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gwd-scouter

Checking up on those requirements

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The current thread running about BORs got me thinking. I've had several occasions when the head of a BOR has come to me later to mention that X Scout did not know much about first aid or didn't remember ever doing lashings, etc. Just a note - none of these Scouts "failed" the BOR.

 

I was so happy to get this feedback because it shed some light on a problem our troop has had in the past and one that I've being trying hard to correct - a scout being signed off for a requirement that he may not actually have done. A lot of this happens from summer camp when our new Scouts go through the pathfinder program.

 

I don't want SM conferences to become a retest of scout skills, but I do take the time to talk to them about what they've learned. Admittedly, the above examples were oversights on my part because I never actually asked about those specific things during the SM conferences for those two particular scouts.

 

Anyway, since then, we've asked our T-1st class Scouts when they feel they're ready for a SM Conference to sit down with an older Scout first and go over the requirements. This is working very well - giving the young scout a chance to talk about and remember what he's done and giving our older scouts opportunities for mentoring.

 

A tweak in the program? Probably is. Can't see where it's prohibited. The result so far has been our younger Scouts coming for a SM conference better prepared and with less trepidation than before. And, it has also helped us (the adults) to learn about weaknesses in our program offerings and skills instructions for those young scouts so that we can then guide the PLC.

 

Just thought I'd post this to see what others thought.

 

 

 

 

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A few years ago, I attended a Camporee where Tenderfoot knots were being tied in one event. A Scout was having trouble with a clove hitch. I had learned it when I was a Scout and used it many times over the years. I reached down and tied it for him using a few words of explanation for emphasis and encouragement, being that I had been an Eagle Scout to boot. Another adult close by pointed out that I had tied it wrong. I got out my Handbook and sure enough, it was wrong, so I found myself tied-up with emotion as well. How could that happen?

 

Fast forward several years more, I still can remember how to tie lashings, which includes a clove hitch. The reason I can remember so well is that our SM took us out to his property in East Texas when I was a First Class Scout. He had cut down a few trees and we built a signal tower that weekend. It was something that we had seen in our handbooks but none of us had any inkling that we would ever get to build and play on one. It was a gift that I thought of as being without comparison. I also learned that the lashings needed to be correct because getting up around twenty feet in the air makes one review his preparations, especially when most of the Troop wanted to go up at the same time.

 

Learning things in Scouting takes repetition and a measure of excitement but even then without review, we (or maybe me) tend to approximate what we learned.

 

I have been in BORs where a person threw a Scout a rope and asked him to tie a Square knot. That was when we learned that it is a Board of Review, as in rehashing what a Scout has learned and not a time to re- test the Scout. I suppose learning goes on all of the time for most of us. fb

 

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gwd,

I like the idea of having an older scout review with the candidate before the SM conference. It's not adding to a requirement and it's not prohibited. Makes sense.

 

Gonzo

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"I like the idea of having an older scout review with the candidate before the SM conference."

 

I like this approach too. Maybe we could call the older scout a "Guide" and assign him to a group of younger scouts to help sheppard their advancement through 1st class? :)

 

SA

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Heh heh. Yeah, scoutingagain, I get it. I guess it just seemed like a great way to do things in our troop because it has never been done before. Meaning...our Troop Guides never did that kind of thing in the past, nor have the PLs, SPLs...well, you get my meaning.

 

Thanks.

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gwd - great idea! Even if the Guides do it, it's still not a bad idea for a different older Scout to do this pre-Scoutmaster Conference review.

 

Fuzzy, I can relate to the whole clove hitch thing, though for me it's the square knot. I can tied a square knot in my sleep, yet lately, I'd say about 4 out of 10 square knots I tie end up being granny knots instead. (sigh).

 

Calico

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Nah, it's clearly addin' to the requirements, eh? Nowhere does it say a boy has to go through an older scout review for advancement. The boy can appeal, and you can lose your insurance coverage for not followin' da program!

 

 

;) Just kiddin'. Bet yeh thought I'd been possessed or somethin'. :)

 

A fine tweak to try, GWD. Thanks for sharin'. Let us know da downside, too, if yeh run across any.

 

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A Scoutmaster Conference is nothing more than a discussion between the Scout and Scoutmaster. It's not a pass/fail requirement.

 

As Advancement Chair in my Troop, I periodically check the Scout's books & update Troopmaster. I also inform the SM of any potential advancements coming up. I also encourage the Scouts to complete the requirements for rank.

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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