The advancement program for Boy Scouts and Varsity Scouts is symbolized by the earning of seven badges, six of which are considered ranks. The program is often considered to be divided into two phases.
The first phase of advancement (from joining to First Class) is designed to teach the Scoutcraft skills, how to participate in a group, and to learn self-reliance. The Scout badge is awarded when the Scout demonstrates a rudimentary knowledge of the Scouting ideals and program. Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class have progressively harder requirements in the areas of Scoutcraft, physical fitness, citizenship, personal growth, and Scout Spirit.