Updated 4/19/16 NEW items in red.
On this page you will find:
- relevant and timely information
- what is a unit commissioner?
- what does a unit commissioner do?
- how to get trained and available resources
- helpful tips for my.scouting.org
All BSA Units in Highlands Ranch Stake are part of the Arapahoe District, Sub-District 5, when working in my.scouting.org.
Link to BSA Adult Application Form
Relevant and Timely Information
- Link to 2016 Charter Renewal Guide
- Before December 31, 2015 work with Scout Committee Chairs to:
- See that any adult whose YPT expires before May 1, 2016 renews it as part of the charter renewal process. Submit copies of the YPT certificate with the charter renewal packet.
- Submit adult application forms for any adult leader who is currently serving in a scouting position but is not showing up on your unit’s roster at my.scouting.org. Submit these applications with the charter renewal packet.
- The annual District Recognition Dinner will be held March 12 at the stake center. Work with unit leaders to nominate those in their units as “Outstanding Scouters”. All who are nominated will receive the award. Nominations are completed online through the dinner registration page.
What is a Unit Commissioner?
A unit commissioner is a position with the Arapahoe District that acts as a liaison between the District and/or Council and the individual units. Unit commissioners are not a part of the individual scouting units (pack, troop, team, crew) but are eyes and ears on the ground for the district. Unit commissioners represent BSA and are friends to the units. Unit commissioners work with individual units as assigned and provide feedback to Assistant District Commissioners (ADC) who report to the District Commissioner (DC). The DC is a volunteer who coordinates all commissioner duties for every scouting unit in the district.
What does a Unit Commissioner Do?
- Section 3.5 of the Church’s green scouting handbook states that unit commissioners serve: as resources to help Scouting units succeed throughout the stake. Each Cub pack, Scout troop, Varsity team, and Venturing crew should be served by a unit commissioner . . . Unit commissioners have the following responsibilities:
- Register with BSA and receive required training.
- Learn about Scout policies, procedures, and evaluation programs.
- Establish a close relationship with adult Scout leaders in wards, interact with them regularly, and report the condition of Scouting in the stake to the assistant district commissioner.
- Provide initial orientation, ongoing support, and instruction for all Scout units in the stake.
- Inform Scouting units of training opportunities, charter renewal deadlines, health and safety issues, and activities in the stake and in the BSA local district and council.
- Provide meaningful communication between Scouting units and the stake and between Scouting units and the BSA local district. This can be done at roundtable meetings, stake lead- ership meetings, or any other time.
- BSA describes Commissioners as:
- district and council leaders who help Scout units succeed. They coach and consult with adult leaders of Cub Scout packs, Boy Scout troops, and Venturing Crews. Commissioners help maintain the standards of the Boy Scouts of America.
- Basic commissioner roles as outlined by BSA are summarized HERE.
- In our stake UC’s are called by bishops to work with all 4 Scouting units (pack, troop, team, crew) in the ward. Since you work with Cub Scouts and Webelos the stake and ward Primary presidencies will also work with you on those units.
- A UC learns about what resources (training, program, changes, support, resources, etc.) and activities (camping, merit badge college, youth leadership training, etc.) scouting has to offer and helps the units become aware of them in order to improve the quality of their respective scouting programs.
- UC’s have a key role in seeing that Journey to Excellence, Roster Checks, Charter Renewal, and Adult Training (especially YPT) are completed and recorded accurately.
- Unit Commissioners periodically visit each unit and record those visits or contacts with a rating and brief comment at his/her my.scouting.org account under ‘Commissioner Tools’. (see section below with tips on how to work in my.scouting.org)
- Plan on attending your unit’s Troop Committee meeting as often as possible. This is an ideal time to understand needs of the units.
- Each unit should be visited a minimum of 6 times per year. UC’s can visit Committee meetings, unit meetings and/or events, courts of honor, etc. Visits and any other type of contact (phone calls, emails, texts, conversations, etc.) count as a Contact and all should be recorded at my.scouting.org as a ‘Simple Assessment’.
- Two times per year (April and October) each Unit Commissioner should complete and submit a Detailed Assessment with all 4 units. These are also available under Commissioner Tools at my.scouting.org. A sample form can be found HERE and training on how to complete this process can be found below under ‘Tips’. Ideally, a UC will review the items in that assessment with the unit’s Key 3 but can complete it with any member of the Key 3 as circumstances dictate.
- Unit Commissioners attend the Arapahoe District Commissioner meeting held monthly on the 1st Thursday (except in July) in the stake center relief society room at 6:15pm before roundtable. Commissioners then attend roundtable and greet the unit leaders. All unit commissioners in the district attend this meeting. Updates, policies, upcoming training, and other important topics are discussed in these meetings. This is an ideal setting for Q&A.
- Units can (should) grant UC’s access (Key 3 +) to their accounts at my.scouting.org permitting commissioners to assist in assessing training needs and working through matters with adult and youth rosters.
- Unit Commissioners may not readily have answers to all the questions that units might have, but they should be a key resource in finding those answers.
- As a representative of the district, an ambassador of scouting and a friend to the individual scouting units, unit commissioners should be visible resources that unit leaders can turn to for guidance, answers to questions, support, and whatever else they may need.
- Encourage adults to earn awards–they work hard and should be recognized for their fantastic efforts as volunteers.
How do I get trained? What resources are available to me?
You may feel like you don’t know much about scouting or aren’t in a position to answer questions or provide guidance or solutions for unit leaders. But that’s fine! All you need is the desire to go learn and find things out. There are plenty of people who can help so don’t ever hesitate to ask. You’ll feel much better after taking the training outlined below.
- Unit Commissioners must register as such by submitting an Adult Application and accompanying Disclosure form to the District. For commissioners, it’s easiest to reach out to the stake YM presidency to get this process started. You’ll also need to create an online account at my.scouting.org after receiving your membership card from BSA.
- New Unit Commissioners are required to take several training modules which can be seen HERE. These include Youth Protection Training (YPT), Commissioner Fast Start, and This is Scouting. These are all available at the e-learning section of your my.scouting.org account. These should be taken as soon as possible.
- Next, Unit Commissioners are required to attend an in-person training called Commissioner Basic Training (ComBaT) which is a 4-hr course typically taught on a Saturday morning. Sessions can be found by checking the Training Calendar on this website, or by checking the Arapahoe District website’s training calendar.
- Additional training is up to you! The more training you attend, the more you learn and the more effectively you can assist your assigned units.
- College of Commissioner Science: a full day of training opportunities specific to commissioners and is typically offered once per year in January or February by the council. Most courses last an hour or so and you can select the topics that interest you most. By taking a certain number of courses within specific categories, over time you can earn what’s termed a Bachelors, Masters or Doctorate degree of Commissioner Science. Sample courses are available by clicking HERE.
- E-Learning modules from your my.scouting.org account such as Troop Committee Challenge, and others that cover many scouting activities such as swimming, boating, climbing, trekking, etc.
- Any training that unit leaders take so you better understand what their positions entail.
- You will regularly use ‘Commissioner Tools’ through your my.scouting.org account. This is a relatively new, and therefore evolving, portal for commissioners and is a primary method for communicating your observations to the District. Learning to use this tools is key to your position. Resources include:
- instructions and demos for new features come out regularly, oftentimes via email from our District Commissioner.
- video demos are available at the ScoutingMedia channel on YouTube by clicking HERE. This highly recommended viewing.
- attendance at monthly commissioner meetings
- some tips are located at the bottom of this page
- General resources you’ll want to refer to include:
- Knot awards: Track your personal progress and be sure that you receive the recognition you’ve earned. Awards that are available to commissioners are found HERE. Create a roadmap for a successful first year as a Commissioner. Your Basic Training will teach you how to do your job, but the Arrowhead Honor Requirements will prioritize the most important parts. There is an Arrowhead honor for Unit Commissioners (LINK) and Assistant District Commissioners (LINK).
- NEW–Periodically it can be helpful to do a self-evaluation of your knowledge and progress by reviewing the questions in the attached file.
Helpful Information and Tips with My.Scouting.Org
- As a registered commissioner you are granted access to Commissioner Tools via my.scouting.org but are not able to access any data at the unit level. This is reserved for what’s termed the Key 3 of each unit–Committee Chair, Unit Leader, Chartered Org Rep. However, the Key 3 can grant 3 additional individuals access to their unit level, and unit commissioners can/should be one of those. Ask one of the Key 3 to add you so unit details are available to you.
- Recording a Visit or Contact: see 4-minute video by clicking HERE.
- Completing the Detailed Assessment: see 12-minute video by clicking HERE.
- Webinar overview of Commissioner Tools is a 56-minute overview of the entire site.
- Add Leader Training: If a leader has completed a training module and it’s not showing up in training reports generated via my.scouting.org then a Key 3 (SCC, unit leader or COR) can add that by following the steps below. A valid certificate of training completion must be provided by the leader.
- go to: my.scouting.org and log in to your account
- click the “Home” button in the top left corner
- select “Training Manager” and you’ll see options. If you need to select a sub-district, Highlands Ranch units are sub-district 5. You should see the pie charts update and a list of your cub pack, troop, team and crew.
- If you want to see what training has been completed & recorded by an individual in your units, select the scouting unit on the left hand rail where the individual is registered, then select the ‘magnifying glass’ icon in the middle center which is to Search Training. You’ll then see a list of the registered leaders in that unit. Select a scout leader by clicking on the far right hand side of the row associated with that leader–you’ll see the row highlight blue AND you’ll see a checkmark appear on the far right if you’ve properly selected that individual. Then select the icon in the middle center that says ‘view training’ when you roll over it. That individual’s lifetime history of training appears.
- If you want to record training completed by a leader that is not reflected in that report, proceed by selecting the icon in the middle center with a green plus (+) sign. When you roll over it you’ll see ‘Add Training’. Follow the steps as outlined.
- There is a ‘Back’ button above the middle center icons which comes in handy.
- Removing a Leader: If you need to remove a leader due to release or a move, this is not a simple process. Ideally, leave that individual in the system until Charter Renewal and then drop the leader at that time. Replace that person with the new leader by submitting an Adult Application form to the District Executive.
- Linking Youth Protection Training to new BSA account: Newly called leaders who have never been a BSA Leader before will take Youth Protection Training as part of the registration process. But that individual does not yet have a BSA I.D. number and therefore can not create an account–he/she only created a profile. Once the application has been approved, BSA sends the new leader an I.D. card which enables the leader to create an account. However, the profile with YPT and the newly created account are not automatically synched. The process to sync those together can be found HERE.