What Resources Are Available to Help You:
Using Information Technology to Deliver the Promise
Official BSA Literature & Video Tapes
- Boy Scout Roundtable Commissioner Training, No. 34256
- Boy Scout Roundtable Planning Guide, No. 7263A
- College of Commissioner Science, No. 34522
- Commissioner Administration of Unit Service, No. 34120 (1994) (For DCs and ADCs – This is an absolute must for DCs and ADCs)
- Commissioner Basic Training Manual, No. 33614
- Commissioner Conference, No. 33616
- Commissioner Fieldbook for Unit Service, No. 37123 (For UCs)
- Commissioner Helps for Packs, Troops and Posts, No. 33618
- Commissioner Job Description Cards, No. 34265
- Continuing Education for Commissioners, No. 33615 (1995) (Supersedes College of Commissioner Science and Commissioner Conference)
- Cub Scout Roundtable Planning Guide, No. 34249
- Cub Scout Roundtable Staff Guide, No. 33013
- Highlights for District Commissioners… An Overview, No. 37123 (For DCs and ADCs)
- Highlights of District Operations: Helping Units Succeed and Recruiting District Volunteers, AV-06V002 (Video Tape)
- Highlights of District Volunteer Recruiting, No. 37130
- Scouting’s Library of Literature, No. 33000
- Selecting District People, No. 34514
- Self-Evaluation for Unit Commissioners and Exploring Service Team Members, No. 34424
- The Commissioner (Newletter distributed quarterly to Council Commissioners and Scout Executives), No. 14-975
- The Unit Commissioner’s Orientation: Helping Units Succeed, AV-04V001 (Video Tape)
- Unit Commissioner Program Notebook, No. 26-006
- Unit Commissioner Work Sheet (Pack), No. 34125
- Unit Commissioner Work Sheet (Post), No. 33619
- Unit Commissioner Work Sheet (Troop), No. 34126
Without good communications the extraordinary and dedicated efforts of each individual can get lost in isolation. Information not shared is simply information lost. Worse, a failure of communication can deny program opportunities to the very Scouts we seek to serve. As a DC or ADC what forms of communication should we be exploiting to do our utmost to see that information flows quickly and feely from the local Council through the District to the units serviced? Consider the following array:
- E-mail – for leaving a message to be picked up at the convenience of the recipient
- E-mail Discussion Groups – Do volunteers in the local area have an e-mail net to share and exchange information on when events are going to occur, how-to wisdom, etc.?
- Faxes – passing hard copy information quickly – do you know the fax numbers for the DC, each UC, and the Council offices?
- Formal letters – thank you notes, appointments, recognition, confirmations, etc.
- Internet Web Site – have volunteers set up a web site where announcements, dates and local information can be posted and found by volunteers?
- Meeting agendas – keeping things on track
- Meetings – face-to-face discussion for planning, problem resolution, etc.
- Newsletters/Newspapers – Council, District, Area, and Unit Newsletters
- Telephone – do you have a listing of all key phone numbers within the Commissioner Service and the units being served?
- Voice-mail – automated announcements and incoming recordings
Note: Please be aware that BSA does not endorse the Internet and/or e-mail as official avenues for the primary distribution of Scouting information, preferring information to be disseminated via local Councils through Districts. Any information passed through these avenues should be regarded as unofficial and users should be aware that contributors are not speaking on behalf of or for BSA. Some Councils have organized Information Technology Committees to advise the Scout Executive on implementing BSA’s ScoutNet 2000 plan and setting local policy for Council, District, and Unit websites. Before setting up a website or e-mail list you should consult with this committee to make sure that you know what the guidelines, if any, are.
Resources You Can Use to Help Units
Where can you find resources to help your units?
- Boys Life Magazine
- BSA Publications and Literature
- Community leaders and organizations
- Community libraries – lots of good reading on team building and leadership
- E-mail Bulletin Boards
- E-mail Discussion Groups
- Internet FTP Sites
- Internet World Wide Web Sites – planning a trip to Philmont? Topographical maps are available for downloading at ftp://ftp1.scouter.com/usscouts/ScoutArt/BSA_Art/philmaps/ under Philmont
- Literature available at your local Council Scout Service Center
- Local Council publications and handouts
- Online Service Scouting Forums
- Other Scouters in your local area
- Program Helps
- Roundtable meetings
- Scouting Magazine
- The Official 1996 Boy Scout Catalog
- Training events
- Your local Council’s newsletter
Training to Improve Commissioner Service to Units
What training is available to help a Commissioner to improve his/her ability to deliver service to a unit?
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, communications, 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.
Wood Badge: Wood Badge: Wood Badge for the 21st Century offers Commissioners a tremendous opportunity to experience an intensive training experience unlike any other in Scouting. The Wood Badge experience is more than just training in a single Scouting program but considers all aspects of Scouting. And it is also a human relations experience that will help participants return to the District as much more effective trainers/leaders. Wood Badge is highly recommended for Commissioners.
Records & Data
Almost every unit struggles with record keeping. So does the average Commissioner staff. In this age of expanding information technology, several types of software have been and are being developed to allow Scouters to use their home computers to automate record keeping and data storage. I encourage you to investigate the software packages offered in Scouting magazine. However, before you purchase one, you may wish to experiment with the shareware version to see whether it suits your needs or the needs of a unit you are serving.