Rank Requirement Approvals
Rick L. Covington (RCOVINGT@CCMAIL.DSCCC.COM)
Wed, 20 Aug 1997 14:37:33 -0500
I have read with great interest the recent discussions on the rank
requirement approvals. Many times it has been recited on the list,
that "no one can add or subtract from a requirement". Others have
addressed the concerns of "lowering of the standards", if some form
of verification is not done.
I think we all agree that every scout should have the same requirements.
The recognition of a scout's rank should provide an indication of the
skills level he possesses.
There appears to be three schools of thought on how to teach, test and approve
scout requirement skills.
One school of thought is the scout is taught by someone at sometime
and no testing is allowed. Only the indirect verification during the
Board of Review that the scout performed or completed the
requirements. No adds, no changes, and no challenges.
The second school, says it is the Scoutmaster's responsibility to
verify that the scout knows his stuff during the Scoutmaster's
Conference. So the Scoutmaster during the SMC is allowed to
conduct tests to verify that a scout knows the material. Such as
asking a scout to tie a knot, or demonstrate a skill, or recite the
Outdoor Code. Then the Board of Review does not have to dwell on
the scout skill verification but only the Scout spirit and attitude
questions. No adds, no changes, and no challenges by the Board of
The third school, says the Board of Review is the place where the rank
candidate is tested on his scout skills. The scout must be prepared to pass
the Board of Review. Some troops ask questions relating to any previous rank
completed by the scout. No adds, no changes to requirements, some challenges
Various publications have been quoted to support the various
positions. What I have determined from these discussions are that
most troops have tried to placed the responsibility of teaching,
testing and approving rank requirements with the 'older' scouts.
These subject matter 'experts' provide the level of standards for
The Advancement Guide outlines the four steps of advancement.
1. The Boy Scout learns. A scout learns by doing. As he learns,
he grows in ability to do his part as a member of the patrol and the
troop. As he develops knowledge and skill, he is asked to teach
others; and in this way he begins to develop leadership.
2. The Boy Scout is tested. A scout may be tested on rank
requirements by his patrol leader, Scoutmaster, Asst. Scoutmaster,
troop committee member, or a member of his troop. The Scoutmaster
maintains a list of those qualified to give tests and to pass
candidates. The scout's merit badge counselor teaches and tests on
the requirements for the merit badges.
3. The Boy Scout is reviewed. After a Scout has completed all
requirements for a rank, he has a board of review. For Tenderfoot,
Second Class, First Class, Star, Life and Eagle Palms, the review is
conducted by members of the troop committee.
4. The Boy Scout is recognized. When the board of review has
certified a boy's advancement, he deserves to receive recognition as
soon as possible. This should be done at a ceremony at the next
troop meeting. The certification for his next rank may be presented
later at a formal court of honor.
So what if;
What if the Scoutmaster had a group of 'older expert scouts' perform
the rank review process for him during the Scoutmaster's Conference.
They ask the test questions and ask for demonstrations of various
scout skills for the rank. Once the group is satisfied that the
candidate is qualified, the scout is then ready to complete the rest
of the Scoutmaster's Conference.
The issue at hand is not should a scout be directly tested on scout
skills for a rank requirement but when?
Circle Ten Council
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City