Welcome! This forum has a treasure trove of great info – Scouters helping Scouters! Just a heads up, though - all content, information, and opinions shared on this forum are those of the author, not the BSA.
We often can experience a breakdowns in communication when a Scout is ready for a BOR, as well as have difficulties in assembling BOR groups of adults for timely reviews. We believe that utilizing Scoutbook technology can dramatically increase our effeciency while helping ensure compliance with the Guide to Advancement regarding timely recognition.
As part of my Wood Badge ticket I am looking at how to improve our Board of Review process at the Troop level. There are several tools that would be helpful for managing BOR aspects and I would like to propose several features for Scoutbook.
Add an adult role for the Troop rooster that is “Board of Review Member”. This can be assigned to parents, committee members, etc. This would allow us to track adults who are available / interested / experienced in participating in a BOR. It would also allow us to easily communicate with this group.
Add a “BOR-ready” flag for Scouts. This could be determined by having all requirements compelted except the BOR, or be a flag manually set once a Scoutmaster or Scout has indicated that they are ready for a BOR. This allows us to track in Scoutbook which Scouts are awaiting a BOR.
Add a “BOR-ready report” which will list Scouts who are “BOR-ready”, and the date they became ready. This would provide us a way to see which Scouts are awaiting a BOR. As a bonus, it would be great to be able to assign dates when the Scout is to have their BOR (a calendar-type function), but this is not a “nice to have” function.
It should also be noted our unit uses paper Scout Handbooks for requirements signing, so running a report based on which rank requirements signed off does not work for us, as these requirements are not tracked in Scoutbook - just the completion of rank as a whole once the BOR is completed.
Please read the guide to advancement on the topic. Board of Review Members are supposed to draw from the committee. So, this role is the same as the committee. The parents etc are supposed to be rare (per G2A). So this feature request is already part of Scoutbook.
The SM tells the CC or Advancement Coordinator. They then contact the committee to get the minimum 3. Done.
I am well aware of the G2A. Sections 184.108.40.206 and 220.127.116.11 give permission to use parents (as long as they aren’t parents of the scout at the review). It is not preferred but for units such as ours with high ASM populations most adult leaders are not eligible for BOR. Thus we have a pool of parents who are qualified to participate to supplement when insufficient committee members are present. Else BOR can not happen in a timely manner.
Thus the request to mark those on the unit roster as BOR ready.
In terms of notifications by the SM. Yes that is how it happens today. But the advancement chair is not at every meeting and communication can get lost. If the mechanism for communication is in Scoutbook then it will be in one place.
Keep in mind some units are quite large so what may work in one doesn’t work as well in another.
In order to conduct timely reviews we need adults who can do it. My job is to ensure we have qualified adults to participate in BOR per G2A. If I can’t get committee members then I get parents who are familiar with Scouting and otherwise meet the requirements of G2A.
I have to track and communicate with those who I can call up to sit on a BOR. This request makes it easier for us volunteers to do so.
@ChristopherRake - alrighty then but it seems that your unit has some functional issues that hopefully are addressed by your ticket item. I know in my tenure as CC that we have never had the issues you are addressing but certainly something there needs to change.
I’m editing this, because my original reply wasn’t helpful. So I’m going to turn this around and give you feedback instead.
Your post is reading as judgemental, making a value statement on another unit (“functional issues”) with poor information. It lacks respect, and breaks about 4 points of the Scout Law.
Here’s a suggestion. Instead, this would have been a better reply.
“While the GTA gives permission to use parents, it should be the exception, not the rule as this is not preferred. It is understandable that sometimes finding enough qualified leaders (not SM or ASM) can be a challenge. The question is whether this should be solved by making it easier to track parents who are BOR-ready in Scoutbook, or whether to approach those parents and encourage them to officially join the committee. Perhaps this is a topic for discussion at an upcoming unit committee meeting.”
Your units approach also broke about 3 points of the Scout law (starting with obedient). The reason I took the feedback approach I gave was due to your initial responses giving excuses of why the correct path wasn’t followed: not enough adults, small troop, can’t get committee members to do it. None of those are good reasons for not following the process as a normal occurrence. Rarely? Sure. Normally? No. It was clear you weren’t interested in fixing the root causes of your unit straying from the path. Your interest was in changing the software to fit the wrong path.