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Board of Review at another Troop

As Advancement Chair, I received a request from a member of another local scouting unit to hold a Board of Review for a Life candidate. It’s a new BSA Girl’s Troop and the Scout is the first Life Scout for the Unit, so Unit Leaders indicated that it would be beneficial for it to be conducted with a more experienced Board.

Our members are very willing to hold a Board of Review for the Scout, but I’ve been reading over the Guide to Advancement trying to decipher if this is “allowed”. It states “The board is made up of three to six unit committee members—no more and no less.” This makes me think it has to be members of the Scout’s Unit’s committee, but is worded vaguely enough that I’m not certain.

Anyone have interpretation input?

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I think it means the committee for THAT troop…

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It means the committee for the Scout’s troop. Part of what is being evaluated is the troop’s program, so that improvements to the program or processes can be recommended.

However, I think it would be permissible to have 3 committee members from the Scout’s troop, plus the addition of some knowledgeable and experienced board members from your troop.

GTA 8.0.2.0 Particulars for Tenderfoot Through Life Ranks

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I’ve seen non-Eagle BoRs that included MCs from both the youth’s unit and from another unit. I like @JenniferOlinger’s idea. “See one. Do one. Teach one.” and all that. :^)

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I’m liking the idea of a mixed board. Our boards are typically only 3 people anyway, so I’m sure we could put together a 6 person board that combines both units.

Thanks for the affirmation! It’s where I was leaning but it was vague enough that I wasn’t entirely sure how to interpret it.

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If 6 board members might be overwhelming to the Scout, I think 4 or 5 would probably have similar effect.

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considering that board members don’t even have to be scouters, it is probably permissible. That being said, if you conduct the board for the girl troop then there is no learning from the girl troop committee. Send somebody over to help them conduct the board instead, that way the new troop’s committee gets the desired experience.

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The Guide to Advancement technically only permits non-Scouters for Tenderfoot through Life BoRs “in units with fewer that three registered committee members”, and discourages the practice in general.

Reference: https://www.scouting.org/resources/guide-to-advancement/boards-of-review/#8020

Guide to Advancement 2019

BSA Home > Resources > Guide to Advancement 2019, 33088, ISBN 978-0-8395-3088-6, ©2019 Boy Scouts of America. 2019 Printing

8.0.0.3 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,” 8.0.2.0, and “Particulars for the Eagle Scout Rank,” 8.0.3.0. Unit leaders and assistants 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 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.

8.0.2.0 Particulars for Tenderfoot Through Life Ranks

The preceding applies to boards of review for all Scouts BSA ranks (except Scout rank), but there are a few differences for the ranks other than Eagle:

  1. The board is made up of three to six unit committee members—no more and no less. In units with fewer than three registered committee members available to serve, it is permissible to use knowledgeable parents (not those of the candidate) or other adults (registered or not) who are at least 21 years of age and who understand Scouting’s aims. Using unregistered adults for boards of review must be the exception, not the rule. Registered committee members familiar with the unit program, who have had a background check, and who are Youth Protection trained are preferred. Scheduling boards of review when and where committee members can attend usually alleviates the problem of not having enough committee members for a board.
  2. Composition for Scouts BSA rank boards of review held in Venturing crews or Sea Scout ships is the same as that for Scouts BSA troops.

Lone Scout Advancement Board of Review

Lone Scouts are not registered in units and the rules are slightly different.
Lone Scout Friend and Counselor Guidebook, 511-420, ©2019 Boy Scouts of America, 2019 Printing

The friend and counselor may contact the district executive or the district or council advancement chair to arrange for a board of review or to obtain guidance on how one should be organized for Tenderfoot; Second Class, First Class, Star, and Life ranks. It may be possible for committee members of a Scout troop to conduct it, or it may be necessary to bring together members of the
community and train them on holding one.

The board is composed of at least three adults—other than the friend and
counselor—who know the Scout and are acquainted with the Scout’s conduct and
accomplishments outside of Scouting. They may be church members, teachers, business
leaders, neighbors, or family friends. Neither of the youth’s parents should serve on a
board of review unless it is not possible to find a sufficient number of other adults who
meet the criteria.

Troop Committee Guidebook

Troop Committee Guidebook - for successful troop operation, pp. 23-24, 34505, ©2018 Boy Scouts of America. 2018 Printing.

Advancement Coordinator - Duties (extract)

  • Arrange troop boards of review and courts of honor
  • Make a prompt report on the correct form to the council service center when a troop board of review is held. Secure badges and certificates.

(QUESTION: If the board of review is done by another unit, the district or council, who makes the report? I assume the board of review chair person.)

Boards of Review (except for Eagle Scout)

For more information see Troop Committee Guidebook, 2018, pages 40-41.

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I think the key phrase here is “In units with fewer than 3 registered committee members available to serve.” Part of being available means being mentally available, not just physically present. If you feel incompetent, or are in fact incompetent, then you are unavailable to serve. That is where bringing in an outsider can be helpful. This would, of course, be a one or two time thing, now a routine since the goal is to get the committee members trained and hence “available.”

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Fair point, and as I noted above I’ve seen units run Boards including MCs from different units. I think I was more concerned about the apparent implication of this part:

It read (to me) like a blanket implication that a unit can use non-scouters whenever they coudn’t get enough committee members. I realize that it’s actually a common practice to have non-scouters regularly participate on Boards, but wanted to point out that it’s not really consistent with the expressed intent in the G2A.

Part of where my confusion came in is that none of my Board of Review members are non-scouters; they are all registered. They are just not registered with the girl unit.

Hi Tiffany,

We have done exactly that combination of committees from both troops(boy and girt) for the first few BOR’s for the girls. With only 2 committee members available from the girl troop, the rest of the board has been made up of committee members from the boy troop.
I am anticipating that this will be a temporary arrangement until the girl troop is able to do their own BOR’s.

What I and I think @kevinwindisch were getting at is that if non-scouters are acceptable when not enough registered MCs from the home unit are available, scouters-from-another-unit should reasonably be acceptable in the same circumstances.

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I don’t understand. Why isn’t the committee for the girl troop conducting the board of review?

I believe “every Scout deserves a trained board of review member”. Perhaps the girl’s troop believes the same, At the online BSA Learn Center I suggest prospective Scout BSA BoR members start with completing:

  • SCO_430 ADVANCEMENT FOR SCOUTS BSA
  • SCO_431 AIMS & METHODS OF SCOUTS BSA
  • SCO_433 IDEALS & BELIEFS OF SCOUTS BSA

Article: “The Boy Scout board of review, a guide to getting started”, November 3, 2016, by Bryan Wendell, Scouting magazine Scouting 101,

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Who says they aren’t trained? They are committee members, not just some random adults. They were ok doing all the previous BoRs and should be trained regardless. The main training, though doesn’t cover BORs (by the way).

We have used non scouters as needed, and other committee members would be ok, that said after reading the unit bor should be ok in your unit who have been doing them, I could see if you want a scouter who have helped a scout with the process of eagle rank to be their to answer any qustions about the next steps ( who to talk to at coucil about eagle project etc)

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Our new girls troop (1 year & a few days) has now held several BORs since forming, but since most of the CMs in the girl troop are experienced CMs of the boy troop we don’t have the same issue.

Our boy troop helped a new boy troop in our rural district by allowing the new SM of the new boy troop attend one of our BORs (Tenderfoot to Life) and observe. (We kept the total number of adults in the room to 4 (3 Troop CMs & the visiting SM). Later my wife and I assisted the new boy troop with their first BOR in addition to a few of their CMs (changing out CMs as required so the CMs did NOT do a BOR for their youth). We followed the GTA and used the opportunity for the new boy troop’s CMs to learn how a BOR was conducted. (Scouters helping Scouters) (About a 30 minute drive)

We are in a rural (3 counties in Texas, (total population ~ 99,000) (total area ~ 3,000 sq mi) (about 80 miles drive between the Troops that are the furthest apart) district. We have not had a DE for about 3 years now, and have had 3 different Field Directors serve as DEs in that time. The 7 Troops and 6 Packsin the district are maintaining about the same level of membership from year to year and providing good programs for the youth. As the District Advancement Chair I have seen youth from most of the units at Eagle Project Proposal meetings and at Eagle Board of Reviews. (No Eagles yet from the youngest units). I traveled to the new boy troop and presented information about the trail from First Class to Eagle for their youth (Orientation to Eagle & Merit Badge for Local Troops) (Created from the Power Points on the National Web site). I have not presented this to the new Girl Troop since the COR, CC & all CMs are dual with the Boy Troop or served at one time with the Boy Troop.

TiffanyEschbach Reading between the lines since the youth is a girl wouldn’t the Unit have already had several BORs for the youth to advance to Life. But if the unit wants help I can see no problem with providing support to another local scouting unit. A Scout is Helpful.

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Without getting hung up in the weeds over “is this allowed?” I would likely see if your troop can offer a couple of experienced members to join two or three of theirs for this board. I would also look to ensure that the scout knows what is going on and put her at ease that this isn’t some wretched thing.