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Jodie

Misrepresentation During A Board Of Review

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I get frustrated when I feel I've been snowed by a kid or anyone. But my optimism ultimately isn't a character flaw or integrity failure.

 

Both in advancement rules as meschen said and in your own dignity. I don't think you should "renig" your word. If you feel Scout Spirit is a weak area, let him and his SM know as a focus for the next advancement.

 

Think about it. A scout that is less than a model scout got in trouble. He was then "forced" to teach kids about knots. I'm not sure that's something that can really be "forced" unless you also want to punish his students. It sounds like it went well. Well enough for him to take pride. Maybe those kids really learned some knots. That may be all the Spirit he has at this point, hope it seeds more.

 

Pretty much every Scout-led instruction started w/ an adult or SPL asking, "Hey Jimmy, would you..." It may not be an example of initiative but it's still a great stepping stone for leadership.

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I agree it's too late to do anything about First Class.  But you do have a learning opportunity here.  Discuss the issue with the SM. Assuming the SM confirms your suspicions,  I would ask to informally meet with the Scout, perhaps along with another member of the BOR (I don't think I would formally reconvene the board) and share your concerns with him.  Maybe he really doesn't understand the issue.  Or maybe he thinks he's getting one over on you.  Either way, conversations like this are what Scouting is all about.

 

With everything checked off, the boy has earned FC and the BOR couldn't do anything about it anyway.  Everything was signed off.  End of discussion.  If the question posed was a recheck of the boy's advancement it is out of line whether the boy lied, misled or whatever.  He demonstrated the act of leadership by helping the boy.  The motivation for that leadership was not part of the question asked by the Board so he did not need to provide further information.  Demonstrating leadership is never a requirement for any of the ranks.  Holding a position of responsibility is, but that can be done whether leadership is demonstrated/needed or not.  

 

I do believe the teaching moment for this boy would be if the BOR asks you any questions about leadership all you need say is I did absolutely no leadership for the younger boys.  It's honest and basically the BOR has no right to deny him rank advancement for answering as such.

 

I believe the only rank requirement expecting leadership is the project for Eagle.  The what is defined as "leadership" may be nothing more than well organized management.  Leadership expects people to follow, not just take orders from the SM to tells the boys they have to work on Johnny's Eagle project, or else....At that point even leadership is no longer necessary for the Eagle rank.

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I would not be very harsh about this. The boy doesn't understand the difference between helping out of his own free will vs. being compelled. The board needs to teach him. 

Hmm, maybe they need to teach me. Service hours are required for rank and yet a BOR would have no trouble accepting that experience as noble even though the scout is required to perform the service. 

 

When I was a new scoutmaster, I was not happy about the SPL's performance. Frankly he was not meeting my expectations and it bothered me a lot. I asked the forum how to approach the scout and a very wise SM asked me how the scout felt about his performance. I had not thought of it that way. So I called him up and we met for pizza before the meeting and I asked. He spent the next 15 minute listing out all his accomplishments and skills he was learning in his position. I was very proud of this young man after that dinner. And I was also very humble. I change my way of thinking as a scout leader. I made scouts' performance less personal and more about measuring a scout by his expectation, not mine. It's easy to be critical of scouts' choices in our world, but what about their choices made in their world.

 

If the scout isn't approached carefully, more harm than good could caused. This is not about the service, it is about the scouts choice of NOT presenting the whole story. But in his mind, was he being deceptive? Why don't we ask before we get too wrapped around the axle about this. 

 

Barry

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The requirements measure skill proficiency, not motivation.  I for one do not think this boy misrepresented anything.  The BOR asked a question on his performance and he gave an explanation of what he performed.  End of discussion.

 

I took a course in educational psychology that taught how to create tests and a student's performance in the test isn't always "wrong" just because the teacher created a terrible test or asked a terrible question.

 

For example: A botanist is a person who studies ____________________.  Okay?  Have your answer?  Well the student answered: A botanist is a person who studies hard.  Well, it is a correct answer, just not the answer you were looking for, but it is still correct.

 

I think in the future the Board needs to think through their questions and be a bit more honest with the answers they expect verse the answers they get.

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Two things:

 

1) I'm not too torqued-up about advancement.  It's a tool; a means to an end of teaching ethical decision making and character development.  I really don't give a rat's rear about what the requirements say regarding leadership.  I expect everyone in the troop to be a leader in their own right, the patch on their left sleeve is immaterial.

 

2) I take Jodie at his/her word that there is something amiss here.  In a short post I couldn't completely describe or justify all the little things which go into what I understand about a situation.  So I give Jodie the benefit of the doubt that he/she has a reasonable basis for feeling the Scout was trying to pull one over.

 

Consequently, throw all the advancement requirements out the window and sit down with this fellow and let him know of your concerns.  Discuss the underlying problems which led to his "punishment."  (I don't punish Scouts.  If this Scout is teaching knots as a punishment, what does that say to the kid who does it because it's his job or he wants to?  But that's another thread.)  Talk to him about sins of commission vs. omission and how that relates to Trustworthyness.  Talk about what real service to other means and why motivation does make a difference.  Talk about servant leadership.

 

Scouting should be all about these types of conversations.

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Yes, I would agree if I thought the scout actually was trying to pull one over on me, but in Jodie's case, I think the boy answered legitimately, but that's just my opinion.  Jodie jumped to the assumption he did it willingly and never pursued it any further than that.  It's not the fault of the boy not to correct the adult in a group setting.

 

I'm sure the SM was fully aware of how this issue all shook out so as to get the punishment in the first place.  Maybe his punishment was a result of him slacking off while others taught knots and now the SM made him follow through as well.  Whatever it was, it was to the satisfaction of the SM.

 

Totally agree, but the BOR is not the time to have these conversations and they need to be initiated by the SM or ASM at the SM's directive, not the personnel on the BOR.

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I think I would chalk this up to a miscommunication, though I do think that someone (probably the SM) should counsel this Scout on how to handle a BOR question like that in the future so that the BOR members are not left thinking that the wool was pulled over their eyes.

 

It also seems to me that if a disciplinary infraction is considered "serious", the Scoutmaster should inform the committee so that the Scout may be asked about it at his next BOR. I don't know whether there is anything in the SM Handbook that says to do that - I don't recall seeing anything like that in the Guide to Advancement. (I also don't know whether my suggestion would apply here because we don't know what the Scout did to cause him to be recruited to instruct the younger Scouts - which, I agree with others, is not a good way to deal with misbehavior.)

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True, there are no take-backs but a Scout is honest.  This Scout wasn't.  That calls for a Scoutmaster Conference and a note to the committee for any future BOR.

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I was part of a board of review last night where we promoted a scout.

 

A scout is not promoted, he has already earned rank advancement by the time he reaches the BOR.

 

I found out today that he misrepresented himself. It was not an outright lie, but still.

 

Every pencil whipped requirement is a misrepresentation as well.  It goes on all the time. 

 

The question was asked of him, "tell an example where you have shown leadership and helped the new first year scouts". He responed with an example of how just last week at camp he sat down and showed them some knots.

 

He answered the question that was asked.

 

I complimented him on his initiative as this was very uncharacteristic of this scout (he borders on being a bully at times to the younger boys).

 

You were suspicious but chose not to follow through, leaving an assumption as part of the problem.  The scout is not responsible for assumptions made by others.  My suspicion lies in the fact that such a question was asked of a scout that the adults knowingly seems to bully younger scouts at times.

 

I found out today that doing the knot tying presentation was a form of punishment of his bad behavour at camp.

 

Obviously it was not important enough for the SM or any ASM to let the Board know about it prior to the BOR.  

 

I wish I had known this before we promoted him,

 

As mentioned previously, the Board does not promote a scout, they only recognize what he has already accomplished.  He is merely going through the last requirement for the rank.  A Board cannot decline a rank, they can postpone, but to be honest,  if a board denies rank, then whoever signed off on him needs to be called in and interviewed by the Board, not the Scout.

 

before I complimented him.

 

I understand this, my male ego would be in the way especially if I had made a false assumption and didn't clarify it.  I've done it many times.

 

This is an ongoing trend that I am seeing with this scout.

 

Then it is something which needs to be addressed with the SM and no one else.  If the SM is worth his salt, he probably is totally aware of what you see and as the "punishment at camp" is referenced seems to be done something about it.  But remember it is HIS JOB to work with the boys, not the members of the committee.

 

Any comments, suggestions would be more than helpful. FYI - this was a promotion to 1st Class rank.

 

I want to go on record as making sure Jodie knows that I'm not faulting her in any way.  The issues she raises here occur all the time in scouting and what she has experienced is nothing the rest of us haven't gone through as well.  I make improper assumptions all the time.  I've had some scouts over the years do a pretty fair job of pulling the wool over my eyes on occasion, and I suspect that even after 40 years someone is going to come up with something new to try and jerk me around.  It's part of the game

 

Obviously this scout is not a candidate for sainthood, but if this is FC, he is probably one of the younger scouts that just needs more maturity.  I don't see that at a young age omissions are even considered when answering a question to adults.  Okay, there are 3-6 adults vs. one lone scout in a BOR.  He is not going to give a long and elaborate answer to any question.  He's going to be nervous and will answer only what is asked and that's exactly what he did.  I have seen 17 year old EBOR candidates do the same thing. 45 years of working with youth in a variety of different settings has gotten me a long way down the road, but I'm still not completely there.  

 

Here's the lesson for today: "Trust, but veryify."  :)  

The lesson for tomorrow is: "Ass-u-me"

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Who is in charge of advancement within the troop?  What are the requirements for first class?  Who is responsible for signing off on those requirements?  What is the purpose of a board of review?   Think hard about these questions and you'll find your answer.

 

If you are lazy, read further.

 

1) The Scoutmaster is in charge of advancement in the troop.

2) First Class requirements 1-13 should have already been completed and signed off, including #12 for demonstrating Scout spirit before the BOR.  The board can't negate these sign-offs.

3) The Scoutmaster has the authority to sign-off on requirements and he may also delegate/assign that authority to others (ASMs, PLs, SPL, etc.).

4) Some of the purposes of a BOR are to evaluate the effectiveness of the Scouting program in the troop and evaluate the experience the Scout is having in the troop.  It is not a time for retesting (requirements should have already been signed off) so the BOR is not to determine if the Scout Spirit requirement has been passed.  However, they may, let me rephrase it, they should discuss the Scout Oath & Law during the review to make sure the Scout recognized and understands those concepts and how it applies in his everyday life (home, unit, school, etc.).  The BOR may do a quick scan of the Scout's Handbook to make sure all requirements have been met by reviewing the sign-offs.

 

As a Scoutmaster, one of my beefs about BORs was the absence of any feedback I got from them.  Many troops fall into the trap of having troop leaders (SM, ASMs) attend outing but not committee members.  So there was a lack of communication about what went on during outings.  We happened to hold our committee meetings concurrently with troop meetings so there wasn't much time to meet face to face - unit leaders and committee members.   

 

In the case shown, to me the Scout has completed all of the requirements

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Who is in charge of advancement within the troop?  What are the requirements for first class?  Who is responsible for signing off on those requirements?  What is the purpose of a board of review?   Think hard about these questions and you'll find your answer.

 

If you are lazy, read further.

 

1) The Scoutmaster is in charge of advancement in the troop.

2) First Class requirements 1-13 should have already been completed and signed off, including #12 for demonstrating Scout spirit before the BOR.  The board can't negate these sign-offs.

3) The Scoutmaster has the authority to sign-off on requirements and he may also delegate/assign that authority to others (ASMs, PLs, SPL, etc.).

4) Some of the purposes of a BOR are to evaluate the effectiveness of the Scouting program in the troop and evaluate the experience the Scout is having in the troop.  It is not a time for retesting (requirements should have already been signed off) so the BOR is not to determine if the Scout Spirit requirement has been passed.  However, they may, let me rephrase it, they should discuss the Scout Oath & Law during the review to make sure the Scout recognized and understands those concepts and how it applies in his everyday life (home, unit, school, etc.).  The BOR may do a quick scan of the Scout's Handbook to make sure all requirements have been met by reviewing the sign-offs.

 

As a Scoutmaster, one of my beefs about BORs was the absence of any feedback I got from them.  Many troops fall into the trap of having troop leaders (SM, ASMs) attend outing but not committee members.  So there was a lack of communication about what went on during outings.  We happened to hold our committee meetings concurrently with troop meetings so there wasn't much time to meet face to face - unit leaders and committee members.   

 

In the case shown, to me the Scout has completed all of the requirements

 

  Well I'm lazy, and you couldn't have explained it better. I have had to continue to tell MC that the Board of Review is not a retest or a redo. To some people these words are interchangeable. Out of all the changes that came down in 1972 one of the few I totally agreed with was the changing of the SMC and BOR to a "Personal Growth Agreement" Nothing to confuse there.

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I'm going to disagree here.  I personally abhor the way National has watered down SMCs and BORs but what really matters is that the Scout doesn't get the rank until it's recorded on the advancement form.  Rank advancements still have to be signed off by members of the BOR so much as I usually agree with Stosh, the Scout has not earned the rank by the time he reaches the BOR.  He has been signed off on all the requirements except for the final signature of the BOR.  Small but critical difference.

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I'm going to disagree here.  I personally abhor the way National has watered down SMCs and BORs but what really matters is that the Scout doesn't get the rank until it's recorded on the advancement form.  Rank advancements still have to be signed off by members of the BOR so much as I usually agree with Stosh, the Scout has not earned the rank by the time he reaches the BOR.  He has been signed off on all the requirements except for the final signature of the BOR.  Small but critical difference.

 

@@HICO_Eagle and yet it is a Board of Review, not a Board of Inquisition.  However, I'm willing to concede with all the Paper Eagles out there on any given day, most FC scouts couldn't go back and retest well on the T-FC requirements to save their soul.

 

Yeah, this is not right and with all the conversation on Eagles not meaning what they used to, the pencil whipping goes on.  Jodie's comments only reinforce what I already know.  Eagle is not a mark of citizenship, honor and achievement, it is a mark of being able to play the game and get the prize.

 

Case in point.  I have a scout who has been in the program for 14 months and has earned 18 MB's having attended summer camp 4 times in two summers.  Quite an achievement for a Tenderfoot scout.   

 

The reason being, it's easier to con the MB counselors at summer camp than get by the SM for rank advancement.  I don't pencil whip and he's the PL so he can't get a buddy PL to pencil whip for him.

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Stosh, I hear you but it used to actually be a Board of Review, not a Board of Kindly Discussion.  For nearly my entire Scouting career, youth and adult, that meant a review of the Scout's progress, skills, and suitability for the next rank.  The way modern "Scouts" want to treat it, you may as well not have it, just have a checklist and get the rank once you get everything checked since the Scoutmaster's Conference and Board of Review are no longer events to be passed but simply something to endure.

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Stosh, I hear you but it used to actually be a Board of Review, not a Board of Kindly Discussion.  For nearly my entire Scouting career, youth and adult, that meant a review of the Scout's progress, skills, and suitability for the next rank.  The way modern "Scouts" want to treat it, you may as well not have it, just have a checklist and get the rank once you get everything checked since the Scoutmaster's Conference and Board of Review are no longer events to be passed but simply something to endure.

 

 Just because that was what was done in your troop does not make it right. I joined scouts in 1970 and for Tenderfoot - 1st Class i was reviewed by the PLC of the troop. Star - Eagle were adult. None of my reviews involved any type of retest or doing requirements over.  In 1972 they changed the name to Personal Growth Agreement. One part involved a discussion with the SM the other part was called a progress review. From the Boy Scout Hanbook. Progress Review: The progress review is done by your troop leaders. They will talk to you about your progress.They want to make sure that you have done all the things you were supposed to. This means that your book is signed and up to date. They will also want to learn what kind of scout you are. They want to help you become an even better one.

 

  The Patrol Leaders Council will review you for Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class. The troop committee will review you for Star, Life. and Eagle.

 

 The only difference that I had from this is my Eagle BOR was done on the district level and had 1 committee member from my troop. So nowhere in the handbook does it even say retest or redo. In my troop there was one way to fail a BOR and that was to not have your handbook or be unprepared. You would simply have to wait till next week.

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