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Conducting the Venturing Board of Review

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 Venturing Advisor conference is conducted under the same general policies and procedures as that of the Boy Scouting Scoutmaster conference. See, “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 been fulfilled.

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 on boards of review ahead of time 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 different role than 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 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, and complete the Venturing Awards and Requirements Training once it is released.

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, we use 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 unit’s program.

The board should try and 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.

Majority Vote Is Required for Approval of Venturing Advancement

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 provide clarification.

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.

Negative decisions of a Summit board of review may be appealed. The procedure is the same as described in topics, “Appealing a Decision,”, “Filing and Processing an Appeal,” and, “Appeal Board Must Research the Case.” Simply replace the Boy Scouting references with those related to Venturing. Adverse decisions regarding the Discovery and Pathfinder awards are not appealable.

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