An Eagle Scout board of review isn’t a job interview; it’s a celebration

The Scouting journey prepares a young person to get a good job.

But that doesn’t mean the final step in that journey — which for many young people is the Eagle Scout board of review — should be conducted like a job interview.

That’s the takeaway from an enlightening new article titled “Eagle Scout Boards of Review: Not a Job Interview.” You’ll find it in the November-December 2018 issue of “Advancement News,” an official publication from the BSA’s National Advancement Program Team.

“The Scouts have already ‘earned the position’ of Eagle Scout by completing the requirements,” the article states. “They are not interviewing for the position.”

So instead of treating the Eagle Scout board of review as a chance to grill the young person, test their skills or ask “gotcha” questions, you should “make it something to be proud to share with others, not something to be feared.”

Read the full piece below. It’s worth your time. Thanks to Wayne Huddleston and Mike Lo Vecchio of the National Advancement Program Team for allowing me to share it here.

What is a board of review? Here’s a quick reminder.

A board of review is a chance for adults to talk with Scouts about what they’ve done, what they’ve learned, how has it helped them in their advancement and how they’re enjoying the program.

It’s required for every rank from Tenderfoot to Eagle Scout. (But, as of Aug. 1, 2017, it’s no longer required for the Eagle palms.)

It’s a chance to celebrate what’s happening and answer questions about the future. But, as you’ll read, there’s something it’s most definitely not.

Eagle Scout Boards of Review: Not a Job Interview

Originally published in the November-December 2018 issue of “Advancement News,” an official publication from the BSA’s National Advancement Program Team.

Occasionally we hear of Eagle Scout boards of review that have been turned into something they were never intended to be.

For example, some have said that the board of review is like a job interview. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The Scouts have already “earned the position” of Eagle Scout by completing the requirements. They are not interviewing for the position.

All too often, the “job interview” analogy is used to justify a number of additional requirements that aren’t appropriate.

Expecting the Scout to appear in “business attire,” grilling them on their qualifications, asking inappropriate questions intended to cause stress and anxiety may all seem justified as making the Scout better prepared for experience in the “real world.”

However, the Scout is already in the “real world” of Scouting. The board of review is not about preparing the Scout for something but rather about celebrating their accomplishments.

While part of the board’s responsibility is to ensure that requirements have been met, it is not their responsibility to determine if those requirements met the board’s personal standards.

Other youth leaders and adults who previously reviewed the Scout determined that the requirements were met when they signed off on the requirement, or merit badge, etc. It is not up to the board to decide that the standards used by those leaders were or were not sufficient.

By the time Scouts have reached the Eagle Scout board of review, they have already demonstrated their knowledge and skills, many times over. This candidate is by all intents and purposes an Eagle Scout when arriving at the board of review. Only in the most egregious cases where it was clear that the Scout could not possibly have properly completed a requirement would the board be warranted in determining that the Scout should not be advanced.

Therefore, make the Scout’s Eagle board of review a celebration of their achievement. Make it something to be proud to share with others, not something to be feared.

It is not a job interview; it is a celebration of a job well done.

More guidance for boards of review

See Section 8 of the Guide to Advancement for more great insight into boards of review.