Scout advancement

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<noinclude>{{Boy Scout Advancement Header}}
<noinclude>{{Boy Scout Advancement Header}}
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[[Image:Boy-Scout-Ranks-75pc.jpg|thumb|150px|right|<center>Boy Scout Advancement Progression</center>]]
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[[Image:Boy-Scout-Ranks-75pc.jpg|thumb|150px|right|<center>Scout Advancement Progression</center>]]
{{AdvancementPolicies}}
{{AdvancementPolicies}}
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{{See also|[[Boy Scout Portal|Boy Scouting]] for program information}}
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{{See also|[[Scouts BSA Portal]] for program information}}
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</noinclude>
==Boy Scout Advancement==
==Boy Scout Advancement==
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==Four Steps of Advancement==
==Four Steps of Advancement==
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{{Shortcut|[[Four Steps]]}}(Quoted from: [[Advancement Policies]] #33088, pages 24)
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{{Shortcut|[[Four Steps]]}}(Quoted from: ''[[Guide to Advancement]]'', pages 21)
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''"A Boy Scout advances from [[Tenderfoot rank|Tenderfoot]] to [[Eagle Scout rank|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."''
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''"A Scout advances from the Scout rank to the Eagle rank by doing things with a patrol and troop, with adult and youth leaders, and independently. A well-rounded and active unit program that generates advancement as a natural outcome should enable Scouts to achieve First Class in their first 12 to 18 months of membership. Advancement is a straightforward matter when the four steps or stages outlined below are observed and integrated into troop programming. The same steps apply to members who are qualified to continue with Scouts BSA advancement in Venturing or Sea Scouts. In these cases, references to troops and various troop leaders would point to crews and ships, and their respective leaders."''
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<big>'''1. The Boy Scout learns.'''</big>
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<big>'''1. The Scout Learns.'''</big>
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''"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."''
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''"With learning, a Scout grows in the ability to contribute to the patrol and troop. As Scouts develop knowledge and skills, they are asked to teach others and, in this way, they learn and develop leadership."''
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<big>'''2. The Boy Scout is tested.'''</big>
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<big>'''2. The Scout is Tested.'''</big>
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''"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 to pass candidates. The Scout's merit badge counselor teaches and tests on the requirements for merit badges."''
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''"The unit leader authorizes those who may test and pass the Scout on rank requirements. They might include the patrol leader, the senior patrol leader, the unit leader, an assistant unit leader, or another Scout. Merit badge counselors teach and test Scouts on requirements for merit badges."''
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<big>'''3. The Boy Scout is reviewed.'''</big>
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<big>'''3. The Scout is Reviewed.'''</big>
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''"After a Scout has completed all requirements for a rank, he has a [[Boards of Review|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."''
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''"After completing all the requirements for a rank, except Scout rank, a Scout meets with a board of review. For Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, and Life ranks, members of the unit committee conduct it. See “Particulars for Tenderfoot Through Life Ranks,” 8.0.2.0. The Eagle Scout board of review is held in accordance with National Council and local council procedures."''
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<big>'''4. The Boy Scout is recognized.'''</big>
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<big>'''4. The Scout is Recognized.'''</big>
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''"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]].
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''"When a Scout has earned the Scout rank or when a board of review has approved advancement, the Scout deserves recognition as soon as possible. This should be done at a ceremony at the next unit meeting. The achievement may be recognized again later, such as during a formal court of honor."''

Current revision

Scouts BSA Advancement policies cover Merit Badges, Summer Camp,
Scout Spirit, Active, Special Needs, Eagle Projects, Scoutmaster Conferences,
Boards of Review, Appeals, Courts of Honor, Time Extensions, and more.

Scout Advancement Progression
Scout Advancement Progression


The official source for the information shown in this article or section is:
Guide To Advancement, 2011 Edition (BSA Supply SKU #N/A)
See also: Scouts BSA Portal for program information


Contents

Boy Scout Advancement

(Quoted from: Advancement Policies #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 of 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

Shortcut:
Four Steps
(Quoted from: Guide to Advancement, pages 21)

"A Scout advances from the Scout rank to the Eagle rank by doing things with a patrol and troop, with adult and youth leaders, and independently. A well-rounded and active unit program that generates advancement as a natural outcome should enable Scouts to achieve First Class in their first 12 to 18 months of membership. Advancement is a straightforward matter when the four steps or stages outlined below are observed and integrated into troop programming. The same steps apply to members who are qualified to continue with Scouts BSA advancement in Venturing or Sea Scouts. In these cases, references to troops and various troop leaders would point to crews and ships, and their respective leaders."

1. The Scout Learns. "With learning, a Scout grows in the ability to contribute to the patrol and troop. As Scouts develop knowledge and skills, they are asked to teach others and, in this way, they learn and develop leadership."

2. The Scout is Tested. "The unit leader authorizes those who may test and pass the Scout on rank requirements. They might include the patrol leader, the senior patrol leader, the unit leader, an assistant unit leader, or another Scout. Merit badge counselors teach and test Scouts on requirements for merit badges."

3. The Scout is Reviewed. "After completing all the requirements for a rank, except Scout rank, a Scout meets with a board of review. For Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, and Life ranks, members of the unit committee conduct it. See “Particulars for Tenderfoot Through Life Ranks,” 8.0.2.0. The Eagle Scout board of review is held in accordance with National Council and local council procedures."

4. The Scout is Recognized. "When a Scout has earned the Scout rank or when a board of review has approved advancement, the Scout deserves recognition as soon as possible. This should be done at a ceremony at the next unit meeting. The achievement may be recognized again later, such as during a formal court of honor."


Age Requirements

All Scouts BSA awards, merit badges, badges of rank, and Eagle Palms are only for registered Scouts, including Lone Scouts, and and also for qualified Venturers or Sea Scouts who are not yet 18 years old. Venturers and Sea Scouts qualify by achieving First Class rank as a Scout or Lone Scout, or Varsity Scout (prior to January 1, 2018). The only exceptions for those older than age 18 are related to Scouts registered beyond the age of eligibility ("Registering Qualified Members Beyond Age of Eligibility," 10.1.0.0) and those who have been granted time extensions to complete the Eagle Scout rank ("Time Extensions," 9.0.4.0).
Guide To Advancement § 4.2.0.1 Scouting Ranks and Advancement Age Requirements (2019 Printing).



Time Extensions

A Scout who foresees that, due to no fault or choice of their own, it will not be possible to complete the Eagle Scout rank requirements before age 18, may apply for a limited time extension. See “Process for Submitting and Evaluating an Extension Request,” 9.0.4.1, item No. 1. These are rarely granted and reserved only for work on Eagle. When a time extension is requested, the Scout should continue working on the requirements as processing occurs. In most cases, for a request to be considered the following five tests must be met.
  1. The member joined or rejoined—or became active again after a period of inactivity—in time to complete all requirements before turning 18. That is, the time remaining between joining, or rejoining, and when the Scout turns 18 is more than the total of the active-time requirements for the ranks left to achieve.

  2. A circumstance came to exist that now precludes completion before the deadline. Examples might include a health-related incident requiring a hospital stay, a disabling injury, a significant employment conflict, a family relocation, a family emergency, a natural disaster, severe unseasonable weather that could not have been anticipated, or unforeseen actions of others affecting the youth’s ability to complete the requirements. It is extremely unlikely an extension will be granted if resolution of the circumstance—such as recovery from an injury, for example—still allows enough time for an adequate service project, or for completing the position of responsibility, active participation, or merit badge requirements if they have not already been met.

  3. The circumstance is totally beyond the control of the youth member. Injuries, unanticipated family incidents, or various mistakes or omissions by adults, for example, could be legitimate causes. The Boy Scouts of America assumes anyone working on Scouts BSA ranks has a Scouts BSA Handbook and has read the requirements. Despite this, misinformation from unit leadership is often cited as grounds for extensions. These cases will be considered, but they should be very rare and would point to a need for basic training and assistance.

  4. The circumstance is severe and not the norm of the Scout’s life. In most cases, Scouts are expected to overcome life’s ordinary trials. Cause for an extension normally requires an extraordinary circumstance uncommon to the youth. For example, known circumstances such as moderate learning disabilities or ADD/ADHD that the Scout has faced over many years and has coped with in the past, should not suddenly become an issue shortly before the Scout’s 18th birthday.

    It is important for council and district advancement committees to keep unit leadership informed of this so it does not become a surprise. An exception might be considered for Scouts with significant disabilities that do not meet the level of severity or permanence required for registration beyond the age of eligibility, but are such that they essentially preclude advancement within the timeframe allowed.

  5. The circumstance could not have been planned for or anticipated. If it is health-related, it should have been unforeseen and of recent onset, or a complication or intensification of an ongoing issue.
Guide To Advancement § 9.0.4.0 Time Extensions.



Troop Advancement Goals

Shortcut:
Troop Advancement Goals
(Quoted from: Advancement Policies #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 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."

"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

See:Advancement Report


Training

(Quoted from: Advancement Policies #33088, pages 26)

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


Scout Buddy System

(Quoted from: Advancement Policies #33088, page 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) 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  
Click here for Many more Advancement Policies
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