After some of my coworkers asked my opinion on the Fair Tax proposal I was planning to write about that today, but it was not meant to be. (Maybe tomorrow.) Instead I wanted to share an exciting experience from tonight. I conducted two boards of review for boys seeking their life scout rank. As board members we are seeking to steer clear of the conveyor-belt approach – ask a couple of easy questions and say congratulations. One of the scouts obviously preferred the conveyor-belt version and started out trying to mumble his way through the review.

One question we asked was “what is the purpose of scouting?” He eventually buckled down and answered that, among other things, it is to learn to work. I agreed that our goal was to stretch the boys in preparation for life (like the life stretching that has been causing me to barely look at my personal email for the last week while I try to keep up with work). I don’t think either of those boys left their reviews the same as they entered them.

About David

David is the father of 8 extremely organized children (4 girls / 4 boys) who is constantly seeking answers to tough questions related to parenting, education and politics while moonlighting for 40 hours each week as a technology professional. He also enjoys cooking, gardening, and sports.
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2 Responses to Challenging

  1. Reach Upward says:

    A good Scouting system prepares the boys for what to expect in their boards of review, and then provides boards of review that are learning experiences. The purpose is not to diminish the boy, but to cause them to stretch just a bit to make something better of them. A board of review that amounts to nothing more than a checking of the box is a disservice to the boy.

  2. David says:

    That is exactly why we made the review a bit more challenging. I believe that these boys had started taking their improved scouting experience too lightly as a result of previous reviews where the board of review was easer than the preparation to get there. The result was that the younger boys were beginning to see the scout program as a conveyor belt even though our scoutmaster is working to help them grow through the program.

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