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Getting Started

 

Introduction to Online Training

Welcome to the NetCommish’s Advanced Commissioners’ Online Training Course! I’m glad you stopped by to see what’s here. Stick around a bit and you’ll find a lot of good information that you, as a Scouter, can use to help deliver the Promise of Scouting to the Scouts in the Council, District, and units where you serve.

This Training Uses Online Resources

Because you are reading these pages, I have to assume that you are a Scouter who is excited about using the vast resources of the Internet to help deliver that promise and a person who is eager to learn more. I hope that we can help you in your quest. Along with the information presented in this online training course, you will find a large collection of resources at this website that you can use as a commissioner including downloadable documents, PowerPoint presentations, and links to over 2000 other Scouting related websites. As you work through the course, you may find it useful to take a break and switch over to one of the other websites for ideas, information, and resources.

Admin Stuff

Use the top menu to navigate from module to module.  Start with modules 1-10 and then modules 11 to the end.

Who Is This Course For?

This course was designed for District Commissioners and Assistant District Commissioners with some experience under their belts as a supplement to existing training programs offered in local Councils and should not be used as a substitute for the excellent training that is available near where you live. However, this information is not limited to just Commissioners. It is for anyone interested in helping to Deliver the Promise of Scouting to youth members.

This Training Has Been Used By Local Councils

The material presented in these pages was originally designed for the Internet, but has be adapted to provide a syllabus for Advanced Commissioner Training locally. To my knowledge the material found here has been used in 22 separate Councils for specialized training. Similarly the NetResources listings (taken from the earlier MacScouter version and the current version) have been or will be used for over 30 PowWow and University of Scouting presentations on Internet Scouting Resources. You are welcome to use any of the materials found here for your own Council’s training needs. The only reason I have for maintaining this material is to help you as a Scouter to do a better job of delivering the best possible Scouting program in your area, because if you do, that will mean that more kids have the opportunity to grow in character, citizenship, and fitness. And for some of those kids, what you do will mean all the difference in their lives in the years to come. In short what you do as a Commissioner really counts.

Don’t Worry – This Course Includes Introductory Material

Just in case you may not be an experienced Commissioner or Scouter, I have included a lot of introductory information on the Commissioner Service and how to make it work for you. This should help you have a good foundation on the basics before we switch into high gear and move on to a discussion of some challenging scenarios. If you are an experienced commissioner, you can use the material I have included to help you refresh your memory, assuming that you have already been trained.

Take Advantage of Local Training

If you haven’t already taken advantage of the training your Council has to offer, please consider attending:

Basic Cub Scout Leader Training- This can help you understand your leaders much better. You will know what they have learned from training and where you can help.

Scoutmastership Fundamentals Training – This can help you understand your leaders much better. You will know what they have learned from training and where you can help.

Basic Commissioner Training – This is essential. Make sure you take this course as soon as possible. If you have completed the course, but it was several years ago, please consider taking it again as a refresher to build on your existing knowledge.

University of Scouting, College of Commissioner Science – The College of Commissioner Science is simply an advanced training program where your local Council offers a rich variety of course designed to help you further develop leadership, communicatons, management, and Commissioner skills in order to improve your ability to serve youth. This program is designed to be a three part sequence. In the first year attendees complete a basic program with some elective seminars to expand on basic training and capitalize on experience. The second year program goes beyond this with additional course work leading to a Masters. Finally in the third year program, you will learn how to take all of your training and experience and apply it to a long-term project resulting in a written dissertation on a subject of interest to you. The final product often will end up being a document that other Scouters can use to improve their ability to deliver the program to Scouts at the unit level. I highly recommend these courses.

If I Take Local Training, Why Do This?

Well, if I’m telling you to go take training in your home Council, then what is the purpose of this course?

The purpose of this course is to capitalize on the availability of information on the Internet to enable you, as a commissioner, to learn more about Scouting, see what others are doing, improve communicatoins, solve problems, develop ideas, and better serve the Scouts in your area. Every day, Scouters from around the world gather together In online forums to discuss issues that arise in their Scouting positions. This course is an attempt to capture and share some of that dialog, many of the shared ideas, and some of the training documents used in different locations. It is my belief that with increasing number of homes that have a computer and access to the Internet, that we can improve how we as Scouters share information that can be used to provide the best possible program to our ultimate customer — the Scouts.

The Course

This course is organized into sixteen modules. You can navigate throught the modules by using the table below or the buttons at the top of this page.

This course is organized into sixteen modules. You can navigate throught the modules by using the table below or the buttons at the top of this page.


Module # Description of Module
Part 1 – Let’s Strengthen Our Ability To Serve Units As Commissioners — Delivering The Promise
 
1 Identifying the Basic Building Blocks of Service

  • What Is the Commissioner Service? How Is It Organized?
  • What Are It’s Purposes and Goals?
  • What Do They Do? — Job Descriptions for District Commissioner, Assistant District Commissioner, and Unit Commissioner
  • What Methods Are Used? — Keys to Success include Communications, Resources and Training
  • What Is A Unit Service Plan?
2 Laying The Foundation

  • What Is the Role of a Unit Commissioner?
  • What Is the Role of an Assistant District Commissioner?
  • What Is an Annual Service Plan?
3 Building An Effective Commissioner Service – Challenges

  • How Do You Recruit People?
  • How Can You Get New Commissioners Ready to Succeed?
  • How Do You Guide or Manage Them?
  • What Are Some Early Warning Signs of Trouble?
  • How Do You Respond to Challenges?
  • How Do You Recognize Burnout?
4 What Resources Are Available To Help You

  • Official Bsa Literature
  • Communications
  • Resources You Can Use To Help Units
  • Training To Improve Commissioner Service To Units
  • Records &Amp; Data
  • Future Possibilities
Part 2 – Using The Basics And Information Resources To Put Your Knowledge To The Test
These scenarios were designed strictly for training purposes and are not meant to portray an actual unit or real individual. Any similarity is strictly coincidental.Scenarios #1 and #2 are provided to help Commissioners identify and propose solutions to structural problems in the Commissioner service based on the information provided.

Scenarios #3 and #4 are provided to help Commissioners identify and respond to customer (the Scouts) problems at the Unit Commissioner level.

Scenarios #5 and #6 are provided to help Commissioners identify and respond to personal problems that may develop while trying to be of service.

5 Scenario # 1 – Commissioner’s Nightmare – Questions
6 Scenario # 1 – Commissioner’s Nightmare – Answers
7 Scenario # 2 – Who’s Minding The Store? – Questions
8 Scenario # 2 – Who’s Minding The Store? – Answers
9 Scenario # 3 – Eager Beavers – Questions
10 Scenario # 3 – Eager Beavers – Answers
11 Scenario # 4 – The Troop From Hell – Questions
12 Scenario # 4 – The Troop From Hell – Answers
13 Scenario # 5 – The Ancient One – Questions
14 Scenario # 5 – The Ancient One – Answers
15 Scenario # 6 – Conflict Of Interest? – Questions
16 Scenario # 6 – Conflict Of Interest? – Answers
Part 3 – Evaluation and Seminar Instructions
17 Course Evaluation
18 Seminar Instructions for Local Use

Take your time with this online training course. Read a little at a time. Go at your own pace until you have completed all of the material here. When you are done, please complete the online evaluation form. If you share your thoughts on this workshop, I can continue to make improvements that will help other Scouters like yourself.

Thanks for stopping by and for all the work you do support Scouting.

Disclaimers – A Sad Necessity

Official Policy and Opinion

This web page and related web pages are the original work of the author, except where the work of another is specifically identified. Any opinions expressed here are strictly those of the author. These Web pages should not be regarded as expressing any official policy on behalf of the Boy Scouts of America, rather they are interpretations suggested by the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or policies of the World Organization of Scout Movements (WOSM) or the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). For official rules, regulations, policy, and guidance you should contact a member of your local Council’s professional staff or refer to the Official Literature of the Boy Scouts of America.

Acknowledgements

This online training course is the result of over four years of effort in collecting and preparing information in order to give you the best possible foundation in using all of the resources available to you to serve as a volunteer Scouter.

These web pages would not have been possible without the tremendous and dedicated support of R. Gary Hendra who helped me to put together the first version of this course, The Commissioner’s Internet Workshop, at The MacScouter Website. The fact that I live in Virginia and that Gary lives in California is alone testament to power and potential of using information technologies as a resource in Scouting. Perhaps Gary and I will meet somewhere other than in Cyberspace at some future time, but in the meantime I am grateful that Gary has extended the hand of Scouting fellowship to make this information available to you. My hat is off to Gary with heartfelt thanks. [Aw, shucks -- the MacScouter] Now on with the show!

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2 Responses to Getting Started

  1. avatar
    George McMullin June 4, 2012 at 13:43 #

    Minor detail (but that is what happens when you’ve done such a wonderful job overall!) is grammar in the second paragraph, first sentence:
    Currently reads:
    “Because you are reading these pages, I have to assume that you are a Scouter who excited about using the vast resources of the Internet to help deliver that promise and a person who is eager to learn more.”
    Should read:
    “Because you are reading these pages, I have to assume that you are a Scouter who is excited about using the vast resources of the Internet to help deliver that promise and a person who is eager to learn more.”

    • avatar
      NetCommish June 4, 2012 at 21:01 #

      George – thanks! Change made.

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