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Eagle board of review?


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#21 CherokeeScouter

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Posted 18 July 2016 - 01:54 PM

When I say I find a troop's practice EBOR, here's the reasons. 

 

1) The DAC and/or EBOR members have a yearly meeting talking about the entire Life to Eagle process: i.e. projects approval process, paperwork involved, the EBOR, etc. I attended part of one (it was the same night as Roundtable), and it was extremely informative. It does prepare Scouts for the entire process and I want to take my son to the next one as soon as he is able to.

 

2) From I've been told, these "practice" EBORs are harder, more difficult, and are more on the lines of retests than a true BOR.

 

3) I've been told that some Scouts who have "failed" their "practice" EBOR are not allowed to have a district EBOR until the unit approves.

This is just terrible. 


Edited by CherokeeScouter, 18 July 2016 - 02:07 PM.

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#22 CherokeeScouter

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Posted 18 July 2016 - 02:06 PM

I took my post down. Sorry for the rant. Little too strong. Just follow the guidelines. 


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#23 Lurking...

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Posted 18 July 2016 - 02:08 PM

One of the reasons why I do a pre-EBOR with the boys is because even if they have had the opportunity to be in a boy-led program, the EBOR members may not.  How does one respectfully take on a panel of austere older scouters when the candidate is in his mid teens?  Sure, if I were to do a practice with the boys, they know me, they know what I teach, they are excellent scouts for the most part.  But put in a room in a panel of unknown adults, all bets come off the table.  Sure they have gone through a few BORs over the years, the people on the panel are committee members and parents or both.  These are familiar faces and they know these people.  When I go into EBOR's with my boys, even I DON"T KNOW who these people are and I've been in the council with units in all three districts!  So in light of that, I practice and train the boys on what to expect because it is NOT the same old BOR they have been used to in the past.

 

Different councils may be set up differently and much of what I do would not be an issue, but we need to deal with the hand we're dealt and so we practice for the unknown and unexpected.


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#24 DadScouts

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Posted 18 July 2016 - 07:52 PM

Never heard of the practice.  Our EBORs are "District" but the District insists on only one EBOR member and that person is a "representative of the District" and doesn't chair and is less active than other EBOR members.  Usually 3 Troop Comm members and the District rep.  As Advancement Chair after the SMC I meet with every Scout, review the paperwork (5 minutes) before it goes to Council and then I prep the Scout.  I URGE and demand they have to remember 3 things for their EBOR; Don't be nervous, don't be nervous, don't be nervous.  Our EBORs aren't as much BORs as life counseling sessions for the Scout's benefit.  Being nervous means they won't remember the discussion and advice given hence making the whole thing a waste of time.  Out of 30 Eagles I have told 28 they are already Eagle and will pass their EBOR absent of spitting on or punching a board member.  

 

I think having a practice BOR might make the Scout more tense, defeating the purpose of what we try to get out of EBORs.  I think having a post-EBOR troop session might be more valuable to the Scout.  Post-EBOR boards could be a great learning experience for all.  


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#25 Eagle94-A1

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Posted 19 July 2016 - 06:20 AM

I took my post down. Sorry for the rant. Little too strong. Just follow the guidelines. 

 

No apologies needed. Trust me, I've probably heard the rant a time or two.  One reason I didn't send oldest to that troop to look at. However, that is the troop oldest has a bunch of friends from the homeschool group in. 


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#26 Eagledad

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Posted 19 July 2016 - 06:37 AM

 I think having a post-EBOR troop session might be more valuable to the Scout.  Post-EBOR boards could be a great learning experience for all.  

That's a pretty good idea. 

 

Barry


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#27 Lurking...

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Posted 19 July 2016 - 08:00 AM

Never heard of the practice.  Our EBORs are "District" but the District insists on only one EBOR member and that person is a "representative of the District" and doesn't chair and is less active than other EBOR members.  Usually 3 Troop Comm members and the District rep.  As Advancement Chair after the SMC I meet with every Scout, review the paperwork (5 minutes) before it goes to Council and then I prep the Scout.  I URGE and demand they have to remember 3 things for their EBOR; Don't be nervous, don't be nervous, don't be nervous.  Our EBORs aren't as much BORs as life counseling sessions for the Scout's benefit.  Being nervous means they won't remember the discussion and advice given hence making the whole thing a waste of time.  Out of 30 Eagles I have told 28 they are already Eagle and will pass their EBOR absent of spitting on or punching a board member.  

 

I think having a practice BOR might make the Scout more tense, defeating the purpose of what we try to get out of EBORs.  I think having a post-EBOR troop session might be more valuable to the Scout.  Post-EBOR boards could be a great learning experience for all.  

 

Anything anyone wants to learn is more often than not in the After Action Review (AAR).  Just about every thing we do entails an AAR.


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#28 Beavah

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Posted 19 July 2016 - 11:11 AM

Yah, in my experience da "practice" BORs arise because of perceived problems with district or council BORs or (less frequently) with district/council reps at unit BORs.   If yeh have a lad who gets "burned" or just plain surprised in a bad way by da behavior of your district folks, the natural thing for the unit to do is to start preparin' the boy for that sort of thing, eh?  After all, it's probably not an experience the lad has had during his Scoutin' experience up to that point.  

 

Sometimes DAC members can be a particularly officious bunch.  :p

 

I prefer unit-level EBORs where da district/council rep is not the chair, but just a respectful observer/participant.  No surprises for the boy that way, and no need for "practice".   The BOR will be pretty much what the lad is used to in his unit, whatever that is.  Plus I agree with the others who have commented that it's a Good Thing for the unit committee and CO folks to participate in Eagle BORs and to let 'em run a bit longer than district-level ones do.  One of the few great rewards for volunteers, and da best feedback on your program you're likely to get.

 

Beavah


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#29 CherokeeScouter

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Posted 19 July 2016 - 11:57 AM

Stosh, I disagree. The spontaneity and unexpected questions are the whole point. Plus, there is absolutely no wrong answers in these situations, regardless of who is doing the BOR. 

 

These are my two criteria when I do an Eagle BOR (assuming everything is in order on the application):

 

1. Did the young man do the work? 

2. Is the young man of good character?

 

When you flunk someone on an EBOR, there has to be some extenuating circumstances. I've had painfully shy, autistic, just about everything you can imagine. Never flunked them. I even had one candidate who was so shy and so nervous that everything was one-word answers and sentences were no more than 10 words. He passed.

 

I think that if they had committed a crime or were absolutely forced to do Scouting at gunpoint by a parent, then we might have some reservations. 

 

But all the reasons you mentioned are exactly why you don't do practice BORs. 


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#30 Lurking...

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Posted 19 July 2016 - 12:33 PM

Stosh, I disagree. The spontaneity and unexpected questions are the whole point. Plus, there is absolutely no wrong answers in these situations, regardless of who is doing the BOR. 

 

These are my two criteria when I do an Eagle BOR (assuming everything is in order on the application):

 

1. Did the young man do the work? 

2. Is the young man of good character?

 

When you flunk someone on an EBOR, there has to be some extenuating circumstances. I've had painfully shy, autistic, just about everything you can imagine. Never flunked them. I even had one candidate who was so shy and so nervous that everything was one-word answers and sentences were no more than 10 words. He passed.

 

I think that if they had committed a crime or were absolutely forced to do Scouting at gunpoint by a parent, then we might have some reservations. 

 

But all the reasons you mentioned are exactly why you don't do practice BORs. 

 

Yes, there are the shy, the ones that are less confident, those who are simply nervous, etc

 

Yes, there is no way the boy is going to FLUNK an EBOR.

 

BUT..... the experience should be a growing, positive event of celebration, not one where the boy leaves in tears.  THIS is why I take the time to work with the boys prior to their EBOR so that they can have a good experience regardless of what the adults may or may not toss his way.  I have been in EBOR's where the panel was excellent, understood the struggle the boy was having with is nervousness and yet, Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy could have been sitting on the panel and it wouldn't have made a bit of difference.  The boy was so worked up BEFORE he even went into the room there was no place to go but into the dumpster.

 

Just walking through a few fake questions with the boy and helping him with answers, focusing in on the questions and not the situation, watching for smiles from the panel members, reminding him there are no wrong answers and that this is just a nice formality, and other techniques to help him are all going to make that experience something he'll remember in the positive column of life.  We do not have troop EBOR's, it's all council people in the room except for the candidate and his SM.  Sometimes just reminding him not to worry, I'll be there with him is enough to knock some of the nervousness down so he can feel some safety with someone there that's "in his corner". 

 

I wished we had the option for troop EBOR's or troop EBOR's with a council rep present.  But we don't have that luxury, we have people that are even total strangers to me and I've been with the council for 30+ years.  That's a path I don't think my boys need to walk alone.  They all have the option of not having me silent in the room with them and to date, no one has ever not wanted me there.  It's how I take care of my boys.


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#31 fred johnson

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Posted 19 July 2016 - 04:12 PM

As a guess, I would say that troops that provide practice EBORs have an expectation that the EBOR itself is going to be difficult, probably because the EBORs ask "gotcha" questions, or have a particular set of expectations about how a scout should answer and/or what a scout should answer.  If that's the EBOR your scout will face than a practice EBOR isn't a bad idea, and practicing anything usually makes you better at it.

 

As a professional I have interviewed hundreds of job candidates, most of them for jobs requiring a college or even graduate degree.  I long ago stopped being surprised at folks who are otherwise very capable in their field who are not particularly good at that type of communication.  My role as an interviewer is to find out whether the person will be good at the job not whether they are good at interviewing.  Likewise an EBOR has a responsibility to "determine the quality of [a scout's] experience and decide whether he has fulfilled the requirements for the rank', not to decide if they're good at playing rhetorical games with adults.  

 

If your EBORs are difficult for scouts whose other advancement achievements you've approved, then you should be working at changing your EBORs, but in the mean time you probably should help your scouts prepare for them because it's not really reasonable to expect a 17 year old doing something for the first time to be as extemporaneously clever as a group of fifty somethings who are probably doing something for dozenth time. 

 

Well said.  I'd only promote troop practice EBORs if the district level EBOR was not conducted to be a positive and friendly experience for the scout.  


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#32 fred johnson

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Posted 19 July 2016 - 04:14 PM

... How does one respectfully take on a panel of austere older scouters when the candidate is in his mid teens? ...

 

IMHO, this is why the scout has a unit leader sit in the room.  If the EBOR is out of place, the scout leader should call them on it.  Period.  


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#33 Lurking...

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Posted 19 July 2016 - 07:56 PM

We are invited to sit in silently. There is an opportunity at the end after the Scout steps out of the room to make comments about the boy only. Not much wiggle room.
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#34 Eagledad

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Posted 20 July 2016 - 07:31 AM

IMHO, this is why the scout has a unit leader sit in the room.  If the EBOR is out of place, the scout leader should call them on it.  Period.  

As I said, our Eagle candidates typically have the maturity to handle themselves with respect and dignity in a EBOR. Prepping our scouts would be like prepping a 45 year old ASM.

 

Our district, as far as I know, has never caused any drama on their part. And around here, asking the SM to sit in the scout's EBOR is more a formality of tradition to show honor and respect to the leader of the program where the scout developed his Eagle qualities. Our scouts personally handle their Eagle paperwork and arrange their EBOR themselves and have to invite the SM to his EBOR. If the scout chooses to not invite the SM to his EBOR, the SM might not even know the Scout's EBOR took place until Council announced the Scout is officially an Eagle. That's never happened, but it shows how much responsibility the scout has in the process compared to the adult leaders. 

 

Until this discussion, I have never heard of troops sending the SM to EBORs to protect their scout.. So I'm curious to learn of the experiences that would cause concern for your scout at the EBOR. What does "EBOR is out of place" mean?

 

Barry


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#35 Tampa Turtle

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Posted 20 July 2016 - 07:36 AM

Our District EBOR guy, while over worked, is wonderful. But before him some EBOR were kinda 'gotcha' star chambers and the boys felt ambushed. So we started offering the practice...it is not required...just like offering your buddy an ear to practice their speech or a dry run before a job interview. Some people need 'em, some just want the confidence boost. It just seems like a scout like thing to offer. But yeah I see the danger in it becoming a new hoop or requirement.

 

For my son who is on the autism spectrum I would have asked anyway. The physical rehearsal helps reduce stress and he gives truer answers (not obsessing over weird stuff). As an aside we did this with TSA and he got to board a plane before an international flight and it helped a lot.

 

When we do a practice we might give some reminders but mostly it is to give encouragement. Any 'after review' is really an excuse to prolong the congratulations and find out any fun stuff from the review.


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#36 Eagledad

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Posted 20 July 2016 - 07:54 AM

Our District EBOR guy, while over worked, is wonderful. But before him some EBOR were kinda 'gotcha' star chambers and the boys felt ambushed.

I don't doubt your troop is justified in helping the scouts, but can you describe to me what the EBOR did to make the scout's feel ambushed? I am (warning for moderators) ignorant of such experiences. And, what is 'gotcha' star chambers? Is that some video game? Boy I feel old. :blink:

 

Barry


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"Experience is the hardest teacher. It gives the test first, then the lesson."


#37 Tampa Turtle

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Posted 20 July 2016 - 08:08 AM

Some folks who sat in on the boards who thought it was a final exam for a military rank. Not accepting the scout's answers on what he wanted to do with his life as 'worthy of an eagle'. Threatening to turn down the scout because he muffed the outdoor code. Throwing a rope at him and telling him to do a bowline. Basically bullying the interviewee because...well he could. Eventually some wise old hands intervened with national and things were cleaned up. I guess it spoiled the fun for some.

 

This was a real good kid, former SPL, with 45+ MB. He did go on to a service academy so I guess he was not scarred for life.


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#38 MrBob

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Posted 20 July 2016 - 08:29 AM

I don't doubt your troop is justified in helping the scouts, but can you describe to me what the EBOR did to make the scout's feel ambushed? I am (warning for moderators) ignorant of such experiences. And, what is 'gotcha' star chambers? Is that some video game? Boy I feel old. :blink:

 

Barry

 

Probably not old enough if you missed the reference to The Star Chamber

 

Or, perhaps, the secret English court of law


Edited by MrBob, 20 July 2016 - 08:38 AM.

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#39 Eagledad

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Posted 20 July 2016 - 08:57 AM

Basically bullying the interviewee because...well he could. Eventually some wise old hands intervened with national and things were cleaned up. I guess it spoiled the fun for some.

 

Yep, that is uncalled for. 

 

Thanks

 

Barry


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"Experience is the hardest teacher. It gives the test first, then the lesson."


#40 SSScout

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Posted 20 July 2016 - 09:15 AM

I see that , as unit BoRs for the lesser ranks are done POSSIBLY according to BSA National guidelines, but are sometimes done however the unit Scouters think they should be done (enough discussion about that on these forums, eh?) ,  EBoRs are, by contrast, accomplished in very formal, regular, absolutely BSA regulation everyone the same style....   not.  

 

Here in Murlen,   our District Eagle Coordinators (three in our District) schedule three regular, monthly EBoR  sessions.   Each Troop calls ahead to the DEC of their choice to schedule the EBoR  for their candidate.  Each Ecandidate is expected to be (1) escorted to the EBoR by their SM or ASM, and a parent or two, (2) come fully, correctly uniformed (socks might not be checked, but neat clean shoes.  Uni trou might be newly bought or borrowed).  (3)  At the session, the accompanying  SM and  parent(s) are "volunteered" to serve on one of the other EBoRs held that night (yes, usually more than one.  If none scheduled, the DECs have that night off!). None may serve on the EBoR for their Scout.   (4)Each EBoR  is chaired by someone on the District Advancement Committee.  (5) The EBoR  is given all the Ecandidates records and reviews them,  MBrecord, project, intro letters, and all.  Yes, this is the final check, after Council. Yes, I have seen some discrepancies found and corrected right there.   (5) The SM comes in and introduces the Ecandidate to the EBoR and then leaves the room.  (6) It happens.  (7)  If he is passed, everyone on the EBoR sign the paperwork .    

 

When Scoutson  had his,  it lasted about 25 minutes.  He said it was "interesting" and he had been "challenged" by some of the discussion.   The board members came up to me and Good Wife after and complimented us on our son.    Good Wife served on one, said she had not been in something like that before, but she enjoyed it.  We were given a list of sample questions and some pre-board instruction.  We had 4 adults on my board , one other Scouter besides me. The Scout we "drew" in my board had one problem with a MB that had a date that did not match the rest of his record , but we were able to explain that with some discussion with his SM. It was not critical to his passing and had been a "partial" from  summer camp that was completed months later.  He was, as I remember, a very personable young man.   I'd vote for him for governor in twenty years....


Edited by SSScout, 20 July 2016 - 09:18 AM.

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