Tenderfoot Scout Examinations




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Opening Talk - Observation Lists - Drill Formation - Tenderfoot Examination - National Flag - Scout Oath - Oral Test - Knot-Tying - Address - Good Turn Reports - Lassoing and Knot-Tying Contest-Knot-Tying-Lassoing-Decision of Judges - Announcements - Adjournment.

This is an important meeting and should be well prepared. All arrangements should be completed, and all needed materials should be collected and put in their proper places. By previous announcement at earlier meetings you have in-formed the boys that the Tenderfoot examination will be held at this time. You have also arranged at a previous in-door meeting that this will be the date for the lasso and the knot-tying contest. You have instructed the boys to pre-pare for their "Daily Good Turn" reports. And you have requested them to turn in written lists of their outdoor observation of animal and plant life. Have all these events as planned.

This examination is to be conducted by an Examination Board known as the Court of Honor. The men who compose this Board are members of the Local Council, and are appointed as members of the Court of Honor by the Local Council. It will therefore be your duty to personally see that these men are present and that they are instructed as to the amount of work thus far accomplished, the extent of the examination, what sort of questions to ask, etc. In communities where the Local Council has not yet been formed, it will be necessary for you to invite two or three of the representative citizens of your locality or a visiting Scout Master to serve as an Examination Board for the occasion; and it will then be necessary for you to also instruct these gentlemen in the right way. It would be a good idea to ask one of the members of the Court of Honor to deliver a brief talk during the course of the evening; if this is done, see that he has the right sort of information at hand.

1. Open the meeting with a few well-chosen words of commendation in regard to the boys and their de-sire to become active Scouts, and for the work so far accomplished. But make your introductory talk pointed and brief.

2. Immediately after the talk, collect the observation lists for future use.

3. Call for drill formation, display the National Flag, and have the Troop give the Scout Salute and the Scout Sign. End with one or two good yells. The concerted action of the drill and the yells will serve in a great measure to dispel the natural shyness occasioned by the presence of the visiting Board, and will, in a way, lessen the tension of the coming test.

4. Hold the examination for Tenderfoot Scout.

a. Have a written test on the National Flag. Ask questions that will require definite answers. Have plenty of writing material handy (pencil and paper) and see that table room is supplied or else have writing-boards. The following questions are suggested:- Where was the first flag made? Who made it? Who planned the design? What is the date of the first flag? Why are there thirteen stripes? What did the stars represent? What do the red and white stripes signify? What was the number of stars? Why? What are the customary forms of respect due to the flag? etc. It would be a good plan to have posted a week beforehand and in a place where all the boys might see it, a complete list of a hundred or more questions that might be asked on the different parts of the Tenderfoot test. This will give the boy some kind of idea what to expect in the examination, and will insure more thorough preparation.

b. Have each boy write down the Scout Oath from memory.

c. Conduct an oral test. Pick out boys at random to give answers to your questions. Following is a list of suggested questions - How is the Scout Sign made? What does it mean? Why is the Flag saluted? How is the Scout Salute made? When is it used? What do the colors in the Flag signify? Give the abbreviated Scout Law. What does the Scout Badge represent? What does it signify? What part of it is worn by the Tenderfoot Scout? Repeat the Scout Oath from memory. Ask for volunteers, each to give one complete division of the Scout Law.

d. Have the Court of Honor conduct an oral examination, picking the boys at random. Let this he the real test of the boy's knowledge.

e. Have each boy tie his required four knots according to the Tenderfoot requirements.

5. Have the brief talk of the member of the Court of Honor at this time, if arranged for previously as suggested.

6. Call for the "Daily Good Turn " Reports. The boys will probably be timid or nervous in giving their reports; encourage them and aid them wherever such help is needed. Use tact and good judgment and try to avoid embarrassing the boy. If you think some are badly frightened or if the hour is late, suggest that some of the boys write out their reports, or hold them until the next meeting.

Such reports should only be encouraged for the first few weeks until the boy gets the idea. After that reports should only be voluntarily given.

7. With the Court of Honor as judges, begin the lassoing and knot-tying contest. Instruct the judges as to the different events, and as to the different points to be considered in their decision. Give each boy an equal chance to try out, and encourage each to do his best. Small ribbon favors might be previously provided for and given to the winners of the three first places in each contest-blue for the winners, red for second place, and white for third place. If it is decided to have such favors. extra ones should be provided in case there should be ties for the different places.

a. In the knot-tying contest, the following points of judgment are suggested:-speed, precision, general knowledge of knots, best time for tying four selected knots, and best and neatest whipped rope-end.

b. In the lassoing contest, the following points of judgment are suggested: ease of handling rope, precision of cast, and the best three trials out of five.

c. Have the judges give their decision as to the winners, and if favors are given, they should be given out by the judges as the decisions are announced.

8. Set the time for the next regular indoor meeting, and also set the (late for the next outdoor meeting. Announce that at the next regular meeting those who have passed in the examinations will be sworn in as Tenderfoot Scouts.

9. Adjourn the meeting by singing "America" and end with the Scout Yells.

1. Note: Begin preparation for the next indoor meeting early. Read paragraphs 2 and 3 of the introduction to Program VII
2. Note: It might be well to suggest to the boys at this time that each should get his Boy Scout uniform at his earliest convenience.

Handbook for Scout Masters, First Edition, pages 159-162






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Last modified: October 15, 2016.