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Advancement topics include Rules and Regulations and policies regarding Cub Scouts,
Scouts BSA, Venturers, Special Needs, Scout Spirit, and What is "Active?"
Program resources are offered for Cub Scouting, Scouts BSA, Venturing, and Sea Scouting.

The official source for the information shown in this article or section is:
Guide to Advancement, October, 2011 Edition (BSA Supply SKU #N/A)

What is Advancement?

What is Advancement?
Advancement is the process by which youth members of the Boy Scouts of America progress from rank to rank in the Scouting program. Advancement is simply a means to an end, not an end in itself. Everything done to advance and earn these ranks should be designed to help the young person have an exciting and meaningful experience.
Education and fun are functions of the Scouting movement, and they must be the basis of the advancement program.
A fundamental principle of advancement in Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, Varsity Scouting, and Venturing is the growth a young person achieves as a result of his/her participation in his/her unit program.
Advancement Policies #33088, p. 3

Advancement Principles

Advancement Principles
Council and district advancement committees implement procedures that help achieve the following advancement principles.
Personal growth is the prime consideration in the advancement program. Scouting skills—what a young person knows how to do—are important, but they are not the most important aspect of advancement. Scouting's concern is the total growth of youth. This growth may be measured by how youth live the Scouting ideals, and how they do their part in their daily lives.

Learning by doing. A Cub Scout, Boy Scout, or Venturer may read about fire building or good citizenship. He/she may hear it discussed, and watch others in action, but he/she has not learned first aid until he/she has done it.

Each youth progresses at his or her own rate. Advancement is not a competition among individual young people, but is an expression of their interest and participation in the program. Youth must be encouraged to advance steadily and set their own goals with guidance from their parents, guardians, or leaders.

Advancement Policies #33088, p. 3
New in 2007 Printing
Just because a group of youth join at the same time, not everyone will earn the same awards at the same time. Let all members earn the awards at their own pace.
A badge is recognition of what a young person is able to do, not merely a reward for what he or she has done. The badge is proof of certain abilities, and is not just a reward for the completion of a task.
Advancement encourages Scouting ideals. Scouting teaches a young person how to care for himself/herself and help others. Advancement should reflect the desire to live the Cub Scout, Boy Scout, or Venturing Oath in his/her daily life.
No council, district, unit, or individual has the authority to add to or subtract from advancement requirements. (For the policies concerning youth members with special needs, see pages 39–43.)Suggestions for changes in requirements should be sent to the Program Content Committee, Innovation & Strategy Group, Boy Scouts of America, 1325 West Walnut Hill Lane, P.O. Box 152079, Irving, TX 75015-2079.
Advancement Policies #33088, p. 3

Advancement in the Four Scouting Program Phases

Advancement in the Four Scouting Program Phases
Advancement is one of the methods used to achieve the aims of Scouting in all four phases of the Scouting program (Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, Varsity Scouting, and Venturing). The aims of Scouting are character building, citizenship training, and physical and mental fitness.
Advancement Policies #33088, p. 4

Cub Scouting

The Cub Scout program in the den and pack is the basis for Cub Scout advancement. The steps in Tiger Cub, Cub Scout, and Webelos Scout advancement procedures are preparation, qualification, and recognition.

Cub Scouting has the following ranks: Bobcat, Tiger Cub, Wolf, Bear, Webelos, and Arrow of Light. The requirements to reach each rank are authorized by the National Executive Board and set forth in the Tiger Cub Handbook, Wolf Handbook, Bear Handbook, and Webelos Handbook.

Advancement Policies #33088, p. 4

Boy Scouting

Main article: Boy Scout Portal
The Boy Scout requirements for rank are the basis for a Boy Scout's advancement. There are four steps in the Boy Scout advancement procedure: learning, testing, reviewing, and recognition.

Boy Scouting has the following ranks: Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life, and Eagle. The requirements for each rank are those authorized by the National Executive Board and set forth in the Boy Scout Handbook, and the current Boy Scout Requirements book.

Advancement Policies #33088, p. 4

Varsity Scouting

Main article: Varsity Scout Portal
The Varsity Scout requirements for rank advancement are the same as those for Boy Scouts. However, the advancement program is supervised by a youth member called an advancement program manager, who is assisted by an adult on the team committee.
Advancement Policies #33088, p. 4


Main article: Venturing Portal
A male Venturer who has achieved the First Class rank as a Boy Scout in a troop or as a Varsity Scout in a team may continue working toward the Eagle Scout rank as a Venturer until his 18th birthday. There is no alternate Venturing advancement route to qualify for the Eagle Scout rank.

The Venturing Bronze, Gold, Silver, Ranger, Quest, TRUST, and Quartermaster awards may be earned by all Venturers who meet certain requirements. Details on Venturing advancement can be found in the Venturing/Ranger Handbook, Venturing Leader Manual, Quest Handbook, TRUST Handbook, and Sea Exploring Manual.

Advancement Policies, p. 4

See also

Advancement Policies
Advancement (Report) Scouts BSA (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
Books & References  12 Steps From Life to Eagle  Venturing & Sea Scouts  
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