Scoutmaster Conferences and Board of Review
Gary Sherwin (sherwin@SUNSHINE.PGH.WEC.COM)
Fri, 9 Dec 1994 09:17:43 EST
Liz and Everybody
In our troop, SMC and BOR are very closely related. We reguard them as practice
job interviews for activities that will occur later in life such as college
entrance interviews and job interviews. As such, they provide scouts with
an advantage over other people in applying for positions, in that they will
already have experienced the process of convincing either a group of interviewers
or a single person that they are qualified for a position they seek.
My SMCs are usually conducted as follows.
One week before scheduled board of review, announce at begining of meeting that
next week is BOR and that scouts who are ready to advance in rank should see
me tonight. I follow this up by checking with each boy to see if any are
ready for SMC and BOR.
SMCs are normaly held the same night as BOR's. They are a one on one but
openly visible meeting between the SM and the scout. They are normaly held
at the side of the troop meeting in plain view and earshot of everyone.
(This is a little distracting, but provides good youth and adult protection)
I begin the SMC by reminding the scout the purposes of the conference and
1. To evaluate the troop program.
2. To evaluate MY performance as Scoutmaster
3. To give the scout an opportunity to speak
without interference from the group.
4. To check that all requirements have been met
5. As a practice session for future interviews
6. A chance to talk
7. Setting Personal Goals
8. An opportunity for the scout to convince me
and the BOR that he knows his stuff.
From that point on, the SMC progress much like a job interview:
How do you set up a horizontal milling machine?
Thats Easy. I have had Whats a milling machine?
a lot of experience in
working with Bridgeports BOSS
in my previous position. Do you know how to sharpen
I made widgets for Wowco Inc. an end mill?
You start by.............
BOSS You use a grinder.
I can see that you are very
qualified for this position BOSS
the starting salary is.... Why do you feel you are
How soon can you start. qualified for this position?
SM or BOR
What knot do you use to start a diagonal lashing?
You use a timber hitch. A square knot? uuuh two
SM or BOR
Thats right how are you in SM or BOR
first aid? Can you tie a square knot?
My patrol didn't place at the Uh I think so.....
first aid meet but we only
made one mistake. I am proud SM or BOR
of that. I think you need to review
your requirements for lashing,
SM or BOR and firstaid. See Jim for
Congratulations Scout! help with first aid. Mr.
You have done very well! Smith will be gladd to help
You are ready for your you with your knots.
XYZ rank. Did you prepare for this
SM or BOR
Review XYZ and I think you
will be ready next month.
The purpose of this section was to determine that the boy
is ready for the Board of Review and to determine his
general communication skills (NOTE: Communication skills
are not generaly part of the requirements and should not
be a cause of failure in the scout setting)
During the SMC we also discuss:
1. Troop Strengths and Weaknesses (Required Answer)
2. My observations of the boys progress:
A. Scout Ideals
D. Personal Strengths
E. Areas of Weakness to be worked on
3. Mutualy aggreed upon progress to BOR or to Review
weak areas and take BOR following week.
The SMC is normaly about 10 minutes long and always ends with
my congratulating the scout on his accomplishments and
encouraging him towards the Board of Review and his
further scouting career.
Following the Scoutmasters Conference, I meet briefly
with the BOR to instruct them on the life skill level
of the scout and guide them in their review of his
progress. The BORs approach is exactly individual in
nature and is customized to the boys personality.
I then leave and the scout enters.
The Scoutmaster is not permitted to be present for the BOR.
The board of review is held behind closed doors. and is as
its name describes, a board of REVIEW!!!!
It is also a training session for all involved.
the Board consist of three or more adults
(usually ASMs and Committe Members, sometimes other
parents) They repeat the general procedures of the
SMC but do not communicate success or need to
improve to the scout. At the end of the evenings BOR's
they call in the Scoutmaster and present him with
the signed handbook or an explaination of why it was
not signed. In either case, the SM
counsels the scout in private (in a public area) as to
the results and if neccessary what the scout needs to do
to be adequately prepared. (ALMOST NEVER)
At the end of that evenings meeting, the advancing
scouts (ALMOST ALWAYS ALL WHO HAD BOR) are recognized
within the scout circle.
BOR is a review of the scout program being managed by
the Scoutmaster. So if the SM is running a boy run
troop which is a scouting program, and if he has
properly prepared the boy, there should be NO NO NO
failures to pass Board of Review. If there are
weaknesses seen by the BOR, they should be discussed
with the Scoutmaster as troop program weaknesses
not personal weaknesses on the part of the scout.
If a scout doesn't know his scout skills, IT's
THE TROOPS FAULT STUPID! Fix the program, not
It works for us. Your mileage may vary.
Looking for improvements.
I used to be an Eagle NEV-19
Gary W. Sherwin SM
Troop 461 Yukon, Pa USA
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City