Re: What to do with a tin of annelids?
Mon, 18 Nov 1996 14:47:46 -0600
Hugh had a situation handed to him and it was solved. However, I would
like to get some other opinions. Hugh wrote:
>Inability of a Board to question weaknesses in passing merit badges,
>counselors. weak projects, weak leadership, poor spirit - anything behind
>the application - has given me a problem for years. OTOH, giving every Board
>that prerogative might exacerbate the problem. The regs are clear and I keep
>a copy close, but, does anyone have any new thoughts?
While we can't really "retest" the merit badges, there's much that can be done
to "make or break" those poor projects, the poor leadership experiences and
poor "scout spirit" (and without going back to that topic, because we covered
it well enough back in the late winter of last year!!)
As far as the service project is concerned, why don't you bring in a statement
or a represenative from the organization or group that benefitted from the
I've never done this, but I'm sure that once a project is accepted, the
Advancement Chair should contact by phone and letter the proposed "benefactor"
and explain what it is that the BSA is "looking for" in the way of the
and it's planning, completion and *evaluation*.
I've highlighted "evaluation" because it seems that we as Scouters and our
do very little of it. As a former Scoutmaster, I demanded it both of the
unit as a
whole and individuals in particular. Every significant event should have a
down" period whereby the Senior Patrol Leader, Scoutmaster, or adult or youth in
charge ask four simple questions:
1. Did you have fun doing this?
2. Would you like to do this again the same way, a different way or not again?
3. What did YOU get out of this experience?
4. What did YOU learn?
Of course, you're going to get "YEAHHHHHHHHH!!!" out of the first question
most of the time, but once they catch on that THEY decide what they get to do
or not, you'll start to hear some quiet-sounding "No"s. The second question is
not as simple as it sounds. The same way, with the same problems, the same
excitement, and the same results; a different way, with different leaders
open up some other lines of discussion!), going a different way (slower,
not so fast) or with a different menu ("we can only take *so much* McDonalds!
How about Wendy's next time?") or not again ("let's do this again but let's
to Camp Familiar again....isn't there *another* Boy Scout camp around here?").
What did YOU get out of the experience is personal, and for that I don't ask for
each individual to answer unless they choose to do so (makes for a shorter eval
session). I end up getting some rather pointed "personal growth points", many of
which I retain in my head (never written...this is an evaluation not a test)
of my Scouts. Get THEM to talk about their experiences. Same of what did they
learn (which can be very different from what they experienced).
So, going back to our Eagle candidate.....once I have contacted the
then during the Eagle Board of Review, I would ask some rather pointed questions
of the candidate: What did you get out of the experience? How did you
what the end result was and what you strived for? Did you enjoy the experience?
How would you go about doing it if I gave you a blank Eagle Project form and
to fill it out?
We as Scouters need to continuously emphasize the idea of "proofing your work"
just like we do when we check knots to see if they are tight or when we evaluate
a campsite or when we insure that Scouts aren't trying to do a ten-mile hike
water. This evaluation needs to be a natural part of each significant camp,
or outdoor activity. Of course, it needs to be a part of our regular
meetings as well.
The evaluation should include parents, siblings, even our friends and
significant others...anyone that witnesses the event and can shed light on
how it could be
When I go to make a speech someplace and take along my wife, I always ask her
afterwards what did *she* think about it. "Not to make my head swell", I
after the first couple of times, "but because I can't see myself standing
there. I can
hear myself talking, but sometimes what I say may not have gotten past the
or the environment or the police sirens in the background. Did you see
up and leave? Were they interested in what I had to say or did they spend
more time reading the program over again?" She's never disappointed me,
because besides the "aw, honies, you did fine", she also says "You spend too
much time talking to
the people on your left side....you need to pick up your pacing....stop with the
"Explorer Scouts" and how much you hate that term....the Scout Executive man's
name is David, not Dennis".
The same goes with evaluating an Eagle candidate. Anyone else??
>While I'm here...... We never know it all. After almost 25 years we will
>have a Lone Scout Eagle candidate in the near future; I approved his project
>last night. Are there subtle differences - from signing the application to
>Board approval - of which I should be aware? (I've read the Guidelines)
Insure that the Lone Scout has a wide variety of people attending his Board.
Lone Scouts are so used to having the same old people there. Tell us how it
Hope this all helps out...
(and Rhett, please take note that Lone Scouts can be found in many Councils
and don't have to be "overseas someplace" in order to be a Lone Scout!)
(MAJ) Mike L. Walton (Settummanque, the blackeagle)
(Brigade) Signal Officer, TF 21, 21st Theater Army Area Command
Kaiserslautern, Federal Republic of Germany
"everything I say is "on the record"; speaking ONLY for myself unless indicated"
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Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City