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Would you ask an Eagle candidate at his BoR what he thinks about the membership change?

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If I'm a Commisioner wondering who might be willing to help the folks who've been talking to me about their daughters, newly minted Eagles would be my first ask. Your frank answer to such a question would be welcome.

Rest assured, in one way or another, you will be asked how you expect to contribute to scouting in the future.

But relax, there are no wrong answers.

Let me be very clear. The wrong answer is the one you say because you think that's what people want to hear. Any scouter would welcome a reply like "Respectfully, sirs/madams, I would rather put my support behind an all-boys program if time allows."

Yes, the BoR will ask some opinions. Scouter's need to know what their youth are thinking. They often have opportunities for specific youth ... if they know who those youth are. Asking how a scout would like to contribute is one way to find out.

I mean no disrespect, but that’s how you think it will go. There may be someone who totally is set on “I want all my candidates to say no they do not support the program otherwise...â€, you get the point. I’m just saying you wouldn’t care of the answer, which is great, but some may be biased.

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No.  This is a Board of Review - key word here is REVIEW.  You are reviewing the Scout's Scouting career - his path to Eagle.  This issue has nothing to do with his path to Eagle.  If you want to ask in conversation after the BOR - once the BOR has made their decision, that would be ok - but not in the BOR where his answer may trigger a negative response from someone sitting on his board who decides to fail him based on his opinion. 

 

This is still a political issue in a lot of ways - and that does not belong in a BOR.

 

Hmm. I almost always ask a question or two that is "forward-looking" rather than simply "reviewing" what has happened in the past.  The main one (asked at all BOR's, not just EBOR's) is either "What is the one thing you would like to change or improve about our troop? (and why)" or "What are your favorite and least-favorite things about our troop" (ands why)"?  At EBOR's, assuming the Scout is a senior in high school (which most of our Eagles are), I will also ask about their future plans.  (I guess that one sort of falls into a different category since future plans are something they have to write about anyway before even getting to the EBOR, so nobody should have a problem with asking about those.) There is no "wrong" answer to any of these.  

 

Personally I see no reason to ask any "opinion" questions (other than the one about the troop) but I am not convinced that they are illegitimate questions - but again, this assumes that the outcome of the BOR is not going to be affected by whether the questioner agrees with the answer or not.  Some questions are asked primarily for the purpose of having the Scout engage in a thoughtful conversation.  What they actually think about a particular subject is irrelevant. 

 

I remember one Eagle candidate who was vocal about his support for Republicans and was also a big Mets fan.  I didn't hold either one against him.  :)

Edited by NJCubScouter
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I'd be surprised any EBOR of review would fail a boy at this point. 

 

I have been on about 12-15 EBOR's and I have never seen it happen.  Nor has it happened while I have been with the troop (going on 15 years) whether I was on the board or not.  However, it apparently does happen.  About two years ago the DAC changed the practice for EBOR's from the district representative "chairing" the board to one of the troop committee members signing as chairman.  I asked why this was (since it doesn't seem to matter who signs as chairman) and was told that in the event the Scout does not "pass" the BOR, they want it to be "on" the troop rather than the district.  I told him I have never heard of anyone "failing" and he said it does happen, including in our district.  (I think the reasoning is nonsensical anyway - it is the same 3 or 4 people sitting around the table and voting on the candidate regardless of who signs on what line.)

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LOL I just heard my older son rebuked his jrAFROTC Colonel (ret.) over some disorganization with "My Boy Scout Troop is better organized than this!". I do not think he liked that one bit.

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I mean no disrespect, but that’s how you think it will go. There may be someone who totally is set on “I want all my candidates to say no they do not support the program otherwise...â€, you get the point. I’m just saying you wouldn’t care of the answer, which is great, but some may be biased.

So, on account of some scout who might have to face down micro-aggression from a hypothetical scouter "out there" with some agenda looking to hear his/her precious shibboleth during a personal growth conference, you're saying that I should tell all the good scouters on the interweb to curb their enthusiasm?

 

Well, maybe I'll change my tune ... as soon as they scratch the tenth point from the Law!

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My older son My son then started quoting parts of the Koran (which I had no idea he knew) in Arabic in illustrating his position.

...

Like when he argued with the Orthodox Rabbi and could cite Talmud passages from memory. (which all Rabbi's love)

...

LOL I just heard my older son rebuked his jrAFROTC Colonel (ret.) over some disorganization with "My Boy Scout Troop is better organized than this!". I do not think he liked that one bit.

Argumentative lil' fella ain't he? Good for him. :)

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I asked the question at an EBofR this past weekend. He initially answered, "What is probably more interesting is what the Girl Scouts think of this decision". I thought he was going to try to avoid the question all together like a typical politician, but he ended up giving a thoughtful answer with his reasoning. He would not have passed or failed because of any answer he would have given. Our district representative said afterward that he was prepared to ask the same question as well, if I didn't. I think the question is 100% appropriate. Why would we not want the opinion of a Scout? Boy led troop, right?

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One issue that I have with this particular question, especially at this early stage, is whether the person answering the question - and for that matter the person asking the question - actually understands what has been decided.  There are a lot of misconceptions floating around about what has been decided, and differing opinions about what will actually happen as a result of the decision, apart from what has actually been decided.  We see it in this forum.  I saw it at a roundtable last night.  And you can't tell someone that they are mistaken, because this is what they "heard", and they're sticking to it. 

 

My answer, if I were a Scout in that position, would be something like "I'd like to wait for all of the details to be announced before I give an opinion."  That is not evading the question.  That is responsible citizenship.

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Argumentative lil' fella ain't he? Good for him. :)

 

Except he tries to 'trigger' me at the Dinner table constantly. No small talk with that one.

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He did not evade the question - I thought he was going to. However, I would have been impressed if he chose to avoid it because it is a controversial topic. As I said, he gave a well thought out and impressive answer. 

 

Yes, he was very familiar with the Chief Scout Executive's statement from last week and what the plans were at the Cub Scout level in 2018 and the initial idea of what would happen with Boy Scouts starting in 2019. Most of the adults read the statement as well. It was not "what they heard". We would have corrected him if he based his answer on a false premise. 

 

I see no problem in asking an Eagle candidate his opinion on how the troop is run or what they would do to improve it. We've been asking this question for years and have gotten great ideas. I also see no reason to not ask a highly intelligent, accomplished Eagle candidate, who has been part of Scouting since he was 7 years old, his opinion of the organization he is part of, the BSA, when they are about to make a major, controversial change in their program. 

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It is a fair question for an Eagle Board of Review.  There are no right or wrong answers to the questions that are asked during an Eagle Board of Review.  Now are there questions that should not be asked during the board of review.  Yes but I do not feel like this is one of them.  A better question could be his opinion about girls also being able to become Eagle Scouts starting in 2019.   

Edited by ValleyBoy

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Personally, as a Life Scout who is near Eagle, would find a question like that invading my personal opinion and thoughts. I don’t think you should ask a Scout their opinion when your opinion may be different.

 

You will likely get a lot of questions about your opinions. What was your favorite x? What was your least favorite y? How could Scouting/your troop/summer camp be improved? What does becoming an Eagle Scout mean to you? How will you give back to Scouting?

 

When I ask "personal opinion" questions, I am concerned with HOW a Scout responds, not that their opinion is aligned with mine. Do they pass on the question, give an off the cuff or dismissive answer, or do they consider the issue and give a well thought out answer.

 

Routinely I see Scouts/Scouters say "they didn't ask me," when it comes to policy changes, so why wouldn't we want to ask those who are sitting review for Scouting's highest award?

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