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Not a rank? No board of review. Since when?

rank award board of review

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#1 qwazse

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 09:43 AM

I wanted to probe the notion that Boards of Review should be only for rank advancement. (E.g., Since Eagle Palms are awards they should not require a board of review.) Where did this idea come from?

  • Not from the handbook, as far as I can tell. Scout is now a rank. Even so, it requires no boards of review.
  • Venturing does not have ranks, but they do have awards. The core ones require boards of review. (Okay, Venturer requires a "meeting" with the advisor and crew president.)

We have sent some scouts to disciplinary "boards of review" ... ones who've started tuning out the SM and needed to hear that some other adults were expecting better behavior from them. You all can debate how kosher that is, but it's helped us get through some rough patches.

 

So, in my mind, sometimes a scout was up for review, sometimes he wasn't. Those times weren't ever distinguished by a rank vs. an award being in play.

 

Is this something that anyone wrote about? Taught in a course?

If you thought this was the way things should be, can you recall who gave you the idea?


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#2 Col. Flagg

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 09:58 AM

In Boy Scouts we do three types of SMCs: 1) for rank, 2) for status or advice, 3) for disciplinary issues. BORs or "boards" are only for rank and I think that is correct, though I would argue that having one for Scout should be required now. I'd favor the continuation of boards for palms too. As someone said on the other thread, the board is where the TC can get their own independent status check on the state of the troop, the advancement process and other issues of concern or interest.

 

I like the Venturing model as it is. It is informal but still provides structure. It works for that program but would never work in Boy Scouts IMHO.


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#3 DuctTape

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 10:16 AM

BOR is also a learning opportunity for the Scout. The more experience and practice they have interviewing with adults, the better prepared they will be when job seeking. The BOR should not just focus on the scout's advancement or review of program, but should also realize it can provide the boy with the types of questions he might experience in just a few short years. Thus the more BORs the better, and with a mixture of adults.
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#4 qwazse

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 10:48 AM

.... BORs or "boards" are only for rank and I think that is correct, ...

But, where did you get that thought?

 

I mean, for example, on the other extreme ... I always love the Boy's Life "Scouts in Action" sketches, and would turn to them first to see who was featured and why. But it never crossed my mind that you wouldn't need a BoR for the meritorious conduct awards. I mean, it made sense in my mind that the scout's troop committee would talk to him and review the incident, then send a letter or something to their council and, in turn, to National, to nominate the boy.  That review would be as much a BoR in my mind as anything.  After 3 decades I finally knew someone worthy of one of those awards, and I learned that no face-to-face was necessary, just a lot of paperwork. But it wasn't like someone told me in advance that it was one way or the other. I just had it in my head that that a BoR was how scouts got any award of importance.


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#5 KenD500

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 11:15 AM

BORs can also be called if a Scout is not advancing. 

 

2017 Guide to Advancement:

8.0.1.3 How Boards Can Lead to Program Improvement

Periodic reviews of members’ progress can provide a measure of unit effectiveness. A unit might uncover ways to increase the educational value of its outings, or how to strengthen administration of national advancement procedures. For example, if it is discovered troop leaders are not ensuring that all requirements have been met before Scouts present themselves for the board of review, then process improvements can be recommended. A board can also help by considering the style of leadership best suited to current circumstances and ways to adjust it to different needs. Note that boards of review may also be held for Scouts who are not advancing. Much can be learned from them, as well. (bolded for emphasis)


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#6 Col. Flagg

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 11:27 AM

@qwazse, the BOR is documented in the GTA, so that's the source.

 

Can you have them elsewhere? I guess. But for my money that's an SM job and how you use the SMC.


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#7 TAHAWK

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 11:48 AM

"The board of review is how the troop committee (or the Eagle Scout board of review) tracks the progress of a Scout to determine his understanding of the ideals of Scouting and how he applies them in daily life in the troop. If the board of review is for rank advancement, the board will satisfy itself that the Scout has done what he was supposed to do for that rank and will review with the Scout the requirements for the next rank. The board of review is also a way of reviewing the troop’s progress."

 

Boy Scouts of America, Board of Review Training (2017).   http://www.scouting..../pdf/18-625.pdf


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#8 NJCubScouter

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 12:26 PM

Qwasze, it seems to me that you are looking for logic and consistency where only arbitrariness exists.  The reason they decided there should still not be a BOR for Scout even though it is now a rank is that that is what they decided.  If any thought went into it, it was probably "let's give the new kids a break."  Nothing deeper than that.  I don't think people at National sit there and worry that it's inconsistent to have a BOR for the second through seventh "ranks" but not for the first "rank".  You have probably spent more time thinking about this than all the people at National have ever spent thinking about it, put together.


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#9 Col. Flagg

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 12:30 PM

Good article I tend to circulate to Scouters and parents.


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#10 Stosh

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 07:34 PM

I have all my boys do a BOR for the Scout Rank, even before it was a rank.  My committee people know this and conduct the "BOR" with a bit of pomp and circumstance, but also an introduction to the program and what to expect when the BOR's are "for real".

 

In this day and age, it's just as important for the Committee to know why the boy joined scouts as it is to know why he continues with it at each rank.


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#11 CalicoPenn

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 06:00 PM

 I just had it in my head that that a BoR was how scouts got any award of importance.

 

Hmmm - I wonder where you got that idea?  Possibly because non-advancement BOR's are so rarely discussed?

 

Intersesting turn of phrase too - "award of importance"

 

We don't do BOR's for Totin' Chip, Paul Bunyan, Mile Swim, 50-milers, interpreter strips, religious awards, or the Den Chief Service Award.  I'd argue that at least a couple of them are as important as Palms. 

 

BOR's for rank advancement are the most common BOR's.  Palm's aren't ranks but their BOR's may be the second most common (after all, they are required (for now).  Displinary BOR's are probably the next most common.  The BSA recommends that a BOR be held for a Scout at least every six months - that would probably catch those Scouts not advancing, if Troops were to do them. 

 

I think BOR's for ranks are a natural - there's lots to review - there's progress.  For awards?  I don;t see the burning need for it - there's no forward progress at stake.  Te be consistent, I would have no problem with eliminating BORs for Palms since we don't do BOR's for any other non-rank award. Being said, I would encourage that every Scout have a BOR at least every six montth - whether "needed for rank advancement" or not.


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#12 Stosh

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 08:23 PM

There are SMC's for a variety of reasons, only the SMC rank requirement is needed for rank advancement.

 

There are BOR's for a variety of reasons, only the BOR rank requirement is needed for rank advancement.

 

I really don't see a problem with the way it's set up.  If a SM want's a SMC for any reason he can call one.  Same for the scout.

 

Iif the committee wants a BOR for any reason they can call one, too.  Same for the scout.

 

Am I missing something or is this too far out in left field?


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#13 qwazse

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 09:58 PM

Hmmm - I wonder where you got that idea?  Possibly because non-advancement BOR's are so rarely discussed?

 

Intersesting turn of phrase too - "award of importance"

 

We don't do BOR's for Totin' Chip, Paul Bunyan, Mile Swim, 50-milers, interpreter strips, religious awards, or the Den Chief Service Award.  I'd argue that at least a couple of them are as important as Palms. 

...

C'mon ... I was a kid. All of those so-called activity awards that you mentioned are more along the lines of MBs. None were ever as important as even a bronze palm. (Take a week off, hike 50 mi, I never bothered to ask for a patch. The conservation society for that trail did invite me to speak at their pot-luck. Their patch is still the temporary on my uniform.) Boys Life didn't draw up stories about guys earning Totin' Chip! A metal of honor seemed like a big deal, as big as Eagle or a Palm, so of course I'd think you'd have some official committee interview you if you were up for one!

 

Not remembering any discussion in my youth of ranks vs.awards ... I pulled down my BSHB (9th Ed. -- I now regret not taking it to Jambo and having Bill Hillcourt sign it), so let's see what we've got ...

 

The advancement section has "My Trail to Eagle" at p. 530, where begins the list of requirements for Boy Scout; next page, Tenderfoot, etc ... through Eagle starting on page 536, then, on page 537 the requirements for Eagle Palms. At no point is "rank" mentioned. Oh wait, here it is at the bottom of page 537, "Palms are worn on the ribbon of the Eagle award ..." 

Wait, what? :huh:  I didn't make rank? All I did was earn another award? Maybe I missed something Bill wrote earlier about rank advancement! Back to the beginning. Here it is on page 19 beside a drawing of the Eagle medal (captioned "Eagle badge"):

"ADVANCEMENT. The dream of every scout is to advance to Eagle. Along the way you will have to earn skill awards, merit badges, progress awards."

 

Oh no! Mamma would be so disappointed. I never ranked up! All I did was earn progress awards:unsure:

 

Do you see my problem? Bill never taught me that there were ranks. He only taught me that there were awards. The important ones, Boy Scout through Eagle Palms, were given special attention, with Star through Palms requiring boards of review. (Bill did mention "all ranks requiring scouts to show active participation ..." on p.453, but he did not specify say what was and was not a rank.)

 

So, if I don't get the distinction that other people seem to take for granted, blame the guy who taught me ... Green Bar Bill.

 

Now. Who taught you?


Edited by qwazse, 16 July 2017 - 10:00 PM.

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#14 TAHAWK

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 10:05 PM

"Now. Who taught you?"

 

Richard Smith, Bill Stearns, and Carl Shavers.  Being closer, they were MUCH more important.  Didn't see Bill until I was twenty-one and did't meet him until 1985.


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#15 qwazse

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 10:24 PM

...

There are BOR's for a variety of reasons, only the BOR rank requirement is needed for rank advancement.

 

I really don't see a problem with the way it's set up....

Am I missing something or is this too far out in left field?

 

@Stosh, I don't see much of a problem either, except by the book (at least mine, haven't look at a later one), there is no "rank advancement" only "advancement". And Palms were not a separate category of advancement, but rather the last step on the trail to Eagle.

But then, something changed. And in peoples' minds, the ovals became one thing, and the Palms became another thing.

I'm just trying to figure out when and how?


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#16 Stosh

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 10:44 PM

I never viewed palms as any sort of rank advancement, neither were MB's they were merely requirements for advancement.  Palms are awarded beyond the highest rank (Eagle) as awards based mainly on more required MB's.  It wouldn't bother me one bit if there were or were not BOR's held for them, but they should be optional like all BOR's except for rank.  Palms are not rank.

 

By the way everyone runs around saying Eagle is the highest rank.  Then is Eagle with 1 palm higher?  Nope.


Edited by Stosh, 16 July 2017 - 10:45 PM.

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#17 qwazse

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 05:49 AM

So, @Stosh, was your handbook laid out differently than mine?
In mine, the MB requirement for a Palm was #4 of 5.
It told me that there were specific awards on the trail to Eagle, half of which required progress review by an adult committee. Eagle being one of them, Palms being the next.
It never put "rank" and "Eagle" in the same scentence.

Maybe some people think more of an Eagle+Bronze than Eagle, maybe not. But, even if the latter is what "everyone runs around saying", when did egalitarianism become any justification for making a BoR optional?
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#18 Stosh

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 07:23 AM

I'm not disputing the need for any BOR, have as many as one wants, not a problem.  The only one's I thing are important in relationship to this discussion are those BOR's for rank advancement as required in the list of requirements.  If BSA puts that as a requirement for the palm, so be it, it doesn't hurt.  As I have mentioned, I had the boys do a BOR for Scout before it was a rank.  Why?  Because I felt it was important for the boy to learn how to do a BOR before it counted towards ranks.

 

If one thinks having a BOR for a palm is a waste of time, then jump through the hoops and get the palm done.  If it's not going to be required because it's not a rank, then have one anyway if one thinks it's important for the boy.

 

While it is not required, I have a SMC before and after every MB a boy takes.  I believe that this process is important for both the boy and I.  Nothing in the requirements say I have to do it, but I do it anyway.  I guess that process would be the same when it came to the BOR and palms.  After all the verbal recognition from SM and Committee might be something the boy likes because Mom and Dad are going to be proud, but that's what they get paid for.  SM and Committee do it for real. 


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Stosh

 

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#19 TAHAWK

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 07:40 AM

"Eagle Scout Rank," 8.0.3.0.

 

8.0.0.1 Purpose and Timeliness of Boards of Review

After a Scout has completed the requirements for any rank or Eagle Palm, he appears before a board of review. Its purpose is to determine the quality of his experience and decide whether he has fulfilled the requirements for the rank. . . .  Because the board of review date becomes the effective advancement date, boards should be scheduled promptly. . . ."

B.S.A., Guide to Advancement (2017)

 

"Boy Scouting provides a series of surmountable obstacles and steps in overcoming them through the advancement method. The Boy Scout plans his advancement and progresses at his own pace as he meets each challenge. The Boy Scout is rewarded for each achievement, which helps him gain self-confidence. The steps in the advancement system help a Boy Scout grow in self-reliance and in the ability to help others."

B.S.A. at http://www.scouting....tandAwards.aspx(2017)


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#20 Eagledad

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 07:53 AM

Maybe some people think more of an Eagle+Bronze than Eagle, maybe not. But, even if the latter is what "everyone runs around saying", when did egalitarianism become any justification for making a BoR optional?

This is a good discussion. The forum used to have many discussions about ranks and awards way back and they are a good review of what the books say instead of what we often assume. Thanks for the review, qwazse.

 

As a result of these kinds of discussions (reviews), I got in the habit of calling Star through Palms "awards" instead of ranks. Award just seems to fit better to me because scouts in our troop are respected by their maturity and experience, not their rank. Not that rank shouldn't reflect a scout's maturity and experience, but sometimes rank is thrown in the mix of requirements for an activity or position of responsibility simply because it implies a seasoned well experienced scout, when in reality the "award" only acknowledges completing a list of requirements. The Eagle "award" is highly respected in our troop, but we have a lot of First Class, Star and Life scouts who are very respected for their experience and maturity. 

 

I hope we haven't brought any less honor to the Eagle and Palms than they deserve because we sure have a lot of them. But at the same time, those awards are not perceived as the pinnacles of our program either. 

 

Barry


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