Scouts-L Mail Archive for October of 1998: History on Boards of Review Question
History on Boards of Review Question
Thu, 8 Oct 1998 09:17:06 -0400
Perhaps it is worth a little history on why the requirements read as they do
for TF, 2c and 1c.
At one time, the 2c requirements read "While a Tenderfoot Scout, do ... And
the 1c requirements similarly read "While a Second Class Scout, do .....
This caused huge problems for a number of Troops and Scouts because of their
annual programs. A boy might do, as part of the monthly theme, one or more of
the First Class requirements. But if he didn't complete his Second Class
requirements and pass the Board of Review until the following month, then the
stuff he did for First Class didn't count and he might have to wait an entire
additional year or more to have the opportunity to pass the requirements, even
he knew them perfectly well. Because of this, at camp, our troop held a Board
of Review on Wednesday in our troop and we had a couple of boys who came up as
TF, completed their Second Class Requirements, passed Second Class on
Wednesday and then they could work on First Class Requirements.
Not necessary any longer. As part of the First Class emphasis program, the
boy can complete any of the requirements for the first 3 ranks any time that
he is a member. That is to avoid the long delays mentioned above. But it
doesn't mean that a kid can complete one TF requirement and then based on
having completed all other requirements, demand or expect to earn TF, 2c and
1c in one night.
I think that we become too lawyerly (with apologies to my friends the lawyers
on the list) about the "neither add anything or subtract anything" provision
of advancement. We are chartered by the BSA to be leaders, not to be robots
and we are expected to use reasonable common sense and good judgement in
administering the policies. It means that a Troop cannot decide that earning
the Eagle in their troop will require 25 merit badges, not 21 or that a boy
must be 16 to earn it. Or, another example, now being discussed on the AOL
Scouting message board, a Troop is saying that they require a boy to go before
a Board of Review each time that they earn a Merit Badge and the Board of
Review decides whether they get the merit badge. To me this is clearly adding
something that is not in the advancement procedures.
But, as has been said in these posts, there is the need for a SM Conference
and showing Scout Spirit. The SM can schedule these in a reasonable way that
meets the SM's personal schedule. And if the SM believes that showing Scout
Spirit at the Second Class or First Class level requires that he or she view
the boy for a reasonable period of time (a couple of weeks or so) while
working toward that rank, this would certainly seem to be in line with the
Unless there is good reason to hurry. Our troop once had a boy who was
English whose family learned suddenly that they had to go back to England,
where the son would be part of the British Boy Scout Association and no longer
follow BSA advancement. He wanted to go as far as he could in the BSA, so we
scheduled a couple of Boards of Review in a couple of days.
There's always the reasonable exception. But the advancement requirements are
written to be brief and legible and to apply to most boys in most situations.
And then it is up to us to implement them.