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Board of Review

Eagle Boards of Review are handled at the District Level.

Boy Scout rank advancement is a 4-step process.The 3rd step – a Scout is reviewed, happens in part at the Board of Review. The board of review is organized by and chaired by the Scout Committee.

After a Scout has completed the requirements for any Boy Scout rank advancement (except Scout), including holding a Scoutmaster Conference, he appears before a board of review. Its purpose is to determine the quality of his experience and decide whether he has fulfilled the requirements for the rank. If so, the board not only approves his advancement but also encourages him to continue the quest for the next rank. Because the board of review date becomes the effective advancement date, boards should be scheduled promptly as Scouts are ready, or set up on a regular basis that assures Scouts are not delayed in beginning time-oriented requirements for the next rank.

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. A Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmasters (including Eleven Year Old Scout Leaders) shall not serve on a board of review for a Scout in their own unit. Parents, guardians, or relatives 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.

It is preferred a Scout be in full field uniform for any board of review. He should wear as much of it as he owns, and it should be as correct as possible, with the badges worn properly. However, a boards of review does not reject candidates solely for reasons related to uniforming or attire.

The board of review has three purposes:

  1. To make sure the work has been learned and completed.
  2. To find out what kind of experience the Scout is having in his patrol and troop.
  3. To encourage the Scout to progress further.

Though one reason for a board of review is to help ensure the Scout did what he was supposed to do to meet the requirements, it is neither a retest or “examination,” nor a challenge of his knowledge. In most cases it should, instead, be a celebration of accomplishment. Remember, it is more about the journey. A badge recognizes what a young man has done toward achieving the primary goal of personal growth. It is thus more about the learning experience than it is about the specific skills learned.

Scoutbook reports for Board of Review

It would be helpful to have available (either electronically or a print out) of the Boy Scout History Report, Service Log, Camping Log, Hiking Log and Leadership Positions from Scoutbook for each Scout attending a Board of Review.

Example of the kind of questions that might be asked:

  • Tell or explain the Scout oath, Scout law, Scout motto, Scout slogan, or outdoor code.
  • What do you like most in troop outdoor activities?
  • What new thing did you do/learn on your latest campout / service project / troop meeting?
  • What did you learn / feel in giving service to others?
  • Why is being a Boy Scout important to you?
  • What are your goals in Scouting?
  • What have you learned as being the ____________ (youth leadership positions of responsibility) in the Troop?
  • How will fulfilling requirement number _____ help you?

At the conclusion of the board of review, the Scout is asked to leave the room while the board  members discuss his achievements. The decision of the board is arrived through discussion and must be unanimous. If members are satisfied that the Scout is ready to advance, he is called back in, congratulated, notified when he will receive his recognition (at a Court of Honor), and encouraged to continue working on his advancements. A member of the board is responsible to record in Scoutbook the date of the board of review, as this is the effective date of the advancement.

If necessary, you may offer the Scout a copy of the 1-Page Scout Study Guide.

Scouts not advancing

Scouts not advancing should also participate in a board of review. The board should show interest in each Scout’s rank progress. Asking questions like the following may help the board determine why a Scout has not been advancing.

  • Do you enjoy the outings/troop meetings?
  • Which of the requirements are most difficult for you?
  • Do you find that school/sports/other activities are taking more of your time? Which ones?

Let the Scout know that he has the support of the board of review members and that there is no doubt he can achieve the next rank.


Further reading:

Troop Committee Guidebook
Board of Review Training
Guide to Advancement: Boards of Review

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© 2020 Troop 42 – Little Valley Scouts - Boy Scouts of America
© 2020 Troop 42 – Little Valley Scouts - Boy Scouts of America
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