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Position of Responsibility Requirement Thoughts

I was looking for some thoughts about something. I have a boy going for his Star Rank. He is shy of his Position of Responsibility by 2 days. We are doing Boards tomorrow. The next time we officially do Boards is next month. I struggle getting people to sign up for Boards on non scout nights, so I try very hard to have them once a month during the boys’ planning meeting where committee members can be there and are just waiting around for the committee meeting. So my question is, if he is just shy by 2-3 days is there any reason that he can’t do the board and just get the official rank at the proper time? Or is it a big deal if it is a matter of a couple days? Thanks for your thoughts!

One thing to Note on this (not giving an opinion on what you should do) - if the date entered into the national system is even one day short of 4 months - I think SB will fail and I KNOW Eagle verification will fail when Scout hands in Eagle Application

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Thank you that is really good to know. This particular parent can be very determined to see her scout move forward, that gives me a good reasoning and I don’t want to mess with any one’s Eagle! I didn’t think about that.

As a Scoutmaster - I would tell the parent it is not her job - I do not set Scoutmaster Conferences or BORs when asked by a parent - EVER. The Scouts have to learn to manage things themselves.

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My troop does Boards of Review whenever a Scout is ready. We ask the Scouts not to wait until the deadline for awards to be presented at the next COH in order to avoid stacking up many BORs in the same night. There are many months when a BOR happens each week.

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I agree, and the boy is the one that asks for it. Some parents just tend to “come for clarification” or to “argue a point” or “bring questions to the committee”. Just good to have explanations.

We have official Boards once per month as many of our families drop boys off at the meetings and don’t stay. So it can be difficult to get Boards on days when the “parent committee members” are not required to be there. Summer is extra hard since we only have 3 months of good weather for people to travel, be on their boats etc. So we try to adapt to meet all those needs. We will have extra boards when needed. The boys knowing that there are Boards once a month ensure that they get done what they can so they don’t have to wait. We find that the boys don’t take the Boards for granted this way. But this is just what works for us. Odds are I will have an extra Board for this soon to be Star scout. I just wasn’t sure about the timing. I had heard you can do things out of order but I wasn’t sure if the Board was one of those things.

No the BOR date is the official Date of Record (Completion) of a rank

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The board of review must always be done as the last requirement (after all other requirements for a rank have been completed). Most other requirements can be done in any order while working on a particular rank.

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Two pieces of advice.

  1. Tell the scouts to give you a week’s notice when they feel they’re ready for a BOR. Asking the boys to plan ahead a week gives you the time to schedule adults for the BORs.
  2. Tell the ‘pushy’ parents that the best way to get more frequent BORs for their scouts is to volunteer to be on the BORs for other scouts.
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Because the BSA policy on advancement is:

Policy on Unauthorized Changes to Advancement Program
No council, committee, district, unit, or individual has the authority to add to, or subtract from, advancement requirements. There are limited exceptions relating only to members with special needs. For details see section 10, “Advancement for Members With Special Needs.”

4.2.0.1 Scouting Ranks and Advancement Age Requirements
In Scouts BSA, advancement requirements must be passed as written. If, for example, a requirement uses words like “show,” “demonstrate,” or “discuss,” then that is what Scouts must do. Filling out a worksheet, for example, would not suffice.

The Scout can have the board of review after meeting the time requirement as written. If the requirement says “serve actively in your troop for four months”, then that is what the Scout must do. Cub Scouts do their best. Older Scouts must meet the requirements as written.

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In general, for other troops who come up with this type of conflict …

If it is unlikely that the scout will have a board of review until the end of summer, that’s a big problem. This scout might have some really important things to say, and you all are missing information that could help shape your troop.

If the scout has to wait another month, and the boy is far younger than 17, explain to your “determined parent” that if more parents don’t volunteer to take it in rotation to be available for your CC to organize BoRs, your hands are tied.

I think the best strategy is what you are thinking of doing … asking some of your committee to come back for this scout’s board next week. Don’t think of it as making an exception for him. Think of it as giving the adults a chance to try something a little different while sticking to the letter and spirit of the requirements.

Yes. Don’t make it the exception to hold more frequent BORs. Make it the norm.

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It is not the scouts job per the guide to advancement

8.0.0.2 Boards of Review Must Be Granted When Requirements Are Met A Scout shall not be denied this opportunity. When a Scout believes that all the requirements for a rank have been completed, including a Scoutmaster conference, a board of review must be granted. Scoutmasters—or councils or districts in the case of the Eagle Scout rank— for example, do not have authority to expect a Scout to request or organize one,

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We strongly discourage the parents from attending BORs. They aren’t the ones earning ranks.

I’ve only had an issue with one parent (our resident Eagle Mom) on this, and we ended up canceling the BOR when she kept talking over her scout to answer the BOR questions.

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That section of the GTA isn’t written too clearly, though.

How, exactly, does a BOR get scheduled if the scout doesn’t request one? Per the GTA section you referenced, the only determination about when to hold a BOR is “When a Scout believes that all the requirements for a rank have been completed.” If a Scout doesn’t say, “Hey, I’m ready for my BOR,” what should be the trigger? Having the SM review the handbook is not the same as the Scout believing all the requirements are met.

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Not sure what your troop role is (SM, ASM or Adv. Chair), but I would not give any wiggle room on this. Stick to the requirements as written and you’ll rarely paint yourself into a corner. While there may be a rare occasion to have some leeway (i.e. did they “formally demonstrate” tying a square knot vs. the fact that the leader knows they really do know how to tie one), but stick to the requirements as written.
It’s also a slippery slope - if you start granting 2 days here, why not the next scout that is 4 days short (only 2 days more than the first).
The scout shouldn’t request a BOR until they have their Scoutmaster conference. The scout shouldn’t request a Scoutmaster conference until all the other requirements are completed.
If those steps are followed, there shouldn’t be any issues. IF the scout hasn’t requested a SM conference and subsequently a BOR, we shouldn’t be scheduling those for them - they have to take on that responsibility.
If your troop only has boards on set days/months I can see how that could create challenges, but if the dates are set well in advance, the Scout, PLC, SM & ASM’s should be aware of the schedule and can plan elections/position changes in advance. The alternative is to look at the troops responsibilities and see if that may need to be tweaked.
This falls under the skill of scheduling & organization and should be used as a learning tool for this scout.

Steve, I think that’s the advantage of monthly BoRs. The scouts know when they will be, and can line up for them. (That’s what my troop did growing up. I guess sitting waiting for the committee to be ready for you was our way of requesting it.)

The advantage I’ve seen about on-demand BoR’s is that it gives parents who are otherwise sitting idle at scout meetings something to do. They also seem to be a bit more personal when there’s one or two a week vs. 6 or more a month.

@Qwazse, I think it depends on how large your troop is, also. We only have 21 active scouts; I don’t think we’ve had more than 2 or 3 BORs a month since the youngest ones hit Tenderfoot.

I mostly agree with you, but the Scoutmaster conference does not have to be the last requirement to be completed prior to the board of review.

“While it makes sense to hold one after other requirements for a rank are met, it is not required that it be the last step before the board of review.” (4.2.3.5 Unit Leader (Scoutmaster) Conference)

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