I prefer not to give scoutmaster conferences at a regular meeting.
There is always too much to do, watch and questions to answer. If it is not a scout asking questions, it is the parents wondering about outings, the process or just light chit chat.
The scouts are required to contact me through email to ask for a Scoutmaster conference. We are chartered through a catholic church so I try to conduct the conference right after the most attended Mass, usually about 10:30 am on Sundays.
Here is a list of my general Scoutmaster conference questions for the Tenderfoot rank advancement. Each rank is different, so there are different questions for each rank. Through the years I have compiled the following questions to ask the scout.
At first the scout and I stand face to face about 4 feet away from each other. The scout should be in full uniform, shirt, pants or shorts, belt, socks, neckerchief, and hat.
1. Check uniform – face to face, I am checking his uniform for cleanliness and check to see if all his patches are sewn on correctly. Then I ask the scout to give me a quarter turn, checking is patches on the sleeve, another quarter turn to check his back, then a quarter turn to check the other sleeve for correctly sewn on patches.
Scout sign up.
2. Scout Oath – Ask the scout to recite the scout oath.
3. Scout Law – Ask the scout to recite the scout law.
4. Outdoor Code – Ask the scout to recite the outdoor code.
5. What is the Motto?
6. What is the Slogan?
After completing the first 6 items we have a seat and have a casual conversation.
7. Congratulate the scout on completing the requirements.
8. How do they feel about scouts so far?
9. What do they enjoy the most and why?
10. What camp out did they recently go on and what was the best part.
11. Ask them how they did completing all the knots they had to tie, and ask them “if I needed you to tie a (any knot) would you be able to do for me? If they say they forgot how, I would tell them how important knots are to scouts and to go home and practice so when the time comes to have a scout do a knot, they would be able to do it. The scouts have previously been tested on all the requirements, I can ask about the requirements but not retest any of them. I have to rely on the other assistant scoutmasters to make sure they are signing off only when the scout knows the requirement.
12. What is the buddy system, and why is it important.
13. Talk about their patrol, who is the patrol leader. What is the patrol leader doing good at and not so good at. What would he do differently?
14. Talk about the chain of command when he is a patrol member.
15. Talk about what requirement was the easiest and hardest, and why?
16. Is there any problems or issues with his patrol, is everyone getting along OK? Talk about the fact that scouts need to feel safe in this environment. We need to make sure it is safe for everyone.
17. Have they worked or completed any merit badges yet? Did they enjoy? and why?
Set a goal on when they will complete second class.
Go over the requirements they still have to accomplish and write a goal date in their book to compete Second Class rank.
Tell them the process of the Board of Review and who to contact to schedule one. In our troop our advancement coordinator is the one the scout should contact. The advancement coordinator sets an appointment for the Board of Review, this is usually at a regular meeting when there are lots of committee members present.
I always ask them if they have any questions for me or if they want me to clarify anything.
In my notebook I also make note of the conference I had with the scout. Sometimes the scout has great suggestions on how to improve the functionality of the troop. We will try anything once.LOL
A typical scoutmaster conference usually takes me about half an hour for the Tenderfoot rank. I like to put my full attention on the scout while we are having this discussion. I find I learn much more from the scout and he gets much more out of the conference if there are no other distractions going on.
As always please let me know what you think? Should I add or take out some of my questions? What would you ask of a scout trying to acquire the rank of Tenderfoot?
Yours in Scouting,
Mrs. Scoutmaster, Irene
PS, Check out my story here!