The Boy Scout program is based on advancement through several ranks. Each scout progresses at his own rate. Some requirements are completed at Troop meetings, some at campouts, and some must be done independently. All advancements are earned individually.
In the Boy Scouts of America, a new Scout first earns the SCOUT badge, which is a sort of starter badge, after a Scout passes some basic requirements, like knowing the Scout Law and Oath, and the meaning of each (basically what they learned to earn the Webelos Arrow of Light Award).
The first basic rank, on what we call the Trail to eagle, is TENDERFOOT, in which the Scout learns a variety of things like basic first aid, safe hiking, and the basics of camping, and takes part in troop activities. The next ranks are SECOND CLASS and FISRT CLASS, where they learn camping and cooking skills in more detail, more first aid, more knots and lashings, and other skills that will be useful throughout scouting.
The next three ranks are STAR, LIFE, and EAGLE. For these ranks, Scouts earn a certain number of merit badges for each rank. Hold troop leadership offices, and perform a certain number of service hours. Additionally, scouts going for Star rank must complete a review of skills learned during the earlier ranks. The troop considers this review to fall under showing Scout Spirit and is important to showing that the scouts are ready for High Adventure, which will require the Scouts achieve the First Class rank. Some of the merit badges for Eagle are specifically required, while other merit badges can be selected by the Scout based on their interests. For Eagle candidates, besides earning merit badges, an Eagle service project must be performed for a charity, church, school, or community.
When do I work on Rank Advancement?
Rank advancement requirements can be worked on before or after Troop meetings, during Patrol Time at the meetings, or be scheduled with a Patrol Leader or Troop Guide. There is also time available on most campouts to work on rank advancement requirements.
Who can sign off requirements?
Only Patrol Leaders and Troop Guides (First Class and above) can sign off on advancements for the Ranks of Scout through First Class. Adult Leaders can also sign-off on requirements. Only the SPL and the Scoutmaster can sign off on THE SCOUT SPIRIT requirement for each Rank.
Scoutmaster Conference & Board of Review
Before receiving each Rank, a Scout must demonstrate Scout Spirit, complete a Scoutmaster’s Conference, and pass a Board of Review.
Scout Spirit: Scout spirit means active participation in Scout activities, including regularly scheduled meetings and campouts.
Scoutmaster’s Conference: Once all of the requirements for a Rank have been completed, the Scout will need to sign up to schedule a Scoutmaster’s conference. Please sign-up for a Scoutmaster Conference on the clip-board signup sheet to get on the schedule. A Scoutmaster’s conference is a discussion with an adult leader about your scouting accomplishments, school, family activities, and future scouting goals. And, it is to help you get ready for your Board of Review.
Board of Review: Once you have passed your Scoutmaster’s conference, you are ready to sign up for a Board of Review. The Board of review is conducted by three adult leaders. The Board will ask questions about what the Scout has learned in working on his next rank. Once a Scout has passed his Board of Review, he has achieved his Rank at that moment. He will receive his Rank badge at the Troop’s next Court of Honor (typically in October and April/May).