Boy Scout Advancement
Boy Scouting provides a series of surmountable obstacles and steps in overcoming them through the advancement method. The Boy Scout plans his advancement and progresses at his own pace as he meets each challenge. The Boy Scout is rewarded for each achievement, which helps him gain self-confidence. The steps in the advancement system help a Boy Scout grow in self-reliance and in the ability to help others.
A Scout who is unable to complete any or all of the requirements for Tenderfoot, Second Class, or First Class rank because he is physically or mental disabled may complete alternative requirements.
Scout rankMeet the age requirements. Be a boy who is 11 years old, or one who has completed the fifth grade or earned the Arrow of Light Award and is at least 10 years old, but is not yet 18 years old. The first badge of Boy Scouting can be earned as soon as a boy joins a troop, especially if he has earned his Arrow of Light as a Webelos Scout. This first recognition is earned by applying and memorizing some important Scouting basics.
Tenderfoot is the first rank earned as a Boy Scout. The requirements of becoming a Tenderfoot provide basic skills to begin preparing the Scout for higher adventure outings. Earning badges and receiving recognition can be very satisfying to boys. However, keep in mind that the badge is only a representation of a valuable set of skills that a Scout has learned and demonstrated. The skills, wisdom, and experience gained through the activities of the scouting program are of much more value than a small badge.
Second Class Scouts work on building their outdoor survival and camping skills. Compass work, nature observation, camp tools, and swimming are areas where new skills are mastered and demonstrated. A second class Scout, having completed all the requirements, should be able to lead a hike, care for his own equipment, set up a campsite, and perform basic first aid.
When the First Class rank is attained, a Scout has learned all the basic camping and outdoors skills of a scout. He can fend for himself in the wild, lead others on a hike or campout, set up a campsite, plan and properly prepare meals, and provide first aid for most situations he may encounter. A First Class Scout is prepared.
Up through First Class rank, a Scout was busy learning skills and becoming a self-sufficient Scout. He now moves from being a learner to being a leader. The Star rank is attained with participation, leadership, service, and self-directed advancement through merit badges.
Continuing to develop leadership skills, the Life Scout rank is earned by fulfilling additional leadership positions, service hours, and merit badges. A Life Scout is expected to be a role model and leader in the troop, providing guidance to new scouts and helping the troop however he can. Being a good leader can only be learned by doing and troop leadership positions allow the Scout to make decisions, lead discussions, and encourage others.
To earn the Eagle Scout rank, the highest advancement rank in Scouting, a Boy Scout must fulfill requirements in the areas of leadership, service, and outdoor skills. Although many options are available to demonstrate proficiency in these areas, a number of specific skills are required to advance through the ranks—Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life, and Eagle. To advance, a Boy Scout must pass specific tests that are organized by requirements and merit badges.