Jump to content

Board or Review Members

Recommended Posts

It's not Doctoral Oral Examinations.


It's not Defense of the Dissertation.


It's Adult Association with an 11-17 year old.


Registration Trained. Every one of us here knows someone who is simply on the books, but hasn't done anything beyond YP.


IMO, the object of the exercise, for the CC/Advancement Coordinator, is to find the best adults to visit with the Scout, to check in with him on where he is and where he's going, and to encourage and challenge him.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 56
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

"...why do we explicitly allow and encourage non-scouting community members on Eagle Boards of Review?"


the other aspects have been answered except for this one


if we explicitly allow and encourage non-scouting community members on Eagle Boards of Review, does this not mean that for Non-Eagle Boards of Review Scouting members of the Community are to be used? How to you get to be a Scouting Member of the Community? By being registered


I think that covers it

Link to post
Share on other sites

This thread is pretty timely for me as I have become troop Advancement Chair within the last month. One of the things I have inherited is a "troop tradition" that BOR's (through Life) are conducted by TWO Troop Committee members (both registered, by the way). Sometimes there will be three if there happens to be a third committee member around (other than the CC who is usually otherwise occupied at the troop meeting). But the job of the AC (to date) in setting up BOR's (we do them on an as needed basis, and in the month before a Court of Honor it gets to be every week) is to make sure there will be at least two Committee members (usually but not always including himself/herself) there for the BOR.


I did once (long before becoming AC) point out at a Committee meeting (where we were discussing a different aspect of BOR's and had the relevant pages of "the book" in front of us) that the book says BOR's consist of three to six committee members. The answer I got was that there usually are not enough people to make a three-member BOR. Although the solution to this seemed fairly obvious (recruit more members!), I decided (for reasons that would require several pages describing the interpersonal dynamics of our committee, which I am not going to do) not to rock the boat at that point. So now I have the job, and have already begun recruiting a few parents to join the Committee and the BOR rotation, as well as a couple of "old hands" who had not been asked to help with a BOR in a while. Before long I will have at least two people joining me for every BOR, and start a "new tradition" (which happens to be in compliance with the book.)


Then I can start the more difficult task of tackling a couple of other "old troop traditions" regarding BOR's, which I will not even mention here so as not to derail the thread.


Someone mentioned Scouts sitting on BOR's for Scouts going for the lower ranks. This was actually part of the much-reviled (in this forum, anyway) "improved Scout program" of 1972. One of the many changes was that instead of a "Board of Review", the last requirement for every rank was a "Progress Review" (preceded by the "Personal Growth Agreement Conference", known before and after that time as a Scoutmaster Conference.) For T-2-1, these progress reviews were conducted by "older" Scouts (I forget whether the minimum rank (oh excuse me, they changed that to "Progress Award" I think) was Star or First Class. I do not know when this change was reversed. All I know is that when I rejoined Boy Scouting with my son around 2003, Progress Reviews by Scouts had already been replaced by BOR's by adult committee members (as before 1972), and "ranks" and "Scoutmaster conferences" were again the accepted terminology.

Link to post
Share on other sites

LOL. As usual, I'm with John-in-KC. But let's go back to the list.


1) Is registration required?


Seems like we all agree the answer is "no", based on da quote from AlFansome's read of the BOR training supplemental, and the fact we can't find it written anywhere else. In fact, even in ACP&P, right after talking about boards being conducted by members of the troop committee, it goes on to add that unit leaders and assistant unit leaders cannot serve on the board. Of course, unit leaders and assistant unit leaders can never be registered members of the committee, so why would they bother writin' that? Except unit leaders are often ex officio members of da committee, eh? So the proper read seems to be that BORs are conducted by troop committee members, whether registered or ex officio or community folks associated with the troop, but not by unit leaders or relatives.


2) Is the function of the Troop Committee to review the unit program?

Not in the Troop Committee Guidebook or TC Training.


2a) Then what's the proper way to read NealonWheels or AlFansome's quotes from ACP&P/BOR supplemental?

I think it's clear from the context. The stated purposes of a board of review in ACP&P are 1) to make sure the boy has learned, 2) to see how his experience in the troop has been, and 3) to encourage him. Given that, when yeh read the quotes in context, yeh realize that what they're talking about is that the BOR should find ways to help the boy, not to evaluate the unit program. In other words, ways of directing unit resources to a particular lad who isn't advancing, or who has special interests, or needs more encouragement. As John-in-KC says, it's a form of adult association, eh? Not a form of program evaluation.


That's why the spot where NealonWheels quote comes from is da section talking about non-advancement boards of review, eh? It's all about trying to help individual boys.


3) Can the unit leader sit in on a BOR as an observer?

I think there's a contradiction here between the supplementary BOR trainin' and da ACP&P, but hat's off to AlFansome for findin' it!


Personally I disagree with da notion of not letting the unit leader observe. Just seems rude to me, especially as a council fellow. I always let a SM stay to observe an EBOR, and I'm not sure why a lower BOR would be any different (other than that they're often conducted at troop meetings where the SM is busy with other things). If our purpose is really to provide insight into how to help the boy, then the person who is best to be on da BOR is the SM, not the troop treasurer. ;)




Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm continuing this discussion not in order to beat a dead horse, but rather because I'm amused by the fact that we are now engaging in a sort of primacy of law analysis of BSA publications. The BSA's own Chevron Doctrine, if you will.


1) Is registration required?

Seems like we all agree the answer is "no", based on da quote from AlFansome's read of the BOR training supplemental, and the fact we can't find it written anywhere else. In fact, even in ACP&P, right after talking about boards being conducted by members of the troop committee, it goes on to add that unit leaders and assistant unit leaders cannot serve on the board.

The ACP&P actually states:


This board of review is made up of at least three and not more than six members of the troop committee. (emphasis in original).

I can't imagine how one could be a member of the troop committee without being registered. Can you be a SM without registering? MBC? This would appear to conflict with the quoted training material, though. If someone actually wanted to resolve the conflict, I would think you would have to go with the Policy & Procedure over a training guide. Same goes for the presence/participation of the SM.

Now it's about time to head off to our fall camporee. Hope the boys can get credit for it :-)

Link to post
Share on other sites

"I certainly have to say I had never realized that words that seemed plain and direct to me can be seen to mean so many things I had never thought of before"


OGE you just don't get it! Words always mean something different when what they plainly and directly say is not what one wants to hear.


Link to post
Share on other sites

The ACP&P actually states:

This board of review is made up of at least three and not more than six members of the troop committee. (emphasis in original).


Yah, and then it goes on to say:


"One member serves as chairman, usually the committee member responsible for advancement. Unit leaders, assistant unit leaders, relatives, or guardians may not serve as members of a scout's board of review. (emphasis in the original)"


So why would it have to add the bit about unit leaders if we were talking about registered committee members? Unit leaders and assistant unit leaders can never be registered committee members, so adding that is pointless.


Unless yeh read the broader bit in da BOR training and realize that there can be ex officio members of da committee, who might include the SM or COR or other members of the community. Then the second boldface makes sense. Even as an ex officio committee member, the scoutmaster can't sit on a board of review, but the COR or another ex officio member can.


Plus yeh add in OGE's and FScouter's comments, and plainly nowhere does it specify "registered" in clear language. :)


Real point of course is that a BOR is a method of adult association, and yeh have to make it work like that for the kids. How yeh do that well is goin' to depend a bit on your committee structure. An LDS unit with a three-person church committee might need more "ex officio" parents serving on BORs to do the proper job with adult association than a unit that signs up every parent as a Committee Member.




Link to post
Share on other sites

Or maybe it's because the BSA recognizes that some units out there think (or assume) that the unit leader and/or assistant unit leaders are automatically members of the committee because they are registered leaders. By explicitly stating that unit leaders are excluded, they don't have to go out of their way to explicitly state the unit adult structure in an advancement policy manual.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Exactly, nolesrule!


Committee structures are all over da place. Some use small CO committees, some use ex officio, some include all parents (registered or not). No easy way to write guidelines for this stuff, eh? No way to tell what they call different roles or who they assume are servin' or whatnot. And da BSA can't write "rules" for this stuff, because that would be treading on the CO's turf and exposing itself to liability we don't want. Yeh can't tell a CO how to structure its committee operation unless yeh want to assume responsibility for that operation.


So we get back to readin' all the materials to figure out the purpose, eh? And the purpose is adult association. Not bureaucracy. Not program evaluation. Helpin' individual kids learn and grow. All the guidebooks make sense and are in agreement if yeh read 'em in that light.




Link to post
Share on other sites

This subject always kinda sticks in my craw.


This is a Board of Review. Board: meaning group of people, who review: look again... at a boy's progress in scouting. Are they there to decide anything? NO, just review. Are they to draw any conclusions and/or restrict or require anything more than what is being reviewed? NO, just review. Do they need expertise in every aspect of scouting to sit and go through with the boy and get a second chance to re-see the boy's progress and re-identify/clarify his goals? No, just review.


NOWHERE do I see it written that the boy needs to "pass" a BOR, only COMPLETE it. Any adult whether registered or not who feels they are passing judgment on this boy as to whether or not he qualifies for the rank simply should not be sitting on it in the first place. I would much rather have Joe Average from down the street come in, sit on a Board and have him ask my scouts to tell him what they've done and learned because he knows nothing about scouting than have an adult say to some boy he didn't "pass!" All this tells me is to what extend a troop has become adult-led, adult-controlled and adult-manipultated.


When it comes to selecting members for the board, I hope there is more going into the process than just checking out some paper pedigree of registration to think for a moment this makes anyone qualified to do a BOR. I'm thinking that maybe a judge or lawyer be on each BOR to make sure that when the boy passes his "boards" he's qualified, certified and documented as such by the proper people in authority. If any of this even causes a slight twinge of one's nerves, it might be a good time to do a board of review on your board of reviews.


Just remember that when a scout goes before a group of adults to review his scouting efforts it is HIS BOR, not theirs! I always train up my boys that when they go into THEIR BOR, either they can 1) come prepared to let these folks know all the things you have done in scouting since the last BOR and what you plan on doing before the next BOR, or 2) they can walk in and wing-it and try and field all the questions these people can think up to ask because you're not telling them anything. Most of my boys try and go for option #1.



Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't stand these frequent "let's bend the rules for the good of the Scout" rationalizations. As Scouters, we signed up to deliver the Scouting program as defined by the BSA, not us. We jeopardize a Scout's advancement if we don't have the proper composition of a BOR.


For non-EBORs, one must be a Committee Member to be a BOR member. Yes, an SPL or SM may introduce the Scout but should not be present during the review. Being a "registered" committee member is redundant. There is no such thing as "unregistered" Committee Members, Scoutmasters, etc.


A periodic review of the progress of a Scout is vital in the evaluation of the effectiveness of the Scouting program in the troop. After a Scout has completed all of the requirements for any rank from Tenderfoot through Life and has had a Scoutmaster conference for that rank, he appears before a board of review composed of three to six members of the troop committee. A Scout should initiate the board of review by asking the Advancement Chair to schedule a Board of Review. The purpose of the review is not to retest a Scout, but rather to make sure he has completed the requirements, to determine the quality of his troop experience, and to encourage him to advance toward the next rank. This has been mistakenly misinterpreted that one can't ask a Scout to tie a knot or demonstrate how to administer first aid at a BOR. That is false. One way to evaluate the quality of the program is to see what the Scouts have learned. If they have not learned anything, that is valuable information about how the SM and SAs are carrying out the program. Each review should also include a discussion of ways in which the Scout sees himself living up to the Scout Oath and Law in his everyday life [The Scoutmaster Handbook pg. 121-122]. Neither the Scoutmaster nor the Assistant Scoutmasters should be part of the board. Parents are not allowed to be present during boards of review. Every session should be set up so that members of the board can share a meaningful discussion with the Scout about important matter including his goals, personal growth, and a Scout Spirit.


The membership of the board of review for an Eagle Scout candidate is determined by local council policy [The Scoutmaster Handbook pg 122]. For Eagle Scout boards of review conducted between three and six months after the candidates 18th birthday, a statement explaining the reason for the delay must be attached to the Eagle Scout Rank Application when it is submitted to the Eagle Scout Service. If an Eagle Scout board of review will be held after the six months following the candidates 18th birthday, the Eagle Scout must petition the National Boy Scout committee for an extension of time to hold the board of review. The petition must be processed through the local council, detailing the extenuation circumstances that prevented the board of review from being held within the six-month period following the candidates 18 birthday, and be accompanied with a copy of the Eagle Scout Rank Application [Advancement Committee Policies and Procedures, pg 29].


At the end of a review, the Scout will leave the room while board members discuss his qualifications. Then they will call him back in to tell him that he is qualified for his new rank, or to outline very clearly what more he must do in order to successfully complete the requirements. The decision of all boards of review is arrived at through discussion and must be unanimous [Advancement Committee Policies and Procedures, pg 29].


In addition to reviewing Scouts who have completed requirements for advancement, boards might also choose to meet with Scouts who are not advancing. A board can give those Scouts support and perhaps help them discover ways to overcome obstacles hindering their progress.


Purpose of a Board of Review


The members of a Board of Review should have the following objectives in mind:

To make sure the Scout has completed the requirements for the rank

To see how good an experience the Scout is having in the unit

To encourage the Scout to progress further

Additionally, the Board of Review provides "quality control" on advancement within the unit. It provides an opportunity for the Scout to develop and practice those skills needed in an interview situation, and it is an opportunity for the Scout to review his accomplishments.

The Board of Review is not a retest; the Scout has already been tested on the skills and activities required for the rank. However, the chairman of the Board of Review should ensure that all the requirements have been "signed off" in the Scout's handbook. Additionally, the chairman should ensure that leadership and merit badge records are consistent with the requirements for the rank.

The Board of Review is an opportunity to review of the Scout's attitudes, accomplishments and his acceptance of Scouting's ideals.


Composition of a Board of Review


For all ranks (except Eagle) and Eagle palms, the Board of Review consists of three to six members of the Troop Committee. The Troop Advancement Chairperson typically acts as the chairperson of the Board of Review. Relatives or guardians may not serve as members of a Scout's Board of Review. Unit leaders (Scoutmaster, Assistant Scoutmasters, Venture leader, Post Advisor, etc.) should not participate in a Board of Review.

For the rank of Eagle, the Board of Review consists of three to six members drawn from Scouting and the community. At least one member of the District Advancement Committee must be a member of the Board of Review for Eagle, and may serve as chairperson of the Board of Review. Unit leaders from the Scout's unit, relatives, or guardians may not serve as members of a Scout's Board of Review for Eagle. A Board of Review for Eagle may contain members of the community who are not registered Scouters; however, they should be knowledgeable of the principles of Scouting. For example, a representative from a chartering organization, an adult Eagle Scout (even if not currently registered), or a religious leader are frequently asked to assist with an Eagle Board of Review. The Scout may request an individual to be a member of his Board of Review, such as the Scouts Eagle counselor.(This message has been edited by acco40)

Link to post
Share on other sites



"This is a Board of Review. Board: meaning group of people, who review: look again... at a boy's progress in scouting."


I think that most everyone here agrees with this sentence of yours, the only problem is that everyone seems to implement it differently.


Suppose that during the review process somebody notices that a mistake was made (human error) and a requirement is not actually complete. I am thinking here of somebody signing on the wrong line in the advancement book. My skipper has done that a couple times, I noticed and he fixed it,but say I didn't notice it.


So, say during the BOR someone asks "Where did you go camping for ______ requirement? Was it fun?" Johnny scout realizes that he did not go camping (or light a fire, or cook, or tie a knot...) for that requirement.


Now, being good people the BOR assumes that Johnny scout is trustworthy and that a mistake was made and says "Johnny, how about you go and finish off that requirement and come talk to us next week. We'll sign off then and you can move on up."


I think that the BOR is there to catch mistakes like that, and if they learn that Johnny scout isn't having fun for some reason, they should pass that along to the SM. As you say, they are not there to pass judgment on the scout, only to be another set of eyes making sure that all the i's are dotted and the t's crossed. If there is a problem, the BOR is not failed, just temporarily postponed.

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...