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Parent Interviews at Eagle Board of Review?

A Question About Parent Interviews at a Board of Review

Marci sent me this question:

Hi, my son is up for an eagle BOR very soon, and I was wondering what type of questions they ask parents. I was informed the scout steps out of meeting while the reviewers ask parents questions. Thank you.

What Is a Board of Review?

Firstly, let’s clarify what an Eagle Board of Review (BOR) is. It is a crucial step in the process of rank advancement. During the BOR, a panel of adults, usually consisting of three to six members, reviews the scout’s qualifications and assesses whether they have met the requirements for the rank. The BOR is not a retest of the scout’s skills but rather an opportunity to evaluate their growth, leadership abilities, and understanding of the Scouting principles.

An Eagle Board of Review (BOR) is a type of Board of Review that is specifically for Eagle Scout candidates, the highest rank in the Boy Scouts of America. The purpose of an Eagle BOR is to determine if the candidate has met the requirements for the Eagle Scout rank and to evaluate their growth, leadership abilities, and understanding of Scouting principles.

In contrast, a normal Board of Review is held for all other ranks in Scouting and serves to assess a scout’s progress, knowledge, and commitment to the ideals of Scouting. The focus of a normal BOR is to provide guidance and support to the scout, ensure that they are meeting the requirements for their rank, and reinforce the values of Scouting.

While there may be some similarities in the procedures and questions asked during both types of BORs, an Eagle BOR is typically more rigorous and thorough than a normal BOR due to the high standards and expectations associated with the Eagle Scout rank. Additionally, an Eagle BOR is usually conducted by a more experienced and specialized panel of reviewers.

Read more about the Board of Review process.

Parent Interviews?

Now, back to the question of whether parent interviews are conducted during the Eagle BOR. This is not a part of the BSA guidelines. According to the Guide to Advancement, the document that outlines the policies and procedures for advancement in the Boy Scouts of America, “Parents, guardians, or relatives should not be in attendance in any capacity—not as observers or as participants” for any Board of Review. (2023 Guide to Advancement

However, it is possible that some local councils or troops have developed their own traditions or procedures, which may include asking parents questions during the BOR. In such cases, the questions could cover a range of topics related to the scout’s involvement in Scouting, such as their level of commitment, support from their family, and experiences with camping and service projects. The purpose of these questions would be to provide additional insight into the scout’s character and qualifications for the Eagle rank.

If Marci’s son is indeed facing a BOR where parent interviews are part of the process, it would be best to reach out to the local council or troop leadership for more information about what to expect. In any case, it is important to remember that the focus of the BOR should be on the scout and their achievements, not on their parents’ involvement or opinions.

So while parent interviews are not typical during an Eagle BOR, it is possible that some councils or troops may have their own procedures. It is best to consult with the local leadership for more information and to focus on the scout’s accomplishments and growth throughout their Scouting journey.

What Do You Think about Parent Interviews at a Board of Review?

Readers, have you ever heard of parents being questioned as part of the Board of Review process?


23 responses to “Parent Interviews at Eagle Board of Review?”

  1. Jerry Schleining Avatar
    Jerry Schleining

    Typically the parents of the Eagle Candidate are brought into the board and the young man is excused. The board does not interview or testbthe parents, they usually discuss how the scouting experience has been for the family and how they have seen their son transform because of Scouting. They may ask about out of scouting activities too, but mostly it is an opportunity to tell the parents about the wonderful young man that just completed his Eagle award.

  2. Adrienne K Avatar
    Adrienne K

    As in Jerry’s circumstance, the parents in our area talk to the board without the Scout present. Ours call in the parents first. The parents tell the BOR about their son, about his goals, his strengths, and so forth. Our SM was just talking about this at our Committee meeting last week as we have some upcoming Eagle BORs. He said, for example, one time the mom said the Scout had one career goal, the Scout gave a different answer. The BOR asked him about that and learned even more about the Scout. In our case, it’s a chance for the parents to present their son to the BOR.

    In our Council and District, the Scoutmasters sit on the BORs as quiet observers, to ensure that the BOR is conducted properly and fairly. They also provide a familiar and friendly face behind the table for the Eagle Candidates. Perhaps Marci can ask her son’s Scoutmaster or other parents in her unit what they ask in her area.

  3. Kathy Avatar

    It is our practice not to allow parents to be any part of the
    Board of review.

  4. Paul Avatar

    I have never heard of asking the parents questions. I have done over 10 Eagle BOR and this was never brought up.

  5. Mary Avatar

    Surprised to read that parents would be involved in ANY Board of Review, especially an Eagle one. Nowhere in BSA policies does it say to include parents. Perhaps the Troops that do this are troops were parents are TOO involved and the BSA mantra of” boy led” patrols, troops, activities are not really followed.
    Honestly, it is sad to hear that parents are part of B of Arsenal and that BSA policies are not enforced or followed by dome Troops. I wonder if these Parents in these Troops also ” helped” their Scout a little too much with completion of Eagle project!?

  6. Buddy Lindsey Avatar
    Buddy Lindsey

    I did BOR for a few years as well. Never called in the parents either. Though it is an interesting idea.

    Seems like from comments it is more uncommon than common.

  7. Mike Walton (settummanque) Avatar
    Mike Walton (settummanque)

    The short answer is NO.

    From the BSA’s Guide to Advancement:

    “ Composition of the Board of Review

    A board of review must consist of no fewer than three members and no more than six, all of whom must be at least 21 years of age. For further specifications, see “Particulars for Tenderfoot Through Life Ranks (or Palms),”, and “Particulars for the Eagle Scout Rank,” Unit leaders and assistants shall not serve on aboard of review for a Scout in their own unit. Parents or guardians shall not serve on a board for their son. The candidate or his parent(s) or guardian(s) shall have no part in selecting any board of review members. ”

    The last two sentences should solve this *smiling*

  8. Victoria Davidson Avatar
    Victoria Davidson

    Our BoR are held at the district level and our eagle board chair interviews the parent before the board meets with the scout. I have always been on the board side of the table but next week will be my oldest son’s BoR and if I feel the parent questions are inappropriate such as ‘Does the scout keep his room clean?’ Yes I have heard it asked. My answer will be that my child’s practices in the privacy of our home are not subject to the board’s consideration in review of his eagle application

  9. Paul Avatar

    I for one have NEVER talked with the parents before or after a BOR. I don’t need to know his personal life outside of scouts. I’ve only talked to the parents at the COH.

  10. Maria Avatar

    Our District interviews the Parents, the SM and finally the Scout — all individually. The parents and SM serve more as a “tell us about your scout and his journey” — truly no bearing on the Board other than to get a sense of the Scout.

    1. Paula Hansen Avatar
      Paula Hansen

      We’re in the waiting room right now, as parents, waiting to be interviewed. First the Scoutmaster, then the parents, and finally the Eagle Candidate.

  11. KCS Avatar

    My son is having his Eagle Board of Review tonight, and yes, we as the parents, were requested to attend. We are not part of any of the BOR selection or anything of the sort, but we understand from other parents before us that we are interviewed as a “tell us about your experience with your son’s journey in scouting”. They also interview the Scoutmaster. Figured this is how they all go!

  12. JoAnne Avatar

    Our son had his BOR last night. Agree totally with Maria. We (the parents) were interviewed first, then our SM, then our son….all individually. Our interview was ‘tell us about your scout and what impact we perceived scouting has had on him over the years.’ Our SM indicated his interview was about the scouts journey from his perspective and also specifics about our Troop. (we have a superbly diverse Troop!) Then the private interview with our scout. My perception is that the interview had no bearing on the Board…

  13. Jimmy Smith Avatar
    Jimmy Smith

    My son had his BOR last night. A little confusing because his troop hadn’t had an eagle in a few years and the troop leaders weren’t up to speed. He had to rush to get a lot of stuff done at the last second. And there was confusion over whether he needed recommendation letters or contact references. Anyway there was no parent interview.

  14. Ed. Avatar

    my question is the scoutmaster have to be present at the eagle board of review?

    1. Scouter Mom Avatar
      Scouter Mom

      Not in our council. Only person who needs to go is the Scout. He could drive himself if he has a license. 🙂

  15. ADC Avatar

    I have sat in a few Eagle BOR’s, I can say for certain, if they are following BSA guide to advancements, There are no questions with the parents. If they attend, they are purely supporting their child. They do not enter the room where the bor occurs. Yes a scoutmaster may be present in the room with the scout. Usually they introduce the scout and break down some uneasiness that may be hanging around. They are only able to speak to clarify on a question, other words they sit back and watch. The questions that are asked are not for the scout to “prove” they have the the work, that should have already been proven with previous rank sign offs. The BOR is more interested in the project the scout did, get to know the scout themselves, what are some of their thoughts on the program, I like to see what they want to change in the program personally, and see where they may have their next goals towards.

    Any changes to the guide to advancement that a council or district does so on their own. As long as nothing is added or taken away from the requirements. If there is anything done in addition to the requirements than it is not proper scouting.

  16. Sean Avatar

    Our troop is a boy-led, high-adventure troop. Parents have very little involvement other than support when necessary. However, for Eagle Boards of Review, the Council representative and other adult board of review participants interview the scout, then excuse him and speak separately to the parents. Perhaps it is because it is one of the larger councils in the country and they want to avoid Eagle rank awards becoming a rubber-stamp situation, Eagle Boards of Review are taken very seriously, with some degree of formality.

  17. Jerry McNeil Avatar
    Jerry McNeil

    I have been an Scoutmaster for almost 40 years and I have never had a parent involved in an Eagle Broad of Review. The parent’s input comes from their letter of recommendation that is part of the application. The only part the parent should play in the Board of Review is to come into the room with their Scout to hear the Board’s congratulations.

  18. LR Avatar

    The only time the parents are allowed in, with our district’s EBORs, are at the beginning with introductions (if they are available) and at the very end after the board has deliberated. The scoutmaster is allowed in the EBOR as an advocate for the scout but never says anything excepts at the beginning. At that time when the parents are brought back in at the end, the scout is asked one last question with the parents in the room, with the mom being the only lifeline the scout has in case he doesn’t know the answer (it’s a specific 4 word answer to “Why should this board grant you your Eagle Scout Rank?”). I don’t understand why the board would interview the parents if one of the recommendation letters per the Eagle application comes specifically from one of the parents.

  19. Deborah Amidon Avatar
    Deborah Amidon

    I’ve been a part of Eagle BOR’s for over 30 years. Never had a parent interview as part of it. Only the Scout. I think a parent sat in once, as support for her autistic son.

  20. Don Kline Avatar
    Don Kline

    I was there for all 108 as moral support. I was interviewed briefly with maybe 3 easy questions because if the Scout wasn’t prepared for the BOR, i took that responsibility. The Scout went in for as long as it took. The parents were told a time to come back, usually about 1 hour. The Board completed the Scout interview and a few minutes later we were all asked to come in for the decision and a “charge” to keep Scouting.

  21. SO Avatar

    I have had experience as both a member of the Eagle Board of Review and as a parent during my son’s Eagle Board of Review. I always liked getting the parents’ perspective on the scouting experience–it can provide a lot of good insights that can be used to enhance the troop. As a parent, it provided an opportunity for me to share my thoughts–both positive and negative–and to brag a bit about my son and his journey.
    My younger son will be having his Eagle Board of Review in a few weeks. I have just been informed that the parent component is no longer a part of the process and that just feels like a missed opportunity for all of us.

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