(no name) ((no email))
Wed, 22 May 1991 02:10:00 EDT
Mike et all:
It is o-dark thirty here in the military vocab, and I have been racking my brain
with this short suspense of a newsletter that is due in my boss's boss office
in the morning....but I could not resist at least giving a tentative answer
to your question and an invitation of sorts.
For the past year, members of the Bluegrass Scouting Alliance Club (where I am
also the volunteer advisor) have been asking volunteers what they thought
of their unit commissioner. Since I have a copy of the reprt handy, I will
BRIEFLY (because I am tired and very hungry and Mickey D's calling my name!)
tell you what we found out.....
Seventeen members asked a total of 732 volunteers in 12 local councils and
35 professionals in those same councils. All of the professionals were
district executive or associate des.....
the volunteers were all unit level and about 117 of them (or roughly a sixth)
were also unit or district commissioners.
The questions and their answers:
1. Do you know who your commissioner is?
83% replied with the name of their district executive.
13% replied with the name of someone on their district staff
4% replied with the correct name
2. What does a commissioner do for the BSA?
55% replied that the commissioner recharters units
13% stated that the commissioner runs camporees or other events
13% said that the commissioner is the boss of the Scoutmaster, Cubmaster
or other leader
4% said that the commissioner commissions the leaders
4% stated that commissioner answers questions on scouting
1% gave a generic job description of the executive (he raises money, goes to
dinners and gives speeches
3. How you recognize a commissioner when you see one?
71% said that they are the ones with "lots of badges and lots of advise"
11% said that the wear some kind of badge
9% stated that they did not know
9% stated that commissioners have silver shoulder loops (or in two council's
cases, wears special hats identifying them as commissioners)
4. What is the biggest problem you have with your commissioner?
88% stated that "they interfere too much with what I have going on" (variations)
10% said that "they only come around at rechartering and SME (sustaining mem
ber ship enrollment) times"
2% sadi that they have no problems at all
5. If you could have some say in what your commissioner did, what would you
tell him or her?
38% said "not to come by my unit unless you have something to present"
(there were several variations on this theme, from "ever come by" to
"they should do away with the position")
22% said that "they should come by more often and just visit"
15% said that they should present awards and inspire kids
15% said that they should bring the District Exec (s)
10% had other items (ranging from summer camp and day camp information to
unform purchasing questions)
6. Does your commissioner ever conduct a uniform inspection for your unit?
7. Does your commissioner come by in a uniform??
8. Commissioners should be Scouters that have served as a primary leader
(Scoutmaster, Cubmaster, Explorer Advisor, Varsity Coach) before with some
sort of success. Isked him or her for their opioion, would you take
it or not?
9. Commissioners have been portrayed as many things by many
people. Tell us from this list where YOU see your commissioner most like:
12% mechanic (fixes problem areas)
2% social worker
10. The Boy Scouts of America is experiencince a problem with the recruitment
selection, training and outreach efforts of the commissioner program. If you
could directly to the Chief Scout Executive and tell him one of the
following, what would YOU decide?
47% To let the professionals handle everything
47% To let the professionals handle everything(and to hire more pros)
33% To have all commissioners serve as a primary leader beforehand (for
at least a year)
22% To pay the commissioners for their time and treat them like parttime
11% To promote the commissioner as an important and worthwhile job in scouting
Mind you, a lot of the Scouters we talked with were not very impressed with
the state of things in their Councils, let alone the commissioner service.
But it does give you a feeling of what our peers think of that important
part of scouting (and what we are NOT doing!), service.....
(the survey was taken during school year 1990-91 in the old kentucky home, blueg
rass, audobon, four rivers, george rogers clark, dan beard, sciota area, tri
state area, great smokey mountain area, sequoyah and chief logan councils bsa.
It was done by teams of two College Scouters approaching volunteers during
scouting events and asking each the same ten questions and recording the
responses. Professioanl were asked either during scouting events or in their
offices. the breakout of local councils were : three large councils, three
rural/suburban, five rural. The male/female ratio was 82% male, 18% female.
Only 42 black and four Hispanic leaders responded. )
I'll have my own personal opioion in the next day.
Alexandria, VA @ HEY..by the way...is anyone else reading the Washington
Post this week..there is a terrible expose on Scouting and pedilophiles in
yesterday and today's editions!
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City