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Re: [Scouter_T] Board of Review situation

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  • NeilLup@aol.com
    ... Hello, I regret what you have gone through. You are not alone. This kind of thing does happen occasionally. Parents regard Scouting and BSA
    Message 1 of 10 , Mar 5, 2004
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      In a message dated 3/5/04 1:04:36 PM, Cstrek97@... writes:


      > So, what do you all think?  This is the first time I have EVER mentioned
      > the
      > particulars of a BOR, but I'm hurt.  All the time, effort, money, time away
      > from my family...and I get this?      First time it's happened, but I'm
      > surprised at the personal affront from the parent.  I don't want anyone to
      > insult the
      > honor of Scouting by allowing a Scout to pass a BOR that isn't qualified,
      > but
      > none of us asked any tough questions.  You don't pass a BOR for STAR by
      > walking into the room in full uniform.
      >
      >

      Hello,

      I regret what you have gone through. You are not alone. This kind of
      thing does happen occasionally. Parents regard Scouting and BSA requirements
      as a trial to be endured on the way to having their son being able to put
      "Eagle Scout" on their college application. Anything that takes time is bad.

      It is possible that the Scout froze up but in addition to his Scoutmaster
      having a problem, I would also say that there was a problem with his First
      Class BOR, his Second Class BOR and possibly his Tenderfoot BOR. How did he
      get to First Class Scout?

      Concerning comments of mother, you mention that she said "Any Board she sat
      in on, Oath and Law were not asked" That implies that she is a committee
      member? Is she? Was she on boy's previous BORs?

      Have you spoken with some of the members of his previous BORs. (I presume
      that neither you nor Advancement Chairman were on any of those.) How did he
      do there? Was he non-communicative there also?

      It is possible that the mother is reporting accurately what happened
      previously but, needless to say, those BORs were run incorrectly. You certainly
      can say that regardless of how previous BORs were run, you have recently
      gotten additional training and you are now running BORs in accordance with the
      correct National procedures. You will work with the boy but correct
      procedures WILL be followed and you can give those in writing to her. If she is not
      comfortable with the procedures now in use in this Troop, perhaps some
      other Troop's style would be more appropriate.

      You might invite her to be a SILENT observer to the next BOR if you think
      that would help. However, you need to make it clear that the first word out
      of her mouth and her participation is over.

      But do not allow yourself to be browbeaten. It sounds as if you were
      incredibly gracious to the boy and to the mother. Is the dad involved, by the
      way?

      Best wishes,

      Neil Lupton


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Shaw
      Hello All, I d like to bring up one thing for consideration: If this young scout just turned 12, then he can only have been in the troop for 1 year - or 1and
      Message 2 of 10 , Mar 5, 2004
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        Hello All,

        I'd like to bring up one thing for consideration: If this young scout "just turned 12," then he can only have been in the troop for 1 year - or 1and 1/2 years if he joined before age 11 with an Arrow of Light. To be ready for a BOR for Star with that amount of time under his belt, would require a very mature and highly motivated scout, i.e. a rarity. And you're right, it doesn't sound like this boy meets that description.

        It is often difficult to get a boy to First Class within one year, and I wonder about the Mother's and the Scoutmaster's intentions and expectations of this young boy. Why the hurry? As one poster mentioned, he has years left. Who's he going to lead as a Star if the majority of boys are younger than he is? Rank alone does not command respect from the other boys, and that might be another source of problems for such a young, and immature scout. Advancement is only 1 of the 8 methods of scouting, right? What about the others? The SM needs to let Mom know that advancement isn't the ultimate goal.

        Our son made First Class in less than a year, and was the first one in his new patrol to do so, so the SM had a long heart-to-heart talk with him just to make sure that we (Mom and Dad) weren't pushing him. He was convinced after his Scoutmaster conference that we weren't, but I genuinely appreciate him for having a frank discussion with our son.

        You are doing what you know to be correct, and to do otherwise would be a disservice to the boy and the rest of the troop.

        I think that the Scoutmaster needs to intervene at this point to talk with Mom (and Dad, if he's involved). As other posters have pointed out, he is the one who should have recognized these problems BEFORE sending the boy to a BOR. The boy wasn't prepared, no matter how you look at it. You should not be in the position of having to deal with an emotional mom at this point - the Scoutmaster should.

        Yours in Scouting,
        Pat Shaw
        ----- Original Message -----
        From: Cstrek97@...
        To: scouter_t@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Friday, March 05, 2004 12:00 PM
        Subject: [Scouter_T] Board of Review situation


        Hi ALL,

        I'd like to "vent" a little, and ask for some feedback as well.

        Two nights ago, I was 1/5 of a Board for 2 Star Scouts. First one passed
        flying colors. Second one didn't pass. I got some heat from the mother.
        THAT'S what's bothering me. Her words to me. Should I/we have passed her son
        to STAR? I don't think so, but would welcome some feedback.

        I am the Troop Committee Chairman. Have been for 5 years. Been a Committee
        Member for 8. I am the District Training Chairman for 3 years for BOY Scout
        Adult Leaders. I have been asked, and did, teach Committee Challenge at
        University of Scouting for our Council this past January. I came prepared, and did
        well. I think I know my "stuff".

        Since we have about 30 scouts in the Troop, I can't remember who is going for
        what at each Board of Review. I started by asking this particular Scout what
        rank he was going for so I could pull out my 4 or 5 copies of requirements
        for that rank, and pass them around the table to the other 4 adults on the
        Board. He had no clue. Even after a minute. We finally took his Scoutbook,
        opened it up, and determined in seconds that he was going for Star rank. Very
        well. I asked him to stand and tell us the Scout Oath. I got a couple of words.
        I was very polite, and offered him to use his book. He couldn't find it.
        Another adult did. He stumbled on the words. Got most of them. Ditto on the
        Scout Law. Fine...nervousness.

        Questions were asked. Not much for answers. One was "what Eagle required
        merit badges did you do for Star?" Scout had no clue. We finally got it
        out of the book. Service project was helping Girl Scouts at a Pinewood
        Derby. He carried cars from the bottom up to the top. wow.

        More questions were followed by TOO many "I don't know."

        I started writing things down. When you dont' pass, we need to write down
        for the Scout where he can improve, right? I was done with questions. When
        others on the Board were also, we excused the Scout, and immediately noted that
        he was not a good representative of a Star Scout in our opinion. Oh
        yeah....one of the questions that was asked was his age. "Just turned 12".

        I called him back, and told him that we would like him to come back in 1
        week, and try again. Practice some of the things that we talked about, and try
        again, and again, and again, if he needs to...but we just didn't think he was
        ready to pass tonight. I handed him my paper with comments , explained it all
        to him, and we all encouraged him to practice and "see ya next week !" with
        enthusiasm.

        I went to talk with his mother...as I am the Chairman. Advancement Chairman
        was right behind me. He sat on the Board also. I knew that any parent
        wouldn't be too happy, but I was verbally confronted a little too much. Was
        accussed that I was changing the questions all of a sudden. Said that any BOR she
        sat in on...Law and Oath were never asked. Wrong. (Scouts of any rank
        should know them by heart anyway....especially by STAR). Everything was you,
        you,you. No consideration that it was 5 adults, and a unaminous decision, and
        that we did not say he failed....we invited him back for a 2nd -10th time to
        try again. Mother says, he is in tears. Hmmm....Going for
        Star....leadership, responsibility....etc didn't even know what rank he was going for, now
        he's in tears....and she's yelling at me for not passing him? "Why are you
        testing him now...never did before?" No test questions were asked...BOR is
        not a test...a review. She didn't want to hear it.
        On and on.

        I've checked macscouter.com today, under "Scoutmaster and Committee Stuff",
        and reviewed the 12 pages of A Guide to Conducting a Board of Review. Our
        BOR's look at this stuff and follow it. We don't test. We review. I wrote
        comments on where to review, and encouraged him to come back next week.

        So, what do you all think? This is the first time I have EVER mentioned the
        particulars of a BOR, but I'm hurt. All the time, effort, money, time away
        from my family...and I get this? First time it's happened, but I'm
        surprised at the personal affront from the parent. I don't want anyone to insult the
        honor of Scouting by allowing a Scout to pass a BOR that isn't qualified, but
        none of us asked any tough questions. You don't pass a BOR for STAR by
        walking into the room in full uniform.

        Thanks for letting me vent.

        unsigned to keep the Scouts annonymity, not mine. He's a good person, and a
        good Scout. Just "ain't" ready for Star...and barely made it over the fence
        with 1St Class in my opinion. At 12, he's got 6 more years to go still.
        Why the noise when we just invited him to come back 1 week later?


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      • Nicholas Clark
        Hi: I think you did the right thing in not pass the Scout on to Star. I have a similar situation in my Troop in regard to the pull ups. 0 pull ups on the
        Message 3 of 10 , Mar 6, 2004
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          Hi:

          I think you did the right thing in not pass the Scout on to Star.

          I have a similar situation in my Troop in regard to the pull ups. 0 pull ups on the first test, 3/4 of a pull up on the second test. Most would call this an improvement.

          Now I know we are talking about two different ranks, yours (I know you are not the SM) to Star and mine to Tenderfoot. My concern is where do we draw the line on a Scout accomplishing something or almost accomplishing something?

          Love those Cub Scouts, was a leader for four years, but the standards change a little from Cub Scouting to Boy Scouts.

          A boy going for Star and doesn't know the Oath, I'm sorry, the line must be drawn. The line should have been drawn when this boy was going for Tenderfoot.

          nick





          Cstrek97@... wrote: Hi ALL,

          I'd like to "vent" a little, and ask for some feedback as well.

          Two nights ago, I was 1/5 of a Board for 2 Star Scouts. First one passed
          flying colors. Second one didn't pass. I got some heat from the mother.
          THAT'S what's bothering me. Her words to me. Should I/we have passed her son
          to STAR? I don't think so, but would welcome some feedback.

          I am the Troop Committee Chairman. Have been for 5 years. Been a Committee
          Member for 8. I am the District Training Chairman for 3 years for BOY Scout
          Adult Leaders. I have been asked, and did, teach Committee Challenge at
          University of Scouting for our Council this past January. I came prepared, and did
          well. I think I know my "stuff".

          Since we have about 30 scouts in the Troop, I can't remember who is going for
          what at each Board of Review. I started by asking this particular Scout what
          rank he was going for so I could pull out my 4 or 5 copies of requirements
          for that rank, and pass them around the table to the other 4 adults on the
          Board. He had no clue. Even after a minute. We finally took his Scoutbook,
          opened it up, and determined in seconds that he was going for Star rank. Very
          well. I asked him to stand and tell us the Scout Oath. I got a couple of words.
          I was very polite, and offered him to use his book. He couldn't find it.
          Another adult did. He stumbled on the words. Got most of them. Ditto on the
          Scout Law. Fine...nervousness.

          Questions were asked. Not much for answers. One was "what Eagle required
          merit badges did you do for Star?" Scout had no clue. We finally got it
          out of the book. Service project was helping Girl Scouts at a Pinewood
          Derby. He carried cars from the bottom up to the top. wow.

          More questions were followed by TOO many "I don't know."

          I started writing things down. When you dont' pass, we need to write down
          for the Scout where he can improve, right? I was done with questions. When
          others on the Board were also, we excused the Scout, and immediately noted that
          he was not a good representative of a Star Scout in our opinion. Oh
          yeah....one of the questions that was asked was his age. "Just turned 12".

          I called him back, and told him that we would like him to come back in 1
          week, and try again. Practice some of the things that we talked about, and try
          again, and again, and again, if he needs to...but we just didn't think he was
          ready to pass tonight. I handed him my paper with comments , explained it all
          to him, and we all encouraged him to practice and "see ya next week !" with
          enthusiasm.

          I went to talk with his mother...as I am the Chairman. Advancement Chairman
          was right behind me. He sat on the Board also. I knew that any parent
          wouldn't be too happy, but I was verbally confronted a little too much. Was
          accussed that I was changing the questions all of a sudden. Said that any BOR she
          sat in on...Law and Oath were never asked. Wrong. (Scouts of any rank
          should know them by heart anyway....especially by STAR). Everything was you,
          you,you. No consideration that it was 5 adults, and a unanimous decision, and
          that we did not say he failed....we invited him back for a 2nd -10th time to
          try again. Mother says, he is in tears. Hmmm....Going for
          Star....leadership, responsibility....etc didn't even know what rank he was going for, now
          he's in tears....and she's yelling at me for not passing him? "Why are you
          testing him now...never did before?" No test questions were asked...BOR is
          not a test...a review. She didn't want to hear it.
          On and on.

          I've checked macscouter.com today, under "Scoutmaster and Committee Stuff",
          and reviewed the 12 pages of A Guide to Conducting a Board of Review. Our
          BOR's look at this stuff and follow it. We don't test. We review. I wrote
          comments on where to review, and encouraged him to come back next week.

          So, what do you all think? This is the first time I have EVER mentioned the
          particulars of a BOR, but I'm hurt. All the time, effort, money, time away
          from my family...and I get this? First time it's happened, but I'm
          surprised at the personal affront from the parent. I don't want anyone to insult the
          honor of Scouting by allowing a Scout to pass a BOR that isn't qualified, but
          none of us asked any tough questions. You don't pass a BOR for STAR by
          walking into the room in full uniform.

          Thanks for letting me vent.

          unsigned to keep the Scouts anonymity, not mine. He's a good person, and a
          good Scout. Just "ain't" ready for Star...and barely made it over the fence
          with 1St Class in my opinion. At 12, he's got 6 more years to go still.
          Why the noise when we just invited him to come back 1 week later?


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



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        • slpete42
          ... I would feel hung out by the Scoutmaster. Steve indicates best and proper practice for what should have happended around and at the Scoutmasters
          Message 4 of 10 , Mar 7, 2004
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            --- In scouter_t@yahoogroups.com, Cstrek97@a... wrote:

            > I got some heat from the mother. THAT'S what's bothering me.

            I would feel "hung out" by the Scoutmaster. Steve indicates best and
            proper practice for what should have happended around and at the
            Scoutmasters' conference before the board of review. I would ask
            myself how well am I doing with the SM. How good is my feedback in
            general and specifically on the earlier occassion of reservations
            about the first class board. Rarely, should bad boards be a boy's
            problem. My philistine attitude: That's what we pay the big bucks to
            the SMs for. My tendency in answering to Mom: Sorry, our procedures
            screwed up.

            "Often wrong, never uncertain"
          • Mullaney, Peter [AMSRD-AAR-AEE-P]
            Is it possible that the Scout in question has Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)? Not all these cases involve hyperactivity (ADHD) and actually some ADD kids
            Message 5 of 10 , Mar 8, 2004
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              Is it possible that the Scout in question has
              Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)? Not all these
              cases involve hyperactivity (ADHD) and actually
              some ADD kids are introverted and will not give an answer
              even if they know it. If a boy has special needs
              they should be made known to the board before the review.

              I'm not saying that this is so in this case, but it is
              a possibility.

              Pete Mullaney


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Scouter Chuck
              Pete wrote... ... I was going to bring up the same thing, but have not had time to compose the reply. I have to add, too, that many of these kids will know
              Message 6 of 10 , Mar 8, 2004
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                Pete wrote...

                > Is it possible that the Scout in question has
                > Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)? Not all these
                > cases involve hyperactivity (ADHD) and actually
                > some ADD kids are introverted and will not give an answer
                > even if they know it. If a boy has special needs
                > they should be made known to the board before the review.
                >
                > I'm not saying that this is so in this case, but it is
                > a possibility.

                I was going to bring up the same thing, but have not had time to
                compose the reply. I have to add, too, that many of these kids
                will know the answer until you ask them, at which point you get the
                "deer in the headlights look" and their mind goes totally blank.

                It's not for no reason that the older advancement materials
                indicated that "testing for rank" was to be by SM observation.
                I.e., when the SM saw the Scout performing the required task, it
                was quietly signed off.

                For a boy with ADHD, testing becomes MAJOR STRESS. You know, that
                could also explain the "in your face" parent.

                The SM Conference is to reinforce that learning and to find out how
                the boy is doing in his own mind. The BOR is a review of the Troop
                program.

                The SM and ASMs are not to sit on the BOR, because if the Scout is
                having a problem with one of them, and he sees you as one of them
                as well, he won't speak up and will eventually leave.

                That is one reason why I question the BOR members wearing the
                uniform around the Scouts. They see the uniform, and you become a
                SA or SM in their minds.

                YiS,

                Chuck Bramlet -- Phoenix, Az. ----- mailto:antelope95@...
                I "used to be" an Antelope! -- WEM-10-95
                Thunderbird District -- Grand Canyon Council
                Committee Member at Large, Roundtable Staff -- Member DNRC
                -------------------------------------------------------------------
                "The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing"
                -- Stephen R. Covey
                -------------------------------------------------------------------
              • phoage
                Obviously I have not checked this group in a while. The previous answers were all good but there is one thing that was barely touched on that might also help.
                Message 7 of 10 , Mar 14, 2004
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                  Obviously I have not checked this group in a while. The previous
                  answers were all good but there is one thing that was barely touched
                  on that might also help.

                  We had a similar situation. It didn't get to the BOR level
                  fortunately. Dad was not involved with the troop due to job pressure.
                  Mom was (is) a definate type A personality ( and a generally
                  wonderful person but...). Her son was going to make Eagle and time is
                  a wastin'.

                  The Scouts in our troop (like most Scouts) know what the score is and
                  will not put up with half baked leaders. The Scout in question could
                  do almost anything required of him as long as an adult wasn't around.
                  If there was an adult around, he had a hard time tying his shoes.

                  We (the adults who went out to things other than meetings) have seen
                  him do the stuff when the boys didn't know we were around.

                  It turns out he was intentionally blowing the tests. My son was SPL
                  and told me in confidence. He ( the Scout) did not feel he was ready
                  for the advancement his mother was pushing him for but would not
                  complain to any of the other adults and could not/would not confront
                  his mother. (I can understand the last. Although she is a generally
                  nice person, I would be reluctnat to oppose her on anything I didn't
                  feel very strongly on. Very posative personality.)

                  my $0.02

                  Patrick A. Hoage
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