Commissioners exist to serve, ensuring that every member of the BSA has a great Scouting experience and that every unit is successful. A Unit Commissioner does not have to be a walking encyclopedia of all things Scouting to be successful. A general understanding of the Scouting program will do. Unit Commissioners should know what resources are available locally to help a unit and how to access them. They need to be willing to talk to people, be able to form personal relationships and have the mindset of a problem-solver. Being a Unit Commissioner is fun, rewarding, and probably the most flexible job in Scouting.
I was recently invited to serve as a Unit Commissioner for a pack and a troop. I have done many things in my Scouting career, but I had never served as Unit Commissioner. This was new territory for me. Both units are relatively new, so this is an opportunity for us both to grow together. We are getting to know each other, talking about the unit’s goals for growth and how they can best offer a quality program for their Scouts. For me, there is an added benefit. It is an opportunity for me to reconnect with the day-to-day workings of a Scout unit. It’s been a long time since I served as a Scoutmaster and I am truly enjoying my return to the basics of Scouting.
So, what’s my point. It’s simple. If you are leading a unit, make sure you have a Unit Commissioner there to help. They can help guide you as you develop your skills as a leader. They can connect you with information and resources that will be valuable to you. They can take information back to the District and Council levels, allowing them to help resolve issues or concerns as well. If you don’t have a Unit Commissioner, let your District Commissioner or myself know and we’ll get one assigned.
If you would like to learn more about how you can serve the Scouts and leaders of Bay-Lakes Council as a Unit Commissioner, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.