own staff and instructors to organize and run their college. The college dean is advised and supervised by the council’s commissioner college cabinet, which is made up of volunteers who have years of experience and are committed to providing quality training for the commissioners within our council and to help get the best program possible to the boys. I was asked to be the dean of the commissioner college in Spanish Fork back in October of 2014. It was a great experience and I really learned a lot from the process and from working with others.
What will I learn at Commissioner College?
There are currently over 70 different classes designed by National for the dean to choose from and include in their college. There are also opportunities for additional classes to be created of specific concern to that area. Each college usually gives you a choice of at least 20 classes. Some of the courses being offered at the upcoming colleges in St. George and Spanish Fork are shown here.
Classes offered change at each college according to the decisions of the dean and their staff. And even if you do attend the same class twice, it’s never quite the same because of the experiences of the instructor and the other members of the class.
Also, basic training for unit commissioners and roundtable commissioners is often provided at the colleges also. They do not count towards college credit but are necessary for earning your Commissioner’s Key.
And… you can earn this great patch.
We Scouters can be a bit crazy over patches, knots, beads, etc. The Utah National Parks Council has a specially designed patch for commissioner college that you can only receive by attending a College of Commissioner Science in the UNPC. The center diamond is given to everyone at their first college and the four surrounding segments are earned by attending a college, taking classes, earning degrees and being on staff.
You all want to add one of these to your patch collection, don’t you? I know you do!
I personally love the training offered at commissioner college and have found it very valuable for my positions as roundtable commissioner, ADC, ACC and now as unit commissioner. I have made some great friends by participating and helping promote Commissioner College over the last several years. It is truly worth investing your time into.
Annaleis Smith – Is a “stay-at-home” mom and dedicated Cub Scout leader. She has filled many positions over the years including Cub Scout Roundtable Commissioner, Assistant District Commissioner over Roundtable, Assitant Council Commissioner for Cub Scouting and is currently a Unit Commissioner and a member of the UNPC Commissioner College Cabinet.