Commissioner’s Blog #14

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John Hovanesian, M.D.
Orange County Council Commissioner

“What is a Commissioner?”

February 17, 2014

Often friends ask me what I do as the commissioner of Scouting in Orange County, and I wonder if many Scout parents (or volunteers, for that matter) wonder what commissioners do in our organization.

Well, here it is:

A commissioner is a uniformed, experienced Scouter who usually comes to a pack or troop meeting to interact with unit leaders.  But commissioners do much more than shake hands and share a joke or a cup of coffee.

A commissioner is a voice of experience.  Usually a long-time Scouting volunteer, a commissioner offers advice and guidance to leaders on how to find success in a Scouting program.  He’s a great asset to seek out  when leaders need ideas for solving problems.

A commissioner helps the pack or troop succeed.  He is not a quality control officer, policeman, or a spy sent from Scouting’s higher-ups.  He does, however, give feedback to the district committee on what is going well and not so well in each pack or troop, so that group can offer assistance, guidance, and resources to bring about a more effective Scouting program.

A commissioner is a liaison to the Scouting district and council.  He is ready to hear concerns, share perspective, and solve any problems that occur with the support coming from the larger Scouting organization.

A commissioner is a friend.  He knows what a challenging job a Scout leader has, having walked in those footsteps himself.  He’s ready to share a laugh, hear a rant, or just be a shoulder to cry on when a volunteer needs it.

Don’t hesitate to call on the assistance that your commissioner is there to offer you or your leaders in your pack or troop, and don’t hesitate to thank him  for his own service to Scouting, offered freely and generously to help the youth in our program have the best Scouting experience.