Advancement through the ranks is one of the most important parts of Scouting.  The extent to which a boy participates in the advancement program largely governs the benefit he gains from membership and the length of time he stays in Scouting.  Boys join the troop and complete the Scout Rank as soon as possible, then advance through the ranks in the following order: Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life and then Eagle.

Parents!! Please note that advancement should not become the only reason a parent keeps a Scout in Scouting.  Parents should encourage their son to make advancement in Scouting his own personal goal rather than his parents' goal.  Scouts, not parents, should make the routine telephone calls to Troop Leaders and Merit Badge Counselors concerning advancement, appointments and attendance.  Part of the Scouting experience is for the Scouts to learn how to deal with adults.

 

Target First Class

 New scouts are placed into a new scout patrol where it is our goal that the scout gains the basic scout skills contained within the requirements leading to the First Class Rank.  It is the Troop Guide's responsibility along with the Troop's Youth Leaders and Scoutmasters to help the new scouts understand and settle into Boy Scouting Methods.   Scouts may work on any of the requirements through First Class at any time; however, the scout must progress and earn the previous badge before receiving the next higher rank.

There are six areas of concentration that each Scout will work on towards his First Class Rank:

        Outdoor Skills

        Physical Fitness

        Citizenship

        Emergency Preparedness

        Patrol/Troop Participation

        Personal Development

Other requirements for advancement include a conference with a Scoutmaster and a Board of Review. Young scouts are frequently frightened at the prospect of these last two steps and need some support from home as well as the troop leadership.  Generally, after their first exposure to these requirements, they take subsequent conferences and boards in stride.

During the first year, most scouts will achieve the rank of First Class if they actively participate in monthly Troop activities.  One of the major aids toward advancement to First Class is participation in the "Skills PatrolĒ at summer camp.

It is important that your scout bring his Boy Scout Handbook to every meeting until he has reached First Class. After First Class, Scouts must bring their handbook only to the Scoutmaster Conferences and Boards of Review.

 

 

Target Eagle

 After the rank of First Class, the Scouts work on Merit Badges in order to advance.  Merit Badges can be earned at any time after completing the Scout Rank requirements although they should not be the scoutís focus until he has learned the basic skills needed for First Class.  Other requirements include tenure in rank, leadership experience, service time, Scoutmaster conferences and Board of Reviews.  Scouts should plan and chart their progress in the Boy Scout Handbook starting on page 438.

 

 

 

Merit Badges

 Troop 93 maintains a library of Merit Badge pamphlets and a list of qualified Merit Badge Counselors for the Monterey Bay Area Council.  Families are encouraged to donate merit badge pamphlets to the troop library when no longer needed.  You may find it helpful to purchase the "Boy Scouts Requirements Book" at the Council shop at 55 E. San Joaquin St. in Salinas.  It contains a listing of all rank advancement requirements, as well as the requirements for every Merit Badge in Boy Scouting.  The Merit Badge Booklets not only list the requirements, but they also provide information needed to complete the badge.

When a Scout has decided to pursue a merit badge, he must first obtain a "Blue Merit Badge Card" from a Scoutmaster.  The Scoutmaster needs to sign it and check to be certain your selected counselor is registered and qualified.  The Scout should personally contact the merit badge counselor to review the requirements and establish an approach and schedule for that specific merit badge.  It is the policy of the Boy Scouts of America that no scout meets alone with a counselor.  Another scout or adult must be present at all times.  The scout should follow the schedule agreed upon and meet with the counselor as appropriate.  Once the counselor signs for the completion of the merit badge, the scout must return the Blue Card to a Scoutmaster for signature and award.  We ask that each scout provide feedback to the Troop Committee about his experience with Merit Badge Counselors.  Therefore, when a Blue Card is returned, we ask the scout to complete the Merit Badge Evaluation Form and turn it in to the Troop Committee Advancement Chair.

 

Leadership Projects

 Leadership projects are an alternative to a leadership position for scouts earning the Star and Life ranks. (The Eagle rank cannot substitute experience in a leadership position with a leadership project.)  The project must be assigned and evaluated by a Scoutmaster.  The purpose of this alternative is to provide an opportunity to learn and practice leadership skills for a scout who is active at troop meetings and outings but is unable to hold a standard leadership position in the troop because all the positions are filled.  The project must be meaningful and be the equivalent in time, energy, planning, organization and leading of scouts to that required in the standard leadership roles.

                    All leadership projects require the prior assignment/recommendation of a Scoutmaster.  Projects also require approval from the Troop Committee to ensure the above standards are met before the commitment is made to the scout.  A scout may use this method for only one rank advancement, either Star or Life, but not both.

 

Scoutmaster Conferences

 The Scoutmaster conference is the place where it is determined whether the scout has adequately completed the requirements for rank advancement.  Each scout will be asked to complete a skill sign off sheet and to bring his Boy Scout Handbook.  The Scout must sign up on the Scoutmaster appointment sheet for this review. The Scoutmasters will use this time to test skill, knowledge, attitude and attendance.  They will also set goals toward the next rank advancement and encourage the scout's participation and growth.  Over a period of time, these conferences should develop an increasing level of understanding and trust between scout and Scoutmaster.  The Scoutmaster will go through a process that guides the scout to solve his own problems and helps the scout set his own goals rather than simply acting on the advice of others.

 

 

Boards of Review

            This is a review of the scout's progress and the effectiveness of the scouting program toward reaching the aims and ideals of scouting. The members of the Board of Review are to: (1) make sure the scout has done what he was supposed to do for the rank, not skills, just completion of requirements; (2) see how good an experience the scout is having in the unit; and (3) encourage the scout to progress further.  The review is NOT an examination; the board does not re‑test the candidate's skills. This was done at the Scoutmaster Conference. The board should assess how well the scout is meeting scouting ideals.

            The Board will be made up of 3‑6 parents. None of the parents may be related to the scout.  Parentís help here is important.  The Troop Board of Review Coordinator arranges board participation.  It is the job of the review team to make the scout feel at ease and to lead the scout through the questions so that the scout can succeed. The review should take about 15 minutes for the ranks of Tenderfoot through First Class. Reviews for Star and Life should take approximately 30 minutes.  Council Advancement Committee Members hold Eagle Scout Boards of Review at the Council office.  At the end of the review, the scout is asked to leave the room and a decision is made through discussion whether the scout is qualified to advance.  If the scout is qualified, he is invited back into the room and congratulated.  If the scout is not qualified, the board must state why and write a contract with the scout to rectify any deficiency.  This will be communicated back to the Troop Committee and the Scoutmasters.  The chairman must fill out the advancement record and have one other participating member sign.  Both must then initial the Boy Scout Handbook.

 

Parents, you can help your son keep on track by:

        Encouraging your sonís advancement and following his progress in his Boy Scout Handbook.  Sit down and review the requirements for his next rank and help him learn them.  Remember, only a registered leader in the troop may sign off requirements.

        Encourage your son to go on as many campouts and other troop activities as possible.  Hiking, camping and cooking are important skills to be learned.  Encourage him to cook at home.

        Your son will need to acquire some camping equipment.  He will need a warm sleeping bag almost immediately.  Other clothing and equipment can be obtained over time.  The Scoutmasters are willing to help you choose proper equipment.

        Plan your summer family time around the week the troop attends summer camp.  Summer Camp is a great opportunity for your son to advance in both skills and Merit Badges.

        Do not use Scouting as a disciplinary measure or as a reward.  Scouting is as much an educational program as school is.  If you feel you must restrict your son's participation, please discuss it with a Scoutmaster.  The troop is a team effort, and if one of the key players is going to be missing, the troop leaders need some advance warning

 

Establish a little momentum early on.  If your son advances through the First Class Rank during the first year, he will generally gather momentum to carry him through Star and beyond.  The sense of personal accomplishment tends to cultivate a desire for more.  It is also difficult to rekindle interest in advancement after a long period of inactivity.