Virtual Boards of Review
During the coronavirus pandemic and under guidance to practice “social distancing”, we will be conducting boards of review for Scout advancement virtually using the software service Zoom. If you are asked to be part of a Virtual Board of Review, please review the following guidelines before participating.
Guidelines for Conducting Virtual Boards of Review (Adapted from BSA Article)
- Test all equipment, including cameras, lighting, microphones, software, and internet connection.
- Make sure everyone is visible — including all members of the board of review, the Scout and any observers with the Scout. 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.
- A parent or guardian of the Scout must be directly present with the Scout at the beginning of the conference. 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, anyone present with the Scout must leave the room or move out of hearing distance unless they have specifically been approved to remain as observers.
- Once the review process has been concluded, if the Scout is under age 18, the Scout’s parent or guardian 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 be recorded.
- If an appeal is necessary (as outlined in the Guide to Advancement), this may be conducted via videoconference as well.
- Look presentable. Just as you would want to look sharp in your uniform for an in-person board of review, the same should apply to one conducted via video.
- Find a quiet space with a clean background. Try to minimize audio and visual distractions.
- Test your equipment. Enlist a friend or family member to help you test your connection, making sure they can see and hear you with minimal lag.
- Try for eye contact. Though your instinct will be to look at the screen to see the board of review members, spend some time looking directly into the camera. It may feel strange, but it will look better to the people watching.
The following documents can be found on the ScoutTrack Bulletin Board. Please download and print out, or have available digitally, to reference during the board of review.
- Board of Review Questions
- Scout Leadership Descriptions