Written letter from BSA Scoutmaster helpful

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by anne99, Sep 27, 2015.

  1. anne99

    anne99 Member

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    Would a separate written recommendation from a BSA Scoutmaster who has known the candidate since early childhood be helpful in the application process? If so, how should it be submitted since everything is done online?

    Thanks for any advice!
     
  2. usnabgo08

    usnabgo08 USNA 2008/BGO

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    The advice from the Admissions Office on additional letters of recommendation is pasted below. Basically, my advice is.....putting oneself in the shoes of an Admissions Counselor or Admissions Board member, would this extra letter: (1) provide "new" information/perspective of the candidate that would be extremely beneficial AND (2) would this information/perspective not already be found elsewhere in the other parts of the application (including possible teacher recommendations and BGO interview)? With that being said, if everyone submitted an additional letter....is the time you are making the Admissions Board and/or Admissions Counselor review the additional letter worth it or is it simply re-stating what they know? What you don't want is someone saying...."that is five minutes I will never get back" (not because your child isn't interesting, but because there are so many applicants to review, that the information didn't shed any new light, etc.). At the end of the day, it is a decision you and your DS must make....I would just say, if you feel that it isn't possibly repetitive and sheds new light, it can't hurt.

     
  3. anne99

    anne99 Member

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    Thank you, that is very helpful and will require quite a bit of thought.
     
  4. usnabgo08

    usnabgo08 USNA 2008/BGO

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    Your welcome. Not sure where you are going exactly with your LOR...but, your BGO interview (if not already done) might be a good opportunity to discuss what you have accomplished in BSA. Not sure if discussing those activities and/or your leadership roles would help make the LOR moot or not. Again, it is at your discretion.
     
  5. Spud

    Spud BGO

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    Actually, a person very interested in that letter would be the BGO. The areas they must do a write up on includes many of the activities of a scouting career such as responsibility and leadership. By sending the letter to the BGO, the information would get to the Admissions Board via a trusted source and he/she could comment on the positive endorsement of the Scoutmaster to boot. The BGO would especially appreciate specific examples illustrating responsibility and leadership as opposed to the usual "he's a great kid and ought to go to USNA". The Academy looks upon Scouting as a great activity but I still have to drag out of my candidates precisely what they did in scouts besides just showing up. The BGO will appreciate the letter, believe me.
     
  6. anne99

    anne99 Member

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    Spud, thanks so much for that input. Neither of us thought of that. His BGO is rather new (2 years) to the process. However, I believe he may have already submitted his report. Would it still be beneficial after the fact? A recommendation from his scoutmaster might take another week to complete.
     
  7. usnabgo08

    usnabgo08 USNA 2008/BGO

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    I totally agree with Spud that sometimes you have to pry information out of candidates, but I believe that the candidate should be explaining what he/she did -- that is part of the reason there is an interview! However, just like a resume helps a BGO prior to the interview, the letter could shed some light and help expedite or make the questions more relevant during the interview. IMHO, submitting an official/formal LOR just to the BGO isn't necessarily worth the writers time -- if the LOR is a duplicate or it is a quick 1-3 paragraph summary, that can suffice.

    You might want to have your DS ask the BGO if it would be helpful. Odds are, it won't really "tip" the balances of the interview report, especially if your DS talked a bit about his BSA activities/leadership skills. However, it might be something to ask and could possibly shed light into whether it was included in the BGO report -- which might help with your original question.
     
  8. Spud

    Spud BGO

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    A BGO can submit addendums to the candidate's application all the way up to the Admissions Board. Personally, if I got just a call from a Scoutmaster about a candidate, I'd grab a pencil and paper and start asking questions. Like usnabgo08 said, it doesn't have to be fancy.
     
  9. anne99

    anne99 Member

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    This is all very helpful. Thanks! Looks like we came to the right place.
     

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