Sunday, May 31, 2009

Decisions, decisions!

Well, I am going to set up some appointments to visit my units with my ADC. The DC and ADC suggested that I get with my Pack and set up a Boy Scout Troop for the pack. Here's a little history of the Pack: The Pack originated at an elementary school. For some reason, the Pack changed chartered organizations from the elementary school to a Catholic church nearby. The Catholic church has a Venturing crew (unfortunately not meeting with two adults and two Scouts) but no Troop. Originally the Pack had no need to be associated with a Troop because the elementary school, with the exception of the 12 year olds, had no other Boy Scout age boys associated with it. As the chartered organization, the elementary school provides the building where the Pack meets. Since Boy Scouts are 12 to 18 years old it makes since that the school wouldn't have a Troop. Now that the Pack's chartered organization has an association with Boy Scout age boys I think that it would be a good idea for the Catholic church to grow a Troop. The problem is that I already have another Troop, the DC and ADC told me that I can be the UC for the Pack, Troop, and Crew associated with the Catholic church but I would have to give up the Troop I am the UC for.
I actually think I already have made my decision. It would be much easier for me to have all three units that I am the commissioner for in one building and it would be much easier for me to ensure that each unit had an excellent relationship. As I see it, the Pack would recruit from its previous chartered organization, the elementary school. The Pack will graduate its Cubs into the Troop. After the Boys in the Troop earn their Eagle Scout they can move into the Venturing Crew until they are 21. Sounds like a plan to me.
Thanx for visiting.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Things are starting to happen!

Finally! I had a meeting last night with my ADC and DC and got 3 more of my orientation projects completed. The only project I have left is to visit the units I am assigned to with my ADC and we will do that this Tuesday!
I am actually really excited to be working with my ADC because he won a very prestigious award from the BSA: Distinguished Scoutmaster of the Year. Only 48 of these awards were given out this year and the ADC that I am working for is one of them. Considering that there are 3 million registered adult leaders that is quite an accomplishment.
After I finish orientation I will work on my Quality Commissioner Award, and Unit Commissioner Arrowhead of Honor. As a side note, I am also on Roundtable Staff and I should be able to finish my Roundtable Commissioner Arrowhead of Honor sometime in July but I want to do the Unit Commissioner Arrowhead also.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Troop 719

I have called and called the Scoutmaster of Troop 17 and he hasn't returned my calls. I finally got a hold of the Assistant Scoutmaster today and talked to him about the Troop. One of the chief concerns is recruiting more scouts. I reviewed the Troop roster and found out they have five scouts, two have already earned their Eagle and one has earned Life. The Assistant Scoutmaster's concern was that the two Eagles would soon leave the Troop and he felt they needed replacements. True.
I know from experience and from Unit Commissioner training that if you want more members in your unit you need to have a quality Troop. A quality Troop will attact young men like a magnet. The first step to develop a quality Troop is training.
The roster showed that only two adults have completed training. I plan to remedy that immediately by asking the Troop to select a trainer. I found out that its usually best to select the person who resists training the most to be the trainer. Its hard to resist getting trained when you are scheduling other adult leaders for training classes, besides if you don't complete training as a trainer you look like a hypocrite. :)
The second thing a Troop needs to do is to have the year all planned out and a way to get the money to accomplish the plan. You also need to communicate the plan with the rest of the Troop. The yearly plan is a vision for future success that will get everyone excited about being in the Troop and it gives the Scouts something to look forward to. Fortunately, our Council has a great money making opportunity with popcorn sales. I haven't officially met with the Troop yet but I have a feeling they just shoot from the hip.
The final thing to have a quality Troop is to implement the yearly plan and stick to the budget! I don't know how many times I have seen a unit's yearly plan go to crap when the committee overspends on just one project.
I plan on meeting with the Troop on the 26th. I have already talked to parents of two scout aged boys to bring with me as new recruits.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Pack 191

I met with Pack 191 the other day and found out that several of their adult members had quit. To begin with I am impressed with the Pack because they had to find another organization to charter them and they did. Finding another organization to keep the unit going shows dedication and a willingness to go the extra mile to provide a quality program.
When I found out that one of the positions that the Pack had lost was Cubmaster I went into help mode. The Cubmaster is a pivotal position in the Pack, without a well trained Cubmaster the Pack could fold. I dusted off my knees and asked for help and I got a really good name! I developed a strong friendship with a married couple that I met while going through Woodbadge. John was in the Buffalo patrol and Sherry was in my patrol. Sherry has earned her beads and has also attended Silver Wolf and earned her tracks. Silver Wolf is a district two-day training class that teaches adult leaders how to run a very effective Cub Scouting unit. Sherry has at least three years experience with Cub Scouting and I think she and John would make excellent additions to Pack 191. If the Pack's Committee will accept Sherry as the new Cubmaster that program will excel! I called her and talked to her about it for about 20 minutes, I could tell she was flattered that I thought of her for the position and I could also tell she was also excited but she wanted to talk to her husband about it. If the Pack Committe won't accept her for Cubmaster she sure would be a good trainer.
I am going to set up an appointment to meet with the Pack on the 2nd of June for my first official visit.

The new Unit Commissioner

Back in July 2008 I was asked to be on Cub Scout Roundtable staff by the CS Roundtable Commissioner. OK, to be honest I wasn't given an option she told me that I was going to be on staff. I didn't have any problems with being on RT staff so I just let her sign me up and its been very rewarding since. What's really nice about my District is that they consider me to be a commissioner because I am on staff.
Rewind to October 2008 while I was attending Commissioner college. A good friend of mine who was an Assistant Scoutmaster on my Woodbadge course (and also in the Stake Presidency) told me that I was on the list to be called to be a Unit Commissioner (UC). At the time I had no desire to be a UC but I have never turned down a calling so I did some research on what a Unit Commissioner does. It looked great so I just sat and waited to be called but nothing ever happened.
Fast forward to March 2009. I went to my District Executive and talked to him about being a Unit Commissioner. I was very surprised that he seemed excited to have me in the position, to be honest I was stunned. I don't think that I make a very good impression on most people, so again I waited for the Stake to call me, nothing.
Fast forward again to May 2009 when I went to the DE's office and told him I was tired of waiting and gave him my adult application and asked to be assigned some units. He asked what I wanted and I told him a mix. I ended up with Pack 191, Troop 791, and Troop 17. Troop 17 is a sister unit and I am a Den Leader in Pack 17. I was surprised by Troop 17 because I had thought that 17 had someone else in mind to be their Commissioner. The leader who runs Troop 17 is away on BSA business so I will just go through the motions until I can get a hold of him to find out what's going on.
Wouldn't you know it! A couple of days later I hear through the grapevine that the Stake is going to call me to be the Unit Commissioner for two 11-year old Scouting Troops. Go figure, at least I have a head start on training.
Back on the 19th of May I completed UC Fast Start and have 9 of the 14 orientation projects completed. I have already introduced myself to the District Commissioner at a Commissioner meeting and have got the ball rolling.