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Boy Scout Advancement


scout ranksThe Boy Scout Advancement Program is subtle. It places a series of challenges in front of a Scout in a manner that is fun and educational to a boy. As Scouts meet these challenges, they achieve the aims of Boy Scouting. A boy advances and grows in the Boy Scout program in the same way a plant grows by receiving nourishment in the right environment. The job of adults concerned with advancement is to provide the right environment.

One of the greatest needs of boys is confidence. There are three kinds of confidence that boys need: in themselves, in peers, and in leaders. Educators and counselors agree that the best way to build confidence is through measurement. Self-Confidence is developed by measuring up to a challenge or a standard. Peer Confidence develops when the same measuring system is used for everyone – when all must meet the same challenges to receive equal recognition. Confidence in Leaders comes about when there is consistency in measuring – when leaders use a single standard of fairness.


When a badge and certificate are awarded to a Boy Scout to recognize that he has achieved a rank, they represent that a boy has:

  • Been an active participant in his troop and patrol.
  • Demonstrated living the Scout Oath (Promise) and Law in his daily life.
  • Met the other requirements and/or earned the Merit Badges for the rank.
  • Participated in a Scoutmaster conference.
  • Satisfactorily appeared before a board of review.

In the advanced ranks (Star, Life and Eagle), the badge represents that the boy has also:

  • Served in a position of responsibility in the troop.
  • Performed service to others.

No council, district, unit or individual has the authority to add to or subtract from any advancement requirement. A Boy Scout badge recognizes what a boy is able to do; it is not a reward for what he has done. Standards for joining a Boy Scout troop and for advancement are listed in the latest printing of the Boy Scout Handbook and the Boy Scout Requirements book.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 August 2012 15:11