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I come from a troop that used to do BORs once a month and now does them more-or-less on demand (pending availability). We've gone through some issues with having BORs during meetings, which I do not particularly like to do. Boys and adults alike tend to be distracted, and the boys miss out on whatever is happening during the meeting. It is harder for the other boys who are running the program to deal with the in-and-out flow of kids during the activities too. So I can see your committee wanting to move away from that model to a separate time/day.


On the other hand, one of the things that maybe some folks on your committee don't get, is that a lot of pre-teen boys (and girls) are creatures of the here-and-now. Telling a kid he has to wait up to 3 months to have a BOR for a rank he finishes now, well that's an eternity to a 10-11-12 year old kid. It is likely to kill his zest for advancement. So no, I wouldn't support this policy either. If the issue is "racing" through the ranks then there are other, better, programmatic (not bureaucratic!), ways of addressing this.


A couple of side note.


First: You mention that you and your husband (CC) are both new, just finishing your first year. Adv. chair can be one of the most stressful and demanding adult positions in a troop, aside from SM and CC. I recall being surprised by this when I moved from Cubs to Boy Scouts, because in Cub Scouts, advancement is really mainly about being organized. But there are a lot of additional considerations and pressures related to advancement at the troop level and sometimes it seems the AC walks around with a target on his/her back as a focal point for these pressures. Consequently, I wouldn't recommend that a person who is new to a troop take on this role unless there's no one else to do it. Nor would I recommend being CC or SM right away for that matter.


Second: It sounds as if you are in a position of attempting to change troop culture. Good luck with that. Especially if the SM is well-supported by other adults, you will find this to be a tough road to travel. Also you mention receiving a snippy email from the secretary/SM's wife. Well she's probably not going to see eye-to-eye with you no matter what and she may be mirroring the SM's way of thinking too. Decide whether you really want to fight this fight. Long-term SM & secretary vs. 1-year CC& AC? The odds are not in your favor.


Third: Is your son having a good experience? If he is, great. Stay out of the adult fray if it gets on your nerves too much, and let him enjoy it. No troop is perfect and sometimes you have to decide to put up with lesser ills. Is he having a lousy time? Then help him understand that Boy Scouts is a national program and this troop doesn't have the monopoly on it. There are always other troops to consider joining too. I can't tell from your post if you're at this point, but given the "other frustrations" you mention, I figure it might be worth pointing out.

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You should go over the board of review training with your committee



The board of review is not just about advancement, it it about seeing how the troop is doing.


From the training: "An ideal troop might hold monthly boards of review, possibly at the same time as a troop meeting. A troop with few Scouts might conclude that monthly boards are unnecessary as too few Scouts present themselves for advancement, but that would miss one of the functions of the board. A board should be set up to review accomplishment and lack of accomplishment. The board can counsel with Scouts who are not advancing to determine reasons for lack of progress and to stimulate these Scouts to greater participation in the program. This function is of equal importance to the function of reviewing boys who present themselves for advancement."


"Ideally, a Scout should sit for a board of review every six months, whether he is advancing or not."


As for them deciding that they will only hold BORs before the court of honor, the committee really needs to back to the beginning and get trained. A troop committee should be voting on very little, in fact I believe the last time I check the Troop Committee Guidebook, voting was only referenced once, and that was to say that the SM has not vote. As advancement chair you really only have to clear advancement related issues with the CC, if you say they will be held once a month and between as needed, then that is what it is. If the other members of the committee are not on board,you can tell them to go pound sand and the CC can tell them that their services are no longer needed and replace them.


I would go so far as to say this is adding to the requirements for advancement. Say a boy completes his last requirement and his SM conference the week before the BOR for say second class, and the committee says, well Johnny sorry but it is easier for us if we wait four months for the board of review.


"The Troop Committee's primary responsibilities are supporting the Scoutmaster in delivering a quality troop program and handling troop administration"



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I've been in troops where BORs were held as needed as well as on a monthly basis. Both methods work well depending on the troop culture. Quarterly BORs look like an awful lot of work and an awful lot of pressure on everyone.


As others have suggested, you may be bumping up against problems that run deeper than BOR scheduling. I'd suggest your CC and SM have a sit down with the COR and civilly figure out what's going well and what's not, no holds barred. Present the list of things that need to be remedied to the committee and focus on not whose fault it is, but on what the solutions might be.


Scouting is about the Scouts and what's best for them, individually and corporately, not the adults. Quarterly BORs is not in a Scout's best interest.

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