Thursday, December 14, 2006

Board of Review

Among my many hats, I am on the Troop Committee for my son's Boy Scout troop. Tonight I had the privilege of sitting on the board of review for 3 of the scouts. Only one of them was fully prepared for the interview.

A few tips for scouts:

It is not a good idea to open with "So how long will this last?" That tends to bring up questions about your Scouting Spirit. It also helps if you sit up straight and look us in the eye when you speak to us. Pick one of us or take turns, but don't look at the wall or the floor when you're speaking. We won't fail you for that, because you might just be nervous, but you should give it a try.

Corollary: the best Scouting Spirit and interview skills will not get you through if you have not read the handbook. We have. The answers to our questions are all in there.

We know you only use the one knot, but we are scouts and we learn the others anyway so we CAN use them. Yes, you really can use that taut-line hitch in putting up your tent. It's much more effective than your square knot. There are actual real-life uses for those other knots too. Your book even tells you what they are.

The big dipper does point to the North Star (Polaris), but if you insist on using those top two stars as guides, you'll never find north. You want the two on the side away from the handle and the line points up toward the top of the dipper.

No, moss does not always grow on the north side of trees. I don't care who told you that, it's simply not true. Moss grows on the side which gets little or no sunlight. Often that is north, but it depends on the landscape and sometimes it's the whole way round.

The N on your compass only points north if you're facing the right direction and have lined it up properly. The compass needle has 2 ends. One of them is red, the other is white. If your compass is functioning properly the red one will point to the north. If you make the red end point to the N, then the N is facing north as well.

Please do not follow your drowning buddy to the bottom of the deep end without first notifying the lifeguard that he's in trouble. Yes, we do expect you to know where your buddy is even if we're not calling a buddy check just this minute.

Yes, knowing how and when to use the Heimlich maneuver is a perfectly acceptable response if you can't remember what it's called. In fact, I'd much rather you knew what to do than the fancy word for it with only limited knowledge of what the word means.

No, we really don't enjoy sending you away without that advancement but we want you to be pround of that rank emblem when you wear it on your uniform. That's why we're asking you to study a little harder and come back when you've learned the bit that's in the section for your next rank. We know you can do it and we'll be happy to meet with you again any time you're prepared.

Please try not to wait until the week before the next Court of Honor.


Anonymous said...

I always wanted to be a girl scout when I was young. Now I wish I were a boy scout. Neat stuff that.

Judy said...

I was never a Girl Scout, but I married a Scoutmaster and had 3 sons so I really didn't get a choice about it. Units always need leaders - women are welcome. Yes, it's fun.

Kim said...

I was a Girl Scout, and I'm the mother of an Eagle Scout.

It's review boards like yours that keep the Eagle Scout the true honor that it is!

Great work!!!!

Judy said...

Thanks. As our advancement chairman said at the Court of Honor on Sunday, it's not really easy to say no to the kids when they come to the board of review, but the rank has to mean something. The next time, they'll all be better prepared.