Great point Sibhusky!
I'd totally forgotten about merit badges being relevant to this topic. D'oh! A merit badge test was my last official on snow duty of this season. The skiing requirements include parallel turns of various sizes, ability to ski moguls and the ability to ski on varying surface conditions, but basically amounts to testing for intermediate level on snow skills.
At our resort this season, we worked on improving our processes associated with giving merit badge tests. We give the exams for free, but we ask the troop leaders to coordinate efforts so that we have staff available and the scouts have the best change for passing. This year we only tested for the on snow pieces of the badge requirements
. But I filled out the worksheet
for the off snow portions so that we could have an answer sheet to score the off snow badge requirements as well. What I discovered is that many scouts were requesting the exam without even looking at what the requirements for the exam were. Sadly, I flunked about 1/2 of my candidates despite using a very liberal interpretation of the requirements (e.g. no moguls and using only a very short intermediate trail). It's a shame because the requirements are pretty cut and dry. There's specific information you need to know and there are specific tasks you need to perform that are easy to judge pass or fail. Next season, we are going to ask the troop leaders to ensure that the scouts have completed the worksheet before they come for their on snow exam with the hope that we will have a much higher pass rate.
I personally found the general knowledge questions on the worksheet to be fairly challenging. I had to do some research to fill in a few holes and make sure that my answers were correct. It was most ironic that I fractured my collarbone 2 weeks after answering the questions about how to treat fractures.