Re: "Why Am I Smiling??"
(no name) ((no email))
Sun, 25 Aug 1996 13:48:57 -0500
Hugh Sullivan and Tim Goncharoff both have good points here...which prompted
Hugh to ask:
>The book also says an objective of the Board is "to make sure that the Scout
>has done what he was supposed to do for the rank". Everyone please note that
>"Scout" is used; it does not say that the result is used to evaluate the
>troop, counselor, council, summer camp, or program - that is an
>interpretation which, although valid, is only partial.
>I am curious to learn what the above objective means to you, how you
>accomplish the objective and how one avoids overlap with "not retesting".
>IMO merely ascertaining that all signatures are in the proper place does not
>meet the intent of the objective.
In my case, it means the following:
When a Scout comes before the Board of Review, he comes ready to
discuss with me and other members of the Troop's Committee (or District
or Council Committee, in the case of Eagle) how he has used his Scout skills and
what ways he plans on using what he has learned. To see "what has stayed with
him" from what he's learned and applied from Scouting.
I TRUST that Scoutmaster to BEFORE HE ALLOWS THE SCOUT TO
PARTICIPATE IN THE BOARD to insure that he has completed all of the
requirements to THE SATISFACTION OF THE SCOUTMASTER. Remember,
if that Scoutmaster has been doing his or her job, they would have been
working, and coaching this kid BEFORE the Board appearance. No, none of this
"You've better get this right or you won't be going before the Board"
of "You really need to know how to do this...how can I let you teach my younger
boys this skill if *you* don't know how to do this??"
BEFORE the Scout appears, the Scoutmaster appears in front of the Board of
Review and informally talks about the Scout: his strengths, his weaknesses, the
fact that he's scared to death at meeting with people he really don't know
(in the case
of his first appearance before he becomes a Tenderfoot Scout). The Scoutmaster
sets the tone...and should NEVER be in a position whereby "*frowning* I don't
recommend this kid, but it's time for him to come before you for Star" or
If the Scoutmaster does NOT have confidence in the Scout, then HE DOES NOT
LET THE SCOUT GO BEFORE THE BOARD OF REVIEW.
In the case of Eagle, his or her signature SHOULD NOT BE ON THE APPLICATION.
Period. If an explaination is needed, the Scoutmaster should be ready to
WRITING why he or she has not signed the application. (Something else in
with that application: it was suggested to me a few months back that he or
either place a straight line though the area where the Scoutmaster's
signature is placed
or write "SEE ATTACHED" on that line. This prevents someone from "signing FOR
THE SCOUTMASTER" and therefore causing conflicts between a Troop Committee
that wants the kid to become an Eagle and the Scoutmaster whom feels the kid
READY to become an Eagle.)
The SCOUTMASTER, not "Momma" or "Pappaw", not the Troop Committee, is the
decider on whether or not the Scout is READY for the next advancement step.
talk about it during that "Scoutmasters' Conference" and at the conclusion, the
Scoutmaster signs the form, book or application and sends the Scout to the
The Scoutmaster, once again, serves as the "quality control" end of the
picture. It used to be that we allowed our youth leaders to have this role,
now that all advancements are done via Committee action, our youth leaders
of the "advancement loop" and that's a true shame. For only the YOUTH
the Patrol and Troop REALLY KNOWS if a particular Scout is ready...we as
Scoutmasters should have some *idea*, but our youth are smart: they can
and practice and when we're around, do everything right and correct; and
gone, their peers have to put up with substandard behavior, practice and
So, when the Scout appears before the Board, the Board should be asking leading
questions on this Scouts' participation, outdoor experience, leadership,
of course, impressions of a good time in the unit and program. No "how do you
tie a square knot" but rather "what good is a square knot?" No "explain the
chain to us", but rather "Why do you think it's important that our USDA inspects
our beef and chicken?" No "show us how to fold the flag of our nation", but
"Talk to us and explain why you feel it's important that we fold the US flag
Questions that the Scout cannot practice and produce rote, "this is how it
answers and those which require the Scout to THINK AND REFLECT ON WHAT HE
IS BEING TAUGHT DURING THOSE WEEKLY TROOP MEETINGS.
So when I hear a Scout answer with "Square knots are easy to tie...and you
with any kind of first aid stuff you do on someone"; "I....well...the USDA
the food so we don't get sick and die from Mad Cow or something....and they
the cows eat because we eat the cows and chickens..."; and "I was told that we
fold it a certain way because of respect....like, I saw this movie one time,
policeman gave the flag to the wife because the policeman was killed in the
fire, and he saluted her."....I know that what he is being taught, coupled
with his OWN
"usage" of that information, is "sticking with him".
And THAT, to me, anyway, is what the Boards of Review are all about: seeing
what has "stuck to the Scout" at each step of the way.
(MAJ) Mike L. Walton (Settummanque, the blackeagle)
Deputy Public Affairs Officer, 21st Theater Army Area Command
"everything I say is "on the record"; speaking ONLY for myself unless indicated"
personal inquiries via firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
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-----FORWARD in service to youth and the nation-----
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City