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The advancement program for Boy Scouts is symbolized by the earning of seven badges each representing a different rank. The program is often considered to be divided into two phases.

The first phase of advancement (from Scout to First Class) is designed to teach the Scoutcraft skills, how to participate in a group, and to learn self-reliance. The Scout rank badge is awarded when the Scout demonstrates a rudimentary knowledge of the Scouting ideals and program, demonstrates basic Scoutcraft skills (knots & pocknetknife safety), and completes a youth protection and internet safety exercise with his parents. Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class have progressively harder requirements in the areas of fitness, citizenship, personal growth, tools, cooking, first aid and emergency preparedness, aquatics, hiking and navigation, nature, outdoor ethics, and Scout Spirit.

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