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  • Rank quizing

    Ok, I know what BSA says about it, how about you all? What is your opinion of a Troop that uses rank advancement worksheets during the Scoutmaster conferances? I'm not talking about the ones on meritbadge.org, but a worksheet with about 40 questions that they have to answer during a Scoutmaster conferance. Questions about the Scoutcraft they have learned (T-1st) and merit badges for higher ranks. And they have to get a passing grade to proceed onto a BOR.

  • #2
    Sounds like lazy Scouters to me. It's supposed to be a conference, which to me means a discussion. Quiz away, but verbally and with training aids, like a first aid kit, or line and sticks for lashing... A Scout doesnt fail, although thru discussion, he'll decide that he needs to come back and finish the conference.

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    • #3
      scout master conferences are not about retesting......If you believe that is the case then you need some training.

      Scout masters conferences for rank advancement is about getting to know the scout, see what he is getting out of scouting, what he likes, dislikes, his goals, aspirations.....

      Once his book is signed retesting is irrelevant it is basically one and done.

      I googled the form.....what that is sad.......this is what one of them had on it

      Have you attached your completed "Scout Spirit" summary? YES NO

      Yes there is a scout spirit summary sheet........Sad sad sad....

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      • #4
        Scout masters conferences for rank advancement is about getting to know the scout, see what he is getting out of scouting, what he likes, dislikes, his goals, aspirations.....

        Yah, I've never understood this claim. Are yeh really saying that by the time a boy comes up for rank advancement, the Scoutmaster doesn't know the scout? Talk about an out of touch fellow who needs to be replaced as SM! I can see this maybe for the Joining Conference, but not after that.

        Yes there is a scout spirit summary sheet........Sad sad sad....

        Sorta like the two scout spirit summary sheets that we require Eagle Scouts to fill out?

        No, I'm perfectly opposed to the sort of thing this troop is doin', and in fact I find the dumb worksheets on meritbadge.com the worst form of not understanding how to do Scouting. But all things in balance, eh? Scouts are supposed to really learn, not one-and-done. And it's a sign of a good program if a SM or a BOR actually takes a look at whether a scout who is comin' up for rank has actually learned what he is claiming to have. At very least, it should inform the program on how well it's doin' for the lad.

        Beavah

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        • #5
          Beavah

          I have not worn the SM boots yet, but that question goes two ways.......


          If the SM knows the boys then he should also know that they have the skills as signed off.



          Maybe it is our troop dynamic, but I can honestly say I know a little bit about most of the boys....But in no way do I fully know the boys.


          I understand an eagle mill doing it, because they are rule book thumpers......It is easy for the advancement chair to go to the file cabinet if a question a rises.....

          busybodyparent says "Little jimmy failed on scouts spirit"

          AC goes to file cabinet and produces the document and responses. "he did not, right here is his form and it is filled in correctly"


          A parting thought......Why bother to quiz them.....A scout masters conference is not a pass or fail, you just need to have one. Or am I missing something???

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          • #6
            I would say no. I hate the worksheets. I am starting to teach MB's and I have the hardest time getting the boys to understand that the WORKSHEET IS NOT THE MERIT BADGE. (sorry for shouting)

            It is a study aid nothing more. Filling in the blanks is not doing the work. I think this partially due to schools being heavily reliant on worksheet exercises these days. Also easier for Lazy scouters to hand out worksheets and give out the answers. Lord forbid they do anything hands on.

            I admit I used one at a campout for Scout Rank review--I needed one as a ref and the Boy Scout Book was a little light on the subject.

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            • #7
              Also like the others have said it is supposed to be a conference. As an ASM I have discussed items with boys and sent them away to try again buy always in a friendly way.

              Comment


              • #8
                Beavah wrote: "Yah, I've never understood this claim. Are yeh really saying that by the time a boy comes up for rank advancement, the Scoutmaster doesn't know the scout?"

                I think you know better. It's one thing to know the scout, but another to have had an extended private conversation about scouting experiences and goals. I'm a CC and I focus on the adult side of the troop; redirecting the scouts to the SPL or SM. But I still know all the scouts, their personalities, likes, dislikes, etc. But I've had few private conversations. And even fewer have I had a heart-to-heart conversation about their life and scouting experience.

                I'm sure it's the same for our SM. SMC is not pass / fail. It's just a directed conversation.

                ...

                Rank advancement worksheets ... Falls right in-line with the ninth method of scouting.

                1. Patrols
                2. Ideals
                3. Outdoor programs
                4. Advancement
                5. Adult interaction
                6. Personal growth
                7. Leadership development
                8. Uniform
                9. Inspirational paperwork


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                • #9
                  Yah, I like the bit about Inspirational Paperwork. :P

                  If the SM knows the boys then he should also know that they have the skills as signed off.

                  Maybe, for some stuff. But if you're lettin' Patrol Leaders do the testing or such, then checkin' in on that is a reasonable thing. Or maybe yeh discover as evilramsfan did that the ASM took summer camp sheets as a signoff when he shouldn't have. Some skills yeh see all the time, like settin' up a tent. Others, like First Aid, yeh might not see first hand.

                  There's another reason too, eh? Sometimes those are good icebreaker questions that get the scout talkin'. Younger boys in particular tend to clam up when adults start askin' big abstract questions or vague things about how they're doin'. But ask 'em something about skills they know well and even the shy boys will be off to the races.

                  But I've had few private conversations. And even fewer have I had a heart-to-heart conversation about their life and scouting experience. I'm sure it's the same for our SM.

                  Egad! Mr. CC, yeh need to sit and have a heart-to-heart with your Scoutmaster! Stop focusing on Advancement and start payin' attention to the other methods like Adult Association. What's the fellow doin' with his time? Personal conversations with the Scoutmaster and heart-to-hearts should be goin' on all the time in your program. They shouldn't have to wait until rank advancement time, where a kid gets only get six of 'em during his 7 years as a scout?

                  If your unit is a large one, then start figurin' out how the ASMs can share the load so that Adult Association is really workin' well in your troop. Those relationships should be active and ongoing, eh? It's a vital part of Scouting.

                  Beavah


                  Comment


                  • #10
                    If you can't spell it correctly, don't do it!
                    Forget quizzing.

                    Ask the boy, "Before we start this conference are you able to do or tell me about each requirement you have signed off so far?"
                    If he hems and haws say, "What are you weak on?"
                    Then say, "Why don't you practice it and come back?"

                    Then, when he's ready, you can get to the nitty-gritty of the conference. (What he liked. What was challenging. His plan. Where to take the program next.)

                    Really, isn't there already enough paperwork in this world?

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                    • #11
                      Any Scoutmaster who uses rank advancement worksheets should be shown the door. Scoutmasters are supposed to be like brothers to their Scouts (B-P's idea, not mine) and I am fairly certain no older brother would require paperwork before talking with a younger brother. That is what a Scoutmaster conference is, after all: an opportunity for the Scoutmaster to talk with a Scout about how he is doing in Scouting. Don't ask Scouts about weaknesses but instead ask "What was your favorite part of this requirement?"

                      BSA Advancement Policies opens with this quote:
                      "One of the most enjoyable experiences of being a Scoutmaster is the opportunity for a Scout and his leader to sit down and visit together."

                      It doesn't say "test" or "quiz" or "interrogate." It says "visit." When I had my Scoutmaster conferences (even for Eagle!) they were all conversations about what I enjoyed on my path to the next rank. I was never quizzed on anything. The closest thing to quizzing was simply a question about what I enjoyed about "_________ merit badge" or what my favorite Scout skill was, and then we would close with setting a time goal for me to reach my next rank (and I was never held to them- they were just guides).

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                      • #12
                        "Quizzing" (or whatever is a better term for it) at the SM Conference is a great way for the SM to determine the Scout's level of retention and ability to demonstrate basic Scout skills he has learned from his PL, SPL, Troop Guide, JASM, etc. The SM may soon be calling on that Scout to be a Troop Guide, responsible for teaching Scout skills...

                        It is also a way for the SM to determine the level of knowledge of the current batch of "teachers". If the Scout isn't doing well in his SM Conference, why not, is this particular Scout, or the Scouts that signed off that he knew it? If it is the signer's, why are they signing it off when the Scout doesn't know it? This may lead to another "train the trainers" get together for those entrusted with that responsibility. Those Scouts need to learn that their initials mean something.

                        As I stated before, the Scout doesn't fail the SM Conference, however the SM Conference may turn into lessons on Scout skills of a specific rank and of ranks earned. This Scout may have to come back and "finish" his SM Conference. In the mean time, the SM/ASM that held the SM Conference has the duty to figure out why and come up with solutions.

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                        • #13
                          And of course one must also realize that if the boy has his SMC with a quiz and fails it terribly, he still moves on to the BOR. There is nothing in the requirements that says the boy has to "pass" a SMC, he just has to have one.

                          Stosh

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                          • #14
                            It is called a scout masters conference

                            Not a
                            Scout master test
                            Scout master quiz
                            Scout master skill challenge

                            As stated before it is not a Pass or fail deal......He speaks to the scout master and then moves on to the board of review.

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                            • #15
                              The first and usually only question I began every SMC with was: Are you ready for your BOR? If he says yes, I have him outline all the good things he is going to impress the board with. It usually is followed up with: You were a PL, what are you going to tell the board about how that went?

                              On the other hand if the boy says no, then it is followed up with: Okay, what areas are you struggling with and how can we help?

                              I have always used the SMC as an opportunity for the boy to do self introspection on his progress. I never tested the boys, but if one approaches it correctly, the boy can mentally process a self-test of his own.

                              I held SMC's all the time for the boys and distinguished clearly the difference between an advancement SMC and a mentoring kind of SMC.

                              Stosh

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