The 6 Best Scouts BSA Members for a Board of Review
What is the Board of Review and it’s importance?
The Scouts BSA requires that a Scout who has completed the requirements for any rank (except Scout rank) must appear before a Board of Review (BOR). The BOR must contain at least 3 people and can have as much as 6 people.
The BOR assesses Scout’s experience and decides if the requirements for the rank have been completed. The BSA encourages that a Board of Review be a celebration of the achievement and not a re-test of the Scout.
The members of the BOR are very important to the experience of the Scout being reviewed. After 40+ years as an adult member of Scouts BSA, I have come to realize what makes a great board of review. It is the composition of the group that will make the BOR memorable for the Scout.
The 6 Best Members of a Board of Review
1. The Troop committee ChairThe Troop Committee Chair should always attend the Board of Review. A good review will provide insight into how the Troop is doing and provide feedback for the Committee Chair to help improve the Troop.
2. The Troop Advancement ChairThis is the job that is the most involved with advancement in the Troop. This person usually handles the paperwork and should be there to help the other members of the BOR with the technical details.
3. The Chartered Organization RepresentativeI have been involved with many different Chartered Organizations in my BSA career. When the Chartered Organization Representative is involved with the Troop – a great synergy will result. In many ways, a BOR is a great way for the Chartered Organization to see how effective the program can be.
4. A Local Church LeaderThe perspective of a Church Leader – especially if the Scout attends that Church – can not be underestimated! Duty to God has been a major tenet since the first handbook in 1911. While Scouts will not be measured by a specific belief standard, a Church Leader will reinforce the importance of this part of Scouting.
5. A Local Politician, Active Duty Military, or Business LeaderThis person can provide a great experience for the Scout. The perspective provided by someone who is a leader, in real life, is a great inspiration to the Scout.
6. A Mentor in the Scout’s InterestThis can be the toughest, especially if you have several Scouts scheduled for a Board of Review. But imagine how the Scout will respond to questions from someone who shares his interest in a topic. Mining your Merit Badge Counselor list is an easy way to find the perfect fit.
These are the six best members for your next BOR.
Remember that the BSA prohibits certain people from serving on the Board – “Unit leaders and assistants shall not serve on a board of review for a Scout in their unit. Parents, guardians, or relatives shall not serve on a board for their child. The candidate or the candidate’s parent(s) or guardian(s), or relative(s) shall have no part in selecting any board of review members.” The Board of Review is one of the best methods to enhance the Scouting experience and encourage advancement through the ranks.
References:Guide to Advancement Boards of Review
Guidelines for Advancement and Recognition Committees
Tips for Advancement Chair
Guardians At the Gate: Advancement Tips.
On Increasing Advancement.