Boards of Review: An Overview for All Ranks
This section first covers board of review procedures for all Boy Scout ranks. It is followed by "Particulars for Tenderfoot Through Life Ranks (or Palms)," 126.96.36.199; and "Particulars for the Eagle Scout Rank," 188.8.131.52.
184.108.40.206 Purpose and Timeliness of Boards of Review
After a Scout has completed the requirements for any rank or Eagle Palm, he appears before a board of
review. Its purpose is to determine the quality of his experience and decide whether he has fulfilled the requirements for the rank. If so, the board not only approves his advancement or Palm but also encourages him to continue the quest for the next rank or Palm. Because the board of review date becomes the effective advancement date, boards should be scheduled promptly as Scouts are ready, or set up on a regular basis that assures Scouts are not delayed in beginning time-oriented requirements for the next rank.
Note that Scouts must be registered through the time they are working on advancement requirements, but need not be registered thereafter or when their board of review is conducted.
220.127.116.11 Boards of Review Must Be Granted When Requirements Are Met
A Scout shall not be denied this opportunity. When he believes he has completed all the requirements for a rank, including a Scoutmaster conference, a board of review must be granted. Scoutmasters—or councils or districts in the case of the Eagle Scout rank—for example, do not have authority to expect a boy to request or organize one, or to “defer” him, or to ask him to perform beyond the requirements in order to be granted one. In a case where there is concern the Scout has not fulfilled the requirements for a rank as written, it is appropriate to advise the young man that he might not pass the board and to make suggestions about what he might do to improve his chances for success. It is, however, the Scout’s decision to go ahead with a board of review or not.
18.104.22.168 Composition of the Board of Review
A board of review must consist of no fewer than three members and no more than six, all of whom must be at least 21 years of age. For further specifications, see"Particulars for Tenderfoot Through Life Ranks (or Palms),"22.214.171.124, and "Particulars for the Eagle Scout Rank,"126.96.36.199. Unit leaders and assistants shall not serve on aboard of review for a Scout in their own unit. Parents or guardians shall not serve on a board for their son. The candidate or his parent(s) or guardian(s) shall have no part in selecting any board of review members.
Note the exception in Varsity Scouting. See "Particulars for Tenderfoot Through Life Ranks (or Palms)," 188.8.131.52.
184.108.40.206 Wearing the Uniform—or Neat in Appearance
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.
220.127.116.11 Conducting the Board of Review
Most adults would admit to nervousness if told they were
to appear before a “board of review.” Imagine how a
boy must feel. A certain level of formality and meaningful
questioning should exist, but it is important that the
atmosphere be relaxed and that the review is conducted
with the Scout Law in mind. It may help if the unit leader
introduces the candidate, and if a few minutes are spent
The unit leader may remain in the room, but only to
observe, not to participate unless called upon. The
number of “observers” at a board of review should
otherwise be minimized. The members of the board of
review, however, have the authority to exclude the unit
leader or any other observers if they believe their
presence will inhibit open and forthright discussion. Youth
observers are not permitted in boards of review for Boy
The Scout’s parents, relatives, or guardians should not be
in attendance in any capacity—not as members of the
board, as observers, or even as the unit leader. Their
presence can change the discussion dynamics. In cases
where parents or guardians insist on attending a board
of review, they should be counseled that their presence
can change how their son addresses questions, and that
the opportunity to further self-reliance and courage may
be lessened. However, if parents or guardians still insist
on being present, they must be permitted to attend as
observers. For Scouts with special needs, see additional
information under topic 10.2.2.0.
In situations where—before a board is held—one or more members are of an opinion the Scout should be rejected,
they should discuss their reasoning with the unit leader or
others who know the Scout. Generally, a unit leader is
closer to the youth; he or she may be able to present a
different perspective and prevent an uncomfortable or
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.
18.104.22.168 Not a Retest or "Examination"
Though one reason for a board of review is to help
ensure the Scout did what he was supposed to do to
meet the requirements, it shall become neither a retest
or “examination,” nor a challenge of his knowledge.
In most cases it should, instead, be a celebration of
accomplishment. Remember, it is more about the journey.
A badge recognizes what a young man has done toward
achieving the primary goal of personal growth. See "Personal Growth Is the Primary Goal," 22.214.171.124. It is thus more about the learning experience than it is about the specific skills learned. See also "Mechanics of Advancement: In Boy Scouting and Varsity Scouting,"126.96.36.199.
A Scout must not be rejected at a board of review for
reasons unrelated to advancement requirements. For
example, he must not be rejected just because he did not
bring his Boy Scout Handbook with him or because he
was tardy for a board of review, but the reason for his
tardiness may certainly be a topic for discussion.
188.8.131.52 What Should Be Discussed
During the review, board members may refer to the
Boy Scout Handbook, Boy Scout Requirements book,
Troop Leader Guidebook, and other such references. The
Troop Committee Guidebook, No. 34505, has examples
of appropriate questions. A Scout may be asked where
he learned his skills and who taught him, and what he
gained from fulfilling selected requirements. The answers
will reveal what he did for his rank. It can be determined,
then, if this was what he was supposed to do. Discussion
of how he has lived the Scout Oath and Scout Law in his
home, unit, school, and community should be included.
We must remember, however, that though we have
high expectations for our members, as for ourselves,
we do not insist on perfection. A positive attitude is most
important, and that a young man accepts Scouting’s
ideals and sets and meets good standards in his life.
A board of review may be conducted posthumously if all the requirements were met prior to the Scout's death. See topic 184.108.40.206 for more information.
A positive attitude is most important,and that a young man accepts Scouting's ideals and sets and meets good standards in his life.
A board is not required to record “minutes,” but it
is a good idea. Any such notes must remain confidential
to the members of the board or to administrators with
a need to know. They may be used in preparing a
follow-up letter, should a Scout be turned down, and
they can be helpful in an appeal process. In any case,
once a review or appeal is completed, all notes must
220.127.116.11 How Boards Can Lead to Program Improvement
Periodic reviews of members’ progress can provide a
measure of unit effectiveness. A unit might uncover ways
to increase the educational value of its outings, or how
to strengthen administration of national advancement
procedures. For example, if it is discovered troop leaders
are not ensuring that all requirements have been met
before Scouts present themselves for the board of review,
then process improvements can be recommended. A
board can also help by considering the style of leadership
best suited to current circumstances and ways to adjust it
to different needs. Note that boards of review may also
be held for Scouts who are not advancing. Much can be
learned from them, as well.
18.104.22.168 Board Members Must Agree Unanimously on Decisions to Approve
After the board of review the Scout is asked to wait
outside the room or out of hearing range while the board
deliberates. To approve awarding a rank or Palm, the
board must agree unanimously. Every effort should be
made to deliberate with careful consideration of each
member’s perspective, and in sufficient detail as to avoid
factual misunderstanding. It is appropriate to call the
candidate back if additional questions may provide
clarification. Still, if any member dissents, the decision
cannot be for approval. In the case of such disagreement,
the Scout shall not be informed about the specifics of
the conversations or any arguments taking place.
As indicated below ("After the Review," 22.214.171.124),he is told only how he can improve.
126.96.36.199 After the Review
If the members agree a Scout is ready to advance, he is
called in and congratulated. The board of review date—
not that of a subsequent court of honor—becomes the
rank’s effective date.
If a board does not approve, the candidate must be so
informed and told what he can do to improve. Most
Scouts accept responsibility for their behavior or for not
completing requirements properly.
If it is thought that a Scout, before his 18th birthday, can
benefit from an opportunity to properly complete the
requirements, the board may adjourn and reconvene at a
later date. If the candidate agrees to this, then if possible,
the same members should reassemble. If he does not
agree, then the board must make its decision at that
point. In any case, a follow-up letter must be promptly
sent to a Scout who is turned down. A copy of the letter
should also be sent to the council’s designated appeals
coordinator. The letter must include actions advised that
may lead to advancement, and also an explanation of
appeal procedures. (See "Appealing a Decision,"188.8.131.52, or—if applicable—"Appealing a Quartermaster Bridge of Review Decision," 184.108.40.206.) The council must keep a copy of the letter.
After any board of review, the unit leader is informed of the decision.
220.127.116.11 Boards of Review Through Videoconferencing
Boards of review for any rank are meant to be face-toface,
personal experiences. From time to time, however,
as Scouts go off to college or the military, or live in very
remote locations, for example, it may be virtually
impossible to hold in-person boards of review. In those
rare situations where it is unreasonable to expect a Scout
to travel long distances, or to wait several months, it is
permissible to use videoconferencing. If such boards of
review are held, however, they must be conducted
according to the following requirements.
- The local council must grant permission to hold a
videoconference board of review for the Eagle Scout
rank. Videoconference boards of review may be held
for other ranks without local council approval, but
they still must comply with the following requirements.
- All equipment, including the cameras, lighting,
microphones, software, and Internet connection,
should be tested ahead of time to provide the best
audiovisual experience possible.
- All members of the board of review must be visible to
the Scout, and any observers with the Scout must be
visible to the members of the board of review. No
one within hearing range on either side shall be off
camera. It is important to consider your technical
capabilities when planning how many board of
review members to involve. Observers should be
minimized for any board of review, and this applies
especially to videoconference reviews. Their
presence can change the discussion dynamics.
- For Scouts under the age of 18*, a parent or
guardian of the Scout, or two registered BSA adult
Scouters who are familiar with these requirements for
videoconference boards of review, must be directly
present with the Scout at the beginning of the
conference. The Scouters may be from the nearest
council, district, or unit. Their role is to verify that the
Scout is in a safe environment and that the board of
review appears to be in compliance with these
requirements. Once all the members of the board of
review are present on their end of the call and
introductions are completed, and the review is about
to begin, those with the Scout on his end must leave
the room or move out of hearing distance unless they
have specifically been approved to remain as
observers. See topic 18.104.22.168, “Conducting the Board
of Review,” for more information.
- Once the review process has been concluded, if the
Scout is under age 18*, his parent or guardian, or
two Scouters must rejoin the Scout. Their purpose is
to be available to answer any questions that may
arise, to join in the celebration of the Scout’s
accomplishment, or to be party to any instructions or
arrangements regarding the appeals process or the
reconvening of an incomplete review. Once this is
done, the board members end the call and sign off.
- Videoconference boards of review must not
Boards of review under disputed circumstances and
appeal boards may be conducted via videoconference
under the same rare circumstances and the requirements
*With his parent’s or guardian’s permission, a minor may participate in a videoconference board of review unaccompanied by adults.
22.214.171.124 Particulars for Tenderfoot Through Life Ranks (or Palms)
The preceding applies to boards of review for all Boy
Scouting ranks, but there are a few differences for the
ranks other than Eagle, and for Eagle Palms:
- The board is made up of three to six unit committee
members—no more and no less. In units with fewer
than three registered committee members available to
serve, it is permissible to use knowledgeable parents
(not those of the candidate) or other adults (registered
or not) who are at least 21 years of age and who
understand Boy Scouting’s aims. Using unregistered
adults for boards of review must be the exception,
not the rule. Registered committee members familiar
with the unit program, who have had a background
check, and who are Youth Protection trained are
preferred. Scheduling boards of review when and
where committee members can attend usually
alleviates the problem of not having enough
committee members for a board.
- For a Varsity Scout team, the committee member
responsible for advancement, the advancement
program manager (youth), and the Coach serve on
the board. Composition for Boy Scout rank or Palm
boards of review held in Venturing crews or Sea
Scout ships is the same as that for Boy Scout troops.
- One member serves as chair. The unit committee
decides how he or she is chosen. The chair conducts
review meetings according to BSA procedures and
reports results to the unit advancement coordinator.
- The location should be comfortable, such as the unit
meeting place, a camp, or a leader’s home.
- The review should take approximately 15 minutes,
but not longer than 30 minutes.
- Ranks and Palms shall not be presented until the signed
advancement report is submitted to the local council.
- If a Scout is to be reviewed for more than one rank
(Tenderfoot, Second Class, or First Class), each rank
should have a separate board of review. While these
boards may be conducted on the same date, it is
preferred—if feasible—that different members be
involved on the boards to give the young man an
enhanced experience and an opportunity to interact
with a variety of adults.
126.96.36.199 Particulars for the Eagle Scout Rank
The particulars below pertain only to the Eagle Scout rank.
The particulars below pertain only to the Eagle Scout rank.
- Council advancement committees must determine—
and make known—method(s) for conducting Eagle
Scout boards of review: whether unit committees or
the council or district advancement committees
administer them, and also how board chairpersons
- If conducted at the unit level, at least one district or
council representative must serve as a member. If the
unit requests it, more than one may do so.
- There shall be no fewer than three and no more than
six members, all at least 21 years old. They need not
be on an advancement committee or registered with
the Boy Scouts of America, but they must have an
understanding of the rank and the purpose and
importance of the review. This holds true for Eagle
boards of review held in any unit, whether troop,
team, crew, or ship.
- A board of review shall not occur until after the local
council has verified the application.
- The chair works with all involved parties to schedule
the date, time, and place. Eagle boards are often
held in more formal settings than a home or troop
- A board of review must not be denied or postponed
due to unresponsive references. See "References Contacted," 188.8.131.52.
- If a unit leader or unit committee chair fails to approve
an application, the candidate is still granted a
board of review, but the lack of approval may be
considered in the decision. See "Initiating Eagle Scout Board of Review Under Disputed Circumstances," 184.108.40.206.
- To go over the application, references, and service
project workbook, members should convene at least
30 minutes before the scheduled board of review.
- Eagle boards generally last 30 minutes or somewhat
longer. This is the highest rank a Scout may achieve;
there should be a discussion of his successes,
experiences, and future plans, but rarely should one
last longer than 45 minutes.
- An Eagle candidate may have only one board of
review (though it may be adjourned and reconvened).
Subsequent action falls under the appeals process.(See "Appealing a Decision," 220.127.116.11.)
- The Eagle Scout medal or patch must not be sold or
otherwise provided to any unit or to the Scout, nor
should the court of honor be scheduled until after the
certificate is received at the council service center
from the National Advancement Team.
An Eagle Scout board of review shall not be denied or postponed due to unresponsive references.
18.104.22.168 Eagle Scout Board of Review Beyond the 18th Birthday
1. An Eagle Scout board of review may occur, without
special approval, within three months after a Scout’s
18th birthday. If a board of review is to be held three
to six months afterward, the local council must
preapprove it. To initiate approval, the candidate, his
parent or guardian, the unit leader, or a unit
committee member attaches to the application a
statement explaining the delay.
2. To hold a board beyond six months after the
18th birthday, the candidate, his parent or guardian,
the unit leader, or a unit committee member must
petition the National Advancement Team for authority
to do so. The request must explain the reason for the
delay, and it must be processed through the local
council and sent to the National Advancement Team
with a copy of the application. A position statement
from the Scout executive, designee, or council
advancement committee must be included.
3. It is possible for those who completed the
requirements for the Eagle Scout rank in their youth,
but never received it, to obtain credentials necessary
for acquiring it. If a board of review was not held,
and the individual met the BSA membership eligibility
rules in effect at the time, then a board of review may
be requested. In any case, all requirements must
have been completed before age 18. Using the
Belated Eagle Scout Application, No. 512-076 (see 22.214.171.124), evidence of completion must be submitted
to the National Advancement Team through the local
council where the individual resides. An Eagle Scout
Rank Application signed at the time work was
finished can serve as evidence of requirements such
as active participation, Scout spirit, or positions of
responsibility. Blue cards, advancement reports, or
troop records may be used for merit badges.
Because of their availability on the Internet, actual
merit badges or sashes are not normally accepted.
Only when documentation is verified as complete
and compelling shall credentials be released or
permission granted for a board of review.
Requirements in effect at the time of membership are
used, but regardless the practices of the day, all must
have been accomplished by age 18.
126.96.36.199 Initiating Eagle Scout Board of Review Under Disputed Circumstances
A board of review under disputed circumstances is
available only for the Eagle Scout rank. It is held at the
district or council level. Volunteers from the candidate’s
unit are not involved. It is indicated when a unit leader or
committee chair does not sign the application, if a unit
leader (Scoutmaster) conference is denied, if it is thought
a unit will not provide a fair hearing, or if the unit leader
or project beneficiary refuses to sign final approval for
what might be considered a satisfactorily completed
service project. See "Evaluating the Project After Completion," 188.8.131.52. The process outlined below, for
a board of review under disputed circumstances, also
applies in councils where Eagle boards of review are
already held at the council or district level.
If a unit leader or committee chair does not agree a Scout
has met the requirements, then before a board of review is
held, he or she should confer with the Scout and his parents
and come to an understanding of all viewpoints. Guidance
should also be sought from the district or council advancement
chair to assure expectations are not more than are actually
required. If the leader or chair remains unconvinced,
then they may deny approval of the Eagle Scout Rank
Application. In this case, the application is returned to the
Scout or his parent or guardian, who may then choose to
request a board of review under disputed circumstances.
In any case, if a Scout or his parent or guardian has
legitimate concern that a unit cannot deliver a fair
hearing, one of them may write a letter explaining the
reasons and request a board of review under disputed
circumstances. The letter is attached to the completed
Eagle Scout application and sent with the service project
workbook to the council service center. The council
advancement chair or staff advisor, or other designated
volunteer or professional, should notify the unit leader or
unit committee chair that the request has been received,
and then guide the process through the council or district
advancement committee according to local practices.
After the board has met, the unit leader or unit committee
chair should be informed of the decision.
It should be rare that a council or district would deny a
request for a board of review under disputed circumstances.
However, the request may be denied if it is deemed
frivolous, or any concerns about the unit’s inability to
deliver a fair hearing are deemed invalid. In that case,
the initial board of review must be held according to
local council practices (not under disputed circumstances).
If that board decides not to approve, the Scout may
appeal the decision (see "Appealing a Decision," 184.108.40.206).
Procedures for a board of review under disputed
circumstances, including the option for the Scout or his
parent or guardian to appeal the decision, are the same
as for any Eagle Scout board. The members should be
well versed in related policies and organized in advance
so they can research background and facts. Written
statements or telephone interview summaries must be
obtained from the unit leader, knowledgeable committee
members, a representative of the service project
beneficiary (if applicable), and others familiar with the
case. Every effort should be made to have balanced
representation. Only review-board members and
administrators with a need to know may see the evidence.
The board of review is like any other for Eagle, but with
extra attention to the concerns at issue. It is also
permissible to hold the review via videoconference under
the rare circumstances and the requirements found in
“Boards of Review Through Videoconferencing,” 220.127.116.11.
Afterward, all statements, summaries, or notes are sent to
the council and then destroyed once any appeal efforts are
concluded. Note that in councils where Eagle boards of
review are already held at the council or district level, the
time and effort put into researching the background and
facts may be the only real difference from a typical board
If a board of review under disputed circumstances
approves a candidate, his application goes through
the process as outlined under "The Eagle Scout Rank Application Process," 18.104.22.168. The board must attach
a letter to the application indicating it may be processed
without the signature of the unit leader or unit committee
chair, without the date of the Scoutmaster conference if it
had been denied, or without the date of the final Eagle
service project signature if that was at issue.
22.214.171.124 Appealing a Decision
Adverse decisions for Star and Life ranks can be
appealed to the local council. Should this occur, the
National Advancement Team is available for advice
only. Adverse decisions for Tenderfoot, Second Class,
First Class, and Eagle Palms are not appealable.
The National Council reviews appeals only for the
Eagle Scout rank.
All interviews, deliberations, conversations, and
related details in summaries and statements are kept
confidential to appeals board members and those
assigned oversight, such as the designated appeals
coordinator or staff advisor. Others’ knowledge
should be limited to overview information as
required for reports to advancement committees.
If a board of review or a board of review under disputed circumstances does not recommend a candidate for rank advancement, only the Scout or his parent or guardian may appeal the decision to the local council.
126.96.36.199 Filing and Processing an Appeal
- The Scout should have received communication from
the board of review advising actions that could lead
to advancement and explaining appeal procedures.
If this was not received, the Scout or his parent or
guardian should contact the council advancement
chair, staff advisor for advancement, or the Scout
executive to request it. To initiate the appeal, the
Scout or his parent or guardian prepares a letter
notifying the local council of the appeal. It should
detail the reasons it is believed the Scout met all the
requirements and should not have been denied.
The letter is sent to the council service center, to the
attention of the council advancement committee. The
communication from the board of review mentioned
above should be attached.
- To assure all appeal requests are handled consistently
throughout the council, they are first routed to the
council advancement committee.
- The council advancement committee, through its
chair or a designated member or its staff advisor,
coordinates the appeals process. This designated
appeals coordinator’s primary role is to get the
paperwork in the right place and orient and guide
those who will hear the appeal.
- The council-designated appeals coordinator routes
a copy of the request to the district or council
advancement committee according to local practices.
It is recommended that appeals of a unit decision
go to the district, and those elevated from a district
go to the council. This allows an additional step
before the National Advancement Team is involved.
- For appeals heard by a district, the district
advancement chair and district staff advisor
(usually the district executive) must agree on
appeal-board members. The council advancement
chair and staff advisor have the authority to
approve them (or to call for different members)
should they believe this action will lead to more
equitable appeals consideration.
- If the appeal is to be heard by the council, then
the council advancement chair and staff advisor
must agree on appeal-board members.
- There shall be an odd number of appeal-board
members—either three or five. A board chair may be
one of these voting members, or serve additionally
with no vote. All must be objective volunteers with
thorough knowledge of advancement and appeals
procedures. No individual who served on the
original board of review or appeal board shall serve
on a subsequent district or council appeal board for
the same Scout. The council-designated appeals
coordinator may be present and provide advice.
No other guests, including the candidate’s parents
or guardians, are allowed. If the Scout is being
interviewed, and the parents insist on attending with
him, see "Conducting the Board of Review," 188.8.131.52.
- The appeal-board meeting may be held via
videoconference under the rare circumstances and
the requirements found in “Boards of Review Through
- An appeal board is not another board of review. It
focuses only on the issues that brought about rejection at
the lower level(s). A majority is sufficient for a decision.
- If an appeal is rejected at the district level, the Scout
or his parent or guardian may appeal to the council
- If a council-level Eagle Scout board of review or
appeal board rejects a candidate, then he or his
parent or guardian may appeal through the local
council to the National Advancement Team.
- A decision at any level that finds in favor of a Scout
shall be final. Units, districts, and councils are not
allowed to appeal them. Similarly, decisions for
rejection delivered through the National
Advancement Team are final. For rulings in favor of a
Scout, the date of the original board—not the appeal
board—is the effective date of advancement.
184.108.40.206 Appeal Board Must Research the Case
To allow time to research background and facts,
appeal-board members must be organized in advance.
Written statements or telephone interview summaries
are obtained from those with pertinent knowledge of
the case. These individuals might include the unit leader
and assistants, parent(s) or guardian(s), unit committee
members, and, as applicable, a representative of the
chartered organization or Eagle service project
beneficiary. Every effort should be made to have
balanced representation. Only appeal-board members
and administrators with a need to know may see the
evidence. If a face-to-face meeting with the Scout is
impractical, extra care should be taken to collect
information from his perspective. After the meeting, any
notes are filed with the council and destroyed once the
appeal is resolved. A written report setting out the details
of the appeal and the reasons for the decision shall be
prepared and forwarded to the council Scout executive.
A copy is sent to the Scout who brought the appeal.
Appeals forwarded to the National Advancement Team
are processed through the local council. A designated
appeals coordinator combines, into a packet, the Eagle
Scout application and service project workbook (if at
issue); all letters, statements, and interview summaries;
and any reports or minutes from the original board of
review and appeal board(s) held; and a cover letter from
the Scout executive (not designee) briefly summarizing
the facts and stating the council’s position.
220.127.116.11 Venturing Boards of Review
The topics below cover board of review procedures that
apply to the Venturing Discovery, Pathfinder, and Summit
awards. They are followed by 18.104.22.168, “Particulars forthe Discovery and Pathfinder Awards,” and 22.214.171.124,“Particulars for the Summit Award.”
126.96.36.199 Purpose and Timeliness of Venturing Boards
After completing the requirements for the Discovery,
Pathfinder, and Summit awards, Venturers appear before
a board of review. They must not be denied this
opportunity. The purpose is to review the quality of the
candidate’s experience, and through discussions and
stories about the fun, adventure, and benefits of
Venturing, to decide whether the Venturer has fulfilled the
requirements for the award.
188.8.131.52 Conducting the Venturing Board of Review
The Venturing Advisor conference is conducted
under the same general policies and procedures
as the Boy Scouting Scoutmaster conference. See
184.108.40.206, “Unit Leader (Scoutmaster) Conference.” For example, a conference required for an award
must not be denied, and the conference is neither
a retest of requirements nor a pass or fail event. In
Venturing, however, the conference takes place after
all the other requirements for an award have
Upon completion of the Adventure, Leadership, Personal
Growth, and Service requirements, a Discovery,
Pathfinder, or Summit award candidate participates in an
Advisor conference. Then a board of review is scheduled.
The board of review chair works with all involved parties
to set the date, time, and place of the review. The place
may be at the crew meeting site or another convenient
and comfortable location.
The crew Advisor, associate Advisor, or a member of the
crew committee should coach the Venturers ahead of time
on boards of review to ensure the reviews are enjoyable
experiences devoted to discussions and stories about
activities and adventure. Each review should be an
opportunity to take pride in accomplishments and to
recount the events and activities in which the candidate
has participated. This is the best way for the board
members to hear what they need to hear about the
quality of the experience and how the Venturer fulfilled
the requirements. The stories may also inspire ideas for
more fun and adventure in the future that will help crew
officers improve the program.
Crew committee members, Advisors, associate Advisors,
or other adults who may be present at a Discovery or
Pathfinder board of review have a role different from
what they do in Boy Scouting. The adults are not
members of the Discovery and Pathfinder boards, and
are not there to ask the questions. They are there to
answer them, and to provide coaching, guidance, and
perspective. It is up to the Venturers to guide the
discussion and the subject matter of the discussions and
stories. To assure their complete understanding, all adults
present at Venturing boards of review should study the
Venturing Board of Review Guide, No. 512-940, found
at www.scouting.org/advancement, and complete the
Venturing Awards and Requirements Training once it
220.127.116.11 What Should Be Discussed at a Venturing
Board of Review
A Venturing board of review shall become neither a retest
or “examination” nor a challenge of a Venturer’s
knowledge. Instead, it uses an approach involving
discussions and stories about the fun, adventure, and
benefits of the program.
After their adventures, it is natural for young people to
want to tell the world about what they have done. A
board of review gives Venturers an opportunity to relive
the thrills, their accomplishments, and lessons they have
learned—and to get excited about them all over again!
In listening to these stories, the board of review will
uncover how the candidate achieved the award
requirements, gaining insight into not only the
participant’s progress and growth but also the
The board should try to touch on each of the elements in
the ALPS model (Adventure, Leadership, Personal
Growth, and Service). The questions and guidance
examples found in the Venturing Board of Review Guide,
No. 512-940, will help the members bring out the
desired stories and discussions, but they are free to come
up with their own approach based on the case at hand.
18.104.22.168 Majority Vote Is Required for Approval of
After the board of review for the Discovery, Pathfinder, or
Summit award, the Venturer waits outside the room or out
of hearing range while the board deliberates. A majority
vote is required for the approval of advancement. The
chair is a voting member. In the event of a tie, the chair’s
vote is the deciding vote. Every effort should be made to
deliberate with careful consideration of each board
member’s perspective, and in sufficient detail as to avoid
factual misunderstanding. It is appropriate to call the
candidate back if additional discussion may
22.214.171.124 After the Venturing Board of Review
If board of review members vote to approve
advancement, the candidate is called in and
congratulated. The board of review date becomes
the award’s effective date.
If the board decides that the candidate has not fulfilled all
the requirements, he or she must be so informed and told
what to do to pass the board. The candidate shall not be
told any specifics about the board’s deliberations. If it is
thought that a Venturer could properly complete the
requirements before his or her 21st birthday, the board
may adjourn and reconvene at a later date. If this is
done, it is best, if possible, that the same members
reassemble. In all cases when advancement is denied, a
follow-up letter must be sent promptly to Venturers who
have been turned down. It must suggest actions that
could help them successfully complete the requirements.
In the case of the Summit Award, the letter must also
explain the appeal procedures that may be followed.
126.96.36.199 Particulars for the Discovery and Pathfinder Awards
The particulars below pertain only to the Discovery and
- The board of review is chaired by the crew
president.* There is no required number of Venturers
for the board, but a group of three—the chair and
two members—is considered most appropriate.
Fewer than that does not fully reflect the importance
of the award milestones. The chair selects the other
board members from the crew.
- Two adults registered with the crew, preferably
members of the crew committee, must be present
during the board of review in a nonvoting advisory
capacity. The crew Advisor and associate Advisors
are not members of the board of review, but may be
present as observers, and they may serve as one or
both of the registered adults present.
- At no time should there be more adults than Venturers
present at a board of review.
- The chair conducts review meetings according to
BSA procedures and reports results to the crew
Advisor and advancement coordinator.
- The review should take approximately 30 minutes,
and should give the candidate and review-board
members a chance to explore the subjects
- The award shall not be presented until the signed
advancement report is submitted to the local council.
- The Venturer’s parents, relatives, or guardian should
not be in attendance in any capacity.
*If the crew president is the subject of the board of review,
then a crew vice president becomes the chair.
188.8.131.52 Particulars for the Summit Award
- The Venturing Summit Award board of review must
consist of at least five, but no more than six,
members. At least one half of the members,
excluding the chair, must be Venturers currently
participating in the program. The composition of the
board shall be as follows:
Chair: The chair shall be an adult at least 21 years of
age who is a Venturing-certified* member of the local
council or district advancement committee or their
designated Venturing-certified representative. He or
she is selected according to local council practices.
*Becoming Venturing-certified includes studying the
Venturing Board of Review Guide, completing the
Venturing Awards and Requirements Training (when
it is released), and developing a basic knowledge
Venturer membership: The board of review shall
include at least two Venturers, at least one of whom
shall be from the candidate’s crew. Other Venturing
members of the board of review should be selected
from the following list:
- Current holders of the Summit Award
or Silver Award
- Venturers who are members of the council,
area, or region Venturing Officers Association
- Venturers who currently hold a Venturing
- Eagle Scouts, Sea Scout Quartermasters, or
Girl Scout Gold award recipients who are
If the chair determines no Venturer is available who
meets one of these qualifications, the crew president
may nominate another Venturer from the candidate’s
crew to serve on the board of review.
Adult representation: The board of review shall
include at least one adult, in addition to the chair,
who is registered with the BSA—preferably in the
Summit Award candidate’s crew—and who works
regularly with the Venturing program at any level.
Community representative: It is recommended that
the board of review also involve at least one wellrespected
adult representative of the community, who
need not be affiliated with the BSA.
The candidate’s crew president and the board of
review chair must agree upon the final membership
of the board of review. If the candidate is the crew
president, the crew’s vice president of administration
must be in agreement with the chair. If the chair and
crew president (or vice president of administration)
cannot agree, the candidate’s crew Advisor will
make the final determination, considering the
potential members previously discussed by the crew
president and chair.
- A board of review shall not occur until after the local
council has verified the Summit Award application.
- The members should convene at least 30 minutes
prior to the scheduled board of review to review
the Summit award application and service
- Summit award boards generally last 45 minutes or
somewhat longer. This is the highest award a
Venturer may achieve; there should be a discussion
of the candidate’s successes, experiences, and future
plans. It is acceptable for the review to last somewhat
longer if the discussions are positive and enjoyable.
- The Summit Award candidate may have only one
board of review (though it may be adjourned and
reconvened). Subsequent action falls under the
appeal process. (See 184.108.40.206, “After the Venturing Board of Review,” 220.127.116.11, “Appealing a Decision,” 18.104.22.168, “Filing and Processing an Appeal,” and 22.214.171.124, “Appeal Board Must Research the Case.” In
those topics covering Boy Scouting board of review
appeals, simply replace the Boy Scouting references
with those related to Venturing.)
- The Summit Award medal or patch must not be sold
or otherwise provided to any crew or to the Venturer
nor should the court of honor be scheduled until after
the certificate is created at the council service center
126.96.36.199 Initiating Summit Award Boards of Review Under Disputed Circumstances
A board of review under disputed circumstances is
available for the Venturing Summit Award. Volunteers
from the candidate’s crew are not involved. It is indicated
when a crew Advisor or committee chair does not sign
the application, if a crew Advisor conference is denied, if
it is thought a crew will not provide a fair hearing, or if
the crew Advisor or project beneficiary refuses to sign
final approval for what might be considered a
satisfactorily completed service project. A board of
review under disputed circumstances in Venturing is
subject to the same policies and procedures as one for
an Eagle Scout candidate. See topic 188.8.131.52, “Initiating Eagle Scout Board of Review Under Disputed Circumstances.”
184.108.40.206 Summit Award Boards of Review Beyond the 21st Birthday
A Summit Award board of review may occur, without
special approval, within six months after a Venturer’s 21st
birthday. If a board of review is to be held more than six
months afterward, the local council must preapprove it.
To initiate approval, the candidate, crew Advisor, or a
crew committee member attaches to the application a
statement explaining the delay.