Board of Review (Boy Scouts of America)

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In the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), a Board of Review is a commission charged with interviewing a Scout to verify that he has successfully completed the requirements for an advancement in rank. (The same term also refers to the interview process itself.) No Board of Review is required to earn the Scout badge (to join the organization), because Scout is not technically a rank. Most Boards of Review use similar procedures, but Boards for advancing to Eagle Scout are different.


A Board of Review usually takes about 30 minutes. The Board members ask questions, usually prepared in advance, about the Scout's experiences, attitudes, and relationship with Scouting and the troop. As the Scout grows older and more experienced, questions on his successive Boards of Review raise progressively more difficult moral issues.

For all ranks before Eagle, the Board of Review marks the last requirement for rank advancement, and the Scout is considered to have advanced in rank immediately upon completing the interview. An Eagle Scout advancement, however, requires further processing at the national level. Barring special circumstances, an Eagle Board may not take place more than 90 days after the Scout's 18th birthday.

Members of the Board

Exact procedures vary by troop and over time. For ranks between Tenderfoot and Life, inclusive, the board of review is set up by the troop, and composed of at least three and no more than six members of the troop committee, but cannot include the Scoutmaster, Assistant Scoutmasters, or the Scout's parents. In the past, Boards for the lower ranks often consisted of youth members of the troop, but the BSA has since abandoned this approach.

Unlike the other Boards of Review, which are conducted at the troop level, the Eagle Board is done under the auspice of the Scout's District or Council. Between three and six adults, over the age of 21, serve on this Board of Review. The method for selecting the Board members varies from District to District, but generally at least one of them is appointed by the District. Some Districts allow the Scout himself to choose one or more Board members. They do not need to be members of BSA, but do need to understand the importance of the Eagle Rank. After the Scout passes his Board of Review, Eagle Scout application must still be approved by the BSA's national office before the Court of Honor can be held.

Denial of advancement

The Board of Review is just that; it is not a test and should not be administered as such. The Board of Review is a time for the Scout to prove that he is prepared to accept the challenges of the rank applied for. However, in the rare event that a Board of Review does not approve a Scout for the next rank, he is told in writing why he was denied advancement, what he needs to do to make himself fit to advance, and how soon he should accomplish this. A Scout can appeal the Board's decision to his Council or, if he does not win the Council appeal, to National. The decision of the National Boy Scout Committee is final.

See also