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An Eagle Board of Review study guide, created by Scouters

Update, Nov. 22 | The authors of the study guide have asked that it be removed. Read other Eagle Scout blog content at the links below.

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93 Comments on An Eagle Board of Review study guide, created by Scouters

  1. Another example of great Scouters doing awesome work when they find a need that National doesn’t supply.

    • bob Basement // December 2, 2013 at 1:07 pm // Reply

      You have no clue do you.

      Seriously if you need a study guide to be an Eagle scout then your journey was lost.

      But in a Scouting world of High Speed and low drag Troops, I understand the need, because what experiences doe a 13 year old Eagle candidate have to base his answers on???

      • Obviously you have no idea what YOU’R talking about. If you’ve ever been through a sing bor in your life you would understand that some people get nervous and forget something’s that happened years ago or some philosophical question about the scout law.

  2. Stuart R. Schwarzer // November 21, 2013 at 9:35 am // Reply

    How does this fit with the 2013 guide to advancement? Bringing parents and grandparents to the Eagle BOR seems contrary to guidelines. This kind of guide for youth needs vetting before it hits a BSA blog site.

  3. This whole topic is SO WRONG on so many different levels. I can’t believe the BSA has allowed it to be posted on one of it’s official sites!!!
    A Study Guide for a Scout? Scouting is NOT School, repeat, Scouting is NOT School. The Eagle Board of Review is a Scouts 6th BOR after at least 7 Scoutmaster conferences. The BSA is a youth development organization, one event builds onto the next in developing a young persons character, by using the 8 methods of Scouting, to achieve the Aims of Scouting to fulfill the mission of Scouting. The authors forgot all about this. Half of what is on this paper can’t even be used at any BOR as they are actually Test questions from test the Scout already past. Did the author not read the 2011 or 2013 Guide to Advancement? Where is a Scout’s Scoutmaster and/or Eagle Coach in all of this? This is what they are to discuss with the Scout in their conversations over time (Method: Adult Association). Someone (a lot of someones) need to go back and read their Leader manual and retake all of their training because they just did not get it. Scouting is Not School, no BOR should be designed to fail a certain percentage, no Scout should enter any BOR with ‘canned’ answers, Scouting Is NOT School.

  4. Matt Culbertson // November 21, 2013 at 9:42 am // Reply

    I have a similar document with only 43 questions that I’ve used for over 10 years. There are a few items listed that would be considered to be adding to the requirements such as #2-6 under Uniform. Bring your membership card?

    75-80% typically pass the first time??? Really??? That’s sad. Why not scare the scout? This is a time to celebrate not put fear into the scout.

    All the questions in the “In General” section are/should/could be covered in the Scoutmaster conference. #10 Saluting…when does a scout salute at his BOR? Making the Scout sign is not a salute.

    • Matt Culbertson // November 21, 2013 at 9:57 am // Reply

      Let me clarify..the document I use just has general questions, it is not a study guide given to the scout.

  5. Mary Bollker // November 21, 2013 at 9:50 am // Reply

    In the Eagle Board of Review study guide, they stated that in January 2014 a boy will need 22 merit badges. This is wrong the number remains at 21, the number of Eagle merit badges is increased by 1 (13) and the number for other merit badges is reduced (8)

  6. OMG!! This takes the cake! Next, we’re going to have to have a “study guide” for the proper conduct during a Troop Meeting!!

    Cheryl, your “guide” has a little merit but seriously, we don’t need a “study guide” for the Eagle Board of Review. This IS NOT AN EXAM — it is a DISCUSSION!!!

    Do you have “study guides” when you are talking with fellow employees over lunch? Does your firm provide “study guides” before they interview someone for a job?

    Perhaps I’m a bit crabby, and I haven’t had enough coffee this morning. But to ME, this is totally useless and unneccessary.

    As I mentioned, the Eagle (and all other) Board of Review is a DISCUSSION…a talk between the Scout and members of his Scouting and civic community. They talk about the Scout’s experiences in the Troop. They talk about the Scoutmaster or Coach or Advisor who helped guided him and others and gain some sort of degree of cooperation or static between them.
    They talk about the Scouting ideals and how has this young man applied those basic set of rules — the “3 and 12″, the Motto, the Slogan — in his daily life, not just his life as a member of the Howlin’ Hawks and Troop 123. They talk about this Scout’s ambition and life goals, and discuss the ways that he has so far worked himself toward those goals.

    ALL of this does NOT require the Scout to “study” anything. If anything, it requires the Scout to REFLECT up everything he’s done in Scouting from the time he joined the Troop and his Patrol to that evening. Sure, he can review the Scouting ideals; but if he’s been living them day by day, what’s to review?

    Yes, some Scouts have “performance anixety” and will look at you with the “deer attracted to the headlamps” stare for a bit. Until you ask him about his favorite meal he had camping, and what made it so yummy. Or a time in which he forgot something and thought of a way to “get around it”. Or how he helped a new Scout get “used to the Scouting stuff.” And why, why, why — not just “yes”, “no” and “I guess…” (whatever *that* means).

    I agree with Stuart — the Guide to Advancement is the “study guide” if there’s a need for one; and that should be shared between the adults on the Board. The Scout, however, does not need a study guide of any sort — the Scoutmaster/Mentor’s Conference should provide the guidance for how the Board of Review is going to go and any expectations (like dress nice, like don’t chew gum; like be polite, etc.) needed to be reminded to the Scout.

    But the SCOUT does NOT need a “study guide”. He needs to appear, be prepared to discuss his Scouting experiences, and remember the Scouting ideals.

    Again, and I stress this for emphasis: The Board of Review (at ANY rank!) is NOT a TEST or EXAM; therefore one does NOT “study” for it.

    (And Gramps and Meema and anyone else need to wait for the Eagle Court of Honor to take photos…remember that he’s NOT an Eagle until the Boy Scouts of America says he is. That may take a few weeks AFTER the Board of Review is complete — his “date of rank” is the date of the Board of Review; but he’s NOT an Eagle until the packet comes back with the certificate and card. A LOT of things can derail the process…and we don’t want to “coronate” the new Eagle until all of the “t’s” are crossed and the “i’s” are dotted!)

    • David McKenzie // November 21, 2013 at 4:24 pm // Reply

      Mike –
      You state that a Scout is not an Eagle until his packet comes back with the certificate and card. A Scout becomes an Eagle when his Eagle BOR committee unanimously agrees he has passed his Eagle BOR. Whatever date that happens on is the date the Scout became an Eagle. Where did you get the information about the packet? About your thoughts about the “Study Guide”, I agree with you!

      • Matt Culbertson // November 21, 2013 at 4:30 pm // Reply

        Passing his EBOR just completes Requirement 7. There is a small number of Eagle Apps that are not signed by the Scout Exec or have an issue when national processes them

        GTA: 9.0.1.10 National Advancement Team Returns Credentials
        The national Advancement Team validates all applications received. Then the National Distribution Center generates the credentials and prints, packages, and mails the certificate, pocket card, and congratulatory
        letter to the council.

        • David McKenzie // November 21, 2013 at 10:51 pm //

          Matt –
          Thanks for the info. I agree with on rqmt 7 but there are no other rqmts. The GTA you state doesn’t appear to me to be a requirement. From the GTA I can’t figure out what is supposed to be the date they become an Eagle. I would think if the small number of apps that you mention keep a scout from becoming and Eagle or delay the process then the date of becoming an Eagle is a moot point 1) if the exec doesn’t sign or 2) the delay from the scout exec or the crossing the ‘t’s and dotting the ‘i’s is just a delay in processing his Eagle paperwork.

        • Matt Culbertson // November 22, 2013 at 7:38 am //

          David…the Scout’s Eagle rank date is his EBOR date. On rare occasions there is adverse information not known by the EBOR that can cause the application not to get signed by the Scout Exec or processed at national.

      • David, Matt answered what I was going to post…that’s the source code for what happens to the packet.

      • bob Basement // December 2, 2013 at 1:08 pm // Reply

        I have met many adults who ended their youth scouting careers at other ranks that many adult eagles could learn a thing or two about.

    • Mike:
      I’m sitting on a Board of Review today. I think you simplified best.
      Happy Holidays

  7. I like some of the suggestions and content, but agree that a “Study Guide” is the wrong way to approach preparing for an Eagle Board of Review. Aside from the obvious errors noted above (parents, number of merit badges). I am glad that my Scouts do not have only a 75-80% pass rate. Since they only get one Board of Review, I would hope that passing is almost a given. I have run about 800 Eagle Scout boards of review and except for what is not called a “Board of Review under disputed circumstances” I have not had one Scout “Fail” his board of review. This should have been reviewed and corrected before posting on an official web site. The only way I will be putting a link to this on my “Eagle Scout Information” web site woudl be with a disclaimer and corrections, or a correted version.

    • I’m fine with calling it a study guide, personally, because it parallels study guides found in grade school or college. Neither this study guide nor those found in schools are substitutes for the actual work leading up to the “test” (though boards of review shouldn’t be considered tests). Both this study guide and study guides found in schools can help relieve stress and focus a student’s thoughts as he prepares by forcing him to consider all that’s been learned.

      To your second point of posting the guide here on this official BSA site, I hear you. I added a disclaimer above clarifying that this isn’t an official document. That said, I see this blog as a two-way street. It’s the perfect place to share these kinds of ideas and discuss their merits. My name’s on the blog, but it’s really written by and for all Scouters. That’s my hope, at least.

      • Matt Culbertson // November 21, 2013 at 4:41 pm // Reply

        I don’t believe study guides tell the “student” that 20-25% of you won’t pass. I’m pretty sure Eagle candidates self-inflict enough stress on themselves without having a statement like that in the guide.

        • Good point. That part sends a message we might not want to send soon-to-be Eagles.

        • Matt Culbertson // November 21, 2013 at 5:14 pm //

          Or give that illusion to EBOR members either

        • Besides, almost all of those that “don’t pass” the original board of review generally are passed in the appeal process, at least around here.

        • I find it hard to believe that 20-25% don’t pass their EBOR. As an Eagle Coach, I would never send a Scout to his BOR if I wasn’t sure he was 100% capable of passing it. That said, getting them ready does not include a study guide or practice questions. I may give him some very general ideas of topics that will be covered, such as: They’ll ask you about your project and what you learned from it; about your experiences in the troop; any high adventure trips you went on… etc.

        • Matt Culbertson // November 21, 2013 at 8:41 pm //

          “I may give him some very general ideas of topics that will be covered, such as: They’ll ask you about your project and what you learned from it; about your experiences in the troop; any high adventure trips you went on… etc.”

          Wait..wait…I’ve heard of this before…Oh yeah…it’s called a Scoutmaster Conference.

        • Yeah, he probably hears it there too!

        • Bill Nelson // November 22, 2013 at 7:37 am //

          I am hard pressed to not assume that as long as the paper work has been checked and is in order, with all the requirements passed, that not 100% of the Scouts that walk into a EBOR are not passed. If not, I would look first at how the EBOR is being conducted and how the prior checks are being conducted. Sure a Scout can make some kind of proclamation during his board that is against the Oath or Law and that could be problematic, but I would think that would be very rare. Other than that, I don’t see how a Scout could possibly fail an EBOR if everything is in order. If any district is failing 20% of their Eagle candidates at the BOR, something is probably amiss. What am I missing here?

  8. Most of these are very good and insightful. However, having sat on dozens of EBORs, I was disappointed to see two questions I ask regularly, which are fundamental to Scouting’s “values”, not covered in any form:
    1) What does “duty to God” mean to you? (HINT: versions of the “Golden Rule”, tenants of each one’s faith, any/many of the values of the Scout Law. Do not want to hear lack of faith or lack of belief in “higher being”)
    2) What does “duty to my country” mean to you? (HINT: protect our heritage & birthright as Americans [embodied in Declaration, Constitution & Bill of Rights - ie: Citizenship in Nation MB], vote consciously to defend our freedoms, serve my country [public. military, etc.], conserve our resources for future generations, and so on. Do not like to hear just: vote, pay taxes, obey laws, etc. — somewhat frivolous and superficial).
    Hope this is helpful to others.

  9. There are so many things wrong with this publication.
    As Mike Walton said, the Eagle BoR is a DISCUSSION, NOT AN EXAM!
    So what’s wrong? “Let me count the ways”:

    1. Class “A” uniform? What is a “Class A uniform? Can’t find that in the Guide to Awards and Insignia (2012 printing). (Remember, that is a military term; we are NOT the military)! Not required for ANY BoR although according to the GTA 2013, it is “preferred”.

    2.. Being asked for a current membership card? In all my 30-lpolus years of doing Eagle BoRs, I’ve never asked for a membership card. THAT IS ADDING TO THE REQUIREMENTS. A Scout probably doesn’t have a membership card. Besides, he may not have one especially if he is over the age of 18 (remember, an Eagle BOR CAN be conducted past a Scout’s 18th birthday – bu check the GTA 2013 for details!).

    3. “Bring your ‘blue’ merit badge cards.” In our council, in order to minimize delays when the Scout’s Eagle application doesn’t match what’s in ScoutNET, we have the Scouts include their “blue” cards when they submit their Eagle paperwork so in our case, a Scout would not have their blue cards to show at the BoR. Besides, what is the purpose of a Scout having their “blue” cards? Prior to the Eagle BoR, the Scout’s records is supposed to have been verified and any inconsistencies cleared up BEFORE he meets the BoR.

    4. “8. Be sure you know your Joining/Tenderfoot material”. What is the purpose of this? Remember, ANY BoR is NOT a retest! You can’t ask a Scout to perform an already signed off requirement. NOTE: You can ask about an experience a Scout may have had while completing a particular requirement.

    I’m not going on as there is too much wrong with this “Guide”. It sounds like this unit needs to read or re-read the GTA because a lot of this is in violation of the GTA 2013, i.e. adding to the requirements.

    Maybe the questions are acceptable, but a Scout should not be coached. We want the Scout to provide answers in their OWN words.

    And remember – NEVER, NEVER ask a question that can be answered with a Yes or No! I tell BoRs they should ask questions there required a “verbal essay”. Not a long answer, but more than just yes or No.

    Paul Yelk
    District Advancement and Recognition Chair
    Thunderbird District
    Inland Northwest Council
    Spokane WA
    “Once a Fox, always a Fox”

    • The EBOR is not a test or exam. It is a review. Our Council requires the candidate to be in full uniform. Every candidate from our troop has been asked to show their membership card. Every candidate has been asked to show their blue cards, show photos, project notes, etc. Every candidate has stood, given the Scout Salute and been asked to saw the Law, Oath, Outdoor Code, Motto and Slogan. No scout in our troop has ever been coached. However, we will try to prepare the candidate for what they may have been asked. You’ve got to admit, all the boys that come out of an EBOR will go to their next meeting and tell the other scouts what they were asked. It’s not a secret. Every EBOR that we have seen has lasted at least 1 hour plus the time it takes for the board to decide, which could be another 15-20 minutes. And, yes or no answers are simply not acceptable; any scout should be able to at least make up a sentence! Elaborate, that way you let the board know what you are talking about.

      And as far as that goes, I truly believe the 25% failure rate; we have all seen it in our Council in the past couple of years, and that is with all the appropriate project paperwork being signed off as completed and approved. Some kids freeze and are sent home as a “failure”. Little do they know, they will automatically be passed the second time around. We were told this by the Registrar, Scoutmaster and Advancement Chairman. Also, if you are 13 or 14 years of age, you will not be passed. If you are close to age 18, you will pass. I’m sure there will be a lot of flack coming from the age comment!!

      I wish everyone would have not come down so hard on the authors, they were only trying to do something good for others, trying to help future Eagle soar!

      • Meri,
        Just curious:

        Take a few minutes and read the Board of Review section of the Guide to Advancement

        http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/GuideToAdvancement/BoardsofReview.aspx

        What, are 20% being “flunked” for?

        • I Read the Guide to Advancement.
          The “study guide” does NOT say the candidate is required to wear the Class A uniform. Our council sends the candidate a letter indicating when and where their EBOR is. The states: “Please wear a complete, official uniform which includes: BSA shirt with properly placed insignia, neckerchief and slide or bolo BSA pants/shorts with BSA belt, BSA socks and Merit Badge sash. Bring your Boy Scout Handbook and ANYTHING else you may need to show the BOR (project pictures, letters of acknowledgement, blue cards, etc)”

          All Eagle Scouts from our troop have been asked to show their membership cards as well. They have also had to show blue cards, which in return, after the BOR have perused the cards, will ask the candidate some questions on their favorite or least favorite merit badges.

          As I stated before, each candidate from our troop and other troops have always been asked to stand, salute and say the Law, Oath, etc. This is what every scout has learned from day one and they should know it.

          The statement from another responder regarding the amount of merit badges, I believe this could have simply been a typo. Everyone in their right mind knows there are a total of 21 badges required for Eagle, that amount does not increase.

          Regarding parents, relative, etc attending BOR’s. They are not allowed to sit in on it, but in our council, you will find numerous relatives and other members of the troop sitting out in the common area.

          Another stated that you don’t have to hold a position of leadership. Read the Eagle Scout requirement #4. YOU DO

          Perhaps the 25% failure was high, but In the case of where we live, failure does happen. I know of one candidate who failed and returned 10 months later for another BOR. This was NOT done on appeal. This candidate was done with scouting and wasn’t coming back. The candidate did not request a BOR, the Scoutmaster did, without the candidate knowing about it. The candidate returned for his SECOND EBOR and passed with flying colors. (FYI: this candidate was told basically, come back when you are older. The EBOR bullied him, he was shy and quiet and was nervous. His project was approved, completed and signed off by the beneficiary. He had well over 40 merit badges.) This candidate successfully completed Eagle Scout requirements 1-6. So I am questioning 8.0.3.0 of the “Guide”, #10: An Eagle candidate may have only one Board of Review (though it may be adjourned and reconvened). Subsequent action falls under the appeals process. I’m sorry but #10 is absolutely FALSE!!

          Perhaps the authors of the “study guide” shouldn’t have put “hints” in, expected answers, or anything in italics.

          We see absolutely nothing wrong with the Eagle Project, Eagle Scout, merit badge and uniform section. At our council’s EBOR’s, the candidates are asked to explain the patches on their uniforms in detail. Also, nothing wrong with the scout history or family history. Section on Scouting in General: I believe this is the section that everyone on this blog is having trouble with. Perhaps this is the “testing” section nobody is agreeing with, but the EBOR asks it anyway.

          Where do you think this Scoutmaster, one of the authors, came up with his list of questions? Yes, it looks like some of them came for the list of 20 questions to ask which is online, but the remainder of them came from him sitting in on EBOR’s. I wouldn’t believe someone in a Scoutmaster’s caliber would make questions up. Sounds like the author did this on his own time, as a volunteer would.

          MDW who wrote into this blog on 11/22/13 . . . I really hope you go back to your council so your son can have his SECOND EBOR!!

          You better believe I am fired up!!

        • Matt Culbertson // November 23, 2013 at 3:44 pm //

          Meri…a few points for you to review again in the GTA

          From the Guide: 2. Be in full class “A” uniform. Sounds like a requirement to me. This is also repeated in the uniform section

          Membership cards: Totally unnecessary since the scout’s Eagle application is already certified by the council, he is registered and ready to go.

          Leadership position: what the posters said is that the scout does not need to be currently serving in a POR. Scout could have met the requirement earlier and if he’s past 18 at his BOR, he can’t be in a POR

          One EBOR is correct..your council is just doing it incorrectly. EBOR can be suspended or if a vote to deny is taken the scout can appeal.

          As I said before all 20 questions from a previous Blog are contained word for word in this “Guide”

        • Gary Holewinski // November 23, 2013 at 5:25 pm //

          NO a uniform is NOT and CANNOT be required. Here is the entire section directly from the Guide to Adv. Please read the entire passage.

          “It is preferred a Scout be in full field uniform for any board of review. He should wear as much of it as he owns, and it should be as correct as possible, with the badges worn properly. It may be the uniform as the members of his troop, team, crew, or ship wear it. If wearing all or part of the uniform is impractical for whatever reason, the candidate should be clean and neat in his appearance and dressed appropriately, according to his means, for the milestone marked by the occasion.Regardless of unit, district, or council expectations or rules, boards of review shall not reject candidates solely for reasons related to uniforming or attire, as long as they are dressed to the above description. Candidates shall not be required to purchase uniforming or clothing such as coats and ties to participate in a board of review.”

        • I would love to know the rationale of not requiring a uniform for the Eagle Scout Board of Review. Isn’t the uniform one of the aims and methods of Scouting? During FOS presentations, isn’t it sold to potential contributors that a portion of the funds collected goes to help Scouts who are in need?

          Is there not a single one of us who wouldn’t bend over backwards to make sure a Scout in need had a full uniform for their *Eagle* Board of Review?

          Years ago our Council decided to have a Council level Pinewood Derby. There were arguments about requiring the Scouts to wear their uniforms. The argument against it was about the kids from the “disadvantaged” and “Scoutreach” districts. So, the uniform requirement was removed. Guess which kids came in and looked the proudest in their *full* uniforms? You guessed it, the same kids that the rule was removed for. Kids from the more affluent towns and units were the ones who looked messier.

          I tell everyone of my Scouts to wear their full uniform to their Eagle Boards of Review. I don’t know of any leaders who say otherwise. I feel it is the right thing to do. Should one of them have a financial issue in regards to their uniform, or any of their other Scouting related costs, I and my leaders and the adults in our unit will find a way to make it happen.

        • Gary Holewinski // November 25, 2013 at 7:12 am //

          Uniform is a METHOD not and AIM. While all my Scouts have worn their uniform to EBOR no one can or should deny them BOR because of a lack of uniform. A uniform is not a requirement for anything (even though some folks would like to see it).

  10. This is wrong on many levels. There is quite a bit of good advice to Scouts in the first few pages. But these are all things Scouts should be learning in the course of their Troop experience on the Trail to Eagle. Not in a “study guide” before the EBOR.

    Likewise, many of the questions are great topics for any Scoutmaster conference or board of review along the Eagle Trail, but compiled as a “study guide” is simply the wrong approach and fails to reflect the goal of Eagle – that the Scout has learned and internalized Scouting’s values in preparation.

    The content of this document could be well served as a Guide to help Scoutmasters prepare their Scouts ALONG THE WAY to their EBOR. It could identify what types of presentation, conduct and discussions a Scout should expect, and the unit then cultivates that through its own program expectations over the course of the Scout’s participation for several years, not as a “cram for the test” study guide.

    I’m amazed that this would be posted to a national blog as a recommended document.

  11. I have a question…..or rather my son does. This guide states that “a Scout must be holding a leadership position when they are going for Eagle”.
    He’s never read this in any other publication. Leadership positions are required for advancement, but at the time they are going for Eagle? Scouts have already fulfilled the leadership requirements before approaching the BoR.
    Is this incorrect or has it changed?

    • Stuart R. Schwarzer // November 21, 2013 at 11:14 am // Reply

      Eagle requirement #4: “While a Life Scout serve actively in your unit for a period of six months in one or more of the following positions of responsibility. List only those positions served after your Life board of review date.” There are then two paragraphs listing the positions that may be applied to this requirement. (2013 Boy Scout Requirements, p. 16)

      • Rachel, Stuart is absolutely correct with the reference; however I remind you that Eagle IS an advancement — and the Scout should be holding a leadership role (or an equal role as a Lone Boy Scout) prior to the Eagle Board of Review. He does not have to be *currently serving* in that role (for instance, if he’s 18, he can’t serve in a Troop youth leadership role but may be an Assistant Scoutmaster if so registered) at the time of the Eagle Board of Review. But clearly he must have served in one of the key leadership roles between the time after his last Board of Review (the Life Scout one) and the present.

      • As long as the Scout has held a Position of Responsibility listed in the requirements for Eagle Scout for 6 months after his Life BOR then he is fine. HE DOES NOT HAVE TO BE IN THE POSITION AT THE TIME OF THE BOARD

    • H. David Pendleton // November 21, 2013 at 11:20 am // Reply

      A Scout must serve in a Position of Responsibility (POR) for 6 months after obtaining the rank of Life Scout. There is NO requirement to be actively holding a position when the BOR meets.

  12. W. Charles Seris // November 21, 2013 at 11:17 am // Reply

    I’ve been an Eagle Board Chair over 10 years with well over 350 Eagles reviewed, and we often conduct BORs at camporees, OA reunions or conclaves, NYLT or summer camp. Seeing a young man in a Scouting venue demonstrates Scout spirit. And we don’t mind muddy boots. My teams of reviewers usually know and have seen the youth they are reviewing in Scouting and non-Scouting venues and are aware of their involvement in Scouting and other activities. This “study guide” is mostly a guide to things that YOUR board adds to the requirements to become an Eagle.

  13. H. David Pendleton // November 21, 2013 at 11:31 am // Reply

    I haven’t sat on many Eagle BORs (my son just crossed over in February 2013) and they were nothing like this study guide made them out to be. The District provided one representative to the BOR, but the other four BOR members came from the Troop Committee.

    Several of us had some stock questions for Eagle BORs that have been posted on line previously. The District Rep asked the 1st question & then it rotated to the left so that everyone got to ask several questions. Our BOR did not “test” the Scout on anything whether it was how many stars are on the flag or what knot to use it a certain situation. All these type “test” questions are out-of-bounds according to the 2013 GTA. The focus was on how the Scout felt about his Scouting experience, his plans for the future, and how me might represent himself as an Eagle in the future.

    As another posted previously stated, the questions often asked the Scout to reflect back on his Scouting experiences and how they might effect his future.

    Initially on the first page or so of the “Guide,” I thought this might be a worthwhile thing but the more I read, the more it became clear that this was prepping a Scout for a “test” rather than a BOR.

  14. Hmmm… lots of good pros and cons to this discussion. A few weeks ago we had an EBOR for a Scout and one of the adults participating has a son who is coming up for his EBOR soon as well. Throughout the BOR he was writing down the questions that were asked and told us it was so he could help his son prep for his EBOR. I felt uncomfortable with that and told him so and that while I didn’t mind if he let his son know about general areas or topics, to please not give him specific questions to prepare for. Because, not only do we want them to be his off-the-top-of-his-head responses, but also we may not ask the same questions in the next BOR.

    I agree that some of the questions in the “study guide” are borderline inappropriate and might be considered re-testing. I also feel that this type of document is more helpful to the adult board participants. I have never worried about the scout being able answer the questions, but I have had many adults on boards that really have no clue what to ask or how a board functions. (Yes, we need to do some parent training in our troop).

    Keep in mind that the authors of this document meant well and believe they are performing a service by creating and distributing it. Kudos to them for trying! As for Bryan… well in the media business we like to say: “Don’t kill the messenger.” But sometimes we need to take the gatekeeper to task! Good fodder for CIVIL discussion, at any rate!

  15. This is absurd. And pathetic. If a scout needs this information for their Eagle Board of Review, then we have done them a huge disservice in not preparing him during his time as a Tenderfoot, 2nd class, 1st class, Star and Life scout. By the time Eagle comes around, this should be old hat.

    I would be embarrassed if I thought I needed to hand this to a young man prior to his Eagle Board of Review.

  16. I concur with Matt Kreps, Mike Walton, Matt Culbertson, and others. I don’t see any reason to add other than…Where did someone get the idea that an Eagle candidate needs to study for his board of review?

    The next thing we’ll see would be mock Eagle boards of review to prepare the Scout. By the way, that is definitely discouraged according to the GTA Topic 8.0.1.0.

    That district definitely misses the point of what the board of review is all about and should consider revisiting the GTA and, perhaps, attending some of the conferences available for advancement to discuss it further. One is coming up in January at the Florida Sea Base.

    • H. David Pendleton // November 21, 2013 at 12:18 pm // Reply

      @ Lou: I saw either here on Bryan’s Blog or on LinkedIn where some Troop actually would run their Life Scouts through a mock Eagle BOR before they would do the actual one. Thus, there are some Troops out there doing stuff directly against the GTA.

      • Mock Eagle BORs are discouraged by the GTA but they are not forbidden. Some troops like them, however I think they simply add more stress into an already stressful situation. If the EBOR is really a discussion, and not a test, then it really is hard to prepare for it. The Scout’s scouting experience is his preparation. And that is what it is.

        Having said that, it may be of some benefit to review what the Guide to Advancement says about this sort of preparation:

        “The BSA discourages mock or practice boards of review.”Practice” reviews may imply that board members will ask predetermined questions or that the board of review is anticipated to be other than a positive experience.Instead, the advancement committee should aim for unrehearsed, spontaneous answers revealing character,citizenship, and personal fitness at the boards of review.”
        – 8.0.1.0 Conducting the Board of Review

      • bob Basement // December 2, 2013 at 1:13 pm // Reply

        How sad is that?

        An Eagle that can’t stand on his own two feet in front of a group of adults.

        Troops that don’t actually hold board of reviews.

  17. Tip of the hat to Cheryl and Craig for sharing their work with other Scouters!

    Like most things posted online it is up to you to use it or not as you see fit. The fact that it has been “posted on an official BSA site” does not change this.

    While I understand that many Scoutmasters cover what issues to expect in a EBOR some do it better than others and some scouts still need additional reassurance, despite the fact that they have had previous SM conferences and BOR’s. Much of the material in this guide can be used to further help those scouts and to provide information for inquisitive parents.

    Take the good from it as you will and use it appropriately, or reject it outright, that is your option. However, lets lighten up on the Scouters who created it and applaud their willingness to share it – and this includes Bryan.

    • I like what Mark has posted here…. and I hope Cheryl and Craig have some strong armor on. You know it really is nice to see Scouters willing to share their work and I am very grateful for them to do so.

  18. Scoutmaster501 // November 21, 2013 at 1:44 pm // Reply

    I do not like this at all… A study guide for Eagle Scouts ??? The purpose is to hear from the boys… if they know the questions going in, they will already have stock answers ready. On any Eagle BOR I have sat on, we stress heavily that the questions they answer SHOULD NOT be shared with troop members coming up for Eagle.

  19. Gary Holewinski // November 21, 2013 at 2:13 pm // Reply

    This is so wrong for a variety of reasons. Bring your membership card, project pictures, really! The Eagle application verified by your registrar should be all you need. As far as pictures those should already be in your Eagle project book. Pictures? Those should be reserved for the ECOH. As others have pointed out you aren’t an Eagle until it comes back from National. This is supposed to be about the boy’s Scouting experience not about a check off system. What would happen if a Scout “prepped” and someone asked a questions that wasn’t on the list? We are SO fortunate to have a great DAC, it sounds as if these folks don’t; very sad.

  20. Good idea, Bad execution.

    To the question of “should such a guide exist in any format?” … Yes. Board members need a list of questions, and in this internet age, if it exists, it’s going to be on the internet somewhere. Might as well dismiss the question of “if”, and focus on what the goal should be, and how to do it well.

    I agree with previous authors — “study guide” is way off the mark. “Discussion guide” would be far closer. Not a list of things to study for memorization, but rather a list of good things to think about.

    Beyond that — there’s a fistful of inaccuracies in this guide — if we’re going to have such a thing on an official website, we should at least have it vetted for accuracy (22 merit badges? c’mon …)

    Further beyond that, this guide proposes that certain questions have right/wrong answers that shouldn’t. The one in particular that really got my blood pressure up was
    4. What has driven you to achieve Eagle Scout rank? (HINT: DO NOT ANSWER BECAUSE MY MOM/DAD WANTED ME TO!!)

    Actually, if that’s the true answer, then give that answer, and don’t let anyone convince you that the truth is the wrong answer. Just be ready to talk about it.

    • Stuart R. Schwarzer // November 21, 2013 at 3:36 pm // Reply

      John, please permit me to second each of your comments! You expressed my initial reactions in much better detail than I did.

      • Thanks, Stuart — I almost didn’t bother after all the prior discussion. I feel better about spending the time now!

        @Bryan, you got the group fired up!

        • Indeed! I welcome a courteous discussion, which this has been. Even if it’s mainly people whose views differ from mine.

  21. Dale Karweik // November 21, 2013 at 3:16 pm // Reply

    I find this study guide to be a very good example of people not understanding the purpose and procedures of the Eagle Board of Review. I strongly hope it will be totally ignored by every Eagle candidate I have the opportunity to meet at an Eagle Board. I certainly hope it will not be a presence in the District I work with.

  22. Thank you for sharing this! I am always interested in hearing how others approach the mentoring aspect of scouting. While I agree with some of the comments regarding re-testing of materials, I see nothing wrong with providing a guide to help someone organize their thoughts. By the time a scout has gotten to this point, they are probably a bit frazzled. I think some of these questions help a scout pause and reflect on what they have done.

  23. Steven Moore // November 21, 2013 at 9:06 pm // Reply

    I said my peace on the Face Book post, but just so I can say it here:
    Okay, I know this will hit a nerve, but need to say my peace. This article is a pure example of what is WRONG with Scouting today.
    The questions asked, the description of expected answers, the miniture details of uniform patch descriptions. It’s over the top, and detracts from the purpose of the BoR. Yes, I agree with some of the questions being asked….but some of them I was like, “are you kidding me.”
    The Board of Reveiw is just that…a review. Yes, you want to ensure the Scout will properly represent the rank, but this isn’t a military inspection. Yes, A Scout should have pride in their uniform, but if my 10+ years in BSA has taught me anything, it’s that there are different ways each unit, district, council, and region wears their uniform.
    My concern: How many leaders will read this, and think “OMG, I have to ask this question, I have to look for this item…or the Scout can’t possibly reprepsent the Eagle Rank.” As a 2nd generation Eagle, who’s brother is an Eagle, and who’s son is in Cubs…I really hope this kind of nit-pick isn’t present and gets cleaned up by National!

  24. Gary Holewinski // November 22, 2013 at 7:29 am // Reply

    I think Earl sums up what many of have been saying. An Eagle BOR is a discussion of where the Scout has been, how he views the program and his unit, what worked well, what didn’t work so well and possibly what didn’t work at all. It has absolutely nothing to do with memberships cards and clean boots and all the other meaningless minutiae it’s about his experience.

    The other thing that has come up is 25% failure??? Where did this come from? I’ve only HEARD about a couple of failed EBORs. Does this district purposely do this, do they have a desired failure rate in the misguided thought that a failure rate will make the Eagle more special? When a Scout goes in for his EBOR, unless there is a “surprise” there should be little question that he is an Eagle. His project has been checked and signed off before he started and when he finished so while the project is a good topic of discussion a Scout shouldn’t “fail” an EBOR because of his completed, signed off project. Similarly, his application has been completed checked and signed off by the council registrar attesting that the Scout has met the specified requirements. So I ask you, if the boy has his signed off project and his signed off application how often should we expect to see a “failed” EBOR? He’s already successfully completed all the requirements?

    Having been at 5 EBORs over the past 6 months in the role of SM, introducing my Scouts and answering any questions the members have (almost always before the Scout comes in) everyone is told that everything that happens in the EBOR stays in the EBOR. I would think that sharing specific questions violates this wouldn’t you?
    I do tell the boys that they will be asked about their Scouting experience. I explain that no one is trying to trick them or trip them up, everyone wants to talk with them about Scouting; what they think about it; what was great and what could be better. They want insights that might help other Scouts coming behind.

    So why does anyone need a study guide unless adults in certain districts are hijacking the process and trying to be uber gatekeepers? Just wondering.

    • “Uber gatekeepers” that is what happened to my son last month. He was so shook up he couldn’t form a complete sentence. Apparently, he was taking 2-3 minutes to answer questions and was sent away for 6 months and told to come back when “you are better able to demonstrate more confidence in your abilities and are better able to articulate your responses to the questions posed to you.”

      I’m still very disappointed in the anxiety-driven EBORs our district conducts. Every scout comes out crying–every scout!

      My son will remember this for the rest of his life and every time in the future he states he is an Eagle (if and when he decides to go back for another EBOR) he will remember the feeling of being cut off and told to go home and practice more. Even though he has completed all the requirements.

      I know there is an appeal process, I’m hoping it won’t come down to that. Our SM told us my son only has one more chance to “do it right,” my husband and I reminded him of the appeal process.

      • Gary Holewinski // November 22, 2013 at 11:57 am // Reply

        Our DAC folks tell the Scouts why they are there to talk about his Scouting experience. They explain how important it is for future Scouts, that we want to work towards the best possible experience. They find a way to compliment the Scout, maybe his project book or his MBs, something. They really do try and put the Scout at ease (as much as you can). BUT there are a lot of questions but thery’re not gottcha questions. They’re really questions about best and worst experiences, outings, MBs, Eagle MBs, troop experience, anything you would add or delete (and why). There are questions about the project. The members do a good job. The Scout is ushered out and there is a discussion and as SM I have been asked some questions. There was one instance where a board member was questioning the project. He was informed that it was approved at the beginning, the recipient was more than please and it was completed with some adjustments. The Scout never heard this.

        After a successful vote the Scout is brought in. He is congratulated on becoming an Eagle. He is told that he is not officially an Eagle until the paperwork comes back from Texas. He may say he has passed his EBOR but he cannot say he is an Eagle. Everyone then shakes his hand and congratulates him.

        I can only guess that if a Scout had trouble answering questions the person chairing the board would make every effort to calm his fears and give him every chance. I think by explaining the purpose at the start nerves aren’t as bad.

      • Stuart R. Schwarzer // November 22, 2013 at 2:38 pm // Reply

        MDW: If all is as you say, your son and the other Eagle candidates of your district are being (emotionally) abused. This should be stopped by your Scout Executive forthwith. The EBOR should be a growth experience for the Scout and an opportunity for him to express himself about his Scouting experiences. The chairman should set the tone of friendliness and concern for the candidate; no one should be bullying an Eagle candidate. I hope your son pulls it all together and goes back to that EBOR and takes it by storm! Please accept my best wishes for his future.

      • MDW give your Council Advancement Chairman a call, this doesn’t smell right. Unless your son was completely mute, the board over stepped their authority.

        It isn’t a test; and if what you say is true about Scouts in your district all coming out crying, something is seriously wrong.

      • Your comment on the anxiety the EBOR members caused should be enough for you to become your son’s advocate and appeal this decision to not award him his Eagle even though its being masked as a “delay”. If the council advancement chair does not know this is happening, nothing will change and this board will continue to do this to other scouts. Please call your council advancement chairman and have a discussion with them for your son’s and all others who come after him. He worked too hard to achieve this award and the council advancement chairman needs to know what has happen and so this will not happen again.

      • Matt Culbertson // November 22, 2013 at 7:29 pm // Reply

        As nuts as this is, did your son agree to go away for 6 months and come back? If yes, did he receive a letter from the EBOR chairman explaining what is needed? If not then go directly to the appeal process.

        As stated by others if this is a recurring theme, please contact the Council Advancement Chair and the Advancement Committee’s professional advisor. 6 months is an unreasonable amount of time to have to reconvene his EBOR.

      • MDW
        I hope you go back into this blog!! Make sure you read my reply to Paul Yelk and Bill Nelson. Your son is ENTITILED TO A SECOND EBOR!! The same thing happened to another boy; he was shy, quiet and nervous. EBOR told him “return when you are older.” Ended up he was humiliated and didn’t want to return. He returned for his SECOND EBOR and passed.

      • bob Basement // December 2, 2013 at 1:16 pm // Reply

        So whose fault is this???

        The SM and CC for not holding formal board of review. Our CC much to his credit holds all BOR like an Eagle board. So our boys are not nervous or anxious about it.

        How sad you are already looking at the appeal process??? Why not give your boy some credit.

        I gotta ask how old is he????

  25. Matt Culbertson // November 22, 2013 at 9:15 am // Reply

    All 20 questions from the 20 questions to ask at your next EBOR blog topic are contained in the removed document.

  26. Typical Scouting. Someone shares or does something that works for them with their unit or in their area and gets attacked. So, the badgers win again, the people who wrote the guide that was the subject of this post have asked to have it taken down. Congratulations, another volunteer who will have a bad taste in their mouth about Scouting and Scouters.

    • Jo Pop,
      Maybe, I hope not. I’ve been in their shoes a few times.

      • I guess it should be nice to hear that there are SO many perfect units and Councils out there that do nothing wrong and absolutely everything is done “by the book”. As we all know, the paid executives in Texas know what works in every situation and only have the youth’s best interests at heart. (I had a hard time typing that last line with a straight face)

    • Matt Culbertson // November 22, 2013 at 10:25 am // Reply

      Jo Pop…the concern of many of the posters is that we are handing what appears to be an unvetted document to a Life Scout that has so many inaccuracies, items that add to the requirements and giving hints on what to say. You can argue if this type of document is necessary for a scout to pass his EBOR (NOT) or if it could be more useful to the EBOR members, particularly folks that are not in scouting but are invited to participate.

      You could just make this into a merit badge worksheet and have him mail it in with his application or you could have a meaningful dialogue with a young man who is our future.

      The “Best” study guide I ever saw at an EBOR was a worn out, falling apart BS Handbook.

      • I’ve heard a phrase many times that “All Scouting is local”. The person who shared that guide shared it because it is something that worked for them at the local level, and they were proud of it and wanted to share it. No one was forcing anyone else to use it. Did it follow all of the “official” guidelines? Nope. Did it “add to” the requirements a bit? Probably. But it was working for them. If it was so bad, their Council or National would have stepped in and stopped them from doing it the way that they were.

        • Matt Culbertson // November 22, 2013 at 10:54 am //

          Their document has no date so we do not know how long this has been written or if it has been inflicted on any scouts yet. The 20 questions they copied from Bryan’s previous blog were from Sept 2012 if I read that right so it had to be done after that. We also don’t know if anyone in either or the authors councils ever saw this so we cannot determine if they agreed with the contents.

          Handing this to a scout with a statement about a 25% failure rate is enough for me to chime in and give my opinion. Certainly their Council Adv Comms must be aware of “how it’s working” since they must have their hands full with appeals.

        • So Matt, do you think that telling kids that everyone passes is a good thing? Not that it matters, it’s pretty much common knowledge that almost everyone wins “Eagle by Protest” on appeal anyway.

        • Matt Culbertson // November 22, 2013 at 12:38 pm //

          Never said that since not everyone does. Scouts “win” appeals because they have met the requirements. One troop I recently did an appeal on wanted the scout to be active “some more” even though they had signed off his active requirement. There are some who did not meet the requirements such as one that had his Mother do his EP and she kept the donations who did not “Win” their appeal.

        • Had an Scout in our area get Eagle by appeal for his Scoutmaster conference and board of review. No one in his unit would sign off on it. He did the merit badges, but no leadership with his project, never showed leadership at the unit level. Mom just went the appeal route and won. Almost no one from his Troop showed up the Court of Honor.

          Another Scout didn’t even finish his project until he was 18, did the paperwork and filed it when he was almost 19. Unit wouldn’t sign off because of a lack of demonstrated leadership, not being active since obtaining Life and so on. Another Eagle by appeal.

          Another Scout showed up to his Eagle project to put in the birdhouses built by a professional carpenter from kits with no direction from the Eagle. When he showed up the “beneficiary” didn’t know who he was or why he was there. No one recognized the name or the signature. He didn’t have any tools or equipment to put the poles up. Another Eagle by appeal.

          12 year old Scout built a sundial in a park by himself with his mother as an Eagle project. Yup, you guessed it.

          The kids know and hear about these situations…

        • Matt Culbertson // November 22, 2013 at 7:13 pm //

          Jo Pop…I can’t point-counterpoint the appeal situations you describe since I don’t have all the information or how long ago these occurred. I will say that in my experience, when leaders won’t sign off on requirements there are breakdowns in the scout’s progress that should have been addressed long before we get to an EBOR time. Not showing leadership in a POR, not active, poor or non existent planning and execution of EPs can sometimes be tied to letting the scout slide along. If you don’t take action when a scout isn’t performing his POR and time passes. the requirement is met. If there are no expectations for active participation and 6 months go by, he met the requirement. The checks and balances of the EP process at least around here would have precluded the sundial and no beneficiary scenarios. The EBOR sometimes places the Appeal Board in a position where they have no option than to overturn the EBOR. Statements like “I didn’t think he was active enough” or “he was a lousy PL” don’t really give the Appeal board much to go on.

    • The “guide” was removed because it was not accurate, Jo. It had nothing to do with “badgers” nor “attacking” anyone. Surely you would not want them to distribute a document with so many errors?

      What was needed was the two of them to fact-check their document against the BSA’s official publications, especially the Guide to Advancement. Much if not all of the comments we are discussion can be found within the pages of that publication (which by the way, has been written and edited by volunteers!)

      • It was not put out there as a publication of the BSA, who’s paid executives certainly know what works for Scouting at each of our local levels than we do. It was put out there as something that worked for people in their area, with their people.

        Does everyone here ask the BSA to recall every issue of Boys Life or Scouting where the uniform is shown being incorrectly worn or with patches in the wrong places?

        The way people “attacked” the publication was not very friendly or kind, two of the tenets we hold dear in Scouting. Certainly not helpful because no one asked why they did things a certain way, so many just jumped on the bandwagon that the rules were violated, etc. Maybe there are reasons that they do things that way.

        I doubt anyone can say they follow all of the rules as written. No more no less? Can you say merit badge fairs or summer camp merit badges? Uniforms? How many leaders do you see with their uniform shirt tucked into a pair of jeans? How many kids and adults do you see wearing their jamboree uniform a year after the jamboree ends? No driving in caravans to a location.

        I think this could have been handled in a different way. Had Bryan put this forth as something that we all should do or inferred that it was a National thing, that would have been a different story.

        • You’re egging for an argument, Jo, but you’re not gonna get one from me. The Guide to Advanement was written by some 27 volunteers and edited by another 17 or 18 volunteers. The BSA’s “paid executives” work under direction of volunteers. and that includes the two professionals who manage the BSA’s Boy Scout advancement programs for us on a daily basis.

          Discussion groups and forums like this one isn’t the “cleanest” form of discussion, but it is a form of discussion. While you say that some of us may not be “friendly or kind”, I would submit that perhaps the authors were “brave” in their forwarding of their publication. I also submit that Bryan “did his best” because he’s NOT a authority on advancement but rather the editor of one of our magazines. Should he, as I wrote earlier, walk it down the hallway to the Program suite and asked a couple of the staffers there to take a look at it? Should he, upon receipt, say “nice stuff…let me staff this with the advancement team before I post it…” Sure on both accounts. He didn’t. Instead he posted and *asked for OUR COMMENTS* which we did. That’s being loyal and courteous to the program and to all of us.

          He didn’t infer it as having “national approval,”, Jo. Bryan asked for our feedback here, and we gave it. That’s the Scouting program I want to be a part of…not perfect, but at the same time, asking “the field” if “this smelled good or bad”.

          In this case, it didn’t have a pleasant aroma at all and those of us who smelled it, not only held our noses but also pointed why it was bad smelling (and some ways to remove the smell).

        • H. David Pendleton // November 24, 2013 at 8:02 am //

          Sometimes being “kind” to avoid hurting someone’s feelings violate some of the other points of the Scout Law starting with honestly. While honesty is not a point of the SL, it is part of being trustworthy. Scouters were also being loyal to BSA for pointing out errors & helpful in providing the gift of feedback.

          Sometimes real kindness is being truthful so the emperor is not marching down the street in his underwear.

  27. You know, as I was reading through the latest comments in this discussion, I was thinking that any Eagle Candidate worth his salt would go out and google “Eagle Board of Review questions” in preparation for his BOR… so I did: About 1,450,000 results were returned. Guess we’re not breaking new ground here. No real point to my post… just more food for thought.
    TG

  28. A contributing editor for Guns & Ammo magazine was fired this month after he wrote a column suggesting regulations on gun ownership were both sensible and inevitable. Shortly thereafter the magazine’s editor himself was handed early retirement for allowing such a prickly column to be published in the first place. Both men claimed the article was intended to “generate a healthy exchange of ideas on gun rights and the 2nd Amendment”.
    Well, that healthy exchange backfired on them, just as this Study Guide nonsense seems to be doing on Bryan. A Study Guide for Eagle BOR’s is utter nonsense. “…study guides found in schools can help relieve stress and focus a student’s thoughts as he prepares by forcing him to consider all that’s been learned.” Really? Really! So much for self-reliance.
    For once, I think Kreps and I actually agree on something. I too am shocked that this sort of thing would ever be allowed to be posted on a BSA sponsored blog in the first place. From reading many of these blog responses, I think you should be getting the message loud and clear by now.
    So Bryan, any resignations in your future?

    • No.

    • Max, you have to remember that this is a BLOG, NOT an official BSA publication…unless Bryan or others state and/or reference BSA publication or information. So no, Bryan provided information and yes, he or a member of the SCOUTING mag team should have walked this down the hallway to the Program guys for their look-see. But this isn’t a matter of “assigning blame”, but rather “hey, let’s remove this and ask the authors to review and revise it which will bounce against the official BSA publications”.

      • Do we really want the BSA to review and revise every document that units, districts and councils use as guidelines, policies and so on? I shudder at the thought.

        However, perhaps a disclaimer stating something along the lines of:

        “The attached document has not yet been reviewed by all of the self appointed Scouting rules lawyers on the Internet, the State Department or Wayne Brock. It is being presented here as something that works for the people that are presenting it for you to see and for a general discussion about it and why it works for them. If this offends you, might we suggest you move on to a less controversial topic.”

      • Mike: Please read the rest of the blog’s home page.

        “Bryan on Scouting is the official blog of Scouting magazine, a Boy Scouts of America publication.”

        Sure appears to be a BSA sponsored product to me.

        After skimming thru the responses it was pretty clear to me that the entire subject should have been taken off the blog at the same time the study guide was removed. I see no healthy exchange going on here.

  29. Just like the Facebook or Twitter feed is the “official” forum of the BSA, the people (including the editor/manager) of those forums may work for or support the BSA, they have a life and posts items independent of the BSA *unless as I stated, the comment is accompanied by a line stating it IS a statement of the BSA*

    Byran’s blog is no different. Just because it is a part of the BSA’s online version of the magazine, doesn’t make all of the content official BSA policy.

    Perhaps Bryan can add a line to that “official blog of Scouting Magazine…” stating that opinions and comments, unless accompanied by a named source, are those of the author or Bryan’s and may not reflect official BSA policy, procedure or current programming.

  30. As a previous Scout, no longer active what saddens me the most is that a study guide is even considered. Someone spoke to it earlier the Eagle Scout that passes the board shares the information with Scouts that are starting along the path. Scouts helping scouts along their path. That is the path of leadership, the circle of scouting it seems to be circumvented when we offer short cuts or easier ways. I am grateful to my scoutmasters for providing an environment of learning but the Youth Leadership is where the learning occured.

  31. I write this without having seen the “study guide” in question or the 20 questions to ask at an EBOR. I arrived at this blog by googling “who may come to an Eagle Board of Review” and have spent the last half hour reading all the “opinions” and emotional comments. I should mention that I have helped develop the Advancement team in our District, although I am no longer on it, but was for over 10 years. The EBOR “procedure” I describe below comes from many people’s ideas who come from many different councils and experiences over the years.

    In our District, when a Scout is contacted for his Eagle Board of Review, he is asked to bring any mentors, his family and his Scoutmaster or Assistant Scoutmaster, along with his filled in (requirements initialed) Boy Scout handbook.

    To begin with the entire group is invited into the same room. The Scout introduces who he brought along and the EBOR chair introduces the board members. The Scout leads the group in a salute to the flag and then the Scout is asked to leave the room. For a few minutes those that the Scout invited are asked to tell a bit about the Scout; who he is as a son, brother or student, etc. We call it “brag time” for the parents and is a way for the EBOR to get to know a bit more about the Eagle candidate. Once all has told their “stories” about the Scout, the group (with the exception of the SM or ASM) is asked to exchange places with the Scout and the EBOR begins. The SM or ASM is there only as an observer and can be called upon by the board to answer minor questions. The first thing we ask is that the Scout say the Scout Oath and Law, but we never hold it against him if nerves cause him to falter while doing so. It simply sets the tone for what is to follow since we are reviewing his “Scout Spirit” amongst other things.

    Our EBOR are formal but low-stress and intended as a way to learn about the Scout’s entire experience as a Scout, which includes how he managed his Scouting along with keeping up with family, school, sports or other activities. We ask about his MBs and which one was the most challenging, which he feels will be of most help in his future, etc. Of course, we also ask about his project, how he came to do that project, how he showed leadership doing it, would he change anything about how he approached it, etc.

    One of the last things we ask is of the 12 points of the Scout Law, which one does he feel best represents him here – today – at the end of his journey. (We keep a journal of which the Scouts have chosen, which is interesting to look back on). We also ask him a final question which is why the Eagle Board should grant him the rank of Eagle. This is usually the toughest question of all because most Scouts have a difficult time summing up what we already know – HE HAS EARNED IT. We coach him that there will be similar times in the future where he will be asked why he should be given a job, a raise, or a promotion and he should be prepared to confidently point out that he has performed all the required tasks or assignments and that he has earned it.

    He then is excused from the room to let the board confer; we spend time “voting”, initialing his handbook, signing his Eagle application and advancement form and then we call him and his group back in to give him the news – that at this time (we state the exact time and record it in our District Advancement journal) that he is now an Eagle Scout. There are congratulations to all, including the SM or ASM and family, especially to the Eagle Scout, we let him know that he will officially be an Eagle once his certificate is sent back from the National office and he should start thinking about his Eagle Court of Honor.

    This whole process takes about 45 minutes, longer if the family likes to brag or the Eagle is especially talkative, but we know going in that the candidate has already fulfilled all the requirements of Eagle or he would not be here. We do, however, use each EBOR as a way to evaluate the program of the Troop he comes from and, if needed, provide coaching to the unit on advancement if the candidate seemed questionable. We are always looking for ways to train and help a unit produce strong Eagles as this is a title that comes with life-long benefits.

    We don’t see our procedures as adding any requirements or breaking any rules in the most current GTA, but I would appreciate any comments on what we do. Thank your in advance for those comments.

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