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Number of People allowed "on" Eagle BoR

This evening I was involved with an Eagle Board of Review with 7 people plus the scout participating. The G2A says there is a maximum of 6 people on the board. The claim was that the 7th person was “just there to take notes,” but to my mind that violates the G2A. From the perspective of the scout in the hot seat, I’m sure it felt like a board of 7 people. (It felt like an inquisition, but that’s a separate problem.)

What opinion do others have? Does the G2A permit an additional person as “secretary”?

7 exceeds 6. Pretty straight forward. There is not a good reason to have that many and violate the rule.

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Why can’t one of the 6 take notes?

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Never sat on one with more than 3

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That seems VERY excessive. Even the very first eagle scout only had 3 at his board of review if I remember correctly. With ours there are typically 5 people in the room: 3 board members, the scout, the scout’s eagle coach or unit leader.

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Eagle boards of review

Version 2021-008-20-B

My opinion: A meeting secretary who takes minutes or notes, but who does not participate in the meeting of the board would be an “observer”.

2021 Guide to Advancement Extracts

Guide to Advancement, 33088, ISBN 978-0-8395-3088-6, ©2021 Boy Scouts of America, 2021 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

8.0.1.0 Conducting the Board of Review

… The unit leader may remain in the room, but only to observe, not to participate unless called upon. The number of “observers” at a board of review should otherwise be minimized. The members of the board of review, however, have the authority to exclude the unit leader or any other observers if they believe their presence will inhibit open and forthright discussion.

Youth observers are not permitted in boards of review for Scouts BSA advancement.

The Scout’s parents, relatives, or guardians should not be in attendance in any capacity—not as members of the board, as observers, or even as the unit leader. Their presence can change the discussion dynamics. …

8.0.1.2 What Should Be Discussed

… A board is not required to record “minutes,” but it is a good idea. Any such notes must remain confidential to the members of the board or to administrators with a need to know. They may be used in preparing a follow-up letter, should a Scout be turned down, and they can be helpful in an appeal process. In any case, once a review or appeal is completed, all notes must be destroyed.

8.0.3.0 Particulars for the Eagle Scout Rank

The particulars below pertain only to the Eagle Scout rank.

3. There shall be no fewer than three and no more than six members, all at least 21 years old. They need not be on an advancement committee or registered with the Boy Scouts of America, but they must have an understanding of the rank and the purpose and importance of the review. This holds true for Eagle boards of review held in any unit, whether troop, crew, or ship.

I think it is ok to have someone taking notes as long as that person is not asking questions to the scout,

What is the purpose of the notes? We shouldn’t really be keeping that close of a record of these Boards of review anyway. If somebody needs notes to remember something from the scouts eagle book then they can take and reference those notes themselves. I just don’t understand the purpose of recording the scouts answers.

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I don’t know about the specifics of this case, but @Bill_W’s response above quotes from the Guide to Advancement indicating that taking notes is a good idea for various potential purposes.

8.0.3.0 Particulars for the Eagle Scout Rank

  1. There shall be no fewer than three and no more than
    six members, all at least 21 years old. They need not
    be on an advancement committee or registered with
    the Boy Scouts of America, but they must have an
    understanding of the rank and the purpose and
    importance of the review. This holds true for Eagle
    boards of review held in any unit, whether troop,
    crew, or ship.
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Why keep it to 6? What is the reason? So the panel isn’t too big. So it isn’t too imitating. 6 is already a lot. So, have one of the 6 take notes. Don’t add a 7th. This isn’t a deposition. Why not have 10 observers? Because that isn’t the point.

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I’m not arguing for a lot of people. I’m just pointing out the the G2A gives some guidance on why a board might choose to take notes. Our boards are generally three people, and if we want notes we record them ourselves. I can see some advantage to taking notes in the event that a board does not have a positive outcome. I can’t think of a likely reason it would actually happen, but I’d rather be in the habit of taking notes that I don’t need than need notes I didn’t take.

I was just going to ask under what situation the board of review would deny the advancement. You answered it already. I agree that an individual can just take their own notes.

3-6 board members, but boards of review can have observers. Personally, I would not want to have a bunch of extra people there.

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@BenjaminWard - Thanks for the reminder. I skipped including section 8.0.3.0 extract by accident.

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As the G2A says, it is useful in case the scout does not pass the BOR. They can use the notes to see what they can do better next time or use it to file an appeal.

The challenge of taking meeting notes

When I take meeting summary notes I find I am concentrating on composing what I am writing and no longer listening to what is being said. I may also not be listening when I am thinking what I am going to ask or say next.

The mind “single tracks” when we think. Some people can “switch tracks” back and forth faster than others. Some people also have a short term-memory impairment.

My understanding is that steno machines and the steno language was created to allow English speech to be recorded verbatim at 200 words a minute.

Scientists now know that a memory is recorded in one place, but when it is retrieved it is rerecorded in a different part of the mind and may be slightly changed when it is rerecorded. The research was published recently (within the last couple of years) according to a news report I read or watched. I suspect the human mind behaves this way because brain cells can die while we are still alive.

That means we have to change “Use it or loose it” to “Use it or loose it and the more often we use it the more it will change.”

When conducting a review is it possible to keep it short or take periodic breaks to record notes outside of the review period?

Fewer board members make it easier to approve the “minutes” or “summary notes” for the review.

I can actually see “they” being the board, irrespective of the outcome of the review itself. People ask all sorts of questions, some of them work well (i.e. “I wish I had thought of that! I’m going to ask that next time…”) and some of them don’t. Being able to look back on that to improve your service as a board of review member has value to the scouts as well.

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For all readers of this discussion: Please remember that a note to oneself about what you might ask the next time you are a board member, is different from a note summarizing what a Scout said.

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Yeah, that seems intuitively obvious to me so I would be surprised if someone conflated the two.