For those parents who have never participated in a rank advancement Board of Review and may be interested in helping out, below is information on what it is and how it works.
Members of a Board of Review
The Board of Review for all ranks (except Eagle) will consist of 3 adult members from the Troop. Relatives or guardians may not serve as a member of a Scout's Board of Review. Unit leaders (Scoutmaster, Assistant Scoutmasters) may not participate in a Board of Review.
What is involved in a Board of Review?
The Scoutmaster conference will ensure that the Scout has completed requirements for the rank. The board evaluates the experience the Scout is having in the troop and encourages the Scout to progress further. The board also provides an opportunity for the Scout to develop and practice skills needed in an interview situation, and it is an opportunity for the Scout to review his accomplishments.
The Board of Review is not a retesting of requirements - the Scout has already been tested on the skills and activities required for the rank. However, the Advancement Coordinator (Joe Pruss) will ensure that all the requirements have been signed off in the Scout's handbook.
The Board of Review is a time to determine the Scouts' attitudes, accomplishments, and acceptance of Scouting Ideals. Scout Spirit is defined as living the Scout Oath and Scout Law in a Scout's everyday life. The board should make sure that good standards have been met in all phases of the Scout's life. A discussion of the Scout Oath and Scout law is in keeping with the purpose of the review, to make sure that the candidate recognizes and understands the value of Scouting in his home, troop, school, and community.
Workings of a Board of Review
The Scout should be in full uniform and neat in appearance. (Yes, this means shirt tucked in.)
The person leading the board (selected by the Advancement Coordinator), will ask the Scout to recite two or more of the following:
* Scout Law
* Scout Oath
* Scout Motto
* Scout Slogan
* Outdoor Code
For Tenderfoot and Second Class ranks, typically just the Scout Oath and Law are asked. For higher ranks, more should be expected. One or two re-tries are appropriate, especially for younger Scouts.
The board members will then ask appropriate questions of the Scout. Open-ended questions are better, allowing the Scout to speak about his opinions, experiences, activities, and accomplishments.
The following website has a list of suggested questions for each rank. The Advancement Coordinator will provide each review team with a copy of these questions.
If an answer is too brief, a good tool is to follow with a "Why?" or "How?" type question to prompt for more details. Questions regarding home, church, school, work, athletics, etc. are all appropriate, as well as scouting experiences.
A Board of Review should take no more than 15 to 20 minutes, with shorter time for lower ranks. When all board members have asked their questions, the Scout is asked to leave the room. The board members then decide if the Scout is ready for the next rank; the board's decision must be unanimous. The Scout is asked back into the room and the lead person informs the Scout of the board's decision. When the Scout is approved for the next rank, there are general congratulations, and the Scout is encouraged to continue advancing. If there are issues which prevent the Scout from advancing, the board must detail the deficiencies so the Scout can correct them. The Scout must be told specifically what must be done in order to be successful at the next Board of Review.
This is a great opportunity to meet the boys in our Troop and share in their successes and experiences as a Scout. It is a lot of fun and is meant to be a very relaxed setting for the Scouts. The Scoutmaster Conference is where all the "tough" questions are asked and "sweats it out" - so you don;t have too!
Before the Board of Reviews, I (Joe Pruss) will do a quick briefing with the board volunteers and will have sample questions you can use during your meeting. Also, the person acting in the "Chairperson" role will have prior experience doing this, so you will have someone there to guide you through it. You will find this to be a fun and rewarding experience.