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TRAINING WORKS, TOO, RIGHT? By the time the kid gets to First Class, we expect one parent in the house to be trained. We don’t require it; we just say we expect it. We want them to know why we do what we do, just so we don’t have any misunderstand- ings. Advancement is a tricky part. Sometimes if their kids don’t advance, they’re upset. The more training they have, they start thinking that advance- ment is a method, not the goal.

WHEN AND HOW DO YOU TRAIN PARENTS? When the kids are in their troop meetings, we kind of keep the parents in a room and give them little teasers, like “Let’s talk about what a board of review is.” Twice a year, we have troop leadership training and invite the parents to come. We have some senior Scouts teach little things to the new Scouts like the Totin’ Chip, and that gives the new parents a reason to join us. Once we have their attention, we give them information and tell them they’re going to learn a lot more if they sign up for Boy Scout leader training.

TALK ABOUT YOUR ROLE AS ASSOCI- ATE CHAPTER ADVISOR. Our chapter is mostly Scout-run; the youth take care of everything. Sometimes it may look a little bit disorganized, but somehow they magically pull it together. I’m basically in a supporting role. For example, when we do unit visits, we like to have an adult go along in the background. ¿

READ MORE advice on recruiting from this unit commissioner at

Reviewing Reviews

Boards of review are a key step in advancement.

FEW PARTS OF THE advance- ment program confuse Boy Scout and Varsity Scout leaders more than the board of review. Here’s a primer on keeping a key step in the advancement process from becoming a stumbling block.

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE BOARD OF REVIEW? To determine the quality of the Scout’s experience and decide if he is qualified to advance to the next rank. Boards of review are also used when awarding Eagle Palms.

WHEN IS THE BOARD OF REVIEW HELD? After all of the requirements for a rank or Eagle Palm are completed. Boards should be scheduled at least monthly so Scouts aren’t delayed in beginning require- ments for their next rank.

WHO SITS ON THE BOARD? Three to six unit committee members (or, for the Eagle Scout rank, three to six adults who understand the rank and the purpose and importance of the review). A candidate’s unit leader, assistant unit leaders and parents or guard- ians may not sit on his board.

HOW LONG SHOULD IT LAST? For Tenderfoot through Life, approximately 15 minutes but no longer than 30 minutes; for Eagle, 30 to 45 minutes.

CAN THE BOARD RETEST? The board should ensure that the candidate has completed the requirements, but members may not retest him. It is not acceptable, for example, to ask a candidate to tie knots.

SO WHAT CAN MEMBERS ASK? Where the candidate learned his skills, who taught him and what he gained from fulfilling the requirements. The Troop Committee Guidebook, No. 34505, has question ideas.

DOES THE SCOUT HAVE TO APPEAR IN UNIFORM? Full field uniform is preferred. However, if appearing in uniform is impractical, the candidate should be clean and neat in his appearance.

HOW DOES THE BOARD MAKE ITS DECISION? Typically, the board will ask the candidate

to leave the room at the end of the meeting while they discuss his responses. It is appropriate to call the candidate back if additional questions may provide clari- fication. After discussion, the board takes a formal or infor- mal vote. The board must agree unanimously.

WHAT ABOUT APPEALS? The 2013 Guide to Advancement (No. 33088) outlines how a Scout or his parent or guard- ian may appeal the decision of the board of review.

HOW DO EAGLE BOARDS DIFFER? In addition to the slight differences noted here, the council advance- ment committee determines whether Eagle boards are held at the unit, district or council level. (If held at the unit level, at least one district or council representative must serve on the board.) Also, an Eagle board may not be held until after the council has verified the candidate’s application with the national office. ¿

FOR MORE INFORMATION, see the 2013 Guide to Advancement (#33088), which is available online at


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