Re: SCOUTS-L Digest - 10 Dec 1995 to 11 Dec 1995
Jim Smith UT (jsmith@SAREK.OSMRE.GOV)
Tue, 12 Dec 1995 08:21:41 -0700
Please excuse this long post, but because I get the Digest its
easier to make one reply to several postings than to break them up.
My comments are intended to support or expand on other posters
comments, so if they sound critical, that is not the intent.
> Date: Mon, 11 Dec 1995 08:49:37 EST
> From: Rob Morley <Rmorley@STATE.MA.US>
> However, to use a previous example about knots, what it the point of teaching
> the knots, or first aid, if we only require them to know the information
> once. For instance, the square knot is a required knot for the Scout Badge
> (Joining Requirements). From this point on, the scout can basically forget
> the knot, in regards to any type of advancement. He is not require to know
> how to type this simple knot, nor can he be asked to tie it agian, as long as
> someone signed him off for this requirement. It just doesnt' make sense to
> me. What message are we sending to these boys?
> Reason for my apparent tirade:
> I currently have a Star scout that is 12 years old, and is VERY
> immature, and does not know very much about knots, or first aid for that
> matter. Yet, this coming Sunday he is up for a BoR for Life Scout. Once he
> passes the Life BoR, he will start working on Eagle Scout. I find it very
> hard as an Eagle Scout myself, to allow this scout to earn Life Scout, and
> start towards Eagle Scout, without this basic skills. Yet there is NO way to
> test the scout on these skills.
> We are basically allowing scouts to become Eagle Scouts, without them needing
> to know the basic skills in scouting. Now I know that some will say that in
> the big picture of scouting, that the "skills" are not all that important.
> It is the citizenship, and character development. This is true, but first
> aid, knots and the like are not skills that will never be used again.
> I also would NOT blame the instructor, or the person who signed off the
> requirement. They, in fact, did see the scout tie the knot. It is The
> SCOUTS responsibility to practice the knots, and first aid, even after they
> have completed the requirement.
Any Scout in a leadership position should BE PREPARED to teach
basic skills to younger Scouts and to apply those skills if and
when needed. If he is not doing that, is he ready for advancement
to the next level? Is he showing growth of character?
> Date: Mon, 11 Dec 1995 18:58:12 -0500
> From: "Paul H. Brown" <phbrown@CAPACCESS.ORG>
> Its not just another program for adults to tell kids what to do.
> Its > something more: its a game with a purpose. If it stays a
game, then the > boys will stay. If it has a purpose, adult
interest will remain high. >
> And, I learned that it takes a lot more of my attention to have the
> scouts teach and lead each other, to plan and execute programs, than it
> would if I just went ahead and did these things myself.
This is why its so common to have the adults take over, and
especially to have parents pressure the adults to take over.
On Sun, 10 Dec CHUCK BRAMLET wrote
<I have just finished looking at the Troop Committee Guidebook for it's
<interpretation of the purpose of the BoR. It says, "and I quote:"
<"The review has three purposes:
<1. To make sure that the work has been learned and completed.
<2. To find out what kind of experience a boy is having in his Patrol
<3. To encourage the Scout to progress further."
<All in all, the BoR should tell us 3 things: 1. If the boy is ready to
<advance; 2. If the program is working; 3. What adjustments we need to
<make if it isn't.
<Your unit BoR can also be conviened to ask Bobby why it's been six
<months, and he hasn't yet got Scout, or Tenderfoot.
One friend was a Scout in a Troop that had all Scouts before a BOR
regularly (quarterly, I believe) whether they were ready for
advancement or not. One purpose was for the boys and adults to
become acquainted so the adults were not terrifying, overbearing
strangers when the time for advancement BOR's arrived. There was
also an opportunity to evaluate the boy's attitude, etc. and growth
from BOR to BOR (not a replacement for the SM conference) even if
no advancement was "on the line". And it allowed assessment of how
the program was meeting individual and group needs before problems
got out of hand.
And also on Sun, 10 Dec 1995 Mike Murray wrote:
<I think the Scoutmaster is holding the BOR responsible for his job. When he
<meets with the scout at the SM conference he needs to hold the boy there if
<he feels the boy is not ready. The BOR's job is to get a feel for the troops
<overall job and that this scout is learning and having a good time doing it.
<This is not a final exam for the testing. The SM and the Advancement Chairman
<must work together to do the best for the boys in the Troop. If a boy is NOT
<ready he should not be sent to the BOR. If he is borderline the BOR needs to
<know that and can make the call. I couldn't imagine seeing a young man 3
<times for 2nd class.
Always keeping in mind that advancement is neither the primary nor
exclusive responsibility of the SM. The Troop Committee (and
especially the Advancement Committee if it exists as a separate
group) has a significant responsibility for advancement and should be
taking major responsibility in some aspects such as making sure
qualified MB councilors are qualified and that parents are kept
informed as to what is expected of the boys. The Patrol Guide and
all other youth leaders also have direct responsibilities in the
Troop's advancement program.
And on Fri, 8 Dec 1995 Daniel W Brown wrote:>
>IF the BSA says no retesting is allowed, but "asking general questions
>about 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 skill he should have learned?
There is no need to retest, and it is , as has been stated several
times, not allowed at the BOR. However, without retesting a boy,
there is much that can be learned about how well the skill was taught,
learned, and retained, both to evaluate the boy's progress and the
program. By the time a Scout comes before the First Class BOR he
should have had numerous opportunities to use the basic skills if the
program is functioning as it is supposed to. By the time a Scout
comes up for Eagle he should have had ample opportunity not only to
have used but also to have taught basic skills to other Scouts.
Practice through use and teaching will not make him perfectly
proficient in all skills, but it should be evident if the program is
working, if the Scout is participating, and if he is growing in
character, citizenship, and fitness.
<I suggest that it the scout is indeed clueless there is a serious defect in
<the troop program and finding that defect is one of the purposes if the BOR.
< One possible defect is that requirements are being signed off without the
<work being done. Another is that the skill was known once but forgotton due
<to lack of practice. If a scout is shown how to orient a map at age 11 and
<never called on to do it again or to teach the skill to others, it would not
<surprize me to find he had lost that skill by age 15 or 16.
<My problem with many BORs is that when they detect a serious flaw in the
<troop program, they take no corrective action. If candidates regularly come
<before the board lacking basic skills, it is time to have a discussion with
<the SM who should carry those concerns to the TLC.
Part of the success may lie in doing homework before the BOR:
attending meetings and outings and observing the Scouts in action.
It may not be possible, especially for an Eagle BOR, to have all
BOR members this involved, but members of the Troop/Advancement
Committee should be involved often enough to be aware of what's
going on before the BOR is convened. There would be time to remedy
obvious shortcomings before a compromising decision is forced at a BOR.
<As to what to do with the candidate, each situation will have to be judged
<independanty. If we had hard and fast rules for everything we would not
<need the BOR in the first place. My feeling is that the board of review
<should focus on the quality of the candidate, not on individual skills which
<can be aquired or lost easily. Qualities such as those described in the
<scout oath and law are much harder to aquire and usually harder to lose. I
<thik this is generally true although I remember we have discussed several
<exceptions in this forem in recent months. If an eagle candidate has
<forgotton fire building, I am not going to get concerned. If he has lost
<loyalty, cheerfulness, or bravery, then I worry.
Another way to track progress of an older Scout is through the comments
of the younger Scouts during their BOR. If its evident that the
younger Scouts aren't learning the skills, having fun, growing and
advancing, this says a lot about the Scouts who are their leaders.
Questions to the older Scouts during BOR concerning their leadership
and teaching, i.e. "Show us how you teach a Tenderfoot to tie a
bowline." , "How do you explain the Scout Oath to a new Scout?",
"Are you aware of which skills are going to be emphasized at the next
Camporee, and how will you prepare the Patrol (Troop) for the
competition?", or "Do your Patrols cooking skills need improvement,
and if yes, what are you doing to improve them?" are entirely
appropriate, in my opinion. They are not retesting but should reveal
how the individual Scout has learned and retained the basic skills,
how he is functioning as a leader, and how he is growing as an
YIS, Jim SMITH
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City