Jump to content

New to the Board of Review process

Recommended Posts

I have slowly been becoming more involved with the Troop and recently have participated in a couple of Boards of Review. I am reading everything I can find on the internet on BOR, and want to make sure I know what I'm supposed to be doing. Next time I get to the Scout Shop, I will pick up what I can there. Any advice on what

publication(s) I should get?


Or BOR advice in general?

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 32
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

I don't know of any BSA publication that soley addresses boards of review, but the following have discussions about the subject:

Troop Committee Guidebook #34505

Advancement Committee Policies and Procedures # 33088

Scoutmaster Handbook

Link to post
Share on other sites

The resources listed are a very good place to learn about Boards of Review (BOR) I would add the Scout Handbook to the list. In order to do a good job you need to be familiar with the rank requirements.


Here are some main ponits to remember


> To serve on a BORs (except for Eagle rank) You must be a member of the troop committee.


> The recommended number is 3 to 5 Committee members on a Board.


> Except for Eagle, the BOR should take about 15 minutes.


> While you can ask "how" a requirement was accomplished in order to make sure the troopp is following the requirements in the handbook, you CANNOT RE-TEST. So for instance, you can ask the what camp gadget he built and what lashings he used, you cannot ask him to tie a square lash for you.


> The two main reasons for the BOR is for the Committee members to be able to discover how the boy is growing in the ways of scouting, and to discover if the troop leadership is doing its job in delivering a quality scouting program.


> If you determine that the scout did not complete the requirement as it was described in the handbook then the advancement can be postponed until the scout completes the requirement correctly.


> Make sure the Scout understands exactly why the advancement is being postponed and exactly what must be done according to the handbook to complete the advancement.


> No unit or individual has the authority to add to, or subtract from, the advancement requirements of the Scout Handbook.


> The BOR cannot review merit badges. You can sk the scout what he liked best, what he found the most intersting, what was the hardest..etc.. But you cannot require him to redo any merit badge in part or in whole. Once the MB counselor has signed the MB it is done.




Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the resources. I like to "be prepared" and know what I'm getting into. I do have a specific question about who can attend a BOR. I understand that the SM and ASMs are not "a part of" the BOR, but should they attend as an observer? DO other Troops run BOR's in this way?

Link to post
Share on other sites

"I do have a specific question about who can attend a BOR. "


Bob addressed it: "To serve on a BORs (except for Eagle rank) You must be a member of the troop committee. "


The SM and ASM should not even be there to observe. If the boy has issues with the adult leadership, he won't feel comfortable saying it in front of them. (It's unlikely he would say it to any adult, but that's another issue). The BOR may sense that the boy thinks the troop should camp more, work on advancement more often, offer a MB class, etc. This can be good feedback to the adult leaders of the troop.


There have been some interesting threads around who can attend BORs. Some troops still use scouts on the BOR, which was stopped by the BSA back in the 80s. I don't want to re-open that thread, but you can search for it.


As for our troop, we try to conduct them according to how Bob described it.

Link to post
Share on other sites


Thank you. That's what I was thinking at the last BOR I was at. One of the questions to the Scout was "What don't you like, what would you like to see change?" I didn't feel the young man could really give totally candid answer with "the men in uniform" there. As a general rule, it seems that the members of the Board of Review show up in street clothes - by design or by accident, I don't know, that's just what I have observed.


So now that I know that it should be just the Scout and the Committee Members sitting on the board, as the new kid on the block (not completely trusted by the adult male leadership - because I'm new? maybe, because I'm female? maybe more so - but we won't start that thread back up here) what do I do about it? How would you go about trying to effect a change?

Link to post
Share on other sites

" As a general rule, it seems that the members of the Board of Review show up in street clothes - by design or by accident, I don't know, that's just what I have observed."


We expect the Scouts to show up in uniform so I expect the members of the BoR to show up in uniform as well. Common courtesy.(This message has been edited by Fat Old Guy)

Link to post
Share on other sites

I would have some concerns about members of a BOR not being in uniform. Committee members may, and should, wear the uniform. Those on the BOR certainly should since they are working directly with youth in a way that makes them a potential positive/negative example. Another concern would be how well aware of the Scouting program is some one who doesn't understand it well enough to wear the uniform. Generally speaking most of those that don't wear the uniform are unfamiliar with the way Scouting works. Those same people may be great at balancing the troop check book, or ordering material for a fundraiser, but you need someone who knows the program sitting on BORs.


Now what do you do if the Committee doesn't know Scouting well enough to actually evaluate the program? The long term answer is BSA training, greater involvement to see how it works, and some Q&A and what not with the SM and other leaders that do know what is supposed to be going on (assuming some leaders do, if none do the whole troop needs some work). That still leaves the problem of what to do with the Scout that needs a BOR next week. It will not do the Scout or troop any good to do a BOR without anyone knowing what they are doing. At the same time you can't just hand it over to the SM/ASMs. So that leaves the choice of coming up with something "creative" like having the Committee Members be the BOR, but have an ASM or two on hand to advise and assist, but not decide. The other possibility is put off the BOR until the committee members figure out what they are doing.


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree that the Committee, especially those sitting on a BOR should wear the uniform. However, in asking a few questions, it seems that BOR's have been scheduled with little or no warning to the Committee members. The first one I was included in was one night as I dropped my son off the the Troop meeting and I was asked if I could stay for a BOR. It doesn't look like a whole lot of notice is given.


SO back to my question, how do we start to make changes here?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Scoutmom,

Maybe this will help. I'm not sure who is scheduling the BORs so that the committee doesn't know about them, but it should be scheduled by a committee member. Specifically it is the responsibility of the Committee Advancement Chair. This is also the person who should be training the board members not the ASMs or the SM. This is a committee responsibility.


Some units wait for a scout to be ready to advance and then have the scout schedule a board. But that is not what the program recommends or teaches in its leader development courses. BORs should be scheduled frequently, to not only review scouts who are ready to advance, but to meet with scouts who are not advancing to find out how the troop is serving the3ir needs and to motivate the scout to continue on his advancement.

Hope this helps,



Link to post
Share on other sites

Uniforms -

At our BORs, the committee members are typically not in uniform.  It's simply because most of our committee members do not wear the uniform at all.  Every family member is encouraged to have a member on the committee (we're a small troop).  We debated "uniformed committee members" a while back and decided we would rather have involvement from a greater number than inforce a uniforming standard that would scare some away.  (We do have a full uniform standard for SM & ASMs).  I don't think that is a problem to explain to the boys.  They understand the difference between "the scoutmasters" (the uniformed guys who help run the troop) and committee members, who help administer the program.

On a side note, I was thinking about Eagle BORs.  Our district conducts excellent Eagle BORs.  The panel includes civic leaders (in business clothes), scouters (in uniform) and is lead by the District Advancement Chair, who is a police officer and wears his Police uniform.  The boys understand that they are being reviewed by a cross-section from the community. 

Scheduling -

When we have boys ready for a BOR, I notify the Advancement Chairman.  We set a date at least two weeks out.  I then confirm it with the Scout.  We try to group them so we have 2 or 3 at the same time, but it doesn't always work out.  For instance, last night, we had a BOR for one scout.  We're having a COH this weekend and we wanted to get his BOR in.  The boys understand that the BOR doesn't happen immediately, and that they are scheduled in this manner.

Another troop I'm aware of has a designated night for BORs.  For example, if it's the 4th Tuesday of the month, that is when all BORs are conducted.  If a boy completes his requirements on the 4th Thursday, he knows he has to wait a month until the next BOR.  If there are no boys ready for a BOR, then it is not held.  This is a good way to "force" scheduling to happen.  

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ch-ch-ch-changes . . . Pretty soon you're gonna get a little older,

Time may change me But I can't trace time.


How to change things. First you need to get the Advancement Chair on board. Having spur of the moment BoRs at troop meetings does no one any favors. Usually, the Committee Members are ambushed, "Hey! Wanna do a BoR?" It also drags the Scout out of his Troop meeting.


Once you have the Advancement Chair on board, you simply set up standing nights for BoRs. We use the 1st and 3rd Sundays of each month and schedule a group of adults for each night. If no one requests a BoR for a Sunday, that group gets a free night. If someone complains about "missing football," ask them "What's more important, the NFL or this Scout's advancement?"


Bring the SPL into the picture as well. Ask him to come or have an ASPL come, not to sit-in but to make sure the candidate is sqared away, talk to him before hand as a mentor, and introduce him to the BoR. It adds an air of formality that emphaisizes the importance of the proceedings.



Link to post
Share on other sites

From my experience of being in and serving on a BOR, I would get at least one of your older scouts to set in on it too.


In my troop, myself, the JASM, and the Instructor perform the BOR for Scout-First Class. The scouts arn't afraid to tell other youth what they like and dislike about the way the troop functions and runs more than what they would tell an adult. Occasionally an adult will serve on the BOR, but only for like the First Class.


Star & Life, we don't even stand outside the door, we leave that completly to the adults since if a scout beleive that he should earn Star or Life, then talking to adults shouldn't be that hard. Also, if you are going up for those two, then maturaty should be some where in there.


Eagle--ain't even in the building!


I won't be on any of the weekends this month--

First weekend is our JASM's Eagle COH and Sunday is Scout Sunday


Second weekend I have a White Stag JLT STAFF Development


Last two weekends of February, camping!!!


I think I just added gasoline to the bonfire, so theres my fifty cents.

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...