Re: Boards of Review
Ian Ford (ianford@DIRCON.CO.UK)
Fri, 2 Dec 1994 22:09:49 GMT
Michael Bowman & Jim McCullars in conversation :
MB> I think it is a mistake for a Troop's Board of Review to examine a Scou
MB> concept of "Duty to God" or "Reverent". Are they going to pass judgmen
MB> on his answer?
JM> I should hope not. However...
MB> beliefs. So long as a Scout is willing to give the Scout Oath and Law
MB> that should be enough, no more is required!
JM> I disagree. Michael, I hope you are not implying that all we can (or
JM> should) be able to do is ask a boy to repeat the words by rote.
JM> while it's been a long time since I participated in a BoR (and JM>
JM> indeed, in my present position I am more or less precluded from JM>
JM> doing so), I have an idea that the committee asks questions like,
JM> "What does, 'A Scout is clean' mean to you ? " They may not JM>
necessarily "sit in judgement" in his answer, but by asking
JM> they get him to at least think about the point. And I see absolutely
JM> no problem is asking a Scout to explain his feelings about any part of
JM> the Scout Oath or Law.
I think I must agree with Jim on this one. In principle there is no reason
why the BoR should not ask a Scout to explain how he feels about the values
he is expected to subscribe to.
However, I know of situations where the " Duty to God " issue can be a bit
fraught. One young man going for his Life board was not particularly
religious - he accepted some sort of higher spiritual power and had firm
ethical principles, but did not adhere to any organised religion. On the
board was a member who was very active in his particular denomination , and
gave this lad, then aged 17 , a very hard time, virtually saying that he
needed to belong to a religious body in order to earn the rank. Fortunately
there was a strong Chairman who made sure that fairness prevailed. It was
an unsatisfactory experience for both parties.
The point is not that Board of review should not ask questions , but that
they should do so in a way that respects the integrity and values of the
Scout, and without any preconception as to what constitutes a " right "
ASM, BSA T401 (American School in London)
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City