Mechanics of a Board of Review
The Scout is introduced to the board by the Chairperson of the board.
The Scout should be in full uniform. The chairman of the Board of Review may ask the Scout to come to attention, and recite one or more of the following:
- The Scout Law
- The Scout Oath
- The Scout Motto
- The Scout Slogan
- The Outdoor Code
For the lower ranks, one or two (usually the Law and Oath) should be sufficient. For higher ranks, more may be expected. One or two re-tries are appropriate, especially for younger Scouts, or if the Scout appears nervous.
The board members are invited to ask questions of the Scout (see the sections appropriate to each rank). The questions should be open-ended, offering an opportunity for the Scout to speak about his opinions, experiences, activities, and accomplishments. Avoid questions, which only require a simple one or two word answer. If an answers is too brief, follow up with a, “Why?” or, “How can that be done?” to expand the answer. The questions need not be restricted to Scouting topics; questions regarding home, church, school, work, athletics, etc. are all appropriate. The Chairperson should be made aware of any “out-of-bounds” areas; these should be communicated to the board before the Board of Review begins (e.g., if a Scout is experiencing family difficulties due to a divorce, it would be prudent to avoid family issues.)
The time for a Board of Review should be from 15 to 30 minutes, with the shorter time for the lower ranks. When all members have had an opportunity to ask their questions, the Scout is excused from the room. The board members then consider whether the Scout is ready for the next rank; the board’s decision must be unanimous. Once the decision is made, the Scout is invited back into the room, and the Chairperson informs the Scout of the board’s decision. If the Scout is approved for the next rank, there are general congratulations and handshakes all around, and the Scout is encouraged to continue advancing. If there are issues, which prevent the Scout from advancing to the next rank, the board must detail the precise nature of the deficiencies. The Scout must be told specifically what must be done in order to be successful at the next Board of Review. Typically, an agreement is reached as to when the Scout may return for his subsequent Board of Review. The Chairperson must send a written follow up, to both the Scout and the Scoutmaster, regarding the deficiencies and the course of action needed to correct them.