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zuzy

Eagle board of review?

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I do understand the reassurance part. But it is funny, I find the source of doubt in most cases to come from the parents. When a scout asked me for the Eagle Scoutmaster Conference, I always asked the scout to invite his parents if he doesn't mind. About 50% of the parents accept the invite, and it was usually those parents that had some concern about the EBOR. So I usually addressed the few example questions more for the parents benefit so that they could feel relaxed and allow their son to feel relaxed. But again, since we assume the scout is ready, our demeanor also reflects our confidence in him.

 

Barry

Naw, our highest-achieving scouts (in school or sports) are the ones with the most doubt. It's usually all the boy's cogitation, and drives parents a little nuts. Maybe it's because many of them are getting the BoR at about the same time they are applying for college. Sometimes those first few rejections have come in. So, that lot seems to need a little coaching.

 

It could also be, that since the district members come to the unit and unit committee members are on the board, our scouts might be a little more sensitive to the fact that folks on the board already know the good, the bad, and the ugly about the boy. :eek:  For a while we had a high rate of Eagles, so the boys might also have been feeling that they didn't hold a candle to the guy before them.

 

Lately, our scouts have been more laid back about the process, and haven't been asking for as many tips. I think that's a good thing. The outcome is pretty much the same, I guess. Just giving the boys who need it a little more time, and a little less stress.

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I think we ought to follow Scouting's recommendation  and discourage practice BORs. I think the SM offering tips or suggestions prior to  the BOR is reasonable. 

 

I serve on Eagle BORs. One thing I have done is to go back to the Troop and try and make our rank BORs somewhat like the Eagle BORs in so much as this is possible. There are obvious differences. But in the upper rank BORs, I engage the candidate on leadership, what Scouting means to them, etc. - very similar questions to Eagle BOR.

 

And our district starts Eagle BORs with the same three things we start every Troop BOR with - a uniform inspection, the Scout Oath and the Scout Law. So, when a Scout approaches me about his upcoming BOR, this exactly what I tell him:

 

"It's not too different from our Troop BOR. You will  find a lot of similarities. But be prepared to talk at length about your Eagle project and to discuss things such as leadership and what you have gotten out of Scouting."

 

That's all I tell him. 

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As a guess, I would say that troops that provide practice EBORs have an expectation that the EBOR itself is going to be difficult, probably because the EBORs ask "gotcha" questions, or have a particular set of expectations about how a scout should answer and/or what a scout should answer.  If that's the EBOR your scout will face than a practice EBOR isn't a bad idea, and practicing anything usually makes you better at it.

 

As a professional I have interviewed hundreds of job candidates, most of them for jobs requiring a college or even graduate degree.  I long ago stopped being surprised at folks who are otherwise very capable in their field who are not particularly good at that type of communication.  My role as an interviewer is to find out whether the person will be good at the job not whether they are good at interviewing.  Likewise an EBOR has a responsibility to "determine the quality of [a scout's] experience and decide whether he has fulfilled the requirements for the rank', not to decide if they're good at playing rhetorical games with adults.  

 

If your EBORs are difficult for scouts whose other advancement achievements you've approved, then you should be working at changing your EBORs, but in the mean time you probably should help your scouts prepare for them because it's not really reasonable to expect a 17 year old doing something for the first time to be as extemporaneously clever as a group of fifty somethings who are probably doing something for dozenth time. 

Edited by T2Eagle
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When I say I find a troop's practice EBOR, here's the reasons. 

 

1) The DAC and/or EBOR members have a yearly meeting talking about the entire Life to Eagle process: i.e. projects approval process, paperwork involved, the EBOR, etc. I attended part of one (it was the same night as Roundtable), and it was extremely informative. It does prepare Scouts for the entire process and I want to take my son to the next one as soon as he is able to.

 

2) From I've been told, these "practice" EBORs are harder, more difficult, and are more on the lines of retests than a true BOR.

 

3) I've been told that some Scouts who have "failed" their "practice" EBOR are not allowed to have a district EBOR until the unit approves.

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1) The DAC and/or EBOR members have a yearly meeting talking about the entire Life to Eagle process: i.e. projects approval process, paperwork involved, the EBOR, etc. I attended part of one (it was the same night as Roundtable), and it was extremely informative. It does prepare Scouts for the entire process and I want to take my son to the next one as soon as he is able to.

In our council one of the sessions at the annual University of Scouting is basically the same as that.

 

2) From I've been told, these "practice" EBORs are harder, more difficult, and are more on the lines of retests than a true BOR.

That is clearly what is being "discouraged" in the G2A.

 

3) I've been told that some Scouts who have "failed" their "practice" EBOR are not allowed to have a district EBOR until the unit approves.

Now we're way past "discouraged". That is clearly improper. They are adding another mandatory step to the process.

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When I say I find a troop's practice EBOR, here's the reasons. 

 

1) The DAC and/or EBOR members have a yearly meeting talking about the entire Life to Eagle process: i.e. projects approval process, paperwork involved, the EBOR, etc. I attended part of one (it was the same night as Roundtable), and it was extremely informative. It does prepare Scouts for the entire process and I want to take my son to the next one as soon as he is able to.

 

2) From I've been told, these "practice" EBORs are harder, more difficult, and are more on the lines of retests than a true BOR.

 

3) I've been told that some Scouts who have "failed" their "practice" EBOR are not allowed to have a district EBOR until the unit approves.

This is just terrible. 

Edited by CherokeeScouter

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One of the reasons why I do a pre-EBOR with the boys is because even if they have had the opportunity to be in a boy-led program, the EBOR members may not.  How does one respectfully take on a panel of austere older scouters when the candidate is in his mid teens?  Sure, if I were to do a practice with the boys, they know me, they know what I teach, they are excellent scouts for the most part.  But put in a room in a panel of unknown adults, all bets come off the table.  Sure they have gone through a few BORs over the years, the people on the panel are committee members and parents or both.  These are familiar faces and they know these people.  When I go into EBOR's with my boys, even I DON"T KNOW who these people are and I've been in the council with units in all three districts!  So in light of that, I practice and train the boys on what to expect because it is NOT the same old BOR they have been used to in the past.

 

Different councils may be set up differently and much of what I do would not be an issue, but we need to deal with the hand we're dealt and so we practice for the unknown and unexpected.

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Never heard of the practice.  Our EBORs are "District" but the District insists on only one EBOR member and that person is a "representative of the District" and doesn't chair and is less active than other EBOR members.  Usually 3 Troop Comm members and the District rep.  As Advancement Chair after the SMC I meet with every Scout, review the paperwork (5 minutes) before it goes to Council and then I prep the Scout.  I URGE and demand they have to remember 3 things for their EBOR; Don't be nervous, don't be nervous, don't be nervous.  Our EBORs aren't as much BORs as life counseling sessions for the Scout's benefit.  Being nervous means they won't remember the discussion and advice given hence making the whole thing a waste of time.  Out of 30 Eagles I have told 28 they are already Eagle and will pass their EBOR absent of spitting on or punching a board member.  

 

I think having a practice BOR might make the Scout more tense, defeating the purpose of what we try to get out of EBORs.  I think having a post-EBOR troop session might be more valuable to the Scout.  Post-EBOR boards could be a great learning experience for all.  

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I took my post down. Sorry for the rant. Little too strong. Just follow the guidelines. 

 

No apologies needed. Trust me, I've probably heard the rant a time or two.  One reason I didn't send oldest to that troop to look at. However, that is the troop oldest has a bunch of friends from the homeschool group in. 

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 I think having a post-EBOR troop session might be more valuable to the Scout.  Post-EBOR boards could be a great learning experience for all.  

That's a pretty good idea. 

 

Barry

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Never heard of the practice.  Our EBORs are "District" but the District insists on only one EBOR member and that person is a "representative of the District" and doesn't chair and is less active than other EBOR members.  Usually 3 Troop Comm members and the District rep.  As Advancement Chair after the SMC I meet with every Scout, review the paperwork (5 minutes) before it goes to Council and then I prep the Scout.  I URGE and demand they have to remember 3 things for their EBOR; Don't be nervous, don't be nervous, don't be nervous.  Our EBORs aren't as much BORs as life counseling sessions for the Scout's benefit.  Being nervous means they won't remember the discussion and advice given hence making the whole thing a waste of time.  Out of 30 Eagles I have told 28 they are already Eagle and will pass their EBOR absent of spitting on or punching a board member.  

 

I think having a practice BOR might make the Scout more tense, defeating the purpose of what we try to get out of EBORs.  I think having a post-EBOR troop session might be more valuable to the Scout.  Post-EBOR boards could be a great learning experience for all.  

 

Anything anyone wants to learn is more often than not in the After Action Review (AAR).  Just about every thing we do entails an AAR.

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Yah, in my experience da "practice" BORs arise because of perceived problems with district or council BORs or (less frequently) with district/council reps at unit BORs.   If yeh have a lad who gets "burned" or just plain surprised in a bad way by da behavior of your district folks, the natural thing for the unit to do is to start preparin' the boy for that sort of thing, eh?  After all, it's probably not an experience the lad has had during his Scoutin' experience up to that point.  

 

Sometimes DAC members can be a particularly officious bunch.  :p

 

I prefer unit-level EBORs where da district/council rep is not the chair, but just a respectful observer/participant.  No surprises for the boy that way, and no need for "practice".   The BOR will be pretty much what the lad is used to in his unit, whatever that is.  Plus I agree with the others who have commented that it's a Good Thing for the unit committee and CO folks to participate in Eagle BORs and to let 'em run a bit longer than district-level ones do.  One of the few great rewards for volunteers, and da best feedback on your program you're likely to get.

 

Beavah

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Stosh, I disagree. The spontaneity and unexpected questions are the whole point. Plus, there is absolutely no wrong answers in these situations, regardless of who is doing the BOR. 

 

These are my two criteria when I do an Eagle BOR (assuming everything is in order on the application):

 

1. Did the young man do the work? 

2. Is the young man of good character?

 

When you flunk someone on an EBOR, there has to be some extenuating circumstances. I've had painfully shy, autistic, just about everything you can imagine. Never flunked them. I even had one candidate who was so shy and so nervous that everything was one-word answers and sentences were no more than 10 words. He passed.

 

I think that if they had committed a crime or were absolutely forced to do Scouting at gunpoint by a parent, then we might have some reservations. 

 

But all the reasons you mentioned are exactly why you don't do practice BORs. 

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Stosh, I disagree. The spontaneity and unexpected questions are the whole point. Plus, there is absolutely no wrong answers in these situations, regardless of who is doing the BOR. 

 

These are my two criteria when I do an Eagle BOR (assuming everything is in order on the application):

 

1. Did the young man do the work? 

2. Is the young man of good character?

 

When you flunk someone on an EBOR, there has to be some extenuating circumstances. I've had painfully shy, autistic, just about everything you can imagine. Never flunked them. I even had one candidate who was so shy and so nervous that everything was one-word answers and sentences were no more than 10 words. He passed.

 

I think that if they had committed a crime or were absolutely forced to do Scouting at gunpoint by a parent, then we might have some reservations. 

 

But all the reasons you mentioned are exactly why you don't do practice BORs. 

 

Yes, there are the shy, the ones that are less confident, those who are simply nervous, etc

 

Yes, there is no way the boy is going to FLUNK an EBOR.

 

BUT..... the experience should be a growing, positive event of celebration, not one where the boy leaves in tears.  THIS is why I take the time to work with the boys prior to their EBOR so that they can have a good experience regardless of what the adults may or may not toss his way.  I have been in EBOR's where the panel was excellent, understood the struggle the boy was having with is nervousness and yet, Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy could have been sitting on the panel and it wouldn't have made a bit of difference.  The boy was so worked up BEFORE he even went into the room there was no place to go but into the dumpster.

 

Just walking through a few fake questions with the boy and helping him with answers, focusing in on the questions and not the situation, watching for smiles from the panel members, reminding him there are no wrong answers and that this is just a nice formality, and other techniques to help him are all going to make that experience something he'll remember in the positive column of life.  We do not have troop EBOR's, it's all council people in the room except for the candidate and his SM.  Sometimes just reminding him not to worry, I'll be there with him is enough to knock some of the nervousness down so he can feel some safety with someone there that's "in his corner". 

 

I wished we had the option for troop EBOR's or troop EBOR's with a council rep present.  But we don't have that luxury, we have people that are even total strangers to me and I've been with the council for 30+ years.  That's a path I don't think my boys need to walk alone.  They all have the option of not having me silent in the room with them and to date, no one has ever not wanted me there.  It's how I take care of my boys.

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