The commissioner is a friend of the Unit. Of all your roles, this one is the most important. It springs from the attitude, “I care, I am here to help you, what can I do for you?” Caring is the ingredient that makes commissioner service successful. Be an advocate of Unit needs. A commissioner who makes himself or herself known and accepted with the Unit leadership will be called on to help in times of trouble.


The commissioner is a representative. The average Unit leader is totally occupied in working with kids. Some kids have little if any contact with the Boy Scouts of America other than your visits to their meeting. To them, you may be the Boy Scouts of America. Be a good example. Show that you believe in the ideals, the principles, and the policies of the Scouting movement. Represent it well!


The commissioner is a Unit “doctor” or a paramedic. In your role as “doctor,” you know that prevention is better than a cure, so you try to see that your Units make good “health practices” a way of life. Sometimes being a paramedic and performing triage on a Unit to keep its program going or providing support to their leadership is critical. When problems arise, and they will even in the best Unit, act quickly. Observe symptoms, diagnose the real ailment, prescribe a remedy, and follow up with the patient.


The commissioner is a teacher. As a commissioner, you will have a wonderful opportunity to participate in the growth of Unit leaders by sharing your knowledge with them. You 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 coach. As a Scouting coach, you will help guide Units in solving their own problems. Coaching is the best role for you when Unit leaders don’t recognize a problem and where solutions are not clear-cut. Everyone needs coaching or assistance from time to time, even experienced leaders. You provide them with different “plays” that might be the right one for them to move ahead or succeed at solving a problem.



Commissioners plays several roles, including being a friend, a representative, a Unit “doctor or paramedic", a teacher, and a coach to the Unit he/she serves.

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