I'm our troop's Advancement Chair. Earlier this week, we held a BOR for an 11-y.o. Scout hoping to move to 2nd class. They are an outdoorsy family whose ASM father is competitive and works with the son to quickly fulfill requirements (his T BOR was 30 days ago, and he is well on the way to requirements for 1st.) Requirements 1-8 were well-satisfied and many done beyond that which was required.
I'm having difficulty with the child's attitude. He appears to have a problem with authority, except for his father's (which is immediately obeyed). He's a constant headache to his young (but intelligent) patrol leader -- not actively disobedient, but grumbling (often to others) as he obeys, and challenging anything he doesn't completely agree with, from menus to the order in which they line up. His comments about his mother during his BOR were something that would never have been allowed in my household (she's stupid, crazy, can't keep a thought in her head, etc -- untrue statements, but even if they were, disrespectful). When called on it, he rolled his eyes, then tried to backtrack. Before his BOR (while we were discussing the previous BOR and the Scout was waiting), several people were standing outside the door. Concerned with privacy, the Committee Chair (female) asked them to move around the corner. He did not comply, but waited for his father to restate the request before acting. He bypassed his Patrol Advisor (an incredibly wonderful, but strict and fair man) for the SM conference, and had it signed off by another ASM -- a much more gentle soul with considerably less experience. When asked about that, he said it didn't matter, that an ASM was an ASM (for expediency, the SM allows ASMs to conduct SM reviews when his schedule is full).
Realizing that he is only 11 and hasn't been with the troop but four months, and because none of us was certain about things, we passed him to 2nd class. I have asked for a meeting with the SM and his Patrol Advisor to discuss it.
The BOR is *not* a retest; that's completely understood. But have any of you ever failed to pass a Scout due to failure to live up to the Scout Law? None of our boys is perfect, and I'm completely certain that every one of them will violate a portion of that law between BORs. Where is the line between success and failure? And, if he fails to advance, what is the best way to explain to his father what he needs to do to progress?
Complete disclosure: I don't particularly care for either the father or the son, but I do try to remain objective. I checked my observations with the other two sitting on the BOR, and they completely agreed.