Commissioner Training

A trained Commissioner is an effective Commissioner!  Commissioner training has the following elements:

  1. Commissioner Position Specific Basic Training – On line or instructor-led within 30 days
  2. Completion of the onboarding progress record within 30 days
  3. Continuing education (monthly and annually)


Commissioner Training is broken up into four (4) main groups with each section available both online or in-person (usually through the College of Commissioner Science):

  1. Acclimation
    • These courses acquaint the new Commissioner with Aims and Methods of Scouting, as well as the various programs under the BSA umbrella.
  2. Before First Meeting
    • These courses orient the Commissioner the Commissioner Service and the Tools at the Commissioners’ disposal.
  3. First 30 Days
    • These course provide training on the various organizational structures that the Commissioners operate in.
  4. Within 90 Days
    • These trainings explore the continuum of Commissioner Training and set the stage for the completion of the On-Boarding Process.


Continuing Education takes many forms. There are the trainings associated with monthly District or Council meetings. There is the College of Commissioner Sciences which bring together Commissioners from the larger Area for Annual Training events. There are also National Training opportunities.

Monthly Trainings

At the monthly District Commissioner meetings, the District Commissioners Staff works to ensure that the entire Commissioner Corps stays up-to-date on all trainings.

College of Commissioner Sciences

Each each the Golden Gate Area Council partners with the other area Councils to hold the NorCal Commissioners College. This is an opportunity to meet Commissioners from around the region and the Nation.  The College offers Commissioner Science Degrees from Associates to Doctorate.

Nationals Trainings

A Strong Unit Commissioner

This conference guides participants to learn what a unit commissioner does when working with their units. More importantly, it also develops a lasting understanding of how to work with units to help set, meet and exceed their goals through structured lessons, role play and group discussions. Attendance is open to all commissioners and recommended for unit commissioners, district and assistant district commissioners, and council and assistant council commissioners.

Empowering the District Commissioner Team

This conference ensures a clear understanding of the roles and responsibilities of district and assistant district commissioners. It provides the knowledge, skills and resources needed to build and lead an effective district unit service team. It also provides practical experience in assessing unit service strengths and needs and developing a vision for unit service in the district that also supports the council’s vision. It offers insights into clearly communicating a vision and its plan, as well as developing and maintaining the strong relationships essential to effective unit service.

Empowering the Council Commissioner Team

This conference provides council commissioners and those who support them with the knowledge, skills and resources needed to confidently fulfill their responsibilities. An understanding of roles/responsibilities and an ability to build and maintain strong relationships is essential. Key ingredients to success include a clear vision of great unit service for the council and an action plan that enables fulfillment of it. Add in the ability to effectively communicate the vision and its plan, assess progress and adapt when necessary, and you have a formula for success.

Recruiting and Engaging Commmissioners

No district or council ever has enough commissioners. New units form, and some units encounter challenges; both require the attention of an experienced, dedicated commissioner. Current commissioners transition to new opportunities, and increasing personal and professional demands make it increasingly difficult for commissioners to serve multiple units.

Serving All Units-Crews, Ships, and Posts

Attending this conference provides tips, techniques and best practices to develop and execute a plan to recruit and engage the commissioners needed to effectively serve every unit. It also enables participants to expand their network of Scouting resources.

Leveraging Roundtable in Unit Service

The monthly roundtable is a key component of unit service, either in the district or the council. Through well-planned and fully supported roundtables, commissioners of all roles and responsibilities provide effective service to the units in their care. As such, this conference is appropriate for anyone providing unit service in the district or council, including but certainly not limited to the roundtable commissioner. Participants will begin by laying the foundation, focusing on the importance of good communication between roundtable commissioners and unit commissioners to assess the health of units and fulfill the objectives of unit service. Next, the conference will highlight the importance of linking needs of units by ensuring effective networking with the district operating committees. Lastly, participants will engage in activities focused on advanced planning for monthly roundtables and implementing technology to meet the people where they are. In essence, this conference confirms the concept that “roundtable is unit service.”

How to verify an out of Council Merit Badge Counselor.

First, try to connect the Scout and counselor in Scoutbook. If that is successful, the counselor is registered and qualified. If unsuccessful, go to the counselor’s home council and search for their Advancement Administrators. Most will have an email address for either the Council Advancement Committee or Professional Advisor. Send an email asking if the counselor has been registered and qualified for the merit badge(s) in question and the status of their Youth Protection Training. Ask California councils if the counselor has completed AB506 training and LiveScan. The unit leader’s “blue card” signature verifies their counselor credentials verification.


Sea Scouts




Shooting Sport


Scouting for Food

Order of the Arrow