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
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
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.
are six areas of concentration that each Scout will work on towards his First
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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 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.
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
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
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.