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Eagle Board of Review (Appeal)

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First, congratulations to the young man.

Second, it sounds like a District or Council Advancement Chair heard about what was going on and simply made an executive decision ... saving himself the record-keeping of an appeal.  It may not be perfect to Hoyle, but it's good enough.

Third, from the GTA (format only modified)

8.0.1.5
After the Review
If the members agree a Scout is ready to advance, he is called in and congratulated. The board of review date—not that of a subsequent court of honor—becomes the rank’s effective date.
 
If a board does not approve, the candidate must be so informed and told what he can do to improve. Most Scouts accept responsibility for their behavior or for not completing requirements properly.
 
If it is thought that a Scout, before his 18th birthday, can benefit from an opportunity to properly complete the requirements, the board may adjourn and reconvene at a later date. If the candidate agrees to this, then if possible, the same members should reassemble. If he does not agree, then the board must make its decision at that point. In any case, a follow-up letter must be promptly sent to a Scout who is turned down. A copy of the letter should also be sent to the council’s designated appeals coordinator. The letter must include actions advised that may lead to advancement, and also an explanation of appeal procedures. (See “Appealing a Decision,”8.0.4.0, or—(omitted)) The council must keep a copy of the letter.
After any board of review, the unit leader is informed of the decision
Fourth, in my opinion, the Board, having denied advancement, needed to have stated to the Scout that he would receive a business letter within 72 hours (my number for promptness)

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On 11/24/2018 at 1:32 PM, SSScout said:

Each Eagle candidate is expected to be accompanied by his parent/guardian(s), his SM (or designee) and anyone else interested. 

While I've seen SMs introduce the Eagle candidate, although that has only been in of of the council's I've been in, why do the parents need to accompany the Scout, especially since they are not allowed to sit in the EBOR?

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6 hours ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

While I've seen SMs introduce the Eagle candidate, although that has only been in of of the council's I've been in, why do the parents need to accompany the Scout, especially since they are not allowed to sit in the EBOR?

Not "required"   but " expected".   That's how they get folks to staff  the boards....😉

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14 hours ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

While I've seen SMs introduce the Eagle candidate, although that has only been in of of the council's I've been in, why do the parents need to accompany the Scout, especially since they are not allowed to sit in the EBOR?

Per BSA policy, parents are allowed to observe any activity that their Scout participates in.  I've never had any request to do so, but they can't be refused if they do.  You are correct, they may not serve as members of the EBOR.

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16 hours ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

While I've seen SMs introduce the Eagle candidate, although that has only been in of of the council's I've been in, why do the parents need to accompany the Scout, especially since they are not allowed to sit in the EBOR?

I'm pretty sure Dad was on most of my BoRs, including Eagle. He never said anything, though.

I was proud of him.

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On 11/24/2018 at 12:24 PM, The Latin Scot said:

Our district advancement chair just issued a VERY strongly worded mandate to our units specifying that "under no circumstances are units or committees to conduct preliminary or 'practice' Boards of Review. The final Board of Review is the ONLY Board of Review, as stated in the Boy Scout Handbook and in accordance with the Guide to Advancement, and this is to be conducted only after all other requirements have been met. This does NOT include a 'trial run.' with another group of leaders. There is no need nor authorization for units, chartered organizations, or unit committees to schedule or demand a precursory Board of Review with an Eagle Scout Candidate."

Your District Advancement Chair's mandate is complete rubbish and I would be more than happy to tell him/her so.

Every Scout in our troop is offered a practice board of review in advance of the actual event. I will direct an icy stare at anyone who suggests that this is somehow cheating. Quite the opposite - this is living the Scout motto to "Be Prepared". In fact, I am rather amazed that a boy who is asking to be awarded Scouting's highest honor would not make such preparations.

A few years back I found myself unemployed after a layoff. Prior to each new job interview, I would thoroughly research everything I could about the new company, their products and services, their leadership team, the company history, and their financials. In addition, I would read website reviews written by employees who actually work there. I wanted to go into my job interview as prepared as possible. I wanted to be over-prepared. I wanted my level of preparation to distinguish me from their other job candidates. I wanted them to understand that I don't just "wing it". In my opinion, such preparation is a valuable life skill that extends far beyond an EBOR, and it is the exact opposite of cheating. Cheating is what desperate people resort to when they are NOT prepared.

Now, before anyone else reminds me, I fully realize and agree that an EBOR is NOT a job interview and it is not an inquisition. It is far too late in the game for a practice board of review to teach a Scout anything new. Rather, a practice board of review will help calm any nervousness, it will instill confidence, and it will teach a valuable life skill that will hopefully benefit him long after his EBOR is forgotten.

Others are entitled to hold a different opinion.

Edited by gblotter
  • Upvote 2

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Please refer to my previous entry.

The Scout's Troop must be the source of most, if not all the Scout's Scouting, else why have a Troop?  National sets requirements, standards of operations, but the Troop, it's Scouts and adult leaders are where the Scout grows up, where he (now she ?) must learn How To Be A Scout.  Who does the Scout look to for guidance and "passing of rank"?   Not some strange (tho friendly and gracious ?) people he may never meet again.   The last thing before being awarded any  rank is normally the Troop's BoR.   How is this different? 

Same for Eagle.  The Troop's BoR is important and a natural thing to expect.  Eagle is a special thing, unique, a final threshold to pass.  The District/Council Eagle BoR is perhaps the last formal requirement and the last thing a Scout will ever have to pass/endure/learn from.   For many Scouts, it is an "age out" event.  The Scout will probably not do anything like it again, before they apply to college, or trade school, or that BIG job.... 

A practice BoR?   Every BoR  preceeding should have been a "practice" BoR.  

 

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Don't get me wrong, I am all for preparation and any measures that will calm a boys nerves (though by the time I had my Eagle BofR, I was very acclimated to the process and wasn't really nervous at all, so it seems superfluous to me). However, the Troop Committee CANNOT require such a preliminary Board of Review. It's not in the official requirements, so while they may certainly suggest their own board, they are in no position to demand it.

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Why would you have a preliminary board though?  I don't know the number, but I've got to guess something like 95% or greater pass their EBOR.  

Quote

8.0.1.1 Not a Retest or “Examination”

Though one reason for a board of review is to help ensure the Scout did what he was supposed to do to meet the requirements, it shall become neither a retest or “examination,” nor a challenge of his knowledge. In most cases it should, instead, be a celebration of accomplishment. Remember, it is more about the journey. A badge recognizes what a young man has done toward achieving the primary goal of personal growth. See “Personal Growth Is the Primary Goal,” 2.0.0.3. It is thus more about the learning experience than it is about the specific skills learned. See also “Mechanics of Advancement: In Boy Scouting and Varsity Scouting,” 4.2.0.0.

I get that from time to time an EBOR runs into some weird case where the board feels they need to reject a scout.  But, if that rejection is something that that could have been mitigated by a practice board, that seems incorrect.  Sure, the board can have some aire of formality because of the importance of the board.  But, once the board starts thinking that they might need to reject a candidate, I would sure hope the board members switch gears and do their best to get to the truth of the matter.  They should be looking for reasons in these instances to pass the Scout - not reject him.  If a board is rejecting a Scout because he wasn't prepared enough for the board, or his answers to questions were not polished enough, or couldn't explain something - that doesn't seem correct.

I'm drawn by the statement above:

Quote

In most cases it should, instead, be a celebration of accomplishment.

Edited by ParkMan
typos & missing sentence

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Latin Scot's DAC is correct about one thing:  A unit may not REQUIRE a "troop board of review" for Eagle, as the "preliminary" or "practice" EBOR's are called in my district.  I believe that was made clear in the most recent version of the G2A, or maybe the one before that.  I see nothing wrong with a troop OFFERING a "practice" EBOR, if it will make the Scout more comfortable.  I don't see how a DAC can prohibit it.  In fact, I don't see how a DAC, or any district committee chair, can issue any "mandates" to units, on any subject.  How are they going to enforce it?  

Our troop has never done preliminary EBOR's and our Scouts always pass the actual EBOR's with flying colors.  It really is a celebration of what the Scout has done.  I have heard that there have been Scouts who do "fail" their EBOR's in our district, but I don't see how that happens based on the 15 or so that I have participated in for our troop.  The only somewhat "sour note" of any kind that I can recall was when one of our Scouts included in his life goals that if he ever had a son in the Scouts that he would volunteer to be an adult leader, unlike his own father who was an Eagle but never became an adult leader for his son's troop and never did anything to help out.  He wrote all that in the thing.  I don't think we asked him about it, because what was he going to say, and we were kind of stunned into silence by the fact that the kid had criticized his own father in his Eagle paperwork.  Kind of a gutsy move on the kid's part, and he wasn't wrong.

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17 hours ago, gblotter said:

Every Scout in our troop is offered a practice board of review in advance of the actual event.

Our troop *offers* a practice board of review, but we certainly do not *require* it. Indeed, a few of our oldest Eagle Scout candidates have chosen to decline a practice EBOR without further mention.

Edited by gblotter

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I love talking with our soon to be Eagles at their troop boards.  I try very hard to spend at least 75% of my time listening.  I view these  reviews not so much as a practice run for the scout but as feedback as how we did as scouters.  My stock questions  are  " If a new scout were to ask you what does  it mean to be an Eagle Scout how would you answer?"  and " If you were SM of this troop, what would you change?"

I have only ever heard of one scout  boy ever being failed at a troop level board.  He was a transfer from another troop, and had altered some of his older brothers blue cards to make them look like he had earned the merit badges.   

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