Scouts-L Mail Archive for August of 1999: Two ranks and SM judgment
Two ranks and SM judgment
Fri, 27 Aug 1999 08:21:46 -0500
The concept of SM judgement is an interesting one. Certainly, scoutmasters
DO have certain judgement calls to make and must be willing to make those
calls. For example, none of would argue that anyone other than the
scoutmaster should be making decisions on scout spirit or performing the
It was pointed out to me (rightly) that a board of review should be doing
only one rank at a time. As I originally stated, my committee has, in the
past, had me do a SM conference for one rank...send him to the BoR for that
rank...do a second conference...and then a second BoR.
As I look over the exact requirements again, it does not say, for
Tenderfoot, Second Class, or First Class, "While a ****** Scout, exhibit
Instead, as was pointed out earlier this morning, the requirement says to
exhibit scout spirit by living the oath and law...
The question here, to me, revolves around judgment. Is this nebulus idea of
"Scoutmaster Judgement" applicable? Yes...certainly. But not in the way
Robin suggested. Rather, I believe that, in the scenario I offered for
doing two ranks at once, the SM has to ask him or herself the following
questions, during two different conferences...
1) "Is this scout living the oath and law the way one would expect a
Tenderfoot/Second Class Scout?"
then have the BoR...
2) "Is this scout living the oath and law the way one would expect a Second
Class/First Class scout?"
Granted...some may not like this idea. However, I doubt that any of could
successfully argue that a tenderfoot should behave and will apply the Oath
and Law to his own life the same way that an Eagle should. Application of
the Oath and Law is a progression. Some boys get it; some take longer. As
I have told my boys and their parents, First Class is an achievement. It is
an accomplishment. It takes a while...it takes commitment. I expect more
out of my First Class scouts than my Second Class....Star and Life clearly
more. And, yes, I have answered those questions myself...and told a young
man that he needs to wait and demonstrate BETTER scout spirit as a First
Class scout, because I didn't think he understood how to apply it better.
Has it always been successful? When done this way, it has. My boys
understand that I expect more of them. They complain, they moan, they
groan, because it's easier NOT to do more...but we give them more, and they
stretch and grow to accomplish it.
Yes, there is a need for judgement. But the judgement comes on determining
the level the scout spirit, NOT in determining whether a requirement really
means something else.
"When I choose a word, it means what I want it to mean. Nothing more,
"Through the Looking Glass"