Distinguished Commissioner Series - Hypo #2
Michael F. Bowman (mfbowman@CAP.GWU.EDU)
Sat, 13 Aug 1994 05:56:54 -0400
Several of you asked for more Commissioner hypotheticals for discussion.
Here's another for your positive pondering:
You've just received a letter from the Council Scout Executive
congratulating you on your selection as the new District Commissioner for
the Damocles District. As you open the letter a note in neat hand-written
script falls out. Curiosity prevails and you lay the letter aside,
scooping up the missive inked out on the Council Commissioner's personal
stationary. As you read the note you feel just like you've jumped into a
cold mountain stream on a hot day. The note says:
As I indicated in Scout Executive's formal letter of congratulations, we were
extremely pleased to find your name submitted for the position of District
Commissioner. You have established an excellent track record as a dynamic
leader who can get results. When you recently received your Wood Badge
beads after completing your ticket in seven short months, you again
demonstrated that you are the type of Scouter that can turn challenges
into successes. And after reviewing your District's record, its clear to
me that we desperately need someone of your calibre to turn things around.
While your successor was a wonderful, warm and conscientious commissioner,
his long illness before his death last month prevented him from taking an
active leadership role in the District. I know that he was very disappointed
that he couldn't do much to help in a very troubling situation.
Just to help you get started with the proper focus, I thought it would be
worthwile to give you a run down on your District's biggest challenges:
1. All five of your service areas have at least three or four units with
lapsed charters, representing a loss of nearly 550 Scouts out of the 2300
Scouts that were registered the year before.
2. Service area five is in the worst condition. Two Troops and two Packs
have lapsed charters. The remaining eight units were scheduled to
recharter last month, but we haven't heard or seen anything from any of
them. I think that you should make it a priority to replace lazy Larry
the Assistant District Commissioner. He's asleep on the job. I'm really
concerned because the lapsed units in his area all were 50 year veteran units.
3. You know how important it is to get Scouts to go to long-term resident
camps to retain their membership. In your District most Scouts come from
families that can't afford the fees and we have relied heavily on them
earning part of their fee through popcorn sales. This year has been
particularly alarming. Popcorn sales have fallen off 50% and we've only
got two months left to make up the difference.
4. You probably saw the article in the Tabloid Tantalizer last week about
a Troop that lost six Scouts on a hike in the mountains. That was one of
your Troops. That article on top of the earlier one about hazing in an
older Troop have really hurt our membership efforts. I took the
opportunity to review the training records in your District and was
surprised to see that the most recent training report is two years old and
that it showed less than 35% of your Troops had a Scoutmaster or Assistant
who had completed Scoutmaster Fundamentals.
5. I've also seen a number of letters from parents sent to the Scout
Executive complaining about the Scoutmaster of Troop 666, Stinky Simons,
who has been adding his own advancement requirements to each rank. In
Troop 666, our largest Troop, the records indicate that only 35% of the
Scouts advance in rank each year. I think you might also want to look
into the allegations that the Troop is being used as a para-military
training unit complete with camouflage utility trousers, marching drills,
and activities like self-defense training. As you know all too well, we
are not here to create military units.
I know you'll take on these problems and with your leadership that your
District will show marked improvement SOON! Let me know how it is going
in about a month.
Okay District Commissioner, its your baby. What are you going to do now?
Yours in Scouting, Michael F. Bowman, a/k/a Professor Beaver
Deputy District Commissioner Exploring, GW Dist., NCAC, BSA
Speaking only for myself, but with Scouting Spirit . . .
____ mfbowman@CAP.GWU.EDU ____
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City