Unit Commissioners are 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. Unit Commissioners help maintain the standards of the Boy Scouts of America. They also oversee the unit charter renewal plan so that each unit reregisters on time with an optimum number of youth and adult members.
Resources for Unit Commissioners
- NEW! Unit Commissioner Fast Start—This new online fast start training is an orientation designed for all commissioners to learn about the job responsibilities for a unit commissioner. This 'fast start' training is designed to be taken by all commissioner within the first few weeks of agreeing to be a commissioner. Other training opportunities will be provided by your local council and district to support your job as a commissioner. This is only the introduction of your new position in Scouting. You should also take other training courses shared in the Commissioner Fieldbook, working directly with your local district and council commissioners.
- Unit Visit Tracking System
- Products for Commissioner Identity
- National Commissioner's Podcast
- Basic Commissioner Manuals
- Other Commissioner Resources
- Roundtable Support
- The Commissioner—A newsletter for the council commissioner, the council Scout executive, and council professional advisor to commissioners
- Commissioners at the Philmont Training Center
- National Meeting Presentations
- Centennial Quality Awards
Roles the Unit Commissioner Plays
A commissioner plays several roles, including friend, representative, unit "doctor," teacher, and counselor.
The commissioner is a friend of the unit. Of all their roles, this one is the most important. It springs from the attitude, "I care, I am here to help,what can I do for you?" Caring is the ingredient that makes commissioner service successful. He or she is an advocate of unit needs. A commissioner who makes himself known and accepted now will be called on in future times of trouble.
The commissioner is a representative. The average unit leader is totally occupied in working with kids. Some have little if any contact with the Boy Scouts of America other than a commissioner's visit to their meeting. To them, the commissioner may be the BSA. The commissioner helps represent the ideals, the principles, and the policies of the Scouting movement.
The commissioner is a unit "doctor." In their role as "doctor," they know that prevention is better than a cure, so they try to see that their units make good "health practices" a way of life. When problems arise, and they will even in the best unit, they act quickly. They observe symptoms, diagnose the real ailment, prescribe a remedy, and follow up on the patient.
The commissioner is a teacher. As a commissioner, they will have a wonderful opportunity to participate in the growth of unit leaders by sharing knowledge with them. They teach not just in an academic environment, but where it counts most—as an immediate response to a need to know. That is the best adult learning situation since the lesson is instantly reinforced by practical application of the new knowledge.
The commissioner is a counselor. As a Scouting counselor, they will help units solve their own problems. Counseling is the best role when unit leaders don't recognize a problem and where solutions are not clear-cut. Everyone needs counseling from time to time, even experienced leaders.
How are commissioners selected?
Unit Commissioners are appointed by the district commissioner with the approval of the council executive board.
Unit commissioners should—
- Have excellent people skills
- Have a Scouting background or be fast-track learners
- Know and practice Scouting ideals
Assistant District Commissioners are appointed by the district commissioner with the approval of the council executive board.