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Ranks and 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.

The advancement program for Boy Scouts of the Boy Scouts of America is symbolized by the earning of seven ranks. The ranks being Scout, Tenderfoot, Second-class, First-class, Star, Life, and Eagle which is the highest rank in scouting. 

The advancement program is often considered to be divided into two phases. The first phase from joining to First Class is designed to teach the boy Scoutcraft skills, how to participate in a group and to learn self-reliance. The Scout badge is awarded when the Scout demonstrates a rudimentary knowledge of the Scouting ideals and program. Tenderfoot, Second Class and First Class have progressively harder requirements in the areas of Scoutcraft, physical fitness, citizenship, personal growth and Scout Spirit. 

The second phase of Star, Life and Eagle is designed to develop leadership skills and allow the Scout to explore potential vocations and avocations through the merit badge program. The Star and Life ranks require that the boy serve in a position of responsibility and perform community service. Except for Scout rank, all ranks as well as Eagle Palms require that the candidate participate in a Scoutmaster conference and pass a Board of Review.  Source: Wikipedia

Rank Advancements

Rank advancements are how scouts show progress through the scouting program. 

Starting at the rank of Scout, the ranks progress as follows:
View detailed information about  advancement requirements at scouting.org 

Merit Badges 

Merit badges are achievements earned in specific areas of interest by scouts. Scouts can learn about sports, crafts, science, trades, business, and future careers by earning merit badges. There are more than 100 merit badges, and any Boy Scout or Venturer may earn any of these at any time. 

The scout handbook has more information about merit badges. Or checkout these online resources:
Scouting.org Merit Badges

Troop 291 Advancement Processes

Rank advancement process:
The advancement process includes the following steps:
  • Complete advancement requirements
  • All of the requirements except Scoutmaster Conference and Board of Review should be signed off in your book.
  • Contact the Advancement ASPL for a requirement check and advancement form.
  • Meet with the troop Advancement Chair for a records check. This will ensure that all of the requirements are complete and you are ready to proceed.
  • For Tenderfoot, Second Class and First Class Ranks, see Advancement ASPL to arrange for a skills review
  • Schedule a Scoutmaster conference by emailing:
  • scoutmaster@bsa-ncac-troop291.org
  • Schedule a Board of Review with the Advancement ASPL

To streamline the advancement sign-off process we use the Advancement Checklist form to ensure that all scouts have met rank requirements and complete all the necessary steps in the troop advancement process. This form can be obtained from the Advancement ASPL or downloaded here: 

a. Scouts who are First Class or above sign off on requirements in Scout Handbooks as requirements are completed

b. Scouts should present their Scout Handbooks to Mr. Chris Douglas, Advancement Chair, at troop meetings for official updating in Troop Master Database

c. Once all rank requirements have been signed off on, print an advancement checklist from the troop website and take it to an Assistant Senior Patrol Leader (ASPL) for Advancement

d. ASPL will lead you through the rest of the advancement process (Skills Assessment, Scoutmaster Conference, and Board of Review) - You may email the Advancement ASPL’s at:

Merit Badge process:
View the Troop 291 Merit Badge Process here: