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scheduling for BOR's

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Since requiring the boy to request a BOR is adding to the requirement, we don't do it. 

I would disagree.  The BOR requirement is worded the same as a SMC, folding a flag, or tying a knot.  It is the Scout's responsibility to get each requirement in his book signed off as completed.  A BOR is no different.  Scouts start to learn at least minimal personal accountability by making them responsible for the ask, via a simple email.  Requiring a form, in triplicate, with multi-party approvals would be too much and adding to the requirement.  

(BTW, email requests from parents on behalf of their son are not accepted.  Again, Tenderfoots excepted.

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I guess I run things a little differently.  I support the boys and lead by example ("Take care of your boys.")  It's no big deal for me to give the CC the heads up that a boy has finished his rank requirements except for his BOR.  The CC then does the followup with the boy to make sure everyone's on the same page.

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In our troop the SM will let the advancement chair know that a scout is ready for his BOR.  The advancement chair emails the committee that a BOR is required and the next time we have 3 committee members at a troop meeting we have the BOR.  If it is close to the date for a COH or some other deadline (like getting Scouts to first class before Jan 1 and the requirement change) we will pull an experienced parent into the board of we only have the 2 MC who are regularly at troop meetings.  Because we have some ridiculous committee members we never do BOR on the same night of the SMC and require at least a 2 week notice for Life boards.

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We regularly have BORs scheduled for the first Thursday of the month. (That's tonight!) We post a sign-up sheet in the meeting room where scouts sign up, thereby requesting one. Then, on the day of the BOR, the CM in charge emails each one of them with a time. We also hold them in the same place every time so they already know where to go.

 

If there is a reason, we will hold an out of cycle BOR. For example, we have one scout who joined scouting at 16, and only has about 2 weeks of leeway in his timing for Eagle. He is working like a dog. We schedule out of cycle BORs for him because of his attitude and diligence in light of circumstances he can't really control.

 

We also have them at Summer Camp since everyone is there. We make sure to tell the scouts to take their full uniform if they want a BOR at camp.

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This:

 

Billy Scout asks SM for SMC before the meeting starts.  The Scoutmaster will hold the SMC during the meeting (no reason for the Scoutmaster not to do so, he's not running the meeting, the SPL is).

 

Once the SMC is completed, the Scoutmaster informs the Advancement Chair that a BOR for Billy Scout is needed at the next Troop meeting and the Advancement Chair arranges for the BOR to be there.  the BOR is done during the meeting (may as well, the committee members are running the meeting, the SPL is - they have plenty of time during the meeting to do so).

 

Why doesn't the Scout ask the Advancement Chair of the BOR?  Because it's not his responsibility - the Scoutmaster is the bridge between the Scouts and the Commitee - and the Scoutmaster asking verifies to the AC that the lad is ready for the BOR.

 

And this:

 

If there are three MCs and a quarter of an hour to spare, they will drop everything and have the board on the spot. (What else are they going to do? The boys are running the meeting.) Lacking that, the CC will will make sure adults are available next meeting.

 

My troop growing up, the committee met on one meeting night every month. Reviews would start after the meeting. Boys would wait downstairs and go upstairs when called. Then SM would give his report and the meeting would be closed. I remember because my dad was an MC, so I sat downstairs after the troop meeting waiting for them to finish.

 

 

We always seem to have the CC and two or three committee members at each meeting.  There also are some Dads that that aren't registered that sit in when needed.  It is only a major production if the adults make it one.

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BORs are scheduled for the last meeting of the month (except for CoH (quarterly) month--we bump it up a week to allow completion before the CoH). Boys sign up on our website calendar, by the Friday prior (we meet on Mondays).  The Adv Chair always has Committee members ready to go.

 

We have found setting a stable schedule has smoothed the process for the boys and given them targets.  It also ensures we have the people set up to do the BoR.  Yes, if you get your requirements done early in the month you have to wait a few weeks but we were having problems putting together BoRs on the fly as boys got stuff done.  It also stabilized the SM conference process/scheduling.  We have a fairly big troop and the SM wants to talk to each boy and not delegate (not a power trip thing, he just wants to get to know the boys better and truly enjoys the time with them and it standardizes the SM conferences a bit because we had a lot of ASMs doing it before)

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Our BOR scheduling has gone from a very formal process, to a completely informal process, to now a happy medium that focuses on serving the scout.  Initially, a scout had to find three committee members or parents to sit n his BOR and he had to do that at least one week in advance.  The same one week ahead of time formality was required for SM conferences, and you could never do both on the same night, so when a scout finished their requirements it was a minimum two weeks before they advanced for no better reason than adults wanted to "teach them to schedule things."  

 

My son's experience, and mine as I became SM, showed me that this was an unnecessary bit of bureaucracy that served no purpose.  Adults would find themselves unable to make a meeting and then we would either postpone or scramble to find a third BOR member.

 

I changed SM conferences to as requested, a scout comes to me when they finish their last requirement, sometimes we can do it that night and sometimes we mutually agreed to do it the next meeting.  Eventually BORs evolved the same way.  About a year and a half ago our Advancement Chair asked that all BOR requests go through her so that she could do a better job making sure she got the required paperwork.  I was skeptical and reluctantly agreed as long as it didn't end up slowing the boys down or putting up unnecessary barriers; if she wasn't available that was no reason for the scout not to be able to advance.  To my surprise, that system is working well; when a scout finishes their requirements they can ask for a BOR and a SM conference, and we do both as soon as possible sometimes on the same night sometimes a week apart.  The AC and she finds the adults for the boards, and occasionally, if something comes up with her, we just go ahead and find 3 adults any way, but that is rare and really only because of unavoidable situations.

 

Both BORs and SM conferences are, or at least should be, simple straightforward conversations between a scout and troop adults about a topic that everyone involved is familiar with --- the scout's experience as a scout.  There is no reason to turn it into some sort of test of bureaucratic skill or a gotcha interview. 

Edited by T2Eagle
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Both BORs and SM conferences are, or at least should be, simple straightforward conversations between a scout and troop adults about a topic that everyone involved is familiar with --- the scout's experience as a scout.  There is no reason to turn it into some sort of test of bureaucratic skill or a gotcha interview. 

 

I think this mentality, and it is the one that our troop adheres to.  Having a large troop, we do have some process around it, mainly as a courtesy to the advancement chair.  The process is simply that the scout communicate with the AC to request the BOR - phone, email or in person.  We run them the first meeting of the month by default, but the AC will adjust the schedule based on demand.  The AC handles building the actual board from the committee (she likes to comprise the boards of a mix of newer and more experienced committee members), so the scout's only point of contact is with one point person, the AC.

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