Boy Scout advancement

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Boy Scout Advancement

(Quoted from: #33088, pages 23-26)

"The 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. As Scouts meet these challenges, they achieve the aims of Boy Scouting."

"The Scout advances and grows in the Boy Scout phase of the program in the same way a plant grows by receiving nourishment in the right environment. The job with adults concerned with advancement is to provide the right environment."

"One of the greatest needs of young men is confidence. There are three kinds of confidence that young men 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 challenge to receive equal recognition. Confidence in leaders comes about when there is consistency in measuring -- when leaders use a single standard of fairness."

"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 young man 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 in the current Boy Scout Requirements book."

"Advancement accommodates the three aims of Scouting: citizenship, growth in moral strength and character, and mental and physical development."

"The advancement program is designed to provide the Boy Scout with a chance to achieve the aims of Scouting. As a Scout advances he is measured and grows in confidence and self-reliance."

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

  • Served in a position of responsibility in the troop.
  • Performed service to others.
New in 2007 Printing

A Scout will be considered "active" in his unit if he is:
1. Registered in his unit (registration fees are current)
2. Not dismissed from his unit for disciplinary reasons.
3. Engaged by his unit leadership on a regular basis

(informed of unit activities through Scoutmaster
conference or personal contact, etc.)

Four Steps of Advancement

(Quoted from: #33088, pages 24)

"A Boy Scout advances from Tenderfoot to Eagle by doing things with his patrol and his troop, with his leaders, and on his own. It's easy for him to advance, if the following four opportunities are provided for him."

1. The Boy Scout learns. "A Scout learns by doing. As he learns, he grows in ability to do his part as a member of the patrol and the troop. As he develops knowledge and skill, he is asked to teach others; and in this way he begins to develop leadership."

2. The Boy Scout is tested. "A Scout may be tested on rank requirements by his patrol leader, Scoutmaster, assistant Scoutmaster, a troop committee member, or a member of his troop. The Scoutmaster maintains a list of those qualified to give tests and pass candidates. The Scout's merit badge counselor teaches and tests on the requirements for merit badges."

3. The Boy Scout is reviewed. "After a Scout has completed all requirements for a rank, he has a board of review. For Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life, and Eagle Palms, the review is conducted by members of the troop committee. The Eagle Scout board of review is conducted in accordance with local council procedures."

4. The Boy Scout is recognized. "When the board of review has certified a boy's advancement, he deserves to receive recognition as soon as possible. This should be done at a ceremony at the next troop meeting. The certificate for his new rank may be presented later at a formal court of honor.

Age Requirements

(Quoted from: #33088, pages 24)

"Boy Scout awards are for young men not yet 18 years old. Merit badges, badges of rank, and Eagle palms are for registered Boy Scouts, Varsity Scouts, or qualified Venturers. Any registered Boy Scout or Varsity Scout may earn these awards until his 18th birthday. Any Venturer who achieves the First Class rank as a Boy Scout or Varsity Scout in a troop or team may continue working for the Star, Life, and Eagle Scout ranks and Eagle Palms while registered as an Venturer up to his 18th birthday."

"Youth members with special needs may work towards rank advancement after they are 18. (See section titled Advancement for Youth Members with Special Needs page 39.)"

Time Extensions

If a Scout or a Venturer foresees that he will be unable to complete the requirements for the Eagle rank prior to his 18th birthday, he may file a petition in writing with the National Boy Scout Committee through the local council for special permission to continue to work toward the award after reaching age 18. The petition also may be filed by the unit leader or unit committee. The petition must show good and sufficient evidence and detail the extenuating circumstances that prevented the Scout from completing the requirements prior to his 18th birthday. Extenuating circumstances are defined as conditions or situations that are totally beyond the control of the Scout or Venturer.

If circumstances should also prevent a Scout or a Venturer from requesting the extension before he is 18, it is still permissible to ask for the extension, detailing the extenuating circumstances that prevented him from completing the requirements and from requesting the extension before age 18.

Extenuating circumstances are defined as conditions or situations that are totally beyond the control of the Scout or Venturer.

Advancement Policies #33088, p. 25


Troop Advancement Goals

(Quoted from: #33088, pages 25)

"The Scoutmaster must be in charge of advancement in the troop. It is necessary that the Scoutmaster understand the purpose of the advancement program and the importance it has in the development of the Scouts in the troop. The troop's program must provide advancement opportunities. By participating in the troop program, the Scout will meet requirements for rank advancement."

"The troop's unit commissioner and the district advancement committee can play an important part in explaining advancement and helping the Scoutmaster utilize the advancement program in the troop program, making it exciting to the Scouts in the troop."

"It is important that the troop committee and the Scoutmaster set an advancement goal for the year. A basic goal should be for each Scout to advance a rank during the year. New Scouts should earn their First Class rank during their first year in the troop. By doing so, these new Scouts become net contributors to the troop and are able to care for themselves and others. When reviewed monthly by the troop committee, Scouts will recognize the importance of Scout advancement. Troops should conduct boards of review for Scouts who are not advancing. A minimum of four formal courts of honor a year (one every three months) should be held to formally recognize the Scouts in the troop."

"Presentation of merit badges and rank badges should not await these courts of honor; awards and badges should be presented at the next meeting after they have been earned. Scouts are recognized again at a formal court of honor."

Scoutmaster Conferences

The unit leader (e.g. Scoutmaster) conference, regardless of the rank or program, is conducted according to the guidelines in the Troop Leader Guidebook, No. 33009 (volume 1). Note that a Scout must participate or take part in one; it is not a "test." Requirements do not say he must "pass" a conference. While it makes sense to hold one after other requirements for a rank are met, it is not required that it be the last step before the board of review. This is an important consideration for Scouts on a tight schedule to meet requirements before age 18. Last-minute work can sometimes make it impossible to fit the conference in before then, so scheduling it earlier can avoid unnecessary extension requests.

The conference is not a retest of the requirements upon which a Scout has been signed off. It is a forum for discussing topics such as ambitions, life purpose, and goals for future achievement, for counseling, and also for obtaining feedback on the unit’s program. In some cases, work left to be completed—and perhaps why it has not been completed—may be discussed just as easily as that which is finished. Ultimately, conference timing is up to the unit. Some leaders hold more than one along the way, and the Scout must be allowed to count any of them toward the requirement.

Conferences are meant to be face-to-face, personal experiences. They relate not only to the Scouting method of advancement, but also to that of adult association. Conferences should be held with a level of privacy acceptable under the BSA’s rules regarding Youth Protection. Parents or guardians and other Scouts within hearing range of the conversation may influence the Scout’s participation. For this reason, the conferences should not be held in an online setting.

While it is intended that the conference be conducted between the unit leader and the Scout, it may sometimes be necessary for the unit leader to designate an assistant unit leader to conduct the conference. For example, if a Scoutmaster is unavailable for an extended period of time or in larger troops where a Scout’s advancement would be delayed unnecessarily, then it would be appropriate for an assistant Scoutmaster (21 years old or older) to be designated to conduct the conference.

Unit leaders do not have the authority to deny a Scout a conference that is necessary for him to meet the requirements for his rank. Unit leaders must not require the Eagle Scout Rank Application, statement of ambitions and life purpose, or list of positions, honors, and awards as a prerequisite to holding a unit leader conference for the Eagle Scout rank. If a unit leader conference is denied, a Scout—if he believes he has fulfilled all the remaining requirements—may still request a board of review. If an Eagle Scout candidate is denied a conference, it may become grounds for a board of review under disputed circumstances.


Record Keeping

(Quoted from: #33088, pages 26)

"Each troop is responsible for keeping its own records and reporting advancement to the local council service center. This is done on an Advancement Report form. One copy is kept by the troop and two are sent to the council with an order for badges and awards. It is best that this form be submitted at least monthly so that troop records remain current and Scouts are able to receive their awards quickly after earning them. Awards cannot be purchased or awarded until the Advancement Report has been filed with the council office. A Troop/Team Record Book, maintained by the troop scribe, is available."

"At the discretion of the local council, computer-generated advancement reports may be used. If used, two copies of the computer-generated report must be submitted to the council service center. You can also use the advancement program on unit software authorized by your council for entering and submitting this report."

Training

(Quoted from: #33088, pages 26)

"A unit of training, Boy Scout Advancement, is available for instruction in how to carry out the advancement program."

Buddy System

(Quoted from: #33088, pages 26)

"A Scout must have a buddy with him at each meeting with a merit badge counselor. A Scout's buddy could be another Scout, or be a parent or guardian, brother or sister, relative or friend. From his Scoutmaster, the Scout obtains a signed merit badge application and the name of the appropriate merit badge counselor. The Scout sets up his first appointment with the counselor. The counselor should explain the requirements to the Scout. The Scout and his buddy then meet as appropriate with the counselor until the Scout completes the badges requirements."


Advancement Policies
Advancement (Report) Boy Scouts (Resources) Service Projects
Rules and Regulations First Class-First Year Eagle Scout Project
 What is Scout Spirit?  Scoutmaster Conferences Lifesaving Awards
When is a Scout Active? Time Extensions Summer Camp
When is a Scout in Uniform? Boards of Review - Appeals Merit Badges, Events & FAQ
Scouts with Special Needs Advancement Campout  Cub Scouts  (Resources)
Religious Principle Courts of Honor Varsity (Resources)
Books & References  12 Steps From Life to Eagle  Venturing & Sea Scouts  
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