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Boy Scout Troop 140
(Denton, Texas)
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Purpose of a Board of Review

A periodic review of the progress of a Scout is vital in theevaluation of the effectiveness f the Scouting program in the unit.

Not only is it important to review those Scouts who havelearned and been tested for a rank, but also to review those Scouts who haveshown no progress in their advancement over the past few months.

Participants in a Board of Review must keep these objectivesin mind:

Ensure the Scout has completed requirement forthe rank.

Evaluate the experience the Scout is having inthe unit.

Encourage the Scout to progress further.

The Board of Review is not a retesting of requirements.  The Scout has already been tested on theskills and activities required for the rank.However, the chairman of the Board of Review should ensure that all therequirements have been signed off in the Scout’s handbook.  Additionally, the chairman should ensure thatleadership and merit badge records are consistent with the requirements for therank.

The Board of Review is a time to determine the Scout’sattitudes, accomplishments, and acceptance of Scouting Ideals.  Scout Spirit is defined as living the ScoutOath and Scout Law in a Scout’s everyday life.The Boards should make sure that good standards have been met in all phasesof the Scout’s life.  A discussion of theScout Oath and Scout Law is in keeping with the purpose of the review, to makesure that the candidate recognizes and understands the value of Scouting in hishome, unit, school, and community.


Members of a Board of Review


For all ranks (except Eagle) and Eagle palms, the Board ofReview consists of three to six members of the Troop Committee.  The Troop Advancement Chairperson typicallyacts as the chairperson of the Board of Review.Relatives or guardians may not serve as members of a Scout’s Board ofReview.  The Unit leaders (Scoutmaster) may not participatein a Board of Review.


Members of an Eagle Board ofReview


For the rank of Eagle, the Board of Review consists of threeto six members drawn from Scouting and the community.  The chairperson of the Board of Review is arepresentative from the District Advancement Committee.  Unit leaders from the Scout’s unit, relatives,or guardians may not serve as members of a Scout’s Board of Review.  A Board of Review for Eagle may containmembers of the community who are not registered Scouters; however, they shouldbe knowledgeable of the principles of Scouting.The Scout may request an individual to be a member of his Board ofReview.


Mechanics of a Board ofReview


The Scout should be in full uniform.

The Scout is introduced to theBoard by a figure of authority, board Chairperson, boy’s Patrol Leader, SPL, orScoutmaster.

For an advancement Board of Review, the chairperson shouldask the Scout to recite one or more of the following:

Scout Law

Scout Oath

Scout Motto

Scout Slogan

Outdoor Code

For Tenderfoot and Second Class ranks, typically just theScout Oath and Law are asked.  For higherranks, more should be expected.  One ortwo re-tries are ok for younger Scouts.

The board members ask appropriate questions to theScout.  Sections follow with samplequestions for each rank.  Open-endedquestions are better, allowing the Scout to speak about his experiences,activities, and accomplishments.  Heshould be encouraged to give his opinions.If an answer is too brief, follow up with a “Why?” or “How?” question toprompt for more details.  The questionsneed not be restricted to Scout topics.Questions regarding home, church, school, work, athletics, etc. are allappropriate.  The Chairperson should bemade aware of any “out-of-bounds” areas.These should be communicated to the entire board before the Board of Reviewbegins.

A Board of Review is typicallybetween 15 to 30 minutes, with time increasing as the rank increases.  When all board members have asked theirquestions, the Scout is asked to leave the room.  The board members then decide if the Scout isready for the next rank.  The board’sdecision must be unanimous. 

After the decision is made, the Scout is invited back intothe room and the Chairperson informs the Scout of the board’s decision.  If the Scout is approved for the next rank,there are general congratulations, and the Scout is encouraged to continueadvancing.  If there are issues, whichprevent the Scout from advancing, the board must detail the deficiencies so theScout can correct them.  The Scout mustbe told specifically what must be done in order to be successful at then nextBoard of Review.  The Chairperson sends awritten follow up to both the Scout and the Scoutmaster regarding thedeficiencies and the course of action needed to correct them.

The Chairperson should provide feedback to the Scoutmasterand Committee Chair as appropriate from the Scouts responses.  If there are areas of weakness in the Troop,that feedback should be used to improve the Scouting experience for allScouts.  If there were specific positivecomments, those should also be passed on.It may be difficult for a Scout to tell the Scoutmaster of things thatare not going well, encourage the Scout if they mention things and see that theinformation is used constructively.


Mechanics of an Eagle Boardof Review

The mechanics of a Board of Review for Eagle rank are similarto all other Boards of Review, except that this board is more in depth.  The Eagle Scout Rank application, Letters ofRecommendation, and Eagle Project notebook are reviewed by the board.  Questions can include asking about thesedocuments as well as areas used in lower rank reviews.  The letters of recommendation are for theboard’s use only; any comments or questions about them should not reveal whowrote the letters.  The letters areretained by the District Advancement Chairperson and are never given to theScout.  After the application has beenapproved by National Eagle Board of Review and returned to the local council,the letters of recommendation are destroyed.


The Nature of the Questions

The following sections contain typical Board of Reviewquestions for each rank.  The questionsfor the lower ranks tend to deal with factual information about the Scouts’participation in his troop, and his approach to applying the skills he haslearned toward earning the next rank.The questions for the higher ranks explore how Scouting is becoming anintegral part of the Scout’s life.Questions like, “Where did you learn about …” or “Why do you think it isimportant for a [rank] Scout to have this skill?” are valid, but don’t retestskills.

If a Scout appears nervous or anxious about the Board ofReview, it might be appropriate to ask one or two questions from the list for alower rank, to make him more at ease.  Ingeneral, in the following sections, within a rank, the questions are arrangedfrom “easiest” to “Most difficult”.

The questions are intended only to serve as a guide.  The board should ask questions which areappropriate for the particular Scout and his experiences.


What Every Scout Should Know


Scout Oath:

On my honor, I will do my best

To do my duty to God and my country

And to obey the Scout Law;

To help other people at all times;

To keep myself physically strong,

mentally awake, and morally straight.

AScout is














Scout Motto:



Scout Slogan:

                Doa good turn daily


Outdoor Code:

  As an American, I will do my best to

Be clean in my outdoor manners,

Be careful with fire,

Be considerate in the outdoors, and

Be conservation-minded.



If a Scout is not advancing or actively involved in Troop andpatrol activities, a Board of Review can be an option for learning why.  The meeting should be casual.  

A purpose of a non-advancement Board of Review is the helpthe Scout.  This type of board shouldonly be held if there is commitment from the adults to take action.  The action could be getting the Troop toimprove communication, it could be providing transportation, or sometimeelse. 

 The chairman of theboard should have the complete Scouts advancement record.  It is possible that the Scout has just gottenbusy with other activities and knowing what needs to be done to complete thenext rank is all he really needs.  Do notmake the Scout feel like he is not achieving.Remember the aims of Scouting are citizenship, character, and fitness,not advancement.


Sample questions

What do you like about Scouting?

What do you like about the Troop?

Tell us what would you like to see changed inthe Troop?

oThese things should be captured and ifappropriate, used to improve the Troop.

What outings do you like?

Does your patrol do patrol activities?

oIf yes, what are some recent activities?  Do you participate? 

Tell us what would you like to see changed inyour patrol?

oThese things should be captured and ifappropriate, used to improve the patrol.

oIf things are serious, perhaps the Scout shouldchange patrols.

What activities are you doing in addition toScouting?

Do you need transportation to the meetings oroutings?

oIf yes, the Chairperson should pass thisinformation onto the Committee Chair and Scoutmaster so that action can betaken.

What are your goals in Scouting?



Tenderfoot Rank


This is the Scout’s first experience with a Board ofReview.  The process may require someexplanation on the part of the Board of Review Chairperson.

The first few questions in the Board of Review should besimple.  The Board of Review should tryto gain a sense of how the Scout is filling in to the Troop, and the Scout’slevel of enjoyment of the Troop and the Patrol activities.

Encourage advancement to 2ndClass.  Point out that the Scout may havealready completed many of the requirements for 2nd Class.

The approximate time for this Board of Review is usually 15 –20 minutes.

Sample questions

When did you join the Troop?

What grade are you in?  What school?

What hobbies do you have?

What hobbies do you have?

What patrol are you in?  Does your patrol have a flag?

Why did you join Boy Scouts?

How many Troop meetings have you attended in thelast two months?

What did you do at your last patrol meeting?

Tell us about your last Troop campout.

Have you taken part in any serviceprojects?  Pick one and tell us about it.

What has been your favorite Troop activity?  Why?

If you were on a hike and got lost, what wouldyou do?

Where did you learn how to fold the Americanflag?  Tell us about your firstexperience with this skill.

What is the “Buddy System” that we use inScouting?  When do we use it?

Give us an example of how you obey the Scout Lawat home or at school.

What is a good turn?  What good turns have you done lately?


What does “On My Honor” mean to you?

Is there anything you would like to see changedin your patrol or the troop?

How (or how not) has Scouting been what youthought it would be?

What are your plans for earning 2ndClass rank?

2nd Class Rank


This is the Scout’s second Board of Review.  The process should be familiar, unless it hasbeen some time since the Board of Review for Tenderfoot.

Questions should focus on the use of the Scout skills learnedfor this rank, without retesting those skills.The Board of View should try to perceive how the Scout’s patrol isfunctioning, and how this Scout is functioning within his patrol.

Encourage work on the remaining requirements for 1stClass; many of the easier ones may have already been completed. 

The approximate time for this Board of Review is usually 15 –20 minutes.

Sample questions

How old are you?

Do you have a hero”?  If so, who and why?

Does your patrol have patrol meetings? What hasyour patrol being doing lately?  Do youfind them helpful?  Is there somethingthe troop can do to help your patrol have productive patrol meetings? 

Is there any part of the patrol program that youwould like changed?  How would you makethese changes?  What is the benefit ofthese changes?

Where did you go on your last Troopcampout?  Tell us about the trip.  What did you like about the outing?

What did you do for your service required forSecond Class?  What did you think of theproject?

Have you had a chance to cook outdoors?  What did you like about it?

What outdoor skills do you like best?

What part of scouting interests you the most?

Tell us about the flag ceremony in which youparticipated.

Did you attend summer camp with our Troop nextsummer?  If “Yes”: What are you lookingforward to doing at summer camp? If “No”: Why not?

Do you plan to attend summer camp with our Troopnext summer?  I    “Yes”: What are you looking forward todoing at summer camp?  If “No”: Why not?

What requirement for this rank was thehardest?  Easiest?

Have you started earning any merit badges? Whichone interest you, and why?

In the Scout Oath, what does “I will do my best”mean to you?

Do you ever do more than one Good TurnDaily?  What kinds?

How is it possible to live the Scout Oath andLaw in your daily life?

What does it mean to say, “A Scout isTrustworthy”?

The Scout Motto is “Be Prepared”.  What does it mean to you?

What do you think it means to be a Second ClassScout?  What should people expect of you?

What are your plans for First Class?

What is the first Leadership position you planto run for?

What suggestions do you have for improving ourTroop?


1st Class Rank


By this point the Scout should be comfortable with the Boardof Review process.

The Scout should be praised for his accomplishment inachieving 1st Class (particularly if he joined Boy Scouts less thana year ago).  In achieving the rank of 1stClass, the Scout should feel an additional sense of responsibility to the troopand to his patrol.


The 1st Class rank will produce additionalopportunities for the Scout (Order of the Arrow, leadership)

Merit badge will begin to play a role in future advancementto the Star and Life ranks.  Encouragemerit badge work if it has not already begun.

The approximate time for this Board of Review is usually 20minutes.

Sample questions

What grade are you in?

What is your favorite subject in school?

What do you tell your friends about the thingsyou learn and do in Scouts?

On average, how many Troop meetings do youattend each month?

What part of Troop meetings do you like?  Why?

Tell us about your last campout with theTroop.  Where did you go?  How did you help with meal preparation?  Di you have a good time?  Why or why not?

Why is it important for you to know how t otransport a person who has a broken leg?

Why is it important for you to be able torecognize local plant life?

How does your Patrol function as a team?  What part do you take in helping your Patrol?

Have you had a chance to teach the youngerScouts any of your recently earned scout skills?  What did you teach?

For this rank you met with a civil employee anddiscussed your constitutional rights and obligations.  Who did you meet with and why did you learnfrom your talk?

Do you think that your first aid knowledge willactually help you?  How?  Have you had an opportunity to use any of it?

Why are merit badges a part of Scouting?

What merit badges do you have?

Which merit badge was the most valuable toyou?  Why?

Who was Lord Baden-Powell?

How does a Scout fulfill his “Duty to Country”?

How do you define “Scout Spirit”?

What was the most challenging requirement?

If you had the opportunity to add or delete onerequirement for 1st Class, what would it be and why?

What point of the Scout Law is the hardest foryou to live up to?

What more does “Be Prepared” mean to a FirstClass Scout, than to a Second Class Scout?

What does “On my Honor” mean to you?

What are your plans for your progress towardStar?  Do you have a goal date when youwould like to make Star by?

What effect has Scouting had on your life?

Do you have a long term goal for your Scoutingcareer?

Star Rank


With the Star rank, emphasis is placed upon service toothers, merit badges, and leadership.Scout skills remain an important element for the Star Scout; however,the emphasis should be on teaching other Scouts these skills.

Explore how the Star scout can assist with leading his patroland troop.  Attempt to understand how theScouting philosophy is becoming part of the Scout’s life.

Often the Star rank is a place where Scout “stall out”.  Encourage the Scout to remain active, andparticipate fully in his patrol and troop.If the Scout appears to be looking for additional opportunities, suggestleadership positions such as Den Chief or Troop Guide.

The approximate time for this Board of Review is usually 20minutes.


Sample questions

What do you do with your spare time?

What other activities do you participate in?(i.e. Sports, music, etc.)

Who makes sure your uniform is clean and thepatches are all sewn on for you to wear?

What responsibilities do you have at home?

How have the Scout skills that you have learnedhelped you in a non-Scouting activity?

How many merit badges have you earned?  Which one was the most fun?  Which one was the most challenging?

What part do you take in the Troop meetings?

What leadership positions have you held outsideof your patrol?  What challenges did theypresent?  What are your personalleadership goals and objectives?

What service project did you work on to earnyour required hours for this rank?  Whatwas your job on the project?

How do you feel your patrol functions as a team?

Have you ever tried to change something (long orshort term) in your patrol?  What wasit?  Did you get the result you wanted?

What does it mean for a Star Scout to “BePrepared” on a daily basis?

What should the statement, “A Scout isTrustworthy” mean to a Star Scout?

What do you think the role of a Start Scout isin relationship to younger scouts?

What is our “Duty to God”?

What does it mean to say “A Scout is Loyal”?

How are the Scout Oath and Load part of yourdaily life?

What do others have a right to expect of a StarScout?

What point of the Scout Law is the most important toyou?  Why?

How are the Scout Oath and Law part of yourdaily life?

What is the Scout Slogan?  What type of “Good Turns” do you do?

What is the Outdoor Code?  Why is it important?

While working toward your Star did you learnanything that you would like to pass on to the younger Scouts?  What?

What have you learned that might help you as anadult?

What is your goal for reaching Life Scout? ?       Whatis your long term goal for Scouting?

What do you feel the troop can do most to helpthe younger Scouts so they will make it to Start and beyond?

If you could make one change in the merit badgeprogram (i.e. Structure, format, add a badge), what would you do?

What type of career interests you?  Have you looked into earning a related meritbadge?

If an Order of the Arrow member o Whendid you complete your “Ordeal”?  

o What does membership in OA signify?

Do you plan on achieving Life rank?

Life Rank


The Life rank is the final rank beforeEagle.  The Life Scout should be fullyparticipating in the Troop, with emphasis being placed on leadership in theunit, as well as teaching skills and leadership to the younger Scouts.


Merit badge work should be a regular part of the Scout’scareer.  Scouting values and conceptsshould be an integral part of the Scout’s daily life.

At this point, the Scout is starting to “give back toScouting” through leadership, training of other Scouts, recruiting, keepingScouts active in the program, etc.

Explore suggestions for improving the program.

The approximate time for this Board of Review is usually 20 –30 minutes.


Sample questions

How does Scouting influence your interactionswith people?

Have you ever left you had to defend yourselfbecause someone knew you are in Scouts?

Outside of Scouting, tell me about a time whenyou have had to be a leader.  How did itmake you feel afterward?

What are your hobbies?

Other than you parents, who do you think hasinfluence your life the most?  Why?  Whose life do you think you have the mostinfluence over?  Why?

Name one think you don’t like doing, but you doit anyway because you know it will please someone.  How do you feel afterward?

What has been your worst camping experience inScouting?

How many patrol meetings has your patrol held inthe last three months?  How many of themhave you attended?

What is your current (most recent) leadershipposition within the Troop?  How long haveyou held that position?  What particularchallenges does it present? What is Leadership?

Do you have any brothers or sisters who are inScouts (any level)?  What can you do toencourage them to continue with Scouts, and to move forward along the ScoutingTrail?

How do you choose between a school activity, aScout activity, and a family activity?

How many outings have you been on in the lastyear?  Which did you like to most andwhy?

Which scouting skill dodo you like themost?  Why?  Least?Why?

Is the Troop’s outdoor program adequate to develop skillsand maintain the interest of the Scouts?What changes would you make?

Why do you think that Star and Life Scouts arerequired to contribute so much time to service projects?  What service projects are most rewarding toyou?  Why?

Of the merit badges you have earned, which onedo you think will be of greatest value to you as an adult?  Why?

Why do you think that the three “Citizenship”merit badges are required for the Eagle rank?

What was the most difficult merit badge for youto earn?  How often did you meet withyour counselor on that one?

Who helps you or coaches you in preparing formerit badges?

Have you found any merit badges that you thinkare too hard for scouts to earn?  Whichones?  What makes them so difficult?

What does “A Scout is Brave” mean to you?

How can you personally help keep up the ScoutSpirit in the Troop?

What does “On My Honor” mean to you?

What is the most difficult part of the ScoutOath and Law for you to live up to in your daily life?  How do you over come it?

What have you done since becoming a Star Scout,in caring out additional responsibilities in the Troop?  Patrol?

Which service projects did you work on for therank of Life?  What did you do?

What do you like most about the PatrolMethod?  Least?

What role do you play in your Patrol?

What do you think is the most important skillfor a leader?  Why?

What does it mean to say, “A Scout is Reverent”?

The Scout Oath refers to “Duty to Self”; whatduty do we have to ourselves?

What do you think you can do to help youngerScouts?

If an Order of the Arrow member o Whatrole does OA play in Scouting?   o Whathonor do you hold in OA?   o Whatis the difference between Scout “ranks” and OA “honors”?

o What do you think about the OA program?

Have you thought about what you will need to dofor Eagle?  Have you begun to think aboutan Eagle Service Project?  What are youthinking about doing?


Eagle Rank


The Board of Review for the Eagle Rank is different from theother Board of Reviews in which the Scout has participated.  The members of the Board of Review are notall from hi Troop Committee.Introductions are essential, and a few “break in” questions may beappropriate.

At this point, the goal is to understand to Scout’s fullScouting experience, and how others can have similar meaning full Scoutingexperiences, Scouting principles and goalsshould be central to the Scout’s life; look for evidence of this.

Although this is the final rank, this is not the end of theScouting trail. “Once an Eagle, always an Eagle”.  Explore how this Eagle Scout will continuewith scouting activities, and continued service to his home, church, andcommunity.

The approximate time for this Board of Review is usually 30 –50 minutes.


Sample questions

What do you do in your spare time outside ofScout?

What would you suggest adding to the Scout Law(a 13th point)?  Why?

What one point could be removed from the ScoutLaw?  Why?

Why is it important to learn how to tie knotsand lash together poles and logs?

What is the difference between a “Hollywoodhero” and a real hero?

Can you give an example of someone who is a heroto you?  ( A real person, not a characterin a book or movie)

What do you consider the purpose of the meritbadge program?

What merit badge interested you the most andwhy?

Why do you think that the Family Life meritbadge is required for Eagle rank?

Have any merit badges sparked an interest thatmight lead you towards a career?

What camping experience have you had that youwish every Scout could have?

What is the role of the Senior Patrol Leader ata troop meeting, campout, or summer camp?

What do you do to help younger Scouts along thetrail?

Not counting your troop camping trips, what arethe best things you have done as a Scout?

What does the Scout “Good Turn” mean to you?

What is an Eagle Scout’s duty to his country?

If you could change one thing to improveScouting, what would you change?

What do you believe our society expects from anEagle Scout?

The charge to the Eagle requires that you giveback to scouting more than Scouting has given to you.  How do you propose to do that?

As an Eagle Scout, what can you personally do to improveyour unit?

What will you be doing in your unit, afterreceiving your Eagle Rank?

Tell us how you selected your Eagle serviceproject.

From your Eagle service project, what did youlearn about managing or leading people?What are the qualities of a good leader?

What part of you Eagle service project was themost challenging?  Why?

Did you have nay difficulty planning a serviceproject?  How did you choose yourproject?

What help did you have in order to complete yourproject?  Who?

If you were to manage another project similar toyour Eagle service project, what would you do differently to make the projectbetter or easier?

What are your future plans?

What do you think is the single biggest issuefacing Scouting in the future?

How do your fiends outside of Scouting reactwhen they learn that you are a Boy Scout?How do you feel about that?  Howdo you think they will react when they learn that you have                          become an EagleScout?

Why do you think that belief in God is part ofthe Scout Oath?

What one thing have you gained from yourScoutmaster’s conferences over the years?

How does an Eagle Scout continue to show ScoutSpirit?

Do you think that you will be able to rememberthe obligation of a Scout “to help others at all time” as you grow into anadult”?  What will help you remember thisfundamental?

If an Order of the Arrow member o Whatdoes OA membership mean to you?

o How does OA help Scouting and your unit?

Why should this board approve your request forthe Eagle rank?  


Eagle Palms


Eagle P alms are awarded for continued leadership and skillsdevelopment (merit badges) after the Eagle Rank has been earned.  The purpose of this Board of Review is toensure that the Eagle Scout remains active within the unit, contributes to theleadership of the unit, and assists with the growth of the other Scouts withinthe unit.

The approximate time for this Board of Review is usually 15minutes.


Sample questions 

As an eagle, have the Scout Oath and Law gainednew meaning for you?  How?

Since earning your Eagle, what merit badges haveyou earned?

Since your last Board of Review, in what serviceprojects have you participated?

How do you plan to continue your involvementwith Scouting?

What would you say to a Life Scout who is onlyminimally active within his unit, and who does not seem motivated to continuealong the Scouting Trail?

If a Life Scout was having difficulty selectingan Eagle service project, what would you suggest to him?

What is the primary role of the Scoutmaster?

How have you begun to “… give back to Scoutingmore than Scouting has given to you”