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Scoutmaster Conference (SMC) and Board of Review (BOR)

Uniform and Sash: 
Without exception, a Scout must be in full Class A uniform to participate in a SMC or BOR.  
For Scouts who have at least three merit badges completed, it is recommended that they prepare and wear a sash to their BOR displaying their merit badges. 

Scoutmaster Conference: 
A SMC is a short visit between the Scout and his Scoutmaster.  In some cases an ASM (Assistant Scout Master) may be assigned if we have numerous Scouts needing conferences on the same night.

The Scoutmaster Conference is not a test.  
The skills have already been accomplished and signed off.  
Our visit is guided by the Scout as we talk about his scouting experience, what's been hard, understanding the functions of the troop, and many more subjects including what to expect during his Board of Review and the expectations of his next rank.  
The Rank advancement sequence is always the same.
  1. Scout completes requirements for the rank he's advancing towards.
  2. Scout requests a SMC when offered on the Troop meeting schedule.
  3. Scout participates in a SMC.
  4. Scout is then permitted to request a BOR when offered on the Troop meeting schedule.
Note: Only one SMC and/or BOR may be completed within a month (no multiple rank requests within one month).  
A SMC and BOR may not be completed on the same day. 
There are two requirements that will not be signed off in the rank listing when the scout is ready for his conference. 
  1. One discusses how the scout is living by the Scout Oath and Law.  
  2. The other is having completed a SMC.  
We will discuss the application of the Scout Oath and Law when we visit during the SMC.  All other Rank requirements should be accomplished prior to the scout requesting a SMC.

Board of Review: 
Once successfully completing a SMC, the Scout then may request a Board of Review (BOR).  
Troop 2860 BORs are paneled by ASMs and occasionally a BSA savvy parent.  Typically there are three or four impaneled BOR participants.  
We do not have a standing BOR, rather, we utilize available ASMs with a balance of experienced BOR participants and ASMs that may not be as experienced.  

The job of the BOR includes assuring the Scout is properly prepared for the rank he's requesting.  The BOR is also looking to assure the Scoutmaster and Troop organization is successfully executing according to BSA guidelines.  A Scoutmaster may not participate in a BOR.  The BOR is as much a check on the Scout as a check on the Troop and Scoutmaster.  

As with the SMC, the BOR is not a test of the scout.  The BOR's job is to converse with the scout in a manner that allows the scout to bring forth his scouting knowledge.  
The Scout may offer examples of how his skills or leadership knowledge has benefited him.  He may discuss his understanding of the Scout Oath and Law and where he applies it to his daily activities.  
The BOR's goal is to affirm the scout's knowledge of his completed rank and encourage and motivate him to seek the next Rank. 

Each scout is unique, however, the universal expectation is for each scout to strive to do his best as he works through rank requirements.  While not a test of the scout, there is nothing automatic about a scout passing a BOR.  The BOR may ask the scout to review specific aspects of the rank he's seeking and return at the next opportunity. 

There are many benefits for Scouts as they work through the SMC and BOR process.  With each BOR, a Scout gains confidence and becomes adapt at conducting himself on an increasingly mature level.  A Troop 2860 Scout who achieves Life Rank is well versed in the interview process and has had many opportunities to converse with adults in a meaningful manner.  This practice almost assures your Scout will perform well on his first job interview.  That is one reason among many that our society has such high regard for the BSA Scouting program.