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#1 David CO

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Posted 08 November 2016 - 11:58 AM

In the Cub Scout forum, Chris speculated that I am in the camp of those who take the view that unit commissioners are "council spies."  Not true.

 

My unit is very transparent.  The council has no need to "spy" on my unit.  All of our unit activities are conducted in open view of the public, and all of our record are available for the asking.  

 

My main objection to the commissioners corp is that they are not what they claim to be.  A unit commissioner is not a friend, counselor, teacher, or doctor to the unit.

 

We get to choose our friends.  We don't get to choose our commissioners.

 

Despite the title, a unit commissioner is not a member of the unit.   The UC is not appointed or approved by the unit's Chartered Organization.  

 

The UC is appointed by the council.  The UC is the servant of the council, not the friend of the unit.

 

The UC is only interested in pleasing the council and promoting the council's agenda, which is usually not in the best interest of the unit.

 

The unit commissioner is not the council's "spy", but he/she is the council's toady. 


Edited by David CO, 08 November 2016 - 12:01 PM.

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#2 Tampa Turtle

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Posted 08 November 2016 - 12:27 PM

Whenever we have a UC attending we always ask them for a bunch of BSA policy clarifications just to see if they will come back with answers. We have had some good, some bad.


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#3 Stosh

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Posted 08 November 2016 - 12:46 PM

I have been a commissioner for a number of years and never had the council give directives that I was expected to toady up to. If that's the expectation of the council I haven't been involved in. If units are perceiving this, I have never heard it expressed. It would be interesting to know how extensive that is in scouting.
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#4 Eagle94-A1

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Posted 08 November 2016 - 01:00 PM

I guess it's all in the view of the unit. My pack's late UC was a "a friend, counselor, teacher, or doctor to the unit."  While the leadership didn't specifically ask for him, The District Commissioner appointed him to us because he was a member of the CO, had tons of Scouting experience as an ASM, SM, district committee member and chairman, and served on the council executive board, he a great help to the pack when we needed him. Not only that, he was active in that he would visit us 1-2 times a month, attend Blue and Gold and Crossovers, etc. It was a great loss to the units he served, and Scouting when he passed away.

 

My Troop's CO is also a friend, counselor, teacher, and doctor. Again he was appointed to us, but he did have a relationship with our troop. When he was getting started with a brand new troop, my troop helped him out, got the leaders trained etc. Heck the two troops even camped together on occasion. Sadly my troop folded, and his grew. Then my troop was reborn, and his troop folded. He is returning the favor.

 

And in my neck of the woods, units can choose their UCs and vice versa. When the pack's UC, who also served as the troop and crew's UC from the CO, passed away, the district commissioner tried to get someone with a relationship to the Troop and Crew to be UC.  I was the acting UC for the troop because I helped start the troop back in the day, knew the leaders having helped trained some of them, and I was in the feeder pack.

 

I guess I was considered a "toady" and "not the friend of the unit...only interested in pleasing the council and promoting the council's agenda, which is usually not in the best interest of the unit" because I tried to help the new SM and the troop when they began to hemorrhage Scouts. When I was told, "I don't know what I'm talking about," and "Scouting needs to change with the times," I asked to be relieved. Thankfully one of the original MCs of the troop moved back to the area and became UC for the CO's units because she too had a relationship with all three units and was a member of the CO. I guess she too was considered a "toady" and "not the friend of the unit...only interested in pleasing the council and promoting the council's agenda, which is usually not in the best interest of the unit" because when she saw the unit that she gave blood, sweat, tears, and treasure to get started turn 180 degrees from the way a troop is suppose to be run and being told she doesn't know anything and Scouting needs to change with the times, she requested not to be the UC for the troop too.

 

I guess the troop is now glad they no longer have a UC assigned to them after chasing off 3 or 4 UCs. I guess they didn't like having a "toady" who was "not the friend of the unit...only interested in pleasing the council and promoting the council's agenda, which is usually not in the best interest of the unit" being around. Unfortunately the way the troop is going, I do not think the troop will be around much longer. They do not camp on a regular basis. The SM appoints leaders. They have had a total of 3 new Scouts join the troop AND remain in the past 3 years.

 

EDITED: And no, I do not want to see the troop fold. While I didn't invest as much as the UC that followed me, I did help get the troop started by being a trainer and mentor to the original SM. And I do regret a little not taking over as SM when I was offered. But the last person I thought would be able to help turn the troop around, his son was so disgusted with the troop, the son quit. So he had no reason to stay. There is now another leader that I hope will stay and help turn it around, especially since he has been friends with the SM for ages. But now son is leaning towards going to another troop.


Edited by Eagle94-A1, 08 November 2016 - 01:08 PM.

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#5 qwazse

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Posted 08 November 2016 - 01:28 PM

Our troop has approached UCs with animus.

 

It wasn't a problem with being a council "toady". We like our council. Council/area presidents camp with us, and SEs pay our camps visits. On occasion, our high praise lets some of those pro's move on to be CSE's. (You're welcome.) And, even down to the boys, we love them. If anything, the rest of us are "toadies."

 

But one person rubs the other the wrong way, someone feels pushed around, and sparks fly. So, the commissioner corps has kept it's distance.

 

Thanks to those kerfuffles, I've actually had to work to bring my Crew's newly assigned UC in the loop. It's not ideal. But at least it's improving.


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#6 jjlash

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Posted 08 November 2016 - 01:53 PM

 

The UC is appointed by the council.  The UC is the servant of the council, not the friend of the unit.

 

The UC is only interested in pleasing the council and promoting the council's agenda, which is usually not in the best interest of the unit.

 

The unit commissioner is not the council's "spy", but he/she is the council's toady. 

 

Wow @David CO - if your experience with UC's has made you feel this way about them, then something is broken.  None of those things are true in my council or my own experience.


Edited by jjlash, 08 November 2016 - 02:07 PM.

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#7 David CO

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Posted 08 November 2016 - 02:26 PM

Eagle94-A1,

 

The Chartered Organization is not appointed to the unit.  The CO owns the unit.

 

One CO can transfer ownership of a unit over to another CO, but the council cannot appoint a CO.  The CO owns the unit, not the council.

 

The CO is not the friend, teacher, counselor, and doctor to the unit.  The CO is the owner of the unit.


Edited by David CO, 08 November 2016 - 02:41 PM.

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#8 Eagle94-A1

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Posted 08 November 2016 - 02:56 PM

Eagle94-A1,

 

The Chartered Organization is not appointed to the unit.  The CO owns the unit. Yep

 

One CO can transfer ownership of a unit over to another CO, but the council cannot appoint a CO.  The CO owns the unit, not the council.Yep

 

The CO is not the friend, teacher, counselor, and doctor to the unit.  The CO is the owner of the unit. Yep

 

 

Let me edit what I said. Apparently all these abbreviations are getting to me, and I used CO instead of UC  ;) Edits to clarify and change to correct terminology in red

 

 

I guess it's all in the view of the unit. My pack's late Unit C was a "a friend, counselor, teacher, or doctor to the unit."  While the units and Charter Organization's leadership didn't specifically ask for him, The District Commissioner appointed him to the units because he was a member of the CO, had tons of Scouting experience as an ASM, SM, district committee member and chairman, and served on the council executive board, he a great help to the pack when we needed him. Not only that, he was active in that he would visit us 1-2 times a month, attend Blue and Gold and Crossovers, etc. It was a great loss to the units he served, and Scouting when he passed away.

 

My Troop's Unit Commissioner is also a friend, counselor, teacher, and doctor. Again he was appointed to us, but he did have a relationship with our troop. When he was getting started with a brand new troop, my troop helped him out, got the leaders trained etc. Heck the two troops even camped together on occasion. Sadly my troop folded, and his grew. Then my troop was reborn, and his troop folded. He is returning the favor.

 

And in my neck of the woods, units can choose their UCs and vice versa. When the pack's UC, who also served as the troop and crew's UC from the CO, passed away, the district commissioner tried to get someone with a relationship to the Troop and Crew to be UC.  I was the acting UC for the troop because I helped start the troop back in the day, knew the leaders having helped trained some of them, and I was in the feeder pack.

 

I guess I was considered a "toady" and "not the friend of the unit...only interested in pleasing the council and promoting the council's agenda, which is usually not in the best interest of the unit" because I tried to help the new SM and the troop when they began to hemorrhage Scouts. When I was told, "I don't know what I'm talking about," and "Scouting needs to change with the times," I asked to be relieved. Thankfully one of the original MCs of the troop moved back to the area and became UC for the CO's units because she too had a relationship with all three units and was a member of the CO. I guess she too was considered a "toady" and "not the friend of the unit...only interested in pleasing the council and promoting the council's agenda, which is usually not in the best interest of the unit" because when she saw the unit that she gave blood, sweat, tears, and treasure to get started turn 180 degrees from the way a troop is suppose to be run and being told she doesn't know anything and Scouting needs to change with the times, she requested not to be the UC for the troop too.

 

I guess the troop is now glad they no longer have a UC assigned to them after chasing off 3 or 4 UCs. I guess they didn't like having a "toady" who was "not the friend of the unit...only interested in pleasing the council and promoting the council's agenda, which is usually not in the best interest of the unit" being around. Unfortunately the way the troop is going, I do not think the troop will be around much longer. They do not camp on a regular basis. The SM appoints leaders. They have had a total of 3 new Scouts join the troop AND remain in the past 3 years.

 

EDITED: And no, I do not want to see the troop fold. While I didn't invest as much as the UC that followed me, I did help get the troop started by being a trainer and mentor to the original SM. And I do regret a little not taking over as SM when I was offered. But the last person I thought would be able to help turn the troop around, his son was so disgusted with the troop, the son quit. So he had no reason to stay. There is now another leader that I hope will stay and help turn it around, especially since he has been friends with the SM for ages. But now son is leaning towards going to another troop.

 

 

Sorry you feel that way about your UC.  In my experience active UC's are worth their weight in gold. yes sometimes they are on paper only. But trust me, a good one is truly a friend, counselor, teacher and doctor. My pack has been tremendously helped by the commissioner corps. My troop has been helped also. It is the troop that has rejected the UCs assigned to them that is suffering the most.


Edited by Eagle94-A1, 08 November 2016 - 02:57 PM.

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#9 David CO

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Posted 08 November 2016 - 03:26 PM

Eagle94-A1,

 

The unit you describe has a much larger problem that has nothing to do with it not having a unit commissioner.  It doesn't have an active Chartered Organization.

 

The Scoutmaster should not be appointing other unit leaders.

 

With a strong, active Chartered Organization, a unit has no need for a unit commissioner.


Edited by David CO, 08 November 2016 - 03:28 PM.

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#10 JasonG172

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Posted 08 November 2016 - 04:15 PM

With a strong, active Chartered Organization, a unit has no need for a unit commissioner.

 

I don't use this language much but I call BS.  I am a DC myself and in my area I can't get 90% of my COR's Trained and most of them aren't even active with the unit. Sure if the COR has a prior scouting background maybe the unit can function with some assistance from Council or a UC or a DC for that matter.  Everyone for the most part has questions and open to suggestions but when someone calls UC out at spys well that's just a POS statement.  We have very dedicated people interested in helping the unit grow, meet JTE standard and create better programming. 

Your statement has callus throughout!


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#11 David CO

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Posted 08 November 2016 - 04:34 PM

I don't use this language much but I call BS.  I am a DC myself and in my area I can't get 90% of my COR's Trained and most of them aren't even active with the unit. Sure if the COR has a prior scouting background maybe the unit can function with some assistance from Council or a UC or a DC for that matter.  Everyone for the most part has questions and open to suggestions but when someone calls UC out at spys well that's just a POS statement.  We have very dedicated people interested in helping the unit grow, meet JTE standard and create better programming. 

Your statement has callus throughout!

 

That is exactly the sort of thing I would expect to hear from a DC.


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#12 Eagle94-A1

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Posted 08 November 2016 - 05:56 PM

Oh yes, this unit has problems. And yes,  I do wish the COR would be active, but for whatever reason they are not.  Maybe if the CO was removed the SM, it would improve things. Or maybe the troop would fold since no one at the CO was willing to step up in the first place?

 

And to be honest in my 21 years serving on district committees in 6 different councils, only 1, yes ONE COR ever attended any district committee and/or council committee meetings ever.  ONE! Heck I never knew a COR was on those committees until I became a DE, and I was on a district committee for  3 years prior to being a DE.

 

And regarding your comments about UCs, well you obviously do not have a clue as to what they do and how they help units. NOT. A. CLUE.

 

I'm sorry you feel this way. But the tone of your words, and the style of your writing not only is insulting to those volunteers who serve in the commissioner roles but also shows your very parochial and ignorant views.

 

BTW while troop's COR is not active in the way he should, the CO is VERY active with the pack and troop, to the point that they will not allow non-members to be SM. BUT THEY STILL USE THE COMMISSIONER ASSIGNED TO THEM AND THE ROUNDTABLE COMMISSIONER ( caps for emphasis, not shouting).


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#13 desertrat77

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Posted 08 November 2016 - 06:19 PM

I've been a UC in five different councils.  

 

I will strive never to be one again.   Much happier and more productive as a committee chair.

 

Some units welcomed me, others were suspicious, a few were outright hostile.   Most were surprised that a UC even showed up and was interested in how things were going.

 

I helped as much as could.  Truthfully, I continually thought "If I really wanted to help this troop, I'd resign as UC and apply to be an ASM."


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#14 5yearscouter

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Posted 09 November 2016 - 12:50 AM

I've had a fairly good relationship with one unit commissioner, when he asked what he could do, as training chair I asked him to point out to the sm that he actually had to re-take training frequently.  That it wasn't a one time deal with weather hazards and safe swim for instance.  The sm had been told, but he knew it all, and thus he didn't take training.  The unit commissioner spoke to him in a meeting with the cor and cc and next thing you know bam all training was completed.

 

And I've had a horrible relationship with another unit commissioner.  He showed up to our pack that was having a field day with all dens outside, everyone in class b uniforms and playing games.  He complained nobody was in uniform.  that we didn't have a flag ceremony (they said cub scout promise followed by let's play ball).  Then he started quizzing people about why we were meeting at this school instead of blah blah church and went on and on about finding us a new chartering organization and recruiting from different schools in the area and how we were all doing it worng

 

.  He turned everyone off.  The cubmaster was ready to quit if that guy was in charge in any way and den leaders following. I spent the next month reassuring and talking them down.  I was cor of that unit and told the DE to get rid of him cause He did nothing to help, only hurt the pack.


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#15 NJCubScouter

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Posted 09 November 2016 - 09:16 AM

I think it would be helpful if we do not generalize about people we do not know simply because they hold one position or another.  There are UC's who do try to help the units and perhaps those who are there to push the council's agenda, but they are all individuals.  The same goes for COR's, some do their job and some do not.  


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#16 Stosh

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Posted 09 November 2016 - 10:44 AM

There are good UC's and there are bad UC's.

There are good DE's and there are bad DE's.

There are good SM's and there are bad SM's.

...etc.

 

 

Speaking in sweeping generalities is not really a productive forum endeavor.


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#17 David CO

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Posted 09 November 2016 - 11:27 AM

I've been a UC in five different councils.  

 

I will strive never to be one again.   Much happier and more productive as a committee chair.

 

Some units welcomed me, others were suspicious, a few were outright hostile.   Most were surprised that a UC even showed up and was interested in how things were going.

 

I helped as much as could.  Truthfully, I continually thought "If I really wanted to help this troop, I'd resign as UC and apply to be an ASM."

 

That's how I feel.  If someone genuinely wants to be helpful to my unit, they should apply to be an Assistant Scoutmaster, unit Committee Member, or merit badge counselor.  We love our unit volunteers, and we greatly appreciate all the good work they do. 


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#18 JasonG172

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Posted 09 November 2016 - 11:53 AM

That's how I feel.  If someone genuinely wants to be helpful to my unit, they should apply to be an Assistant Scoutmaster, unit Committee Member, or merit badge counselor.  We love our unit volunteers, and we greatly appreciate all the good work they do. 

 

That cant always be the case especially IF they don't "have a dog in the hunt".  Some unit don't allow volunteers unless they have a child active with the unit.  In most cases some UC, ADC and DC are "old Scouters" looking to stay active in scouting in some shape or form and Commissioner Services fits the bill. 

 

Why should you expect an individual to help just you when he/she can help many.  Selfish is what it sounds like to me. 

 

 

I have my Pack (ACM)

I have my Troop (CC)

I am on the Committee at another Troop

and I am on the District Committee

 

I am trying to help anyone and everyone that needs it


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#19 krikkitbot

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Posted 09 November 2016 - 12:21 PM

In the years that I have been involved with my troop, I have never met our UC... never, ever. I've always wondered what all those people with UC patches do and why they disappear at roundtables after the opening announcements. 

 

The COR is only around when we chase him down because we need signatures. Even then, it takes a number of phone calls and e-mails to be able to reach him. 


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#20 David CO

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Posted 09 November 2016 - 12:48 PM

The Chartered Organization has the right to set guidelines and standards for selecting the unit's volunteer leaders.  The CO owns the unit.

 

I don't restrict the selection of my unit's volunteer leaders to people who have children in the unit.  We have several great leaders whose children have aged-out, and others who have never had children in the unit.

 

That said, I whole heartedly support the right of other Chartered Organizations to establish that rule for their units.

 

The council has a different set of standards for council volunteers, some of which would conflict with my Chartered Organizations policies and values.  It is entirely possible that the council might appoint a UC who would be totally unacceptable as a unit leader in my troop (for reasons other than not having children in the troop).

 

I totally reject the argument that we should have UC's in order to allow applicant volunteers, who would otherwise be ineligible to participate in our unit in a leadership position, to bypass our Chartered Organizations policies and standards and participate in our unit. I totally reject it.


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