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Committee Members for BORs

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Anyone who has done one before is asked to consider doing another one.   This, however, has to change.

Any CM that sits on a BOR should have at least READ this document:

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwiE8syhm6HbAhUEzFMKHfYkBHEQFggqMAA&url=https%3A%2F%2Ffilestore.scouting.org%2Ffilestore%2Fpdf%2F33088.pdf&usg=AOvVaw1IicJ2tSCLnA4geEmxSMEN

So many simply do NOT know what their role is.  They think its to vet the appropriateness of the scout for the new rank.  This is exactly what it is NOT to do.  Far too many scouts are humiliated when they "fail" a BOR than should be.

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For years as a parent I kept asking what the guidance for BORs was. I never received a good answer. More of a "follow along and you'll get it". I hated that answer because different people did different things and what I saw didn't really make sense to me. No one ever told me that there was training out there for what to do in a BOR nor did it appear they new themselves. They followed along with what they saw done before them. As a parent I didn't know I could even participate in any training. 

When I switched over to a volunteer role I took all the training for SM, CO, and the Committee Member and of course, read the guide to advancement you posted. I discovered from that training that people really have no idea what a BOR is supposed to do. I plan to talk with some folks about that when I can get a nice one on one, to see if I can nudge it towards what the program states and not a retest or uniform inspection etc. 

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On 5/24/2018 at 12:35 PM, perdidochas said:

So Scouts can only have BORs after requesting one at a committee meeting? Do your committees meet more than once a month? If not, they are doing a disservice to the Scouts, if arranged as described. 

I don't know if that's what he meant, but it seems like an unnecessary bureaucratic step.  There is only one committee member that the Scouts in our troop have to see (or email) to get a BOR scheduled, and that's me, as Advancement Chair (or Advancement Coordinator for the purists.) If I am not at a troop meeting and the CC is, they can see him instead. Usually the Scouts will come to see us right after their SMC and we will schedule it for the next troop meeting, unless the Scout wants it scheduled for a later meeting. (Keep in mind that the Guide to Advancement now says that the Scout should not have to request a BOR at all, but that seems kind of silly to me.  I think what the BSA is really trying to stop is a situation where in practical terms, the request might be rejected even though the Scout has passed all the requirements, or a "process" for requesting and being "granted" a BOR that goes beyond just "scheduling" and is overly complex or bureaucratic.  In my troop, it is just a scheduling thing: You come to see me after finishing your SMC, you tell me you need a BOR, I ask if you want to do it next week, you say Yes, I say See you then, and I then make sure enough committee members can be at the next meeting.  That's it.  Sometimes the SM accompanies the Scout to see me and they both ask.  I suppose that probably satisfies the intent of the G2A.)

On 5/24/2018 at 12:55 PM, gblotter said:

For efficiency, we try to batch up our rank advancements and hold a BOR once every three months or so for any Scout who is ready, but of course we will do it more frequently if there is a pressing need.

I think that may have been the norm in the past, but we do them "on demand."  Three months seems kind of unfair to me if it is for a rank where the NEXT rank has a time requirement (in other words, First Class/Star, Star/Life and Life/Eagle, and I suppose Eagle because it delays the date for a palm BOR, but that's a different story anyway.)  You are delaying the Scout being able to complete the next rank as well, and when they do, they might have to wait almost ANOTHER three months.  For example, we have Scouts sit for a Star BOR who already have (or almost have) enough MB's for Life.  I can see doing BOR's once a month, but not less often than that.

On 5/24/2018 at 1:13 PM, David CO said:

I didn't get invited to the lunch meetings. They want to enjoy their lunch.

:D

2 hours ago, JustAScoutMom said:

So many simply do NOT know what their role is.  They think its to vet the appropriateness of the scout for the new rank.  This is exactly what it is NOT to do.  Far too many scouts are humiliated when they "fail" a BOR than should be.

All true.  We do not even use the word "fail."  If it is determined that the Scout has not passed all the requirements (which happens occasionally), he is asked to come back when he has, and then questions are asked of the appropriate people to find out how the Scout ended up in front of us without having passed all the requirements.

1 hour ago, Buggie said:

When I switched over to a volunteer role I took all the training for SM, CO, and the Committee Member and of course, read the guide to advancement you posted. I discovered from that training that people really have no idea what a BOR is supposed to do. I plan to talk with some folks about that when I can get a nice one on one, to see if I can nudge it towards what the program states and not a retest or uniform inspection etc. 

Be careful or you'll come out of that meeting as the new Advancement Chair.  :D  Not that there's anything wrong with that.  I think that if one is not interested in being Scoutmaster, Advancement Chair is the best job for an adult in the troop.

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5 hours ago, NJCubScouter said:

I think that may have been the norm in the past, but we do them "on demand."

There is nothing hard and fast about our scheduling. We are sensitive to individual needs. The main benefit of scheduling BOR every three months is that it lights a fire under the boys to work toward that date. Otherwise procrastination takes over.

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5 hours ago, NJCubScouter said:

If I am not at a troop meeting and the CC is, they can see him instead. Usually the Scouts will come to see us right after their SMC and we will schedule it for the next troop meeting, unless the Scout wants it scheduled for a later meeting. (Keep in mind that the Guide to Advancement now says that the Scout should not have to request a BOR at all, but that seems kind of silly to me.

To me,

It's COURTEOUS for a Scout to ask the CC or Advancement coordinator to arrange for a BOR at next weeks' meeting. Time matters to volunteers, and as part of Adult Association, Scouts should learn other people's time matters. 

As a BOR chair, a couple times I had such a thorny response to a question I adjourned the BOR without a result until the next week, to give myself time to consult with the SM, Commish, and District Advancement Operating Committee Chair. 

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We have an assistant Advancement Chair the serves as the Board of Review Coordinator.  He's generally at meetings twice a month.  We ask scouts to contact him ahead of time to let him know, but it's not a strict rule.  If a scout shows up and requests one, he'll organize it on the spot if possible.

Part of the role of the BOR Coordinator is to develop training materials for adults.  We will have any non ASM sit on a BOR.  It could be a parent or Committee Member.  Over time, the BOR Coodinator has built up enough folks that are knowledgeable in conducting a board that we always have a lead adult who is experienced and two other adults who may or may not be.  

This has worked very well for us and has been a great way to get an outgoing parent involved.

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On 5/25/2018 at 6:44 PM, gblotter said:

There is nothing hard and fast about our scheduling. We are sensitive to individual needs. The main benefit of scheduling BOR every three months is that it lights a fire under the boys to work toward that date. Otherwise procrastination takes over.

Well, we find that COH's light the fire.  We have had meetings the week before the COH where we had 4 or 5 BORs. 

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On 5/25/2018 at 6:44 PM, gblotter said:

There is nothing hard and fast about our scheduling. We are sensitive to individual needs. The main benefit of scheduling BOR every three months is that it lights a fire under the boys to work toward that date. Otherwise procrastination takes over.

Does the SM follow the same policy?

Barry

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1 hour ago, Eagledad said:

Does the SM follow the same policy?

Barry

Yes. I am the Scoutmaster.

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Just to clarify for beginner scouts, A board of review happens from tenderfoot rank and above. This may be different for other scouts, but in my experience, there are three adults facing you. There is no need to be nervous, because they will simply ask you how you like scouts, what you think is good, what you think could improve, and some basic scout knowledge. To have a board of review, you will need to request one at a previous meeting, or, how I think is more efficient, simply email your the leader of your troop to request a BOR.

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