Re: BOR Help -- to retest?
Bruce E. Cobern (bec@PIPELINE.COM)
Thu, 7 Dec 1995 23:17:55 -0500
On Dec 07, 1995 10:32:38, 'Michael Derleth <75112.1671@COMPUSERVE.COM>'
>Food for thought / Fuel for flamethrower:
>IF the BSA says no retesting is allowed, but "asking general questions
>the skills learned" is appropriate, what is the BOR to do if it is very
>apparent from the answers, that the Scout is clueless concerning a major
>he should have learned?
Well, since the requirement is to know a particular skill at a point in
time it would seem to me that what you really need to do if your inquiries
lead you to believe that the person who signed off the requirements did not
do his job is to train or retrain that person. As to what you do about the
Scout who is there for a BOR there a couple of options. Depending on what
rank you are talking about it can be a more or less serious problem. What
you can do is discuss with the Scout how you feel about his level of
competence in the skill. If you can have him realize that he has not met
the requirement then you can have him decide to come back for another board
when he feels he is qualified. Other than that what you can do is try to
prevent this from happening again and to have this Scout agree to improve
by the next board.
>Some answering this question will respond "if it was signed off, he must
>passed". If the BOR does this, however, don't they set themselves up for
>unqualified Eagle scout question posed by the Nault family that's
>being debated? Neat quandary, huh?
I don't see that as the quandary. The requirements we are talking about
are for Tenderfoot, Second Class and First Class. Advancement, especially
above first class is much more about character development than it is about
specific skills. Thus, how well he can sharpen an ax ceases to really be a
factor. The way problems like the Naults are discussing arise is because a
troop fails to counsel a Scout about what is or is not acceptable behavior,
what it feels is Scout Spirit, what the guidelines are for expected
participation (note: guidelines, not requirements), etc. and therefore the
Scout hasn't signed on to what is expected of him.
>IMHO, the BOR must be certain that a basic level of competency and
>been reached at each rank. Is the issue "what questions are asked, and how
>they asked?" "General questions" can be the -SAME- as testing, If I ask
>like Vlad the Terrible, instead of asking them like the Scouter who truly
>about the youth. You will get from people, exactly what you
Unfortunately I do not control the BOR in my troop. If I did there would
be a quantum change in the type of questions being asked. Most likely the
questions being asked at EVERY board would be of the type asked at an Eagle
Board. The aims of Scouting address Character, Citizenship, and Fitness.
The BOR should be examining the Scouts progress in developing in these
areas. Thus, I agree with your point about maturity, but not about
competency. Thus I would ask questions about the Oath and Law, what he
likes, dislikes about Scouting and the troop, how the troop could be
better, which skill was the most fun, etc., etc. You would not hear "How
do you tie a taut line hitch." But you might hear "What did you make as
your camp gadget."
Bruce E. Cobern
MC, Troop 1, Flushing, NY
Adv. Chmn, Dan Beard Dist, Queens Council, NY
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City