Merit badges and rank may be earned by any registered Scout until their eighteenth birthday. As the last requirement for each rank, the Scout must go through the Scoutmaster's conference and then a board of review.
ALL scouts need to bring their handbooks and turn them into the Advancement Chair for updating periodically. We will have a table set up in the room and they will come to turn those in quietly. When they are done, they will be in the "done" pile and they must be picked up at the end of the meeting.
Trail to First Class
Scouts begin their advancement journey on the Trail to First Class. The journey begins their introduction to key skills they will need as a scout and a future leader. They will start with earning their Scout rank and then advance in rank to Tenderfoot, Second Class and First Class. After earning First Class rank, they begin their next phase of the scouting journey by earning the Star rank, Life rank and then Eagle. We will talk more about this on the next page.
Completing Merit Badges
With the approval of the Scoutmaster, after your Scout has earned the Scout Rank, your scout can begin earning Merit Badges, but keep in mind that Merit Badge requirements vary in difficulty and should be chosen with age appropriateness and maturity. If you are interested in your scout attending a merit badge workshop, you must get the approval of your Scoutmaster before registering for the workshop.
If your scout has blue cards to submit for merit badge work, there will be a designated time to have Scoutmaster sign those blue cards, then the scout will turn the card in to Advancement Chair for recording.
Do not bring blue cards to Scoutmaster or the Advancement Chair at random times. We will make a call for them to be reviewed and signed.
We will not accept blue cards from parents or merit badge counselors. These must be presented by the scout.
If your scout needs to meet with the Advancement Chair or Scoutmaster to ask questions, this should be done during the meeting only and during a designated time. Before and after the meeting it is too chaotic for people to be running up and asking questions while we are trying to set up for the meeting or gather everything to leave. We appreciate your cooperation. This process is to help us reduce disruption of the meetings and will teach the scouts responsibility.
All scouts need varying amounts of service hours depending on the rank they are working on. When you start scouts, you will need a minimum of 1 hour. We will announce several opportunities for service hours throughout the year.
The Scoutmaster conference is a meeting between the Scoutmaster and the Scout, and is a requirement for each rank. The Scoutmaster reviews the Scout's progress and ensures all requirements have been met. The Scout is expected to show how he has grown in his understanding of the Scouting ideals, including the Scout Oath and the Scout Law, and how he has applied those ideals. The Scoutmaster will also discuss the next steps in advancement and encourages the Scout to advance.
Board of Review
The board of review is a group of three to six members of the troop committee and is the final approval process for Scout rank advancement. The board reviews the Scout to ensure all requirements are met and attempts to determine the Scout's attitude and his acceptance of Scouting's ideals and their application. The board also solicits the Scout's opinions on the troop or team program and on youth and adult leadership.
The Eagle Scout board of review is convened by the council or district. Members are selected by council policy and may include troop or team committee members, district or council Eagle representatives or community members with an understanding of the Eagle board. There must be at least one district or council Eagle representative. Scouts must attain the requirements for this rank prior to their 18th birthday, though the board of review itself can be done after the 18th birthday.
Emblems (Rank patches)
Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life, Eagle
The program uses a series of medals and patches as emblems.
The badge for the Scout rank consists of a simple fleur-de-lis, which symbolizes a compass needle. The needle points the Scout in the right direction, which is onward and upward.
The Tenderfoot badge takes the fleur-de-lis of the Scout badge and adds two stars and an eagle with an American shield. The stars symbolize truth and knowledge; the eagle and shield symbolize freedom and readiness to defend it.
The Second Class badge features a scroll inscribed with the Scout Motto, with the ends turned up and a knotted rope hanging from the bottom. The knot reminds each Scout to remember the Scout slogan, Do a Good Turn Daily, and the upturned ends of the scroll symbolize cheerfulness in service.
The First Class badge combines the elements of the Tenderfoot and Second Class badges. For many years, the First Class badge was used as the emblem of the BSA. Star has a First Class symbol on a five-pointed yellow star, and initially indicated the five merit badges required to earn the rank.
Life has a First Class emblem on a red heart, and initially symbolized the first-aid and health-related merit badges that the rank required. Now it signifies that the ideals of Scouting have become a part of the Scout's life and character.
The rank insignia have been around since the beginning. The current design for the Eagle Scout badge was adopted in 1985, with minor modifications in 1986 and 1989. The Eagle Scout medal is of the same basic design as in 1915, with only occasional slight modifications due to changes in manufacturer over time, most recently in 1999. The current design of the other rank badges were finalized in 1990.