Jump to content

Recommended Posts

There are some unwritten benefits to holding a Board of Review in person as opposed to online, or over the phone.


This is a time where the boy's ability to interact with adults is practiced and the boys efforts are given credence. This process is a confidence booster for some kids, as it allows them to participate in a discussion about something they are familiar with, their own advancement, and succeed.


There is no specific prohibition to teleconferencing a BoR, but IMHO it would be a last resort measure to be sure. A face to face meeting with a boy who is attempting to earn a rank is worth a long drive on occasion, and making it a face to face would lend the proper air of importance about the process and the end result, rank advancement.


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually, John, not to be too jesuitical, but I don't think that the ACP&P does proscribe leaders from other Troops. It says that the BOR must have at least 3 Troop Committee members. I don't believe that is explicitly says that they need to be from the boy's Troop; presumably, they could be Troop Committee members from any Troop and meet the written requirement.


I believe that we all know what is intended but if one wants to microtome hairs, I believe that is what is said.

Link to post
Share on other sites

As was mentioned earlier, the concept of teleconferencing would be fine on a as needed basis. Scheduling BORs ahead of time to be able to multiple ones done in an evening would also help.


The idea of using committee members from another troop is also a good one that also has extra benefits. The youth and leaders get exposed to new ideas and experiences. We had a camping trip a year ago where another troop was at the same site for the evening. We both had boys ready for a BOR but both groups lacked the adults. By combining our leaders we where able to conduct both BORs. Meanwhile the other youth conducted a joint campfire program. That evening was ranks way up there on my list of memorable scouting experiences.

Link to post
Share on other sites

This sounds like an interesting concept. Wasn't long ago we were just starting to figure out what these contraptions we call computers, actually DO for the general public and laymen. I'll be interested to hear how this turns out!

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 months later...

Reporting back and answering some questions:


First, the questions.


Yes, LDS units can have non-LDS scouters (and scouts) involved, so long as they understand and accept some of specific things we do and don' do with our units (no Sunday camping unless special permission granted, no Monday night activities so as to not interfere with family night, no smoking, coffee, tea, etc at unit activities.). In fact, half of our scouts in one end of the troop aren't LDS and we're glad to have them along to help make the program big/fun enough to be more than just a smattering of lone scouts. Personally, I'd like to see non-LDS scouters happen more often if for no other reason than to help break down the "us and them" perception that happens a lot.


In each of the locations where my troop is spread out, there is maybe one other unit and they are also struggling on membership. Ideally we should combine, but we run into a few issues such as local pride, scheduling, and good old fashioned not everybody thinks highly of LDS people (not complaining, just stating a reality out here in the Bible Belt; unfortunately I imagine it's the other way around in some heavy LDS areas). So far we get along fairly well and have standing offers to piggy back with each other for campouts and activities, but I don't see a merger any time soon.



Regarding the BoRs:

We did them piecemeal from June to August (our last was this last Wednesday). This gave some time for the boys to finish up requirements that didn't/couldn't get done at camp. It also allowed a few scouts who didn't make it to camp from our newer end of the unit to have a chance to work up to Tenderfoot.


Coordinating the times and locations took some effort on all ends, but we made things happen. The responses from the scouts sounded about the same we would have received in person. I think it helped that most of the members of the BoR (myself included) have already met the scouts and spent time with them at camp and other activities.


We've scheduled our Court of Honor for next week, at a location central to all 3 ends of the unit. Each patrol has assigned responsibilities (we're helping the SPL grow into his job, especially with the unique situation) and will receive as many ranks and awards as they were able to earn.


Our next few Committee Meetings are going to focus on plans for spinning off the separate patrols as stand alone troops, with the intention of breaking off when my end recharters in December. In the meantime, we'll continue providing the training and support needed for each set of patrols. Part of that process will include training committee members at each end who will become the adult troop leaders after the split, and in the meantime can assist with BoRs as needed (one member of my committee travels to the other locations as part of his other church responsibilities, and is doing a good chunk of the face to face coordinating).


If it looks like we need to stay all "scattered from heaven to breakfast" for a while longer then we'll look for ways to make the BoRs more traditional. I'm pretty sure that we'll be ready to make the spin-offs, as we received training at summer camp from our general church leader in Salt Lake responsible for Young Men (and Scouting) that individual churt units are to have their own Scout units unless it is absolutely necessary to combine, and then it should only be as long as needed to train up to split. The trick is convincing the church leaders in the individual units that they do have a responsibility to call leaders for their units. From what I've seen it's more of an obstinancy issue than a lack of availability. We're running pretty lean on my end; no reason why they can't do the same on theirs, especially since they can get the minimum needed direct from the people already called to take care of this age group.


PS, yes my scouts did include "Scattered From Heaven To Breakfast" on the troop flag they made at camp :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

We did a video conference for one of my Eagle candidates at his District BOR. Our District has some goofy rules concerning paperwork deadlines and he missed it for the last BOR prior to leaving for college. His school was about 5 states away and other than Dad coming up with a grand for airline tickets this was the only way it would work. This was in the fall and he wasnt planning on coming home over Christmas (money decision). So it was either something of this nature or wed have to wait until spring semester ended. But that wouldve been longer than 6 months from age 18, which gets everyone excited. Dad set it up at his office one Sunday afternoon, his candidate son borrowed a web cam from a buddy and we were off to the races. Our District Adv. Chair said it was acceptable and it worked very well. Very little was lost in the communications. Not exactly perfect, but pretty close. So as a last resort it will work just fine.

Oh - Mother pinned on his Eagle pin at that Christmas's COH.

Link to post
Share on other sites



Glad for the feedback :) Good to hear all happened fairly well.


A couple of specific comments:


- In my neck of the woods, a non LDS young man sought to join a LDS Troop. His parents were told he'd get access to Positions of Responsibility only after all LDS members had been accommodated. Don't know how your Wards and Stakes work, but that can be a huge show-stopper.


- Again in my neck of the woods, I have a young man who is 1/2 mile from his neightborhood Pack, and 20 miles from his Ward parish. Dad is leaning towards placing the young man in neighborhood Cub Scouts, for similar reason you chose electrons to support BORs. A gallon of gas each way adds up. He's getting incredible pushback from his Ward leaders. Sometimes common sense on both parts works.


- As we discuss common sense, I know LDS has waivers from National to charter as few as 3 youth into a unit, vice the normal 5. Even so, it's hard to have the miniature representative democracy that's part of the Scouting program with single Patrol units. It's hard to put together the capital resources (stoves, tents, fire barrels). I don't think there's a Troop out there that doesn't have some local implementation of a BSA practice. If common sense says the best program for the youth, as a whole, is one Troop and multiple patrols, do what's right, not what the bureaucrat says he wants to see done.

Link to post
Share on other sites

A Scout Is Thrifty.



If video conferencing via Skype or any other option is available, by all means use it.


My only concern about mixing adults from other units is that the BOR is supposed to be a check-point for the troop committee to evaluate their program. Bring in a few unassociated adults just to make a quorum, and you dilute the effectiveness.


I've been to all three towns in Texas, and those are some long, lonely roads out there, so I understand why you'd need to do this not only for BOR's but also perhaps for PLC and committee meetings.


At least Pecos and Monihans are in adjoining county. Alpine is two counties removed from the other two! And nobody can say you're not using the patrol method.



Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

Another update and responses for John-in-KC (and others):


eolesen: we're definately being thrifty. So far we've managed to keep staff BORs with our own committee members. The quality control aspect is a little wonky because the same committee members are mostly doing double duty on the ground as de facto ASMs.


John-in-KC: PORs & representative democracy: yeah, I can see how that is a show-stopper (I feel that way myself sometimes), but it is one of things that LDS units do differently because we use patrols and troops a bit differently. Patrols are to overlay the priesthood quorum, with the quorum president usally the PL or SPL. Assistants are also usually presidency members (quorum leadership is a calling). Other troop positions are by election, but with our size, the boys usually just call dibs on the jobs they'd like and then they divy them up, with some doing double duty (I have a PL who plays trumpet and enjoys having the bugler POR, for example).


I've had plenty of headaches trying to make this viable, especially when the quorum president wasn't all that great at Scouting nor to keen on changing that status. We're still working with them from both church and Scout angles, though, and some progress is being made. I did manage to get the leadership situation worked out, but it took a while.


I recently found myself responsible for an 11 year-olds' patrol. This is effectively a new Scout patrol except there are very tight rules on when they can mix with the older boys and the number of campouts they can do. 3 of the 4 boys are non-LDS, so the leadership thing is tricky. I did manage to get permission for the boys to stay together even though a few have turned 12, because they're turning 12 in rapid succession and it would be best if they were able to bond as a patrol and move up as a patrol. I was able to get the rule bent because they were within a few months of each other, and because our 12-13 year old patrol (Deacon's quorum) currently is one boy and he's not exactly what you would call active or motivated.


The local community troop seems to have folded over the summer, and there were whispers that it had disbanded. That's partly how I picked up the 11 y/o patrol; the oldest of the group is LDS but was with the other troop because we were having trouble getting a separate Scout leader for the 11 y/o patrol. He was there for almost a year but didn't receive any advancements mainly due to the problems the troop leaders were having outside of Scouts, so he switched over to us (which was the original understanding between his parents and the community troop). Yeah, his parents caught some fuss over the matter, especially since he is our Scoutmaster. I stuck with the gentle diplomacy approach and now we have 4 in this patrol. It seems like my biggest job is balancing the church's guidlines and requirements for Scouting with "regular" Scouting expectations all while considering the logistics of west Texas. If the community troop manages to reboot, I'll have no problem with the non-LDS boys choosing to go back if that is what they prefer. Although I doubt we'll ever merge the two troops in town, I think we'll have forged closer ties and do more cooperative activities.


The quorum/class=patrol thing is probably what is going on with your local cub. It isn't as critical for classes to stay together as it is for qurorums, but I can see where the leadership pressure would come in. FWIW, I Cubbed in the Trans-Atlantic Council with the pack on base instead of the church unit because the church unit was about 45 minutes away, whereas I could walk to the one on base. When we moved stateside, I was able to attend the church unit because distance wasn't an issue. I enjoyed both units, and consider myself blessed to have had the opportunity to see Scouting from both sides. It's part of what helps me now with regards to working with non-LDS Scouts and units.


It looks like we're ready to spin off our Alpine Patrol. The Pecos patrol is pretty much non-functional because they're entire youth program is lacking leadership (oilfield and football are the main culprits), and they're beyond my authority to do anything about it ecclesiastically. We're willing to let their one remaining scout join us, and have even worked out an arrangement for rides (I live halfway between Pecos and Monahans) but we haven't seen him since summer camp other than at regional church activities.



Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

Another update:


The Alpine patrol has split off and they are up and running gonzo. They have Cubs going as well.


The Pecos side is going to be split off when we recharter in the next week or so. They've had more than enough time to get things running and they haven't. Not our problem anymore. We'll keep the one lone scout on our rolls and fold him into our older patrol. He's been coming pretty regular the past few weeks since he's hitching a ride with a church leader that comes out our way every week to handle clerk duties.


Side note: we're going to charter a Varsity team for the older boys. They'll essentially function as a "Varsity Patrol" within the troop, but the boys are excited and we even have a few less active boys get excited about the idea as well.


I've also managed to blend in a bit of the "standard" patrol method with our 11 year olds. I got permission to keep them together as a group since most of them turn 12 within a few months of each other and they were all recruited by the current PL (about to turn 12). 3 of the 4 are non-LDS and they're all going gang-busters wanting to learn things (tonight is "how to camp in subfreezing west Texas weather" as well as "what happens when you make food assignments to someone who said he probably wouldn't be able to make teh trip?"). They're about to move up with the older boys. The youngest (a non-LDS currently the APL) will remain behind for a while and form a new patrol with a Weblos about to cross over. We're recommending that he become the new PL.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...