Board of Review-Ever Turn Down a Scout For Any Rank?

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Board of Review-Ever Turn Down a Scout For Any Rank?

Postby scoutmasterbob » Fri Sep 03, 2004 12:49 am

In the "rate of advancemnt after first class", a comment was made that said "I would never turn down a boy at a Board of Review" my question is why not?

Have you ever been on a Board of Review that has not approved a scout for advancement? For any rank.

If so share your thoughts about this.

If a boy is not deserving should'nt the Board ask him to work on the problem and return for another Board of Review at a later date?

I had a scout, he is an Eagle now, but he was pushed by his mother so hard, that she would come with him for MB interviews, and I am sure she did all the planning for his Eagle project. At his Eagle Board one of the Board members asked him to recite the Scout oath and law. He could not. Are these grounds for not letting him pass the board? At the time I approved and his Eagle was presented. Its been a year or so and now i think maybe I should have spoke up.
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Postby BM_Crawford » Sun Sep 05, 2004 12:37 am

I know the feeling. This one kid's dad stood behind him at troop meetings when the kid was spl and told him what to say almost word for word. :(
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Postby dparker » Sun Sep 05, 2004 1:00 am

Good topic, Bob. I guess the BOR should only confirm that the requirements were met. If they have been signed off, then the Scout can claim he should be passed, although not knowing the Scout Oath and Law would make it difficult to be living one's life by them.

I know my mom pushed me pretty hard, but I appreciate that now. There is a limit to this and drawing that line is challenging.
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Postby Bob White » Sun Sep 05, 2004 4:13 am

What's a merit badge interview??

I figure a Scout has no choice over who their parents are, and so I cannot hold the flaws of the parent against the Scout.

If a parent feels that they have to be there coaching the scout every step then that is my fault as a scout leader. Either the Scout is not getting the traing and support he needs from me to be successful, or I have not shown the parent that their son is in a positive supportive environment and is trained and trusted to be able to function on his own in most situations. Either way the problem is not the Scout's so it will not be held against him in a BOR.

I have had scouts have to go before a board more than once before they advanced. But is was always handled according to the procedures outlined in the BSA Advancement Committee Policies and Procedures manual.

Hope this helps,
Bob White
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turning down at BOR

Postby ICanCanoeCanU » Sun Sep 05, 2004 9:20 am

Bob,

The comment I made "I would never turn down a scout at a BOR" was taken from the discussion basing this on a scouts age. I would turn down at scout for advancement because of his age, is what it meant.

Once during a BOR I discovered that a scout did not have the correct number of MB's needed for LIFE so we did bring this to his attention and told him we would finish when he received the correct badges. Not sure if this qualifies for turning someone down, since it was obvious that he wasn't ready. Otherwise, no, not in our troop, I've never seen a scout be turned down during the BOR. I would think the SM would pick up on something if the scout was truely not ready. We assume that if the SM has sent them to us, ready for the BOR, then they have met all requirements to be in the BOR, other than checking his history to make sure he has to right badges, sevice time (if needed for his new rank) and held his role of responsibility.
Last edited by ICanCanoeCanU on Sun Sep 05, 2004 8:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby scoutmasterbob » Sun Sep 05, 2004 9:49 am

Bob White asked:
What is a merit badge interview?


I was refering to the meeting between a MB counselor and a scout to pass off a MB.

ICanCaonoeCanU said
The comment I made "I would never turn down a scout at a BOR" was taken from the discussion basing this on a scouts age. I would turn down at scout for advancement because of his age, is what it meant

I was not being critcal, I hope it did not come off that way, but the comment really struck a chord with me, hence this discussion thread.

Bob White aslo said:
If a parent feels that they have to be there coaching the scout every step then that is my fault as a scout leader. Either the Scout is not getting the traing and support he needs from me to be successful, or I have not shown the parent that their son is in a positive supportive environment and is trained and trusted to be able to function on his own in most situations. Either way the problem is not the Scout's so it will not be held against him in a BOR.


I think I agree, but parental involvement is an important part of scouting, I think every scout who has Achieved Eagle has had one or both parents hounding him to succeed, it is very unusual to see a scout do it completely on his own.

I have always tried to educate the parents about haw scouting works, some take to it and understand others just dont get it.
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Postby optimist » Sun Sep 05, 2004 12:44 pm

Advancement Committee Policies and Procedures wrote:The members of the board of review should have the following objectives in mind when they conduct the review:

  • To make sure the Scout has done what he was supposed to do for the rank.
  • To see how good an experience the Scout is having in the unit.
  • To encourage the Scout to progress further.


I am one of those that has said that the Board of Review cannot hold a Scout back because they "feel like it." The key line above is the one that says "To make sure the Scout has done what he was supposed to do for the rank." If a Scout has done everything he is supposed to do, the BoR is a formality.

Since the Scoutmaster is supposed to ensure that the Scout has done everything he is supposed to do beforehand at the Scoutmaster's Conference, all BoR's should be a formality. If the BoR turns down a Scout, it should only be because the Scoutmaster missed something. We all make mistakes which is why this is part of the process.

All of the discussions about Board of Reviews in these forums have focused on objective #1. I feel objective #2 and #3 are just as important if not more important. This one meeting touches on many of the Scouting program's best aspects: advancement, ideals, adult association, leadership development, and uniform. In addition, Scouting's other aspects (patrols, outdoors, and personal growth) will often be topics of discussion. Well put together BoRs help make a better Scouting program.
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Postby Bob White » Sun Sep 05, 2004 3:06 pm

Scoutmaster Bob,
Thanks for the clarification. But that brings up another question. You say the scout had his mother with him at mb counseling sessions like it was a bad thing. The scout is required to have a buddy with him is he not? Aren't parents one of the suggested buddies that a scout can bring? So where is the problem here?

Thanks again for the clarification
Bob White
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Postby evmori » Sun Sep 05, 2004 7:53 pm

Bob,
I think you are missing the point. From what I read, mom in this case is a hindrance not a help. It sounds like she is there to ensure her son gets what she wants, not necessarily what he has (or has not) earned.
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Postby Guneukitschik » Mon Sep 06, 2004 4:59 pm

I think the board of review is exactly what it says....a review... however, I think that if at an Eagle Scout BOR and the scout couldn't recite the Scout Oath, Law, Etc. I would have to say that would be grounds for a failure...the scout however, shouldn't even have made it to the board of review... the scoutmaster conference should have caught this...or what about all the BOR's before? Our scouts recite these at every BOR.

As for the parents....I've found that usually with new scout parents, they are not sure how the troop operates and that it in fact differs greatly from the way the Cub Scout and Webelos units operate. We usually have a meeting for all the new scouts and parents and explain some of the major differences and answer all their questions.. This usually gets things operating in the right direction. On occasion we've had a parent follow their scout around to everything and we've stepped in and asked then to take a few steps back and watch rather than be right there holding there hand.
Last edited by Guneukitschik on Mon Sep 06, 2004 5:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby wagionvigil » Mon Sep 06, 2004 5:08 pm

Wow we are getting thinned skin it would appear. But any way. When I do a board of review I ask two questions. 1. What is you favorite part of scouting and 2. Tell me something you learned since your last BOR.
On an Eagle Board I ask question like what is your Favorite MB and why? and 2. This is my 47th year in scouting are you going to try to beat me?
3. What is your least Favorite MB and Why?
I have never been involved in a BOR that turned a kid down ALthough a troop tried to do this to an Eagle Candidate when I was Eagle Chairman. I stopped it by going by the Book
Many moons ago there were district wide BOR's here and they were held each quarter. They actually grilled you on your MB's. How may I know this you may ask? Because I to had it happen to me.
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Postby BM_Crawford » Mon Sep 06, 2004 9:21 pm

Good question's Wagionvigil!
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Postby scoutmasterbob » Tue Sep 07, 2004 10:12 am

The young man I have been refering to, when his mother attended the MB pass off meeting with me, we were doing the camping merit badge. I would ask a question like, tell me about the different kinds of tents there are. The scout would immediately look at his mother and she would begin to answer the question and the scout would say "oh ya" and finish the answer. This happened on every question I asked. I finally said dont look at your mom, I dont care what she knows I want to know what you know.

I only worked with him on this one MB, I dont know how it was with the other MB he earned.

Parents are always welcome at our scout meetings and MB interviews, in fact I encourage it.

I think the other problem was that this scout would be the first Eagle in the family since grandpa got his eagle 60 years ago, and there was no way his mother would miss that oppritunity.

This is only one bad situation out of the many good and positive experiences that I have had in scouting. I really did not want to dwell too much on him, but he was the only scout I ever had that I wondered if we should have asked him to come back when he was better prepared.
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Postby Billvann » Tue Sep 07, 2004 1:26 pm

I don't know the specifics, but I recall hearing of a scout terned back at his Eagle BOR becasue of a well know incident at school the week before that resulted in disciplinary action. I think the members of the BOR asked that he return after a period of time and gave him the opportunity to demonstrate that he could live up to the oath and law.

I was a long time ago that I heard this story, so I don't have all of the facts. But I do recall that he did come back and was approved.
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Postby Guneukitschik » Tue Sep 07, 2004 2:07 pm

That seems like a fair request. I don't think that happens often...although perhaps it should rather than just handing Eagle awards out left and right?
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Postby optimist » Tue Sep 07, 2004 2:13 pm

Do Eagles really get handed out left and right where you live? In my district there are usually only two or three Eagles a year. The biggest year I can remember is seven. That's in a district that generally has 12-14 troops at any given time with 12-20 Scouts per troop on average.
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Postby Guneukitschik » Tue Sep 07, 2004 2:18 pm

Well...perhaps that wasn't the perfect wording...however from where I sit...it seems that the rank of Eagle Scout is easier to achieve now than ever before. The average Eagle Scout seems to be getting younger when the award is earned and I feel they are missing some of the qualities that are "expected".
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Postby Billvann » Thu Sep 09, 2004 12:44 pm

Back when I was a scout in the 1970's, my troop had only one eagle scout during my entire "career" (1969 - 1977). In fact, I only earned Life as I was missing 3 required merit badges, Safety, Citenship in the Community and the new Citezenship in the World, and a service project. But there wasn't anyone pushing me or the others into completing it. I don't know if that was a function of our troop or reflective of scouting in that time period as a whole.

I now do regret not completing it (I wasn't totally lazy as I ended up with 20 MB over all), but I have no regrets about my participation in the scouting program. One can benifit greatly from scouting even if you don't become Eagle.
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Postby Lynda J » Thu Sep 09, 2004 1:35 pm

Turned down the Scout Masters son for Star the first time. He came in with an attitude. Slouched in the chair and simply wasn't prepared.

The second time he came for review. He shook hands with each board member, sat in the chair and had all his ducks in a row. He is really a good kid.

I worried his dad might be upset but he wasn't. Like he said. If he wasn't prepared he wasn't prepared.

I had the honor of sitting on my first Eagle board Tuesday night. We passed two young men. Sent one back for signatures, and approved two projects. Nice dealing with the cream of the crop.
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Postby gofer » Wed Sep 22, 2004 1:23 am

I've been an adult scouter for about 6 or 7 years now.
Only one that's been turned down, as we try to be sure
that it's really a review of the program, and how the
boys are doing. i.e. it's a way to evaluate the scoutmaster
and the program by interviewing boys.

The one we turned down also came with an attitude.
When asked what he liked about getting to 2nd class,
he said "not much. I'm only here because my mom
makes me come". The attitude continued. I (as scoutmaster)
was called in after he was dismissed for discussion.
It was hard, but when he was brought back in,
the leader of the BOR (an ex-scoutmaster) discussed
with him that he needed to be positive, show the
scout law in his life, and maybe come back in two weeks
after thinking about it.

While he did have some attitude problems previously, he
also was dependable and one of the most regular
attendees on outing and meetings. I don't think it was
because his mom made him come, he liked it.
He returned and passed. He still has attitude problems
occasionally, but he continues to grow and do better.
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