Etowah What to Expect in an Eagle Board of Review

For most, the Eagle Scout board of review is not like any other previous board of review. In our district, you probably do not even know the members of your Eagle board. They are adults from different troops or may even be important members of the community who are not actively involved in scouting other than sitting on the Eagle Board. Nonetheless, the Eagle Scout board of review is generally relatively relaxed. There is no reason to prove yourself to the board members. While they have not seen you advance through the ranks, they trust that your scout skills are generally up to speed. The biggest question that the board will want answered is, Do you understand what it is to be an Eagle Scout and will you be able to handle the responsibility that comes along with being one?

There are two things you must make sure you do before you go to the Board of Review. These things are expected of you no matter who is conducting the board of review.

  • The first and biggest thing is that you must be in full uniform. You must be wearing your official scout shirt, pants, hat, and neckerchief (if part of your official troop uniform). Although it is not always needed it is strongly preferred that you also have scout socks and belt. You must be in full scout uniform.
  • The second thing you must do before you go to your Eagle Scout Board of Review is make sure you know the scout oath, law, slogan, motto, and outdoor code. It is surprising how many older scouts do not know all of these. One of the first questions the board will ask you will be to say the scout oath, law, motto and slogan. They might even ask you what different parts of the oath and law are. Even if you know all of this stuff it is still good to say these before you go just to make sure you know these so they will be fresh in your mind. Many times an Eagle Scout candidate’s mind will go blank just as they go into the Board of Review and cannot remember these.

The biggest thing to remember is to be calm and your board of review will go good. Do not hesitate to take a few seconds to think about the questions before you answer . It is also OK to say, “I don’t know”. Be honest - but, “Be Prepared”.

If before you go into the Board of Review you can ask your self if you desire to be an Eagle Scout and you can truthfully say yes then you will get it.

Eagle Board of Review Guidelines

The following are the general guidelines that are followed while conducting an Eagle Scout Board of Review. There are also some questions that may be asked. If you keep these questions in mind before going to the board of review you will find that it will go very smoothly.

The Board of Review for an Eagle candidate is composed of at least three but not more than six members. These members do not have to be registered in Scouting, but they must have an understanding of the importance and purpose of the Eagle Board of Review. One member serves as Chairman. Unit leaders, assistant unit leaders, relatives or guardians may not serve as members of a Scout’s Board of Review. In no case should a relative or guardian of the candidate attend the review, either as a participant or observer. The contents of the Board of Review are confidential and the proceedings are not to be disclosed to any person who is not a member of the Board of Review.

Before the Board of Review

The Board members need to convene prior to interviewing the candidate (15 to 30 minutes.) The purpose of meeting before the actual interview is to:

  1. Review the prospective Eagle Scout’s application.
  2. Read their reference letters and other important documents.
  3. Become familiar with their service project by assessing their final report and any available pictures.
  4. Review these guidelines to help formulate pertinent questions.

During this initial meeting, the Chairman makes sure everyone is introduced to one another, sees that everyone has an opportunity to review all the paperwork and determines that all understand the goals of this Board, which are:

  1. The Board determines that the Eagle project was successfully carried out.
    • Did the candidate demonstrate leadership?
    • Did they indeed direct the project themselves, rather than do all the work themselves or allow someone else to direct the project?
    • Was the project of value to the institution, school or community group?
    • Who from the benefiting group may be contacted to verify the value of the project?
    • Did the project follow the plan, or were modifications necessary to complete it - what did the candidate learn from making the modifications?
  2. The Board should be assured of the candidate’s participation in and understanding of the Scouting program.
  3. A thorough discussion of their successes and experiences in Scouting must take place.

As the documents are making the rounds, the Chairperson should add any relevant data of which they are aware. It is best if the Chairperson has personally viewed the completed project - if that is not possible, a phone call to the benefiting group’s representative to discuss the merit s of the project will do.

The following guidelines must be kept in mind during the questioning of the project:

  1. The review is not an examination; the Board does not formally test the candidate. However, the Board should not be a “rubber stamp” approval process. Appearance of the candidate before the Eagle Board of Review does not mean automatic attainment of the Eagle Rank.
  2. The Board should attempt to determine the Scout’s attitude toward and acceptance of Scouting’s ideals
  3. The Board should make sure that good standards of performance have been met in all phases of their life.
  4. A discussion of the Scout Oath and Scout Law is in keeping with the questioning.
  5. Be sure the candidate recognizes and understands the value of Scouting in their home, unit, school and community.
  6. The Scout should be encouraged to talk - don’t ask questions answerable with a simple yes or no.

The Board of Review

Once the Scout’s Eagle Application, service project paperwork, letters of recommendation and these guidelines are reviewed, the Scout master is asked to introduce the candidate to the Board. The Scoutmaster can be invited to remain as an observer and may be called upon to clarify a point in question - however, it is the scout’s Board of Review. The candidate is usually asked to begin the Board by reciting the Scout Oath and Scout Law.

The interview process

  1. Ask them questions about their understanding and adherence to the Scout Oath and Scout Law: The Board should make sure that good standards have been met in all phases of the Scout’s life. A discussion of the Scout Oath and Scout Law is in keeping with the purpose of the review, to make sure that the candidate recognizes and understands the value of Scouting in their home, unit, school and community.
    • What is the hardest point of the Scout Law for them to live by - why?
    • What point of the Scout Law is the most important to them - why?
    • What does “Scouting Spirit” mean to them - why?
    • What do the various points of the Scout Law mean to them?
    • What values has Scouting taught them that they think others see in them - at home, in their unit, at school and/or in the community?
    • How do they live by the Scout Law and Oath?
    • What do the different points of the Scout Oath mean to them?
    • What does “duty to God” mean to them?
    • What does “duty to Country” mean to them?
    • How do they “help others at all times”?
    • How do they feel about wearing their uniform in public?
  2. Ask them questions about their camping experiences:
    • What was their most enjoyable experience in Scouting?
    • Conversely, what was their least enjoyable experience?
    • How many summer camps have they attended and where?
    • What did they enjoy most about their summer camp experiences?
    • Have they attended any High Adventure camps? Where and what did they enjoy about them - describe the experience.
    • Ask them about their outdoor experiences in Scouting - campouts, 50 milers, etc.
    • Ask them what they remember of the “Outdoor Code”.
    • Ask them if they have staffed any summer camps - what did they learn from the experience and what did they enjoy about the experience.
  3. Ask them questions related to their Scouting experience:
    • What leadership positions have they held?
      • What were their responsibilities in each position?
    • What leadership position do they hold now?
    • Ask them what they would do if a scout refused to comply and/or ignored a valid request they made in the performance of their duties.
    • Ask them about their troop’s discipline policy and where they figure in it in their present leadership position.
    • Ask them how they might handle “hurry-up” first aid cases.
    • Ask them other questions related to merit badges they have earned (remember you are not testing them).
      • Have they earned any merit badges that will help them in their choice of occupation?
      • What merit badge did they enjoy working on the most - why?
      • Conversely, which one did they enjoy working on the least - why?
    • Ask them what changes they might make in their unit.
    • If they earn their Eagle rank tonight, what do they intend to do to repay Scouting, their unit and its leaders?
    • Who has been the most influential person in their Scouting career?
    • Is there anything Scouting did not give them that they feel could be beneficial to the program to help other young scouts develop?
  4. Ask them pertinent questions about their project. The Board should make sure that a good standard of performance has been met.
    • How did they find out about the need?
    • Ask them to walk the Board through the project from beginning to end.
      • The planning phase
      • The organization of personnel
      • Directing the project to completion
    • Did they have to contact any city, county or state officials for permits or to find out about ordinances, etc. - did the Citizenship in the Community Merit Badge help - how?
    • Once their project was approved, did they have to modify it - what did they learn from that experience?
    • Who did they get involved in helping them with their project - scouts, adults from their troop, members of the benefiting organization…?
    • Did they have any problems directing adults in their work - how did they feel about that?
    • In what ways do they feel they demonstrated leadership in this project?
    • Every scout feels their project was “special” - how is their project “special”?
    • Thirty years from now when someone else asks them what they did for their Eagle project, what will stand out in their mind - how will they answer that question?
  5. Ask them about their plans for the future. The Board should attempt to determine the Scout’s ideals and goals.
    • Ask them about their plans for the future - college, Armed Forces, trade school?
    • How do they feel earning Eagle will help them in those plans?
    • When they turn 18, they assume some new responsibilities - What are they?
      • Sign up for the draft, register to vote and responsible for their actions in the eyes of the law.
    • What should an Eagle Scout be expected to do and what responsibilities do they think come with the rank?
    • What do they plan to do in scouting in the immediate and long range future?

These are by no means the only questions that may be asked. They are merely examples to be used as a springboard to other questions and further discussion. Please do not assume that you are to ask only these questions and consider the interview complete. The interview should come to a natural conclusion as each board member runs out of questions. There is not set length of time for an Eagle Board of Review. However, 15 minutes is probably too short and an hour is probably too long.

After the Board of Review

After the review, the candidate and their unit leader leave the room while the board members discuss the accept ability of the candidate as an Eagle Scout.

Because of the importance of the Eagle Scout Award, the decision of the Board of Review must be unanimous.

If the candidate meets the requirements, they are asked to return and is informed that they will receive the Board’s recommendation for the Eagle award. Immediately after the Board of Review and after the application has been appropriately signed, the application is turned into the Council Service Center. A photocopy of the application should be attached to an Advancement Form and submitted to the Council Service Center as well.

If the candidate is found unacceptable, they are asked to return and told the reasons for their failure to qualify. A discussion should be held with them as to how they may meet the requirements within a given period. Should the applicant disagree with the decision, the appeal procedures should be explained to them. A follow-up letter must be sent to the Scout confirming the agreements reached on the action(s) necessary for the advancement. If the Scout chooses to appeal, provide the name and address of the person they are to contact.

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