Re: In Defense of Commissioners
Nathan Brindle (NBRINDLE@INDYCMS.BITNET)
Thu, 4 Aug 1994 11:23:15 EST
Wendy makes a good point--but then there is a perception on the part of
the troop that <any> district person (outsider) is just there to spy
and meddle. I was the commissioner for a particular unit that had just
elected a new SPL, who was getting no leadership help from the SM. During
lulls in the action at one meeting, I made two suggestions to the SPL in
private that were intended to calm him down and give him the help he needed
rather than let him flounder. I was subsequently accused of trying to
"take over the meeting." Needless to say, I did <not> try to take over this
meeting. But I certainly won't ever try to help out in real time again.
I'm sure what I did could have been construed as "meddling," but like they
say, "ya hadda be there." (Plus the fact that the person who leveled the
accusation is the guy I "kicked out" of OA back in May, who wasn't even
registered with the troop in the first place. So you've also got to consider
the source.:) (Also BTW, as it turns out, since the guy wasn't registered,
he wasn't eligible for OA anyway. So I didn't <really> kick him out.)
I <will> say this--effective commissioner service means that you as a
commissioner are a physician concerned with unit health. That means
you must visit the units but not interfere with their ongoing operations.
You are free to make suggestions in a TACTFUL way that could improve
the way the unit does things (if you note no planned program, introduce
the concept of program planning forms--if you note few adults trained,
gently but firmly push Fast Start and appropriate other training--if
you note little knowledge of district goings-on, invite the leader to
Roundtable--etc.). However, this <can> make you <look> like the good
ol' boy in his red jacket drinking coffee in the back of the room. If
you are an effective commissioner, that's often the way it <does> look.
After all, a unit that you are keeping healthy usually doesn't even
think about the fact that the commissioner is responsible for its health.
"Commissioner? We don't need no steenking commissioner!"
But let something go wrong and that changes to "where's that commissioner?"
(He's in the back of the room drinking coffee and bringing you the stuff
you need, that's where...:)
BITNET: NBRINDLE@INDYCMS -------------------- Internet: NBRINDLE@IUPUI.EDU
Nathan C. Brindle, Student Activities Office, IUPU-Indianapolis
Let's see...North Star District, Crossroads of America Council: ASM Troop 18,
District Committee Member, Assistant District Commissioner, OA Chapter Advisor
I used to be an Eagle (C-28W-93), and Bachelor of Commissioner Science, 1994
Disclaimer: My opinions are my own. Indiana University can speak for itself.
On Thu, 4 Aug 1994 00:04:49 -0600 Wendy Theriault said:
> One of the ongoing problems that commissioners have is fighting
> the image of the good ol' boy standing in the back of the meeting
> room in his red jacket and drinking coffee. True, there are still some of
> those left as well as the meddlers and the invisible commissioners. What's
> needed here, just as in any other adult position in scouting, is proper
> screening before recruitment and immediate and continual training. The
> district must also be committed to quality service to units, not just
> filling up a roster with names. A truly good commissioner will honestly
> be a friend to the units they serve....not a spy, not an enforcer...but
> a valued resource and cheerleader for the unit.
> Wendy Theriault
> Unit Commissioner, Arrowhead District
> Daniel Webster Council N.H.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City