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Troop 9460 Board of Review Guidelines for Scouts, Board of Review members, Leaders and Parents

What is a board of review? The board of review occurs after a Scout has had his Scoutmaster conference. It is the last step towards earning a rank advancement. A board of review consists of at least three and no more than six registered adults who are not the Scoutmaster or Assistant Scoutmasters. What is a Scoutmaster conference? The purpose of a Scoutmaster conference is to develop understanding and trust between the Scoutmaster and the Scout as the boy grows and matures in Scouting. There are two types of Conferences: One, when it is needed to discuss a problem with the boy, and two, when it is a necessary step in the advancement process. What is the value of a board of review? The board of review is a wonderful way for parents to get to know the Scouts in the Troop on an individual basis. It's a great opportunity for the Scout to receive praise and encouragement from adults other than his parents and scoutmaster and assistant scoutmasters. Ultimately, should the Scout aspire to achieve his Eagle rank, the board of reviews that he had along the way will strengthen his performance and preparation for the ultimate board of review, the district review that finalizes his earning of the Eagle rank. How does a Scout arrange a board of review? Outside of prescheduled board of reviews, when a Scout is ready for his board of review, the Scout will contact either the Advancement Chair or the Committee Chair to request a board of review. A board of review will occasionally take place on the same day as the request, but more often at the following regular Troop meeting. When should a Scout schedule his board of review? There are several circumstances that can be taken into consideration when a Scout schedules a Scoutmaster conference and a board of review. For example, if a Scout will be turning 18 in the near future, the Scoutmaster conference and board of review will need to take place at least 61/2 months in advance in order to allow enough time to serve at the Life rank for the minimum requirement of six months. Other considerations are an upcoming Court of Honor, in which case the Scoutmaster conference and board of review will need to take place 2-4 weeks before the Court of Honor date in order to be recognized at the Court of Honor.

What does a Scout need to know for his board of review? In preparation for the Scouts board of review, a Scout needs to have the Scout Oath, Law, Motto and Slogan memorized. Some leeway can be given to Scouts at the Tenderfoot rank, but for Second Class rank and higher, the Scout Oath, Law, Motto and Slogan must be memorized. How does a Scout dress for his board of review? Scouts are requested to be in full Class A uniform at his board of review (see Chapter One in the Boy Scout Handbook); for Troop 9460, this means wearing a complete uniform shirt with up-to-date badges, a neckerchief/bolo, having their shirt tucked in and buttoned up and wearing your merit badge sash for boards of review at the Star rank and higher. How can a Scout prepare for his board of review? Memorize the Scout Oath, Law, Motto and Slogan Make sure the Scouts uniform is complete and up-to-date Review Chapter 1 of the Boy Scout Handbook By bringing the Scouts Boy Scout Handbook so it can be checked for completed requirements and so the board of review can sign the Scouts Handbook upon completion of the board of review. If a Scout has earned any merit badges, the Scout needs to be ready to talk about them


Adults who serve on Boards of Review must be registered members of Troop 9460 and have completed and turned in an Adult Volunteer form. Purpose of a board of review: The purpose of the board of review is not to retest a Scout's skills, but rather to ensure that a Scout has completed all of the rank requirements, to determine the quality of his troop experience, and to encourage the Scout to advance toward the next rank. Each review should 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] How to meet the purpose of a board of review: Ensure that all requirements for the rank being earned have been properly signed off in the Boy Scout Handbook Ensure merit badge records fulfill the requirements of the completed rank See how good of an experience the Scout is having in the unit Validate that the scout has documented completion of their required service hours within their Boy Scout Handbook Validate that the Scout has been in their current rank for the required amount of time (example: 4 months (Star), 6 months (Life)) Validate that the Scout has served in a leadership position for the required amount of time (example: 4 months (Star), 6 months (Life)) or has carried out a service project assigned by the Scoutmaster. Have a conversation with the Scout about his scouting and life experiences Encourage the Scout to progress further in Scouting What the Members of the board of review can do to help a Scout during the review process: Make every effort to put the Scout at ease Smile and create a friendly and non-threatening atmosphere Offer praise for work already accomplished Offer encouragement for the work that will need to be done to advance to the next rank It is okay to give a Scout a chance to repeat the Oath, Law, Motto or Slogan if he makes a mistake in reciting it. Some boys may be nervous enough that if it helps, the Scout may privately recite the Oath, Law, Motto and Slogan to an individual on the Board of Review before continuing the board of review with the full Board. Ask the Scout to consider or prepare a plan for how they will progress to the next rank Consider providing guidance on when the Scout should request his next Scoutmaster Conference and board of review.

Examples of why a board of review may be suspended: Scout is not in uniform Scout's uniform is not up-to-date and complete Scout does not have his Boy Scout Handbook Scout has not memorized the Scout Oath and Scout Law Requirement(s) have not been signed off in the Boy Scout Handbook Scout treats the board of review frivolously or is not prepared to answer even the most basic questions asked. Note: In keeping with the Boy Scouts of America objective of encouraging our Scouts, the board of review does not "fail" scouts. Rather, the board of review points out what needs attention or to be fixed and then suggests a date when the Scout and board of review should reconvene. Board of reviews may never stipulate requirements that are different from or go beyond the stated requirements made by the BSA in the Boy Scout Handbook. For example, a boy does not need to be a certain age to fulfill a specific leadership position. If a Board member holds opinions beyond the fulfillment of BSA rank requirements, those opinions should not be expressed during the board of review.

The decision of the Board of Review: Upon completion of the Board's conversation with and questioning of the Scout, the Scout will leave the room while the Board discusses whether or not to advance the scout to the next rank. The decision of the board must be unanimous; if the Board cannot reach an unanimous decision, the Board needs to immediately contact the Committee Chair who will make a final decision. Can a board of review decline to advance a Scout? If the Board is hesitant to advance a Scout at the moment, they may give the Scout a few minutes to correct the deficiency. If this does not resolve the issue, then the board of review can be suspended and reconvened in the near future when the short coming has been corrected. Upon suspending the board of review, the Board must detail the precise nature of the deficiencies and the Scout told specifically what must be done in order to be successful at the next board of review. Afterwards, Someone on the board of review must notify the Scoutmaster and the Committee Chair in writing regarding the deficiencies and the course of action needed to correct them. In addition, the Scout's parents need to be told about the delay.

Suggestions for questions that can be asked/topics that can be discussed: Ask the scout to stand, displaying the Scout sign, and recite the Scout Oath, Law, Motto and Slogan Ask the Scout about what leadership position(s) he currently holds and what things he accomplished in that position. Ask about one of the service projects the Scout completed. Ask open-ended questions about the Scout's recent scouting adventures. Ask the Scout about his school and family activities. If you were Scoutmaster for a day, what one thing would you change about the Troop? Talk about the requirements that will need to be met in order to achieve the next rank. Ask the Scout what do they like most about Troop meetings/outdoor activities? Ask the Scout what new things they did/learned on their latest Campout/Service Project/Troop meeting? Ask the Scout what they learned/experienced in giving service to others? Ask the Scout why being a Boy Scout important to them? Ask the Scouts goals in Scouting are? Find out what the Scout is liking about Boy Scouts and the Troop what the Scout is not liking. This will allow board of review members to clue in on what's going on from the Scouts perception. We do this so that we can keep the Scouts in engaged in the program and so we can make adjustments as we need to. If you hear something from a Scout at a board of review that can help the Troop adjust the program, let the Scoutmaster know.

Sources: Advancement Committee Policies and Procedures, 2008 Printing

The Scoutmaster Handbook, 2004 Printing, Advancement Section This is Not a Test, Scouting Magazine, Nov-Dec 2008

Troop Committee Guidebook, 1998 Printing

Board of Review Guide Prepared by: Jason Johnston, Committee Member With assistance of Jeff Kuhlman, Scoutmaster Rev.20120420