Re: SMC/BoR questions
Anthony J. Mako (ajmako@NLS.NET)
Thu, 3 Sep 1998 09:12:28 -0400
I was just (tonight) officially appointed Scoutmaster of Troop 244, Fargo
ND... Tonight I had six Scoutmaster conferences and I don't think I did the
job I should have. I have seen some related postings in the past. What
sort of questions do you Scoutmasters typically ask of aspirants for higher
rank? How much do the questions vary according to the rank sought?
Obviously, a Star to Life should be subject to different questions than a
The questions you should ask during Scoutmaster Conferences vary according
to the rank involved, and the Scout involved. The conference serves three
1) It is an opportunity for the SM to develop his relationship with the
Scout. It gives the SM a chance to get to know the Scout better and to find
out what the boy is all about. It also gives the Scout a chance to
communicate his feelings to an adult other than his parents.
2) It is an opportunity for the SM to determine what the Scout learned while
completing the requirements. By that I mean, has he grown in his
understanding of the Scout Oath and Scout Law? This is basically the
evaluation of the Scout Spirit requirement.
3) It is an opportunity for the SM to help the Scout set goals. Not just
goals for the next rank, but goals for living his life and doing the things
he wants to do.
What questions are asked depend on who the Scout is, where he wants to go,
where he has been. I find it easiest to start by asking the Scout how he is.
It's a vague question that leads to other questions that can be used to find
out what the boy likes, doesn't like, etc. You want to find out about his
life outside Scouting. Other questions may be suggested by the Scout's
answers. This should naturally lead to his Scouting life. Here you can find
out about what he likes and doesn't like about the troop, his patrol, and
Scouting in general. If there are things he doesn't like, you can draw him
into deciding on how he can change them or make them better.
Ultimately, you want the Scout to set a goal for the next rank. You want to
get him to challenge himself, but the goal doesn't have to involve Scouting.
The best definition I have for a Scoutmaster's Conference is the old
(1970's) name for it: "Personal Growth Agreement Conference."
In the same vein, what questions should a BoR consider important?
The BOR is much different than the SM's Conference in that the conference is
a personal talk with the SM, while the BOR is a bunch of folks the Scout
barely knows asking him questions about things he did several months ago.
The purpose of the BOR is to determine whether or not the Scout accomplished
the requirements of the rank without resorting to becoming a re-test of the
A. J. Mako, firstname.lastname@example.org , Scoutmaster Troop 381
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