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Board of Review problem

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Scoutldr, you are on a roll today. Another good post. I've seen BORs penalize a scout and I don't like it.


Asking them to tie it is okay, if you're looking to see what type of response. Here are two good responses:

- A bowline? Sure, no problem. Would you like me to tie it one handed or two-handed? Here ya go. (whips out his rope and shows it).

- A bowline? Hmm, I always struggle with that one. Let me try. (unsuccessfully tries).


Bad answer:

- What's a Bowland? I don't think I've ever heard of that. Is that what you use to stop bleeding?


The first two demonstrate that the scout was taught and tested on the knot. Okay, maybe he can't tie it perfectly, but he did do the work. The latter sounded like a scout who was rubber-stamped because he was present the night the SPL taught them the Bowline.

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I have to wonder about troops that teach Scouts a skill and then don't allow Scouts to use the skill?

There is a lot of stuff that people over the years have worked hard on stuffing into my little pea brain. The stuff I use and put to use stays stuck in there. Other stuff, stuff I think that I used to know is gone or has become so confused that it is of little or no use. Sure I took four years of German in high school and maybe now I could order a few beers, but most of it is gone.

Surely we don't just teach a kid a skill cos it's in the book? Isn't the whole idea that once he has the skill that he can put it to use?

Many of the things listed at the start of this thread are strangely enough activities that I did when I took Wood Badge, back at Gilwell Park in the early 70's. Almost all can be taught to a Scout in a fun and exciting way, Incorporated into activities that a Scout will have fun doing.

We have in the time that I have been in the forums gone over BOR's a lot. At this time I am not on a troop committee. If I were I would either have to put my faith in the leadership of the troop. Have faith that when something has been signed off - That it has been done and that the Scout has met what the requirement has asked him to do. If I didn't have this faith in the leadership of the troop, something would need to be done.

As adults in Scouting we see the promise that is made to each and every Scout in the Scout Handbook, we know what the Vision and mission of this organization is. We use the methods of Scouting to meet the promise that is made and work toward doing our part to give life to the vision and mission. When we stop doing that the time has come for us to take our leave.


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As the Advancements Chair for our Troop, when we convene a Board of Review, I am not there asking Scouts to demonstrate the skills they learned to complete the requirements. I ask them questions about how they learned those skills, how they will use those skills and why those skills might be important. I ask them what was the most fun to learn, what was the least fun and why.


I have (or had, but that's another story) enough trust in the SM and his assistants that I know the boys are not getting passes whithout doing the work. And if I suspected such, I have approached the SM BEFORE the BOR to express my concerns.



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Ed, not sure who your question is posed to.


If the boy doesn't "know anything", we have to first understand the "why". Is it because he was taught the skill, tested on the skills, and then subsequently forgot the skill? That's one problem. Eamonn talked about the need to put these skills to work. The Advancment Chair should pass that info on the SM. The SM should work with the PLC to improve the program for first year scouts to allow them to use their skills more often and keep them fresh.


If he doesn't "know anything" because he can't remember ever doing it, or why he would do it. Then you've got a problem. I believe it is the responsibility of the BOR to reconvene after the scout has had a chance to refresh his memory. If he was rubber stamped, this should come as an issue.


Either way, it's ultimately an issue with the program, and the SM needs to know. Unless, of course, the lad is just forgetful and for some of them, there's little you can do about that.

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