The following information is taken from the Advancement Policies and Procedures Committee Guide published by the Boy Scouts of America. Additional comments that relate to Troop 361 guidelines or comments are provided in italics. The Troop 361 Advancement Committee strives to follow these guidelines to the best of our ability.

One of the major avenues of achievement in Scouting is advancing from rank to rank. The Boy Scout advancement program is subtle. It places a series of challenges in front of a Scout in a manner that is fun and educational to a boy. As Scouts meet these challenges, they achieve the aims of Boy Scouting.

A boy advances and grows in the Boy Scout phase of the program in the same way a plant grows by receiving nourishment in the right environment. The job of the adults concerned with advancement is to provide the right environment.

One of the greatest needs of boys is confidence. There are three kinds of confidences that boys need: in themselves, in peers, and in leaders.

Educators and counselors agree that the best way to build confidence is through measurement. Serf-confidence is developed by measuring up to a challenge or standard. Peer confidence develops when the same measuring system is used for everyone--when all must meet the same challenge to receive equal recognition Confidence in leaders comes about when there is consistency in measuring--when leaders use a single standard of fairness.

Standards for joining a Boy Scout troop and for advancement are listed in the latest printing of the Boy Scout Handbook and in the current Boy Scouts Requirement book. No council, district unit, or individual has the authority to add to or subtract from any advancement requirement. A Boy Scout badge recognized what a boy is able to do; it is not a reward for what he has done.

Advancement accommodates the three aims of Scouting: citizenship, growth in moral strength and character, and mental and physical development-

The advancement program is designed to provide the Boy Scout with a chance to achieve the aims of Scouting. As a Scout advances he is measured and grows in confidence and self-reliance.

When a badge and certificate are awarded to a Boy Scout to recognize that he has achieved a rank, they represent that a boy has:

  • Been an active participant in his troop and patrol. (Active participation in Troop 361 is 
    defined as meeting or exceeding a standard of attendance at 60% or more of the 
    meetings and outings scheduled during the earning of the rank )
  • Demonstrated living the Scout Oath (promise) and Law in his daily life.
  • Met the other requirements and/or earned the merit badges for the rank.
  • Participated in a Scoutmaster conference.
  • Satisfactorily appeared before a board of review.

In the advanced ranks (Star, Life, and Eagle), the badge represents that the boy has also:

  • Served in a position of responsibility in the troop. (Again, active participation is required 
    to fulfill any position of responsibility.)
  • Performed service to others.

Four Steps of Advancement

A Boy Scout advances from Tenderfoot to Eagle by doing things with his patrol and his troop, with his leaders, and on his own. It's easy for him to advance, if the following four opportunities are provided for him.

  1. The Boy Scout learns. A Scout learns by doing. As he learns, he grows in ability to do his part as a member of the patrol and the troop. As he develops knowledge and skill, he is asked to teach others; and in this way he begins to develop leadership.
  2. The Boy Scout is tested. A Scout may be tested on rank requirements by his patrol leader, Scoutmaster, assistant Scoutmaster, a troop committee member, or a member of his troop. The Scoutmaster maintains a list of those qualified to give tests and to pass candidates. The Scout's merit badge counselor teaches and tests on the requirements for merit badges.
  3. The Boy Scout is reviewed. After a Scout has completed all requirements for a rank, he has a board of review. For Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life, and Eagle Palms, there view is conducted by members of the troop committee. The Eagle Scout board of review is conducted in accordance with local council procedures.
  4. The Boy Scout is recognized. When the board of review has certified a boy's advancement, he deserves to receive recognition as soon as possible. This should be done at a ceremony at the next troop meeting. The certificate for his new rank may be presented later at a formal court of honor.