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Misrepresentation During A Board Of Review

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Yes, it's a Board of Review - Review, not Retest. 

 

Does anyone know why we have a Board of Review?  It's part of Scouting History and it's tied in with how Troop Committees were recruited and operated through at least the 50's and into the 60's.  Nowadays, most Troop Committees are made up of parents of Scouts or former Scouts in the Troop, but that wasn't always the case (and for the most part, that wasn't the case until the mid 1960's)  Troop Committees used to be made up of leaders in the community and were recruited by a Neighborhood Commissioner (the precurser to the Unit Commissioner).  The Neighborhood Commissioner would approach leaders in the community- a school principal, the local pasto, the chief of police, the neighborhood eye doctor, the local insurance man, the president of the bank, the editor of the local paper, and other civic and business leaders to form a committee whose job was to support the Troop in delivering it's programing by helping to raise funds, obtain and store equipment, recruit SM's and ASM's, etc. (pretty much what the committee should be doing today).  The reason there were BOR's was two-fold - one was to give the Scouts an opportunity to brag about his latest adventures (and in the process, start learning skills that would hold him in good stead in interviews) to a group of important neighborhood leaders and the other was so that the committee could evaluate whether the unit they're supporting was delivering a good program.  There was no re-testing done - it was just listening to the Scout's stories and reviewing the successes and failures of the program.  Pretty simple - and it worked very well - and still does when done correctly.

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Yes, it's a Board of Review - Review, not Retest. 

 

Does anyone know why we have a Board of Review?  It's part of Scouting History and it's tied in with how Troop Committees were recruited and operated through at least the 50's and into the 60's.  Nowadays, most Troop Committees are made up of parents of Scouts or former Scouts in the Troop, but that wasn't always the case (and for the most part, that wasn't the case until the mid 1960's)  Troop Committees used to be made up of leaders in the community and were recruited by a Neighborhood Commissioner (the precurser to the Unit Commissioner).  The Neighborhood Commissioner would approach leaders in the community- a school principal, the local pasto, the chief of police, the neighborhood eye doctor, the local insurance man, the president of the bank, the editor of the local paper, and other civic and business leaders to form a committee whose job was to support the Troop in delivering it's programing by helping to raise funds, obtain and store equipment, recruit SM's and ASM's, etc. (pretty much what the committee should be doing today).  The reason there were BOR's was two-fold - one was to give the Scouts an opportunity to brag about his latest adventures (and in the process, start learning skills that would hold him in good stead in interviews) to a group of important neighborhood leaders and the other was so that the committee could evaluate whether the unit they're supporting was delivering a good program.  There was no re-testing done - it was just listening to the Scout's stories and reviewing the successes and failures of the program.  Pretty simple - and it worked very well - and still does when done correctly.

 

  That is really interesting I had heard something like that but didn't know how far back it went.

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Thankfully our BORs take on the mantra of "You learned how to add, subtract, multiply and divide in Third Grade, and you are required to continue using those skills from that point forward. You can't 'learn and forget' how to add, so you can't 'learn and forget' your first aid from First Class to Star."

 

This approach has ensured that our scouts ALWAYS remember their core scouting skills. Parents or scouts that don't like that approach are free to find a paper Eagle troop. We don't roll out Eagles that can't apply first aid or tie their knots upon request. Why else are they in the program?

Edited by Bad Wolf
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Thankfully our BORs take on the mantra of "You learned how to add, subtract, multiply and divide in Third Grade, and you are required to continue using those skills from that point forward. You can't 'learn and forget' how to add, so you can't 'learn and forget' your first aid from First Class to Star."

 

This approach has ensured that our scouts ALWAYS remember their core scouting skills. Parents or scouts that don't like that approach are free to find a paper Eagle troop. We don't roll out Eagles that can't apply first aid or tie their knots upon request. Why else are they in the program?

 

 I was at RT one time when this very discussion was going on. There were a few there that also used your reasoning to justify altering or changing the BOR requirement. The reason for learning and knowing the skills of T-1st class is because these are the basic skills needed to further you on in the scouting program. You learn them, you use them, and you teach them. They are the basis that will take you further into the MB program, backpacking, hiking, HA, etc. The yearly program of meetings and activities should include different areas of these skills. The repeated use and teaching of these skills is what ensures that our scouts ALWAYS remember the core skills.

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 I was at RT one time when this very discussion was going on. There were a few there that also used your reasoning to justify altering or changing the BOR requirement. The reason for learning and knowing the skills of T-1st class is because these are the basic skills needed to further you on in the scouting program. You learn them, you use them, and you teach them. They are the basis that will take you further into the MB program, backpacking, hiking, HA, etc. The yearly program of meetings and activities should include different areas of these skills. The repeated use and teaching of these skills is what ensures that our scouts ALWAYS remember the core skills.

 

Our SM uses it as a basis for rank discussion. If the discussion is about first aid, and the scout does not know his first aid, how can he participate in his SMC? Otherwise SMCs and BORs are nothing more than rubber stamping guys done with requirements. In the "old days' reviews were hard and solid...you had better know your stuff or you did not pass.

 

Now a days they have become a shadow of what they once were....and we wonder why these kids can't hang a bear bag or pull out a splinter? ;)

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 This is what BSA says a BOR should be

 

8.0.1.1 Not a Retest or "Examination"

Though one reason for a board of review is to help ensure the Scout did what he was supposed to do to meet the requirements, it shall become neither a retest or “examination,†nor a challenge of his knowledge. In most cases it should, instead, be a celebration of accomplishment. Remember, it is more about the journey. A badge recognizes what a young man has done toward achieving the primary goal of personal growth. See "Personal Growth Is the Primary Goal," 2.0.0.3. It is thus more about the learning experience than it is about the specific skills learned. See also "Mechanics of Advancement: In Boy Scouting and Varsity Scouting,"4.2.0.0.

A Scout must not be rejected at a board of review for reasons unrelated to advancement requirements. For example, he must not be rejected just because he did not bring his Boy Scout Handbook with him or because he was tardy for a board of review, but the reason for his tardiness may certainly be a topic for discussion.

8.0.1.2 What Should Be Discussed

During the review, board members may refer to theBoy Scout Handbook, Boy Scout Requirements book,Troop Leader Guidebook, and other such references. The Troop Committee Guidebook, No. 34505, has examples of appropriate questions. A Scout may be asked where he learned his skills and who taught him, and what he gained from fulfilling selected requirements. The answers will reveal what he did for his rank. It can be determined, then, if this was what he was supposed to do. Discussion of how he has lived the Scout Oath and Scout Law in his home, unit, school, and community should be included. We must remember, however, that though we have high expectations for our members, as for ourselves, we do not insist on perfection. A positive attitude is most important, and that a young man accepts Scouting’s ideals and sets and meets good standards in his life.

A board of review may be conducted posthumously if all the requirements were met prior to the Scout's death. See topic 5.0.6.0 for more information.

A positive attitude is most important,and that a young man accepts Scouting's ideals and sets and meets good standards in his life.

A board is not required to record “minutes,†but it is a good idea. Any such notes must remain confidential to the members of the board or to administrators with a need to know. They may be used in preparing a follow-up letter, should a Scout be turned down, and they can be helpful in an appeal process. In any case, once a review or appeal is completed, all notes must be destroyed.

 

 

 

  I am from the old days (40+ years ago) and never did I have to pass or be retested for my advancement. Never.

Edited by eagle77

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@@eagle77, so trophies for everyone.

 

I'm aware of what BSA says a BOR or SMC should be. They've become a discussion about nothing. And we wonder why we are churning out Eagles not worth the paper their written on?

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@@eagle77, so trophies for everyone.

 

I'm aware of what BSA says a BOR or SMC should be. They've become a discussion about nothing. And we wonder why we are churning out Eagles not worth the paper their written on?

 

  The discussion is about EVERYTHING. It's not a test for the scout as much as a chance for the troop to see where their program stands. What areas are we weak in, what type of leadership is working or not working. I've been an Eagle Scout since 1977 and I could still pass any type of "retest" you want to give me. The only area I'm weak on is the star constellations. The reason for this is not the fact that I had some SM that added to the requirements and retested me, but because I was made to use those skills and teach those skills time after time. Not pass some rank exam.

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The yearly program of meetings and activities should include different areas of these skills. The repeated use and teaching of these skills is what ensures that our scouts ALWAYS remember the core skills.

I agree with this and I also agree with the idea that the BOR doesn't need any testing. But there needs to be testing somewhere, assuming the scouts truly own the calendar or else those activities will not be put on the calendar. If nobody in the PLC knows how to start a fire then who's going to suggest making an event that requires starting a fire? Teenagers don't like to admit they don't know something. I've tried cajoling scouts into these activities and it just doesn't happen. I finally told the scouts they need a challenge at every campout, there will be testing at every rank (but not BOR), so why not make events that teach the skills so the testing is a breeze? It works for my troop. And slowly the whole test thing is becoming less of an issue as the older scouts know the skills and they are the ones pushing the younger scouts to learn them.

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I agree with this and I also agree with the idea that the BOR doesn't need any testing. But there needs to be testing somewhere, assuming the scouts truly own the calendar or else those activities will not be put on the calendar. If nobody in the PLC knows how to start a fire then who's going to suggest making an event that requires starting a fire? Teenagers don't like to admit they don't know something. I've tried cajoling scouts into these activities and it just doesn't happen. I finally told the scouts they need a challenge at every campout, there will be testing at every rank (but not BOR), so why not make events that teach the skills so the testing is a breeze? It works for my troop. And slowly the whole test thing is becoming less of an issue as the older scouts know the skills and they are the ones pushing the younger scouts to learn them.

 

  I understand what your saying. Scouts and at times their parents can be pretty picky about which trips they will do and which ones they won't. I have the SPL work with the PLC to do what they call skills trips. In fact every trip we do has some skill involved, but on general campouts they will work on more. Heck one Friday night as we were just getting ready to pack up for a trip the SPL pulled me aside and said something to me, I told him okay. He then went inside and told the QM to only issue Dutch Ovens and charcoal to the patrols. All cooking will be done with Dutch ovens this weekend. Well I don't know who was more taken back the scouts or their parents. Tell you what though we had some pretty inventive and tasty meals that weekend. I understand what others are saying concerning BORs it just is not the way the program is designed. Just keep the retesting out of the BOR.

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Yes, I admit I erred on the "completed all requirements" statement.  He did not participate in a BOR going in.  I thought that would be understood.

 

What folks don't realize is the fact that it is perfectly acceptable to ask a Scout at an BOR for Life to tie a bowline knot (which happens to be a First Class requirement).  However, the purpose of asking that question is not to deny the Scout his next rank but to evaluate the Scouting program the Scoutmaster is running.  If the Scout can't tie a bowline knot, a discussion should be had with the Scoutmaster to find out why?   Did the Scout ever master that skill?   Who signed off on it?  Has he had the opportunity to teach that skill to other Scouts?  If so, did he take that opportunity?   The BOR shouldn't be a witch hunt on either the Scout or the Scoutmaster but if this happens again and again, I'd find another Scoutmaster.

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If the Scout can't tie a bowline knot, a discussion should be had with the Scoutmaster to find out why?   Did the Scout ever master that skill?   Who signed off on it?  Has he had the opportunity to teach that skill to other Scouts?  If so, did he take that opportunity?   The BOR shouldn't be a witch hunt on either the Scout or the Scoutmaster but if this happens again and again, I'd find another Scoutmaster.

Why? If he's taught, tested and passes and then forgets later it's the SM's fault? He's not allowed to retest the kid, so if the scout learned it for FC but forgets by Star it's now the SM's fault? If it happens more than once you get rid of an SM that's teaching these kids properly but they're just not using the skill and forgetting because they can't be retested?

 

I think we have our accountability mixed up. It's up to the scout to keep the skill fresh once taught. The SM can't re-teach everything these kids forget.

 

Bet those kids know video games better than their knots. What's the excuse there?

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Bet those kids know video games better than their knots. What's the excuse there?

 

  Because they are playing it over and over. Why would I want a scout to learn a skill and never use the skill in the program? Since program is the SMs area he should be checking and making sure that the program calls for the use or teaching of the skills. The repetition is what keeps the skills fresh in the scouts mind.

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Toten' Chip:   Get rid of all factory made tent poles and pegs.  Scouts make'm on the spot.

 

Ropes and lashings:  Get rid of all "umbrella" tents.  No elastic tie offs, no little plastic string lock thingies.  Guy tents to hand made pegs and available trees. Tautline hitch , bowline, etc.   Make tentpoles  longer with parallel lashing.

 

Cooking:   No more gas stoves. Dig fire pits and set rocks to hold pots and pans.

 

Well, maybe there is a middle ground then going all the way back to tarps and groundcloths....

 

Give prizes and awards for most inventive campground arrangements.  I went to a "Salamagundi" sponsored by the OA and saw a natural forest transformed into streets (nameplates! lashed sign posts!) , built up lashed tables and benches,  Patrol gateways, laundry lines, campfire kitchens (off the ground!) , fire bucket stations,  it was impressive.   Medals were awarded, ribbons for the Patrol flag.   At the end, when the camp was broke down, everything was untied, sticks stacked  for "next time", ropes coiled neatly and the place swept back into "forest" again.  It was hard to see where the tentsites had been.

 

If they have no NEED, no COMPETITION, no REASON to use the skills, they become one more thing to file away under "so what".  

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Why? If he's taught, tested and passes and then forgets later it's the SM's fault? He's not allowed to retest the kid, so if the scout learned it for FC but forgets by Star it's now the SM's fault? If it happens more than once you get rid of an SM that's teaching these kids properly but they're just not using the skill and forgetting because they can't be retested?

I think we have our accountability mixed up. It's up to the scout to keep the skill fresh once taught. The SM can't re-teach everything these kids forget.

Bet those kids know video games better than their knots. What's the excuse there?

It's both. The Scout to retain, and the Scoutmaster to coach the PLC to provide opportunities to practice and use Scouting skills.

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