First Class-First Year

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"...active Scouts will usually earn First Class within a year ..."
MeritBadge.Org provides Worksheets, Swimming, First Aid Skills|First Aid]], and Outdoor Skills resources for
Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class ranks.
Advancement Campouts and Summer Camp programs for new Scouts are key.

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The official source for the information shown in this article or section is:
Guide To Advancement, 2011 Edition (BSA Supply No. 33088)

This topic is under discussion at MeritBadge.Net. Click here to view or join the discussion.


Though you can advance at your own pace, active Scouts will usually earn First Class within a year of joining a troop.
Boy Scout Handbook, p. 14
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 the 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 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.
Advancement Policies #33088, p. 25)

An Advancement Campout held after the new Webelos have crossed over into the troop helps Scouts earn First Class in their first year. Boy Scout Summer Camps also offer new Scout Programs that focus on the basic Scout Skills needed for Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class ranks. Merit Badge Days often also have content designed for new Scouts.

In 1998, the expected time to make First Class Rank was extended to 12 months with the First Class-First Year program. Here is the current version of First Class-First Year.

Contents

History

History of Time Requirements (in months)
Rank/Award Prior 1963 1965 1972 1979 1994-Date
Scout --- --- --- --- 0 0
Tenderfoot 0 0 0 2 2 1*
Second Class 0 1 1 3 2 0
First Class 0 1 2 3 2 0
1st Class Total 0 2 3 8 6 1
Star 3 3 3 4 4 4
Life 3 3 3 6 6 6
Eagle 6 6 6 6 6 6
Eagle Total 12 14 15 24 22 17
  • Note: Tenderfoot has had a 30 day physical fitness requirement since 1994.

Early Years - No First Class Tenure requirements
Through the 1950s, there were no tenure requirements for Tenderfoot, Second Class, or First Class. Any Scoutcraft requirement could be done at any time. [1]

1963 - First Class Requires 2 Months Total Tenure
By 1963, a tenure requirement of 1 month for Second Class and 1 month for First Class was added. The Scout could still work on his camping, hiking, first aid, cooking, swimming, and other Scoutcraft requirements at any time. [2]

1965 - Total Tenure extended to 3 months
The 1965 Boy Scout Handbook extended the First Class tenure requirement to 2 months. For the next seven years requirements for Second Class were to now be done while a Tenderfoot; and First Class requirements were to be done while a Second Class Scout. The 1965 Handbook also stated on page 228:

"The early steps put you on the road – but it is only after you take step-after-step that you can expect to reach the goal that Scouting is aiming for." And, "That's why you should strive to become a First Class Scout at the earliest possible moment."[3]

That 'earliest possible moment' to earn First Class was 3 months.

1972 - "The Improved Scouting Program"
On September 1, 1972, dramatic changes occurred. Work for Second Class and First Class could again be done at any time. For the only time in the history of the Boy Scouts, Eagle Scout required 24 merit badges. Councils now reviewed Eagle Projects for the first time. Scouts no longer needed to be able to swim. Camping merit badge was no longer required for Eagle. Uniforms became optional. Tenure requirements increased to: Tenderfoot - 2 months, Second Class - 3 months, and First Class - 3 months.

Prior to this 1972, Explorers and Junior Assistant Scoutmasters could earn Eagle and Eagle Palms until age 21. [4]

1979
1979 saw the Scout Award added and tenure requirements to: Tenderfoot - 2 months, Second Class - 2 months, and First Class - 2 months. Camping merit badge was again required for Eagle. [5]

1994
In 1994, Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class tenure requirements were removed, restoring the pre-1963 no time requirements. [6]

Today

Since the 1960s, the expectation for earning First Class has gone from 3 months to 12 months. At the same time, the requirements have also been expanded.

  • Scout Award: The Scout Award did not exist in the 1960s. [7] Today's Scout Award contains the same essential requirements as the Tenderfoot Rank did in the 1960's. [8]
  • Tenderfoot: Today's Tenderfoot Rank has added requirements for physical fitness, camping, cooking, and first aid in addition to the 1960s' requirements.
  • Second Class: In the 1960s, Second Class had no requirements for camping or swimming. Today, Second Class requires participation in at least 5 activities outside of meetings as well as 2 campouts. Basic swimming skills and expanded first aid skills have also been added.
  • First Class: Today's requirements double the 1960s swimming requirements. Specific strokes are now required. Today's First Class camping requirement is 50% more than the 1960's requirements In addition First Class now requires participation in at least 10 activities outside of meetings.

Camping merit badge is now required again for Eagle. Since 2001, the requirements for almost every merit badge have also been increased.

On to Eagle

The Scoutmaster Handbook (page 119, First Class Emphasis) states that earning First Class in the First Year gives a Scout a better chance to make eagle:

"A boy who advances to First Class within his first year in Scouting had a better-than-average chance of eventually becoming an Eagle Scout." [9]

The Advancement Policies #33088, page 25 states:

"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." [10]

Notes

In 1950[11] and 1965[12], the National Council stated: "The average age at which Scouts attain Eagle is 14."

See also

References

  1. Boy Scout Handbook © 1948, Fifth Edition, Eleventh Printing, October 1957
  2. Boy Scout Requirements © 1960, 1963 Revision
  3. Boy Scout Handbook © 1965, Seventh Edition, Fourth Printing, February, 1968
  4. Boy Scout Handbook, © 1972, Eighth Edition, First Printing, June, 1972
  5. Boy Scout Handbook © 1979, Ninth Edition, Ninth Printing, July, 1985
  6. Boy Scout Handbook © 1990, Tenth Edition, Fifth Printing
  7. Boy Scout Handbook © 1965, Seventh Edition, Fourth Printing, February, 1968
  8. Boy Scout Handbook, © 1998, Eleventh Edition, Eighth Printing, 2008
  9. Scoutmaster Handbook #3309 © 1998, p.119
  10. Advancement Committee Policies and Procedures #33088
  11. Advancement in the Troop © 1950, 1962 Revision, p.27
  12. Advancement in the Troop © 1965, 1966 Revision, p.28
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