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Beavah

BOR Questions - Reviewing or Retesting?

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In a previous episode, Venividi wrote:

 

Where I do think there is difference is differing opinions on what constitutes "retesting" vs "reviewing understanding".

 

I think he Came and Saw right on the money, eh? And there's a natural tension between making sure the boy has learned and not turning a BOR into an interrogation. Let's try to make this a bit more concrete. For the first 1/3 of a board of review (before getting to his experience in the troop and encouraging further advancement), how do these questions sit with folks? Sorry, this is a bit long 'cause I got carried away. No need to reply with nine answers, it's just to seed discussion.

 

CASE 1: DIRECTLY VERIFYING

1. Is it OK to ask a boy to repeat the Scout Oath and Law from memory (TF Req. 7)? Is it OK to ask him what Thrifty means to him?

 

2. Is it OK to ask to tell you what things should be done for a safe swim?

 

3. Is it OK to give a boy a map and compass and ask him to orient the map?

 

4. Is it OK to ask a boy to plan and cook a dinner for the BOR?

 

5. Is it OK to ask a boy to demonstrate Scout Spirit by living up to the Oath and Law during the BOR?

 

Is your answer for any of the above questions different? If so, why? All of them directly retest a requirement.

 

CASE 2: EXPLAINING THE STEPS TO SOMETHING THAT WAS DEMONSTRATED

6. Tenderfoot requirement 6 is to demonstrate folding an American flag. Is it OK to ask a boy to tell how he would fold an American flag (TF Req. 6), as long as you don't ask him to demonstrate folding a flag?

 

7. Is it OK to ask a boy to tell you how he would recognize and treat a fellow scout for hypothermia or heat stroke? (again, as long as you dont give him a victim and ask him to demonstrate it?)

 

8. Is it OK to ask a boy to tell you how he demonstrated scout spirit by living the Oath and Law in his everyday life?

 

Is your answer to questions 6,7, and 8 different? If so, why? All of them ask the boy to tell you how he would/did demonstrate that skill or action.

 

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In my unit, the Scout starts the BOR by leading the board in the Pledge, Scout Oath & Law. He then is asked to recite the Slogan & Motto.

 

Is this retesting? Could be. All 8 questions you listed could be construed as retesting, Beavah. 1, 2, 7 & 8 fall in that gray area while the rest are more in the retest area than the others.

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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I agree with Ed. We do the same in our unit.

 

Our BOR questions are a balance of "what you did?/how you do it?" questions and more open-ended questions "how have you demonstrated thriftiness?", "If a friend offered you drugs, how would you respond and has scouting had any impact on that decision?", "What's your favorite thing to do (inside or outside of scouting)?", "Do you like scouting? Why?".

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Yah, Ed, I know... I deliberately selected the questions because I thought someone somewhere would call each "retesting."

 

It's curious to me that you think 1, 2, 7 & 8 are "grey area." One and two ask the boy to exactly repeat what is necessary for the signoff in the first place... the same as 3, 4, and 5. Seven and eight both ask for a verbal description of a requirement that had to be demonstrated... the same as 6. How are you defining "grey area?"

 

My guess is that most of us have a notion of what's appropriate for a BOR that has nothing to do with "retesting" at all, but instead has some notion of "reasonableness" and "usefulness." Asking for the Oath and Law seems reasonable, having a boy cook dinner for the BOR doesn't. Asking about how he demonstrated scout spirit is closer to our core mission than flag folding, and so more useful; even though both are at the same "retesting" threshold.

 

The point is that people's slavish devotion to the "no retest" clause doesn't meet the aims, and really isn't consistent with the rest of the BSA materials about the role of BORs. We'd do a better job training BOR members if we taught a "reasonableness" standard.

 

I keep waiting for OGE's and FScouter's responses here to see if they are really "no retest" or whether they too have a "reasonableness" standard of some kind.

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Beavah,

 

I shoulda added #3 to the grey area list. Why are these in the grey area? They are specifically asking the Scout to do something they have been signed off for ergo retesting.

 

But a review in a sense is a retest. The BOR needs to ask questions to ensure the requirements that were signed off were actually completed.

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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Most of those 8 questions don't meet the spirit or purposes of a board of review. Try these questions instead. They are all open-ended and help the board to get a conversation going with the boy. It's easier to evaluate a candidate through a conversation with him than through an objective examination.

 

Who is your patrol leader?

What do you think of the problems he is facing?

How are you doing in your first aid skills?

What are your goals for the next few months; how do they meet advancement requirements?

What do you think would make the troop better?

How do you fulfill your duty to country? To God?

What does 'loyal' mean to you?

What merit badges did you enjoy, and why?

What merit badges did you get the most out of, and why?

How did you fulfill your Swimming (or other merit badge) requirements?

How did you feel about your leadership position?

How did you feel about how you exercised that position?

Did you feel that you accomplished anything in that position?

What were your frustrations?

Who do you think is doing a good job in the troop?

Have you thought about achieving Eagle?

Have you thought about a service project for Eagle?

How do you honor the 12th point of the Scout Law?

How do you think the troop is doing?

What do you like most in troop outdoor activities?

What new things did you do/learn on your latest campout/service project/troop meeting?

What did you learn/feel in giving service to others?

Why is being a Boy Scout important to you?

What are your goals in Scouting?

How will fulfilling requirement number _______ (for your next rank) help you?

Do you enjoy the outings/troop meetings?

Which of the requirements are most difficult for you?

Do you find that school activities are taking more of your time? Which ones?

 

All of these sample questions are found in the resources BSA makes available to board members to help them do their job.

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Beavah, what part of the phrase "The review is not an examination. " don't you understand? I kept away from this thread because I didn't se any value in arguing the same point in two threads. The Board of Review is not a place to test/retest examine/rexamine the scout, the program is to be set up so the skills are learned and applied. I think I am saying the same thing each time I reply, I hope so. Ok, if its what questions to ask, I found these on the net, I am sure there are many more but none "retest"

Tenderfoot

1. When did you join our Troop?

2. How many Troop meetings have you attended in the last two months?

3. What did you do at your last patrol meeting?

4. Tell us about your last Troop campout.

5. How would the first aid skills you must know for Tenderfoot help on a campout?

6. Where did you learn how to fold the American flag? Tell us about your first experience

with this skill.

7. How would you avoid poison oak (poison ivy, sumac)?

8. Where did you go on your hike? How did you choose the location?

9. If you were on a hike and got lost, what would you do?

10. Why do we whip or fuse the ends of a rope?

11. What is the "Buddy System" that we use in Scouting? When do we use it?

12. Why do you think there are physical fitness requirements (push-ups, pull-ups, etc.), and

a retest after 30 days, for the Tenderfoot rank?

13.What does it mean to a Tenderfoot Scout to "Be Prepared"?

14. Do you feel that you have done your best to complete the requirements for Tenderfoot?

Why?

15. What "good turn" have you done today?

16. Please give us an example of how you obey the Scout Law at home (school, church)?

17. What do you like best about our Troop?

18. What does it mean for a Scout to be "Kind"?

19. Do you have any special plans for this summer? The Holidays?

20. When do you plan to have the requirements completed for 2nd Class?

 

Second Class

1. How many patrol meetings have you attended in the last 3 months?

2. What did your patrol do at its last meeting?

3. Tell us about a service project in which you participated.

4. Where did you go on your last Troop campout? Did you have a good time? Why?

5. Why is it important to be able to identify animals found in your community?

6. Tell us about the flag ceremony in which you participated.

7. What is in your personal first aid kit?

8. What have you learned about handling woods tools (axes, saws, etc.)?

9. How are a map of the area and a compass useful on a campout?

10. Have you ever done more than one "good turn" in a day? Ask for details.

11. Have you earned any merit badges?

If "Yes": Which ones? Why did you choose them? Who was your counselor?

If "No": Encourage getting started, and suggest one or two of the easier ones.

12. Did you attend summer camp with our Troop last summer?

If "Yes": What was your best (worst) experience at summer camp?

If "No": Why not?

13. Do you plan to attend summer camp with our Troop next summer?

If "Yes": What are you looking forward to doing at summer camp?

If "No": Why not?

14. What suggestions do you have for improving our Troop?

15. How do you help out at home, church, school?

16. What class in school is most challenging for you? Why?

17. One of the requirements for Tenderfoot is to participate in a program regarding drug,

alcohol and tobacco abuse. Tell us about the program in which you participated.

18. How is it possible to live the Scout Oath and Law in your daily life?

19. What does it mean to say, "A Scout is Trustworthy"?

20. When do you expect to complete the requirements for 1st Class?

 

First Class

1.    On average, how many Troop meetings do you attend each month?

2.    What part of Troop meetings are most rewarding to you?

3.    What is the Scout Slogan? What does it mean for a 1st Class Scout?

4.    Tell us about your last campout with the Troop. Where did you go? How did you help with meal preparation? Did you have a good time? (If "No", why not?)

5.    If you were in charge of planning and preparing a dinner for your next campout, what would you select?

6.    As a 1st Class Scout, what do you think the Star, Life, and Eagle Scouts will expect from you on an outing?

7.    Does your family do any camping? What have you learned in Scouts, that you have been able to share with your family to improve their camping experiences?

8.    Why do you think that swimming is emphasized in Scouting?

9.    Why is it important for you to know how to transport a person who has a broken leg?

10.  Why is it important for you to be able to recognize local plant life?

11.  What did you learn about using a compass while completing the orienteering requirement?

12.  What does it mean to say, "A Scout is Courteous"?

13.  Why are merit badges a part of Scouting?

14.  How frequently do you attend religious services? Does your whole family attend?

15.  What is your most favorite part of Scouting? Least favorite?

16.  How does a Scout fulfill his "Duty to Country"?

17.  How do you define "Scout Spirit"?

18.  What is the Order of the Arrow? What is the primary function of OA?

19.  Who was Lord Baden-Powell?

20.  When do you think you might be ready for Star Scout?

 

Star Scout

1.    How many Troop outings have you attended in the last three months?

2.    Tell us about the last service project in which you participated.

3.    What does it mean for a Star Scout to "Be Prepared" on a daily basis?

4.    How have the Scout skills that you have learned helped you in a non-Scouting activity?

5.    How many merit badges have you earned? What was the most difficult (fun, challenging, expensive, etc.)?

6.    Which is more important: Becoming a Star Scout, or learning the skills prescribed for a Star Scout?

7.    Why do you think a Scoutmaster's Conference is required for advancement in rank?

8.    What is the most important part of a Troop Court of Honor? Why?

9.    What leadership positions have you held outside of your patrol? What challenges did they present? What are your personal leadership goals and objectives?

10.  How would you get a Scout to do an unpleasant task?

11.  What extracurricular activities do you participate in at school?

12.  What responsibilities do you have at home?

13.  What is our "Duty to God"?

14.  What does it mean to say "A Scout is Loyal"?

15.  How are the Scout Oath and Law part of your daily life?

16.  What is the Outdoor Code? Why is it important?

17.  If the Scout is a member of the Order of the Arrow:

       When did you complete your "Ordeal", "Brotherhood"?

       What does membership in the OA signify?

 

18.  Have you received any special awards or accomplishments in school, athletics, or church?

19.  Baden-Powell's first Scout outing was located on an island off the coast of Great Britain; what was the name of that island? [Answer: Brownsea Island]

20.  When do you plan on achieving the Life rank?

 

Life Scout

 

1.    What is the most ambitious pioneering project with which you have assisted? Where?

2.    What has been your worst camping experience in Scouting?

3.    How many patrol meetings has your patrol held in the last three months? How many of them have you attended?

4.    Have any of the merit badges you have earned lead to hobbies or possible careers?

5.    What are your hobbies?

6.    Of the merit badges you have earned, which one do you think will be of greatest value to you as an adult? Why?

7.    Why do you think that the three "Citizenship" merit badges are  required for the Eagle Rank?

8.    What is your current (most recent) leadership position within the Troop? How long have you held that position? What particular challenges does it present? What is Leadership?

9.    Do you have any brothers or sisters who are in Scouts (any level)? What can you do to encourage them to continue with Scouts, and to move forward along the Scouting Trail?

10.  How do you choose between a school activity, a Scout activity, and a family activity?

11.  Why do you think that Star and Life Scouts are required to contribute so much time to service projects? What service projects are most rewarding to you? Why?

12.  Why do you think that a Board of Review is required for rank advancement?

13.  How has Scouting prepared you for the future?

14.  What does it mean to say, "A Scout is Reverent"?

15.  What does "Scout Spirit" mean to a Life Scout?

16.  Why do you think that Scouting for Food is referred to as a "National Good Turn".

17.  The Scout Oath refers to "Duty to Self"; what duty do we have to ourselves?

18.  If the Scout is a member of OA:

       What role does OA play in Scouting?

       What honor do you hold in OA?

       What is the difference between Scout "ranks" and OA "honors"?

 

19.  In what year was Boy Scouts of America founded? [Answer:  February 8, 1910 - BSA Birthday]

20.  Have you begun to think about an Eagle Service Project? What are you thinking about doing? When?

 

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OGE,

Which part of the objectives of a BOR as stated in the publication you keep referring to don't you understand. The objectives are bullet pointed where as your sentence is normal text. Which of the questions for Tenderfoot you sighted helps you determine whether the candidate can repeat the Oath, Law, motto, slogan, and knows what they mean? How about his patrol name? How can you in good faith attest to the fact that these skills have been learned and completed? As a member of the BOR you would have to sign the Advancement Report which states; To; Council Advancement Committee I certify that the following record of advancement is correct and that it meets the standards and requirements of the Boy Scouts of America,..... How can I possibly signify the procedures have been followed and requirements met if I never ask the boy about any of them? If he can tell me WHY we whip or fuse the ends of a rope I can sign off that he has learned HOW to whip and fuse the ends of a rope? IMO National has become more concerned with advancement than skill acquisition. National wants boys to stay in the program so we make it easier.

Six out of the seven Mercury Astronauts had scouting backgrounds. The first American to orbit the planet is an Eagle Scout. The first human to set foot on the Moon is an Eagle Scout. I do not see this as coincidence! I see it as a testimony to the quality of the program which produced those men.

LongHaul

 

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Thanks, OGE and FScouter. I think it's pretty clear that OGE agrees with me and many of us, and that even FScouter does some direct retesting, though only about ideals and values, not about skills.

 

Let's look at some questions from your lists:

 

How do you fulfill your duty to country? To God?

What does 'loyal' mean to you?

How do you honor the 12th point of the Scout Law?

What does it mean to a Tenderfoot Scout to "Be Prepared"?

What does it mean for a Scout to be "Kind"?

What does it mean to say, "A Scout is Trustworthy"? (this retested a Tenderfoot requirement at 2nd class BOR!)

What is the Scout Slogan? What does it mean for a 1st Class Scout? (This retest a TF requirement at a 1st Class BOR!)

What does it mean to say, "A Scout is Courteous"?

How does a Scout fulfill his "Duty to Country"?

What does it mean for a Star Scout to "Be Prepared" on a daily basis?

What is our "Duty to God"?

What does it mean to say "A Scout is Loyal"?

 

All of these are the equivalent of #1 on my list - they directly retest Tenderfoot Requirement #7.

 

 

If you were on a hike and got lost, what would you do?

What is the "Buddy System" that we use in Scouting? When do we use it?

If you were in charge of planning and preparing a dinner for your next campout, what would you select?

 

All of these are like #2 on my list: they directly retest a "tell" requirement.

 

 

How would you avoid poison oak (poison ivy, sumac)?

What is in your personal first aid kit?

What have you learned about handling woods tools (axes, saws, etc.)?

One of the requirements for Tenderfoot is to participate in a program regarding drug, alcohol and tobacco abuse. Tell us about the program in which you participated.

How many Troop outings have you attended in the last three months?

What is your current (most recent) leadership position within the Troop? How long have you held that position?

 

The above questions are the equivalent of my #6 or #7 - asking a boy directly how he performed a "demonstrate" requirement.

 

 

Please give us an example of how you obey the Scout Law at home (school, church)?

What "good turn" have you done today?

Please give us an example of how you obey the Scout Law at home (school, church)?

Have you ever done more than one "good turn" in a day? Ask for details.

How do you help out at home, church, school?

How frequently do you attend religious services? Does your whole family attend?

 

These are the equivalent of my #8... making a boy tell how he has done a demonstrate requirement.

 

 

Off to the retesting jail with both of you!

 

 

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I think what people think of retesting is

 

Tie a bowline

 

Show me how to splint a leg.

 

Pitch that tent.

 

Those are obvious. But many of the questions FScouter & OGE listed could also be considered retesting.

 

What does 'loyal' mean to you?

How do you honor the 12th point of the Scout Law?

How would you avoid poison oak (poison ivy, sumac)?

What does it mean to a Tenderfoot Scout to "Be Prepared"?

What does it mean to say, "A Scout is Trustworthy"?

What does it mean to say, "A Scout is Courteous"?

What is the Outdoor Code? Why is it important?

 

 

These all can be considered retesting. We all do it! There is really no way around it.

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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I have to say that the question of reviewing or retesting rests in the definition. A "review" means that you do not sit back and wait on the scout to answer all of your questions - you feel free to prompt a bit, talk about some of the reasons and uses of the area under consideration, and get a feel for the way be scout understands the area under review. All areas are open for review! My favorite - if a snake bites my leg, what would you do?

 

A test is where you ask and wait for the scout to answer, and decide if they get it right or wrong. No assistance to or discussion with the scout, and a very bright line, pass or fail.

 

I have always looked at BORs as a way to help the scout see behind the specifics of the requirements and understand what they mean, a time to pass on the Vision of scouting. Lets' not forget that the BOR for all of the ranks up to Eagle is a way for us to help the scout to learn to express themselves past the lame "uh, ya" that is common in for Tenderfoot to a good exposition on one of the 12 points of the Scout laws means in their life at the Life scout BOR. We have a responsibility in each BOR to prepare the scout, in a step wise fashion, for their Eagle BOR. Would you expect your child to pass a calculus test without a knowledge of geometry?

 

The BOR is a partnership with the adults that make up the BOR and the scout - an extension of the "Adult Association" method and a real chance for the scout to tell us what the troop can and should be.

 

 

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