Monthly Commissioner Update


July 2018 Update:


School night will be here before we know it. Council kickoff has occurred. District kickoff just happened. Every kid in every school will be eligible for scouts. School night recruitment is only as good as we make it.

Last week we got all of the Pack Leaders in our district together at Atonement Lutheran, and they were trained on how to run the recruitment nights.  Then we trained everyone who will be helping with a school night.

We have been requested to follow the plan. A copy will be provided to everyone. Staff will share the written plan and the district totals plan broken down by cub rank.

Question to ask ourselves: How can we as commissioners support this and make school nights more fun? I plan to come up with a couple games or maybe some sort of quick demonstration, that the kids will think is cool and to grab their attention.

The Superintendent of the Shawnee Mission School District has decided to shut us out of doing Scout talks with the kids…so there will be no stickers or circulars going home. This will make things a lot harder.

Final Thought: get the parents names and numbers on the card. That will allow us to follow up with them should they disappear after school night.  This is crucial.

Scouts BSA

One of the main questions we hear is: why are there separate Troops for boys and girls?

There was a webinar done regarding Scouts BSA. Leadership is a key component of why we have seperate Troops for Boys and Girls. Two troops doubles the leadership positions available. Division is to assure there is equal opportunity for males and females to lead. Separate SPL and separate PLC. It may change in the future but for now this is how it is. When there’s business to be done they should be separate.

There are only seven months before we’re ready to go live. Start planning now. The new campaign “Scout me in” is from the perspective of the kids and marketing material will be available soon. February 1 is not a deadline. It’s opening day.

Status of LDS

As of January 1, 2020, LDS church no longer chartering units. They will have a separate organization to prepare youth for missions. But there is nothing that says LDS kids can not still have their own units or work into non-LDS Units. Very simply, the LDS church will no longer charter any units.

It would be best for us to stand up new units in the Spring of 2019 and dual register LDS boys with the LDS existing unit and the new unit. If we do that, when the transition happens, those youth will still have a troop to be a part of.

We should work with LDS leaders to determine what they want to do. Remember, they usually do not camp on Saturday night. Anecdotally we’re hearing that the boys want to stay involved. Church HQ has not given a lot of direction other than they are not divorcing scouting.  A good idea may be to have a meeting with all LDS Leader’s in the district to discuss.

Silver Beaver Nominations Due

Silver beaver nominations must be in by September 1. Recommendation letter(s) must be turned in then too.

District Commissioner’s Trained on YPT

Only three district commissioners have not completed the new Youth Protection Course. 100% of the staff has taken it and 92% of the Council board.

Shawnee Trails Falling Behind on Detailed Assessments

We are lagging behind other Districts in detailed assessments. We are also falling further and further behind in simple assessments. I am as much to blame as anyone on this front. I have a page of contacts I still need to record. I will do that this week. The real problem is that we do not have enough commissioners to cover. We have 28 active commissioners and 82 Units. That math does not work out. We need some additional recruitment to make this an easier lift for everyone.

Personally, I am actually worried about how the National and Council Boards perceive Commissioning as a necessary part of the fabric of Scouting. I see the advantage, you do too. Let’s make sure we keep commissioning healthy in Shawnee Trails.

Also, Our DD has asked that I make sure every Pack in the District has an assigned Commissioner this Fall. I know some of you do not want to have a Pack assigned to you, but there may not be a choice if we are to meet this mandate. We will talk about this in our meeting.

Our previous DC had the practice of recording a contact every time an email was sent en masse to the Units. I agree with his methodology and it helps bolster the contact numbers, but as DC I have discontinued that practice. Recording one-way communication as a contact skews our numbers in a way that I am never sure which Units are actually getting contacts. Some people may disagree with my viewpoint and I understand that. Please see me to discuss.

Continuing Education

Nick Badgerow presented that the declaration of religious principles are in the BSA constitution. The national committee passed a resolution recently to recommit themselves to their duty to God. USSC said it’s ok for BSA to hold its duty to God. These duties follow on to our commitments in MOS.

We need to remember now that we have girls in Troops after 108 years. We need to make our adjustments as well as we can. Simple things like remembering to say Scouts, instead of Boys, will be a major part to making sure our organization is changing and growing and thriving for the future.

Commissioner College

Commissioner College will be Saturday March 2, 2019. National Commissioner Ellie Morrison will be our speaker. She’s the new National Commissioner and first female in that role. You all might remember when Charles Dahlquist came and spoke to us a few years ago. It is always an honor to have the National Commissioner attend our college here in Kansas City.

Webelos to Scout Transition

September 22 and 23 will be a WTS transition event at Bartle. Make sure to emphasize to Pack leadership that their boys can join any unit they choose.

District Commissioner Minute

The new YPT it doesn’t cover adult supervision very well.

For the record: Two registered leaders over the age of 21 are required at all activities, including meetings.

For the record: All adults at an event lasting more than 72 hours (consecutive or non-consecutive) must be registered adult leaders. There must be a registered female adult over 21 at any activity where female youth are being served.


There will be a roundtable assessment and workshop at the University of Scouting.  They will be covering what they believe to be best practices.

June 15 came and went and there is no RT guide. In Shawnee Trails we are proceeding with our own planning. In September, Shawnee Trails will host a last chance YPT training for any leader who has yet to take the online training.

Personnel Update

hired a director and executive for Iron Horse. Michael Charlesworth and Heather Martin will fill the director/executive roles. Interviewing for ST executive, Exploring and Mormon trails with 24 candidates. Brick started July 1 and Matt Hill is off to Des Moines.

National Meeting

Robert Kline went to the national meeting. Duty to God breakfast was the highlight. Laura Bush did a fantastic job. The Americanism breakfast had an outstanding national anthem. Met a lot of great people. 10 councils targeted to discuss their successes. Talked for three hours without a break and then recognized Robert to speak. He talked for 15 minutes about what we do here in HOAC.

Author: RJ Wilson

Improving Scouting in the Kansas City area on volunteer at a time.