Welcome! This forum has a treasure trove of great info – Scouters helping Scouters! Just a heads up, though - all content, information, and opinions shared on this forum are those of the author, not the BSA.
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Looking for Ideas

Hi, Commissioners - I am now the ACC for Commissioner Training in San Diego-Imperial Council. Working with the Council Commissioner, I have been tasked with coming up with a “training nugget” for our Council Commissioner meetings. The training nuggets are supposed to be 10 minutes or less in length. We are also going to do a quarterly training webinar to present a more in-depth look at a topic that needs it.

I have a few ideas, but I was hoping that others would throw ideas out to add to my list.

Thanks for all you do for Scouting
Robby Wright
Assistant Council Commissioner
San Diego-Imperial Council

I have a set of older videos for commissioners which I put on YouTube.

These are the videos from the Annual Orientation:

And this is the old Commissioner Problem Solving videos:

Feel free to use these!

You may find a number of resources at scouting.org/commissioners/ that will help you use the most recent information to develop training nuggets. Increasingly, that site is becoming the best place for commissioners to go to get the latest information about unit service.

The *News for Commissioners" page will have the most recent information and some of the articles there will contain links to related resources. For example, a recent posting on this forum includes a link with step by step instructions to join; another on a Virtual Hero from the Rainbow Council includes a link to a video of a virtual roundtable. The Commissioner Recruiting page includes links to resources; the Program Support Resources page offers a variety of links related to various program areas and virtual Scouting ideas. The Commissioner Manuals and Resources page is now structured by topics, many of which are brief and would provide the basis of great training nuggets.

Check out the page…it should provide you with a wealth of information that will help you - and it all will be the most current information available to commissioners.

One more thought: a training nugget on this forum. This is another new resource that would be of value of commissioners.

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Your Commissioners may be interested in learning how to create Advanced Power Pivot Table Reports to make the Commissioner Tools Reports more readable. This seemed a little intimidating to many of the District & Council Commissioners in my Council, but with a little hands-on instruction, they learned to work with it and found it easy to use after overcoming the initial hurdle of “the unknown.” The tools now help inform the Commissioner Corps of units in need and helps provide interim progress for Journey to Excellence (when the Council dial does not seem to be moving).

You can find the tools, example reports, and instructions under BSA Commissioners’ Unit Service Plan & Commissioner Tools:

You may want to present a nugget on using the reports in my.Scouting to better prepare Unit Commissioners for unit contacts and for District Commissioners and Assistant District Commissioners to review unit assessments. This leads to objective assessments instead of subjective assessments. I have presented the information below to our Unit Commissioners within a 10 minute period. With a computer running and logged in, you can demonstrate accessing the reports for a typical unit as a visual tool. A presentation on how to navigate to the reports and run them could take longer if the Commissioners are not proficient at using these tools.

I have found that running the Youth Member Age Report and the Trained Leader Status report prior to making a unit contact and entering an assessment is an excellent way for Unit Commissioners to become familiar with the unit and gauge where the unit is according to the official records. Comparing these reports to what they hear and see while visiting a unit or talking to the unit’s key 3 will help the Unit Commissioner better understand how the unit is doing, give them some ideas on how to acknowledge the unit’s accomplishments, and make suggestions on how the unit can be more efficient and successful. I do caution that what the reports show and what the unit records show may be significantly different. Listening to what the unit committee chair and unit leader say is critical to understanding what the unit’s health really is.

By comparing the two reports, it is easy to determine if the unit has a suitable number of leaders for the number of Scouts. Do the Cub Packs have enough Lion Guides, Tiger Leaders, Den Leaders, and Webelos Leaders for the number of members registered? In an ideal situation, each leader should have an assistant as well. Frequently, I find that there is not enough leadership in the units, particularly the Cub Packs, to provide the best program for the Scouts. The recommendation would be for the Committee Chair to recruit additional leadership to make the program easier for the current Scouters to deliver and more enjoyable for the Scouts. During the actual visit, you may identify adults in key roles that are not on the roster which may indicate a deviation from BSA policy that needs to be addressed. The Youth Member Age Report also gives a good idea of what the unit’s recruitment, retention, and advancement are.

When I find the leaders are not position specific trained, I run the Member Training Report for those leaders that need additional training. The report list first all the completed training that the leader should be recognized for and then the additional training that would better prepare them to deliver a quality program with more knowledge and confidence. In most cases, the required training can be completed with no more than a couple of hours of online time and broken up into shorter segments of one or two courses at a time. Providing the printed or pdf report to the Committee Chair gives them a clearly defined, tangible goal to achieve that also allows them to check off progress as each course is completed. Sell the training as a way to make each job easier.

Michael Marchi
Assistant District Commissioner
South Florida Council, Everglades District