Board of review (Scouts BSA)

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Scouts BSA Advancement policies cover Merit Badges, Summer Camp,
Scout Spirit, Active, Special Needs, Eagle Projects, Scoutmaster Conferences,
Boards of Review, Appeals, Courts of Honor, Time Extensions, and more.

BoR or BOR


Troop Goals

(Quoted from: Advancement Policies #33088, p. 25)

"It is important that the troop committee and the Scoutmaster set an advancement goal for the year. A basic goal should be for each Scout to advance a rank during the year. New Scouts should earn their First Class rank during their first year in the troop. By doing so, these new Scouts become net contributors to the troop and are able to care for themselves and others. When reviewed monthly by the troop committee, Scouts will recognize the importance of Scout advancement. Troops should conduct boards of review for Scouts who are not advancing. A minimum of four formal courts of honor a year (one every three months) should be held to formally recognize the Scouts in the troop."

"Presentation of merit badges and rank badges should not await these courts of honor; awards and badges should be presented at the next meeting after they have been earned. Scouts are recognized again at a formal court of honor."


(Quoted from: Advancement Policies #33088, pages 28-30)

A periodic review of the progress of a Scout is vital in the evaluation of the effectiveness of the Scouting program in the unit. The unit committee can judge how well the Scout being reviewed is benefiting from the program. The unit leader can measure the effectiveness of his or her leadership. The Scout can sense that he is, or is not, advancing properly and can be encouraged to make the most of his Scouting experience.

Not only is it important to review those Scouts who have learned and been tested for a rank, but also to review those Scouts who have shown no progress in their advancement over the past few months.

The review is not an examination; the board does not retest the candidate. Rather, the board should attempt to determine the Scout's attitude and his acceptance of Scouting ideals. The board should make sure that good standards have been met in all phases of the Scout's life. A discussion of the Scout Oath and Scout Law is in keeping with the purpose of the review, to make sure that the candidate recognizes and understands the value of Scouting in his home, unit, school, and community.

Scout spirit is defined as living the Scout Oath (Promise) and Scout Law in a Scout's everyday life.

The decision of all boards of review is arrived at through discussion and must be unanimous. When a boy satisfactorily completes his board of review for a rank or an Eagle Palm, tenure for his next rank or Eagle Palm begins immediately.

Scouts 18 or older

(Quoted from: Advancement Policies #33088, pages 29)

Scouts who have completed all requirements for a rank prior to their 18th birthday should submit their application and be reviewed and recognized within three months after that date. Boards of review conducted between three and six months after the candidate's 18th birthday must be pre-approved by the local council. A statement by an adult explaining the reason for the delay must be attached to the Eagle Scout Rank Application when it is submitted to the Eagle Scout Service. If an Eagle Scout board of review will be held after the six months following the candidate's 18th birthday, the Eagle Scout must petition the National Boy Scout Committee for an extension of time to hold the board of review. The petition must be processed through the local council, detailing the extenating circumstances that prevented the board of review from being held within the six-month period following the candidate's 18th period, and be accompanied with a copy of the Eagle Scout Rank Application.

For the composition of boards of review for Varsity Scout teams and Venturing crews, see "Varsity Scout Advancement" and "Venturing Advancement pages 35-38.

Review for Tenderfoot Through Life Ranks and Eagle Palms

(Quoted from: Advancement Policies #33088, pages 29)

After a Scout has completed all requirements for Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, and Life ranks, or an Eagle Palm, he appears before a board of review. This board of review is made up of at least three and not more than six members of the troop committee. One member serves as chairman, usually the committee member responsible for advancement. Unit leaders, assistant unit leaders, relatives, or guardians may not serve as members of a Scout's board of review.

The review shall be conducted at a convenient time and location, such as a meeting, summer camp, or the home of a member of the troop committee.

The review has three purposes:

  • To make sure the work has been learned and completed.
  • To see how good an experience the Scout is having in his unit.
  • To encourage the Scout to advance to the next rank.

Because many boys are ill at ease when talking to adults, it is important that the board be held in a relaxed atmosphere. A certain amount of formality and meaningful questioning should be used during the review.

The Scout should be neat in his appearance and should be in a coat and tie or his uniform, which should be as correct as possible, with the badges worn properly. It should be the desire of the board to encourage the Scout to talk so that the review can be a learning experience for the candidate and the members of the board.

Text Added in 2008 Printing

The Scout should be neat in his appearance and should be in a coat and tie or his uniform...

The review is not an examination. The Scout has learned his skill and has been examined. This is a review. The Scout should be asked where he learned his skill, who taught him, and the value he gained from passing this requirement.

The Scout reviews what he did for his rank. From this review, it can be determined whether he did what he was supposed to do. The review also reveals what kind of experience the Scout is having in the troop. With that knowledge, the troop leaders can shape the program to meet the needs and interests of the Scouts.

The board should attempt to determine the Scout's ideals and goals. The board should make sure that a good standard of performance has been met. A discussion of the Scout Oath and Scout Law is in keeping with the purpose of the review, to make sure the candidate recognizes and understands the value of Scouting in his home, unit, school, and community.

The board of review members should feel free to refer to the Boy Scout Handbook, Scoutmaster Handbook, or any other references during the review. The Troop Committee Guidebook contains examples of questions that could be asked during a review.

The review should take approximately 15 minutes. At the conclusion of the review, the board should know whether a boy is qualified for the rank or Palm. The Scout is asked to leave the room while the board members discuss his achievements. The decision of the board of review is arrived at through discussion and must be unanimous. If members are satisfied that the Scout is ready to advance, he is called in, congratulated, notified as to when he will receive his recognition, and encouraged to continue his advancement or earn the next Palm.

If the board decides that the Scout is not ready to advance, the candidate should be informed and told what he has not done satisfactorily. Most Scouts accept responsibility for not completing the requirements properly. The members of the board of review should specify what must be done to rework the candidate's weaknesses and schedule another board of review for him. A follow-up letter must be sent to a Scout who is turned down for rank advancement, confirming the agreements reached on the actions necessary for advancement. Should the Scout disagree with the decision, the appeal procedures should be explained to him. (See "Appealing a Decision" page 33.)

After the board of review is completed, the Scoutmaster is informed of all of the decisions that were made by the board of review. Remember, after a Scout satisfactorily completes a board of review, he cannot be recognized until that action is reported to the council service center on an Advancement Report. A monthly report keeps unit records current and is a good practice. The troop scribe should also keep a record in the Troop/Team Record Book for easy reference by the Scoutmaster and use by other boards of review.

Eagle Scout Boards of Review

(Quoted from: Advancement Policies #33088, pages 30)

The Boy Scouts of America has placed the Eagle Scout board of review in the hands of either the troop, team, crew, or ship committee or the district or council committee responsible for advancement. The council will decide and promulgate which method or methods may be used.

New in 2007 Printing

When a Scout has completed all requirements for a rank advancement, including the Scoutmaster conference, he may not be denied a board of review.

The board of review for an Eagle candidate is composed of a minimum of three members and a maximum of six members, 21 years of age or older. These members do not have to be registered in Scouting, but they must have an understanding of the importance and purpose of the Eagle board of review. At least one district or council advancement representative shall be a member of the Eagle board of review, when conducted at the unit level, and may serve as chairman if requested to do so by the unit. The review should take approximately 30 minutes.

Because of the importance of the Eagle Scout Award, a unanimous decision must be reached as to the Scout's qualifications. If a unanimous decision is not reached, the applicant must be informed of his options for appealing the decision and the proper process for an appeal, from page 33 in the Advancement Committee Policies and Procedures manual.

See also

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