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Unraveling the mystery and misery of an Eagle Board of Review

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It was a cold Thursday and I l sat alongside a handful of other scout leaders in a dimly lit basement. At the end of the table stood a young man who was shivering in fear, he could barely get his own name out, let alone the Scout Oath and Law. Welcome to your Eagle Board of Review. This particular young man, was in my troop. I remember him as a shy 11 year old and watched him grow into a strong leader and confident young man. But he was so fearful of the process and the finality of it, he nearly made himself sick. At that time in our district, and I would assume in many others as well, Eagle Boards of Review were a stressful thing. There was an aura of mystery about them and we had one guy who was the gatekeeper for all things Eagle. And if you didn’t do things exactly his way, no applications were being signed. Eventually this volunteer stepped down and an entire committee of "eagle coordinators" emerged, including myself. We have worked to take away some of the stress for…