Re: Board of Review Frequency
Michael F. Bowman (mfbowman@CAPACCESS.ORG)
Thu, 12 Oct 1995 04:05:30 -0400
Each Troop should try its best to have a Board of Review opportunity once
a month. Three months may be easy on the adults, but is rough on Scouts.
The idea is to give them the opportunity to advance at their own pace and
as quickly as they desire. In Cub Scouts you learned that immediate
recognition was important and that long delays resulted in Cubs getting
awards they had forgotten they earned and couldn't remember the
connection. Boy Scouts are a little better, but what we are trying to do
is encourage and reinforce the achievements they are making in their own
personal growth and we need to do so fairly close to the time they have
completed their work. This will best reinforce the effort. Recognition
delayed is often recognition denied. In each Troop the committee should
be meeting monthly. Why not have an extra half-hour built in for a BOR?
We should be doing our best to make this part of the advancement process
as easy as we can. Likewise we should be using BORs as part of the
monitoring process to keep tabs on the health of the unit. Yes, BORs can
be held to learn why a Scout is not advancing. This is one of the things
that adult leaders seldom do, but need to consider.
The idea that a Scout needs a week to prepare for a BOR is troubling to
me. Why is this? In the old days when a BOR was often used to retest
the Scout, maybe this was so, but now? Take a look at the Troop
Committee Guidebook section on BORs and you will find the following:
"The review has three purposes:
1. To make sure that the work has been learned and completed.
2. To find out what kind of experience the boy is having in his patrol
3. To encourage the Scout to progress further.
"The board of review is not a time to retest the Scout, but to determine
the Scout's attitude and his acceptance of Scouting ideals. It is also
important to review those Scouts who are not advancing. The guidance and
care shown could motivate these Scouts to further achievement.
"The review should be conducted at a convenient time and location, such
as a troop meeting, summer camp, or the home of a member of the troop
committee, Scoutmasters and assistant Scoutmasters do not participate in
the board of review.
"The board of review members should feel free to refer to the Boy Scout
Handbook, Scoutmaster Handbook, or any other references during the review.
"Because many boys are ill at ease when talking to adults, it is
important that the board of review be held in a relaxed atmosphere. A
certain amount of formality and meaningful questioning should be used
during the review. Use questions that require a narrative answer."
Hold Boards of Review as often as you can with the goal of trying to do
it once a month. This will help your committee as much as the Scouts.
The committee will be better able to assess whether the Scouts are
getting a good program and if not can act before things get to far along.
This is difficult if BORs are only quarterly. Likewise the Scouts will
have the benefit of immediate reinforcement of their achievements and
will grow in the self-esteem that leads to further motivation and
Speaking only for myself in the Scouting Spirit, Michael F. Bowman
DDC-Training, GW Dist. Nat Capital Area Council mfbowman@CAPACCESS.ORG
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City