Scouts BSA Requirements

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Boy Scout Requirements

Front cover of the 2019 edition.
First edition:
Latest edition:2019
BSA Supply Number:648914
Doc. No. 33216

Scouts BSA Requirements, formerly known as Boy Scout Requirements, is a publication of the Boy Scouts of America that details the latest official rank, merit badge, and awards requirements for Scouts, Lone Boy Scouts, and qualified Venturers or Sea Scouts. The book is designed to bring together in one publication the requirements for merit badges, rank advancements, and Eagle Palms, and to highlight recognitions for special opportunities.[note 1]



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.

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

Requirements Changes


With the launch of Scouts BSA and the change in membership requirements, numerous changes have been made to the text of the requirements to change them from male oriented to gender neutral. Most of those changes are NOT listed in the table on the inside front cover of the book.

Merit Badges
Special Opportunities
  • BSA Lifeguard no longer appears in Scouts BSA Requirements. It is not clear if this is a mistake, an indication that BSA Lifeguard is no longer considered an award, or that BSA will no longer be conducting the training.

Effective January 1, 2018, the following changes were made to requirements for Boy Scout ranks, merit badges, and special opportunities.[note 2]

Merit Badges
Special Opportunities
Changed requirements


  1. The BSA Advancement Team welcomes comments and reactions to the Scouts BSA Requirements book. Feedback can be provided via email at mailto:[email protected] or via postal mail at:
    Advancement, S272
    Boy Scouts of America
    1325 West Walnut Hill Lane
    P.O. Box 152079
    Irving, TX 75015-2079
  2. The U.S. Scouting Service Project provides details on all of the requirements changes and discrepancies reflected in the annual Boy Scout Requirements book as compared to previous year's edition and other BSA publications (Boy Scout Handbook, merit badge pamphlets, application forms, etc):
  3. As a consequence of the announced ending of the Varsity Scouting program, some changes were made to the requirements and notes for each Boy Scout rank and for Eagle Palms to remove references to Varsity Scouting.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 There are discrepancies between the requirement(s) in the 2018 Boy Scout Requirements book and corresponding merit badge pamphlet(s). For details on the discrepancies, see U. S. Scouting Service Project at

See also

External links

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