Reader Shelley asked
I’m a new Troop Committee Chair and was wondering if anyone has some great questions that they ask their Scouts during their Board of Reviews?
Sometimes committee members struggle to come up with good Board of Review questions. First of all, it is important to be familiar with the procedures and purposes of a Board of Review. There is a good summary on the official BSA site. There is also a training module which you can use to educate your Committee members.
Remember this is a conversation not a grilling. (See the article from Scouting Magazine, This Is Not a Test. ) So first put the Scout at ease. Start with some easy questions they can answer with confidence, especially if they are going for one of the early ranks. “What rank are you completing?” “Which patrol are you in?” “Who is your patrol leader?”
Ask open ended questions. “Tell me about what you did to fulfill the requirement for …” or “What did you cook at camp?”. Often the Scouts are a little nervous and you need to get the conversation started.
Find out about their Scouting experience. “Are you having any difficulties in the troop?” “How is your patrol working out?”
Find out where they are headed with their Scouting career. “What do you see yourself doing in the troop next year?” “Have you thought about what position of responsibility you would like to take on?”
A Board of Review can also help you get a feeling for how the Scouts feel about the troop program. “Do you have any ideas for a campout or activity you would like to do?” “Is there something you’d like to learn about in the troop setting?” “What would you like to see the troop do differently? ” Then when the Scout answers, you can encourage him to take his idea to the PLC and get involved in carrying it out.
Often the questions depend on the individual Scout. If you know they are having difficulty with something or have done something they are proud of, then you can ask about that and the conversation can head off in a different direction.
If you are doing a BOR to prepare the Scout for his Eagle Board of Review, ask him more challenging questions of the type that will be asked of him at the Eagle BOR. Bryan on Scouting published an article, 20 Questions to Ask at Your Next Eagle Board of Review which has a good list of examples. There is also an article Longtime Scouter left behind template for running Eagle Scout boards of review.
Readers, what are your favorite questions to ask at a Board of Review? Add them to the comments below.