This is the first newsletter I have sent out to the entire Los Padres Commissioner Service Team (at least to those I have email addresses for). It is my intent to send out information to all of you that impacts the entire Commissioner program in the Council on a regular basis. If you know of Commissioners who are not on this email list, please let me know so that I can add them to the list.
Changes in Del Norte District
Dave Hix is transitioning from District Commissioner in the Del Norte District to District Chairman. I sincerely thank Dave for his service as District Commissioner! Bob Putney will be stepping up to assume the position of District Commissioner. Thank you Bob for your willingness to serve!
The annual recharter program is in full swing. All the charter packages are out and they are coming back in at a steady pace. Please keep in contact with your units and encourage them to have the recharters completed by the end of the month (Unit charters expire at midnight, 12/31). An area of concern are adults having current Youth Protection Training (YPT). If a registered adult is not current in the YPT, the charter will be held up until the training is completed or the person will be removed from the units registration. Additionally, you should be reviewing both the 2013 and upcoming 2014 Journey to Excellence (JTE) programs with your units. If you do not have either form, contact your District Commissioner. The forms are also available online at www.myscouting.org under Journey to Excellence. Additionally, units should not be submitting their JTE forms with their recharter package. The 2013 JTE forms should be completed and submitted after December 31 and the form requires the unit's Commissioner's signature.
Registration for Commissioners
In an effort to simplify the reregistration process for Commissioners, the expiration date for Commissioners has been changed from 12/31 to 2/28. This will separate our reregistration process from the annual recharting program for the units. All of you who are currently registered Commissioners have had your registrations extended to 2/28/2014.
Unit Visitation Tracking System (UVTS)
I am asking that all unit serving Commissioners enter their unit visitation/contacts into UVTS. At the begining of this year, UVTS showed that over 53% of our units were being visited/contacted on a regular basis. For the past few months months, the visitation rate has dropped to 42%. I believe that units are being visited, but for some reason, some unit serving Commissioners ceased entering the visits into UVTS. The recording of these visits are important for a variety of reasons. First, utilizing UVTS is a core function of the unit serving Commissioner's job as stated by the National Commissioner Support Team and is contained in the current Commissioner manuals. Second, we really do review these UVTS entries. The information is valuable to me as the Council Commissioner and to the District Commissioners. Finally, UVTS entries, or the lack thereof, affects your District's and the Council's JTE score. I am not asking you to do anything I do not do. I personally am a unit serving Commissioner to 4 units (actually 5 at present) and all of the District Commissioners and most of their staffs are unit serving Commissioners. As such, we continually record our visitations into UVTS. So, again, I am asking all of you who serve units to enter your visits/contacts with your units into UVTS. Given the annual rechartering process, we should have visited/contacted 100% of our units in November/December. Additionally, let's kick off 2014 with regularly entering visitations/contacts into UVTS. If you have problems making entries into UVTS, contact your District Commissioner and they will assist in getting that information into the system.
The New Commissioner Tool Box
The National Commissioner Support Team is developing a new online Tool Box for Commissioners which will begin to go online later in 2014. You will be able to access all kinds of information for the units which you serve -advancement, service hours, training records, etc. Additionally, the UVTS system will disappear as we know it and will be integrated into the Tool Box (do keep using UVTS until this happens). You will be able to access this new Tool Box from your tablets and smart phones as well as your computers. I will keep you advised on further developments with this program.
The Commissioner Arrowhead
If you have not already received the Commissioner Arrowhead, I strongly encourage you to do so. The Arrowhead signifies that your are a "journeyman Commissioner" - that you have the training and have demonstrated you have the skills to be an effective unit serving Commissioner. We have had several Commissioners earn the Arrowhead this year. For information on the award, refer to you Commissioners Fieldbook and/or contact your District Commissioner (or me for that matter).
2014-2015 Program Changes
Attached is an overview of the program changes which will be taking affect in 2014-2015. Please review the information as many of these changes are very significant. We will be getting additional information out as arrives.
Philmont Training Center
The Philmont Training Center (PTC) offers several very good course specifically for Commissioners. I have taken 3 of them over the years and I found each one very valuable and the experience enjoyable. The 2014 Philmont Training Center Commissioner Week is June 15 - 21. The courses to be offered that week include:
- The Unit Commissioner
- Commissioner Service for Non-Traditional or Faith Based Units
- Effective Roundtables (the new Roundtable Program)
- The District Commissioner and Assistant District Commissioner
- How to Conduct a Commissioner College
- The Council Commissioner
For further information, see the PTC website at www.PhilmontTrainingCenter.org.
I want to thank all of you for your service as Commissioners in the Los Padres Council this past year. As Commissioners, we are the only group of volunteers within the Council who are specifically charged with directly serving units with goal of continually supporting them to deliver strong quality Scouting programs to the youth who live within our Council. As a active engaged Commissioner, you do play a vital role in bringing the promise of Scouting to our youth. May you and yours all have a great Holiday Season and I look forward to working with you all in 2014.
Your in Scouting,
Los Padres Council, BSA