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Scouts BSA Board of Review Failure

A reader sent in this question about Scouts BSA Board of Review failure:

Is it acceptable to not approve a Board of Review? We have a scout who doesn’t answer the questions to rank up always to the best of his ability. A lot of “I don’t know, I don’t remember when and what my last service project was,” I’ll have to ask my dad about that, etc. And his dad has said he has finished all his Eagle badges but never has any documentation or proof of them. (His dad is on the Troop Committee).

Our Troop is really in a bad situation, 6 boys, 3 of which have behavioral issues (they don’t listen to SPL or ASPL, only participate in things that they like to do, i.e.; flag retirement ceremonies.) We have 4 scouts who are really trying to get their Eagle. We are very far behind on camping nights because the 2 dads that can go work opposite weekends and now can’t take any time off from their jobs to go. Our Troop Master is also unavailable a lot of times due to his work schedule.

I’m concerned. My son, the SPL, does not want to go to another Troop. He’s been with these boys all along. I know that we can join other troops for camping, hiking, etc. but that doesn’t help with BOR.

Any help you can assist with these situations would be most appreciated. I appreciate all you do for us.
Thank you. Hope to hear from you soon.

Thoughts about Board of Review Failure

The journey to rank advancement in Scouts BSA is an exciting and rewarding experience for young scouts. As they progress through the ranks, they face challenges, learn valuable skills, and develop leadership qualities.

Usually a BOR is not conducted until all of the requirements have been completed. However, it is possible that a scout may request a board of review before the requirements have been met.

In a case where there is concern that the requirements for a rank as written have not been fulfilled, it is appropriate to advise the Scout that he or she might not pass the board and to make suggestions about what might be done to improve the chances for success. It is, however, the Scout’s decision to go ahead with a board of review or not.

Guide to Advancement

It is important to remember that a Board of Review is not an exam. It is an opportunity to interact with the Scout and learn about the Scouting journey, especially the journey within the unit. The goal is to develop personally. This is more important than learning specific skills.

Though one reason for a board of review is to help ensure the Scout did what was supposed to have been done to meet the requirements, it shall become neither a retest or “examination,” nor a challenge of the Scout’s knowledge.
In most cases it should, instead, be a celebration of accomplishment. Remember, it is more about the journey.

Guide to Advancement

During a Board of Review for rank advancement in Scouts BSA, the board members may ask the scout where they learned their skills, who taught them, and what they gained from completing specific requirements. The answers help the board understand what the scout did to earn their rank. They also discuss how the scout follows the Scout Oath and Scout Law in different parts of their life, like at home, school, in the scouting unit, and the community.

It’s important to know that while scouts are expected to do their best, they don’t need to be perfect. What matters most is that the scout has a positive attitude, believes in Scouting’s values, and tries to do their best in their daily life.

Related Resources for Scouts BSA Board of Review Failure

what is a board of review

What Is a Board of Review?

A Board of Review (BOR) in Scouts BSA is a crucial step in rank advancement and should not be mistaken for a Scoutmaster Conference with more people. When a Scout has fulfilled all the requirements for a rank, they must face a board of review. For ranks from Tenderfoot to Life, the board usually comprises three to six members of the troop committee, while for the Eagle Scout rank, local policy dictates the composition, often including district or council representatives.

It’s essential to remember that a BOR is not a retest of requirements, but the board may ask questions to assess if the scout met the criteria. During the BOR, committee members should put the Scout at ease and ask open-ended questions about their experiences with the Scout Oath and Scout Law. After the review, the Scout is asked to step out briefly, and the board discusses the Scout’s achievements, ultimately congratulating them for qualifying for the rank or providing guidance if further requirements need to be completed.

Frequently Asked Questions about Scouts BSA Board of Review Failure

Is not wearing a uniform a reason for Scouts BSA Board of Review failure?

No, a scout cannot be failed solely based on not wearing the complete uniform during the Board of Review. While it is preferred that a scout be in full field uniform, they should be clean and neat in appearance. Uniforming issues should not be used as a reason for Board of Review failure.

How is Scouts BSA Board of Review failure or passing determined?

If the board members agree unanimously that the Scout is ready to advance, they will call the Scout in and congratulate them. The board of review date becomes the effective date of the rank advancement. If the board does not approve, the Scout will be informed and provided with feedback on what can be improved. They may have the opportunity for a follow-up board of review if it is believed they can benefit from it.

Can being tardy be a cause of Board of Review failure?

No, it should not be a reason for Board of Review failure. Tardiness may be a topic for discussion during the review though.

Can non-completion of non-advancement related tasks, such as payment of dues or participation in fundraising activities, lead to Board of Review failure?

No, non-completion of non-advancement related tasks, such as payment of dues or participation in fundraising activities, cannot lead to Board of Review failure. These issues should not be considered when determining a scout’s eligibility for rank advancement.

Can a personal disagreement with a board member or leader be a reason for Scouts BSA Board of Review failure?

No, a personal disagreement with a board member or leader should not be used as a reason for Board of Review failure. The decision should be based on the scout’s fulfillment of advancement requirements and adherence to Scouting principles.

Can making mistakes during the review or not answering questions perfectly be a reason for Board of Review failure?

No, making mistakes during the review or not answering questions perfectly should not be used as a reason for Board of Review failure. The review is not an examination, and the focus should be on celebrating the scout’s accomplishments and learning experiences.

Can not having a Scoutmaster conference before the Board of Review be a reason for Scouts BSA Board of Review failure?

Yes, a Scoutmaster conference is a requirement before a Board of Review, and if it is not completed, the scout may not be eligible for the advancement review.

What is a valid reason for Scouts BSA Board of Review failure?

A Scout may not pass a Board of Review if they have not fully completed the advancement requirements. Incomplete fulfillment of the requirements is a valid reason for not passing the review.

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