Scouts BSA Requirements

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''Boy Scout Requirements''

First edition:
Latest edition:2018, 302 pages
BSA Supply Number:33216



The requirements listed in this Boy Scout Requirements book for rank advancement, Eagle Palms, and merit badges are the official requirements of the Boy Scouts of America and are effective Jan. 1, 2018, through Dec. 31, 2018. However, the requirements on the following pages might not match those in the Boy Scout Handbook and the merit badge pamphlets, because this publication is updated only on an annual basis. The most current and any updated merit badge requirements can be found at

When new or revised merit badge requirements appear in this Boy Scout Requirements book, any Scout beginning work on a merit badge must use the requirements as stated therein. However, if changes to merit badge requirements are introduced in a revised merit badge pamphlet or at throughout the year, then the Scout has through the end of the current calendar year to decide which set of requirements to use.

Once a Scout begins work, he may continue using the requirements he started with until completion of the badge. Alternatively, he may choose to switch to the revised requirements. Sometimes, however—especially for more significant changes—the Boy Scout Handbook, the Boy Scout Requirements book,, or official communications from the National Council may set forth a different procedure that must be used. The National Council may establish a new date for when use of the existing requirements must cease.

There is no time limit between starting and completing a badge, although a counselor may determine so much time has passed since any effort took place that the new requirements must be used.

No council, district, unit, or individual has the authority to add to, or to subtract from, any advancement or merit badge requirements. For more detailed information, see the Guide to Advancement, which is available online at

Boy Scout Requirements (2018), inside front cover

Scout became a rank effective Jan. 1, 2016. All requirements for the Scout rank must be completed as a member of a troop. If a Scout has already completed these requirements as part of the Webelos Scouting Adventure, he simply demonstrates his knowledge or skills to his Scoutmaster or other designated leader after joining. Upon joining, a Scout must still meet the age requirements. The Scout must be a youth who is 11 years old, or one who has completed the fifth grade or earned the Arrow of Light Award and is at least 10 years old, but is not yet 18 years old.

Requirements Changes

Effective January 1, 2018, the following changes were made to requirements for Boy Scout ranks, merit badges, and special opportunities.


Merit Badges

Special Opportunities

Table of Contents

Age Requirement Eligibility
Boy Scout Rank Requirements
Scout Rank Requirements
Tenderfoot Rank Requirements
Second Class Rank Requirements
First Class Rank Requirements
Alternative Requirements
Star Rank Requirements
Life Rank Requirements
Eagle Rank Requirements
Eagle Scout Rank Alternative Requirements
Eagle Palms
Introduction to Merit Badges
Merit Badge Requirements
Special Opportunities
Merit Badges I Have Earned
Merit Badge Library

See Also

External Links

Personal tools