Commissioners Play Key Role in Membership Support

We are all in the membership business, but let’s talk about how you can use the Commissioner Corps to support your membership efforts. The role of the commissioner in membership will be an evolving one. The commissioners “own” unit retention, and the commissioners will continue to deliver unit service while we all work together to recruit and empower volunteers to lead the membership drive.

Commissioners serve as the key link between the many resources of a functional district committee and the unique needs of each unit. In the absence of a strong district committee, the unit commissioner often is asked to fill many unit needs that should, in the best of all worlds, be provided by subject matter experts. Where those subject matter experts do not yet exist, our commissioners should support the efforts of the district Key 3 to recruit and deploy the right resource specialists. We have built this concept of linkage into our “simple and unified” mission statement and job description, outlined below. The concept of linkage is critical to our mission execution.

The retention mission of the Commissioner Corps is best achieved by providing an adequate number of trained unit commissioners who provide a link to district committee resources in support of a quality unit program.

We are asking our unit commissioners to focus on the following four primary areas:

  1. Supporting unit growth in the Journey to Excellence criteria: JTE measures performance characteristics that unlock the door to a successful unit. Unit commissioners should analyze the unit’s program and identify JTE areas where help is needed to move the unit to a higher level of JTE success.
  2. Linking district committee resources to the unit: Unit commissioners should support the district committee’s delivery of a “catalog of services” to support the specific JTE elements needed for a particular unit’s health and success.
  3. Visiting units and logging the visits into the Unit Visit Tracking System (UVTS): Our core task remains visiting the unit. Input into UVTS feeds critical information to the district committee to help link resources to the unit.
  4. Supporting on-time charter renewal: The commissioner’s focus is the retention of the unit, though we should be especially mindful of supporting new youth membership efforts as we move more toward a volunteer-led, professionally guided approach to increasing membership.

Finally, the Commissioner Corps is fully supportive of the concept of the new unit commissioner, as outlined in the Unit Performance Guide. The concept of assigning a new unit commissioner on a one-on-one basis to each new unit, through the first two recharter cycles, is a proven and approved best method that results in dramatically increased new unit retention.

Together, we can bridge the gap to increased membership in the BSA.

Resources for Commissioner Service 

  • Administration of Commissioner Service Manual, No. 34501
  • National BSA Commissioner Service website
  • Unit Performance Guide
  • Unit Visit Tracking System (UVTS 2.0) help support. The Unit Visit Tracking System online help provides personal assistance from a BSA Help Desk operator. The phone number for commissioners only is 972-672-4389. The operator is on call to answer questions from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday. (Leave a message and they will call you back.)
  • UVTS training support includes a PowerPoint presentation, an FAQ, instructions, and a video:

—    For professionals, go to MyBSA, click on the Knowledge Base tab, and then go to “MyTraining” and “Unit Visit Tracking System.”

—    For volunteers, go to, then click on “Unit Visit Tracking System 2.0—NEW.”

  • MyScouting support: Volunteers who have questions about MyScouting access or UVTS 2.0 access should send an email to with their user name, email address, contact information, council name and headquarters city, and question.

2 Responses to Commissioners Play Key Role in Membership Support

  1. Roy F. Gehris says:

    TRAINING – TRAINing – Training!

    It is necessary for Unit Commissioners to take Fast Start Training, Basic Training and College of Commissioners Science to keep up with new items for being a Commissioner.

    • Since i have made my request i have attended a commissioner’s retreate, commissioners basic, commissioners college and earned my BA, and now working as a commissioner trainer in my district i have had some outstanding support from district and council, and the materials provided have been outstanding I feel i am well on my way to being a good commissioner, at least i will will do my best. Thanks to everyone.

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