It is important to set an advancement goal for the year. A basic goal should be for each boy to advance a rank during the year. New Scouts should earn the First Class Rank during their first year in the troop. By doing so, these new Scouts become new contributors to the troop and are able to care for themselves and others.
Early Rank Requirements (Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class)
The early ranks, are designed to be a foundation for each Scout to build upon--each requirement helps to develop skills the Scout will need for the next rank. For example, asking for help from their peers, leaders, and other adults begins with entry into the troop and continues throughout all rank advancement as follows:
- A Scout will need to get the help of experienced Scouts to teach him the skills he must accomplish.
When he can demonstrate his accomplishment a Scout will need to get a sign off in his
He then asks for adult help in updating his records to receive credit for those requirements
he has worked so hard to accomplish.
He asks for adult help again when he schedules his Scoutmaster Conference and his
Board of Review.
One of the requirements under the First Class rank, has the Scout visit and discuss his constitutional rights and obligations with a selected individual approved by his Scoutmaster. To fulfill this requirement the Scout must approach the individual (phone or in person) and
make a request. Most Scouts are shy about asking for help. When they have a specific
goal in mind it is easier for them to overcome their shyness. With completion of the
requirement their confidence level has been raised.
Now, they move on to asking for help with merit badges and eventually to developing and
seeking help for their Eagle service project. Each contact moves them further along in
rank and builds their confidence.
The early ranks are divided into four basic skill areas: Citizenship, First Aid, Outdoor Skills, and Physical Fitness/Personal Development. Activities are planned throughout the year that touch on all these skill areas. Each area has multiple skills that build upon each other.
Advanced Rank Requirements (Star, Life, Eagle)
The advanced ranks are designed to build on top of the foundation of the early ranks. Each Scout must earn a minimum of 21 merit badges to achieve Eagle Scout. Twelve of those merit badges are defined and like the early ranks are divided into four basic skill areas: Citizenship, First Aid, Outdoor Skills, and Physical Fitness/Personal Development. The remaining ten merit badges can come from any of these areas or others.
With advanced rank comes advanced responsibility. Each Scout must serve in a position of responsibility at each rank. Generally these positions become more advanced as the Scout advances and develops his leadership capabilities. The advanced Scout is the backbone of the Scouting program-he is the one participating in planning conferences and teaching skills to younger Scouts. The advancement of the Troop depends upon the participation and involvement of its advanced rank Scouts.
Service to others is also required at the advanced level. By actively helping others the Scouts learn to make service part of their daily lives. They learn to appreciate what they have and the needs of others. As an Eagle candidate they learn what it takes to organize a project to help others.
Who May Approve/Sign Requirements
Each Scout is responsible for obtaining sign-offs in his Scout Handbook from authorized leaders when he completes a requirement. Signing authority is given to the more advanced Scouts who are providing leadership to the troop. Based on the requirement some items have been designated for specific authorities only:
- If the requirement states "with your patrol"; only the Patrol Leader for the Scout's patrol may sign-off on completion--that Patrol Leader is the one who knows if the Scout finished the requirement satisfactorily or if he still needs to work on it a little more.
Requirements that are based on information maintained in the database, such as
attendance, time in troop or responsibility, or merit badges earned are only signed-off
by Advancement Committee adults who can verify the information in the database.
Swimming requirements that relate to the safety of the Scout and our knowledge of his
abilities are limited to qualified authorities such as Summer Camp Waterfront personnel
or troop personnel with the appropriate credentials.
Scout Spirit, Scoutmaster Conferences, and Boards of Review are designated for Adult
Leadership signatures only.
If there's a question about who can sign-off, the Scout's Patrol Leader will help him resolve it with the help of the Scoutmaster or Adults from the Advancement Committee.