Advancement is the process by which youth members of the Boy Scouts of America progress from rank to rank and is the method by which we promote and encourage the ongoing involvement and commitment that keeps members coming back for more. It works best when it is built into a unit's program so that simply participating leads to meaningful achievement and recognition—and to a continually improving readiness for more complex experiences.
It Is a Method—Not an End in Itself
Advancement is simply a means to an end, not an end in itself. It is one of several methods designed to help unit leadership carry out the aims and mission of the Boy Scouts of America.
In Troop 101
Advancement is part of our program, and is recognized during our regular Court of Honor celebrations in the spring, at summer camp, in the fall, and during the December holiday party.
A full write-up of Advancemnet in Scouting, as well as rank requirements can be found on the National BSA Website, or in a Scouting Handbook. For the most up-to-date requirements, check out the National site below.
Member Policies & Tools
Below we call out several parts of the Advancement process, and outline ways they work in our Troop.
Troop 101 Policies & Checklist
Advancing Rank in Troop 101
The Troop Guides run a weekly meeting to help guide younger Scouts through the early ranks. It is highly recommended that Scouts below Second Class attend these meetings. The Guides meet with the younger Scouts at 6:30 pm, right before the regular Troop meeting.
When a Scout has completed all of the regular requirements for a Rank, they should talk to their Patrol Leader if they are unsure how to proceed. There is an Advancement board that they should move their name to the Scoutmaster Conference, or Board of Review area to show they are ready to Advance.
The first step is a Scoutmaster Conference. Below First Class, this conference is typically with one of our Assistant Scoutmasters, and First Class and above are done with the Scoutmaster. It is a chance for the Scout to discuss how they feel about the program, and the skills they have learned so far. This can take place during any weekly meeting, or on a regular campout.
After the Scoutmaster Conference, the Scout will participate in the Board of Review Process. This involves a meeting with the Patrol Leaders Council (PLC), and with a Board comprised on Committee members. These are held twice a month, and a Scout should sign up using the Advancement board and talk with a Scribe or Guide to prepare.
Troop 101 is against bullying in any form. Part of our National policy includes earning the BSA Cyber Chip to help educate scouts against online threats and cyber-bullying.
To earn the BSA Cyber chip, download the Cyber Chip Requirement Sheet, and complete the requirements listed. You will also need to sign the Safety Pledge, and review the Cell Phone Policy.
A Cyber Chip must be recharged annually, and is required for most ranks. Parents, please note there are requirements for the Cyber Chip that must be completed with you.
Merit badges are a key part of the Scouting Program. There are more than 135 merit badges, and a scout can earn any of these at any time. After picking a merit badge, talk to your Scoutmaster to find a counselor in your area.
**A Scout must have a buddy when meeting with a counselor. This can be a parent or legal guardian.
Find out more about merit badges at both the Official, and unofficial sites below:
National Merit Badge Site
First Class Camp
The First Class Rank is a major milestone in Scouting's advancement program. A First Class Scout is expected to be proficient in basic scout skills, all of which will help prepare him for leadership.
All of the outdoor requirements for Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class are brought together during a "First Class Camp" weekend.
First Class Camp is an optional, but recommended, award that can be earned by Scouts in Troop 101. This can be a challenging evaluation and some scouts have had to learn from one attempt in order to be better prepared for the next one. But once they do succeed, they have the confidence and proven grit to go forward and advance to the new challenges of troop leadership.
In general: A First Class camp consists of two Scouts planning a weekend of camping together using the resources listed below to demonstrate their scouting skills (cooking, fire building, knot tying, lashing, teamwork, etc.)
ALL REQUIREMENTS for your First Class Rank MUST BE COMPLETED PRIOR TO BEGINING your FIRST CLASS CAMP. The camp must be completed prior to a First Class Board of Review.
Benefits: Those who complete the requirements for this optional reward will receive a special Scout Stave, as well as receive a red border on their troop neckerchief. When they complete their Eagle, they are also awarded a 101 Eagle mug.
To Get started, talk to a Guide, who can lead you through the process.
First Class Camp Forms
Eagle Project & Eagle Application Assistance
The Eagle rank is the highest rank in Scouting. Part of earning the rank involves developing an idea for a project that will benefit your religious institution, school, or community.
Before starting on your Eagle, consider the following:
- Allow AT LEAST 6-12 months from the time you find a project until you expect to be done with it. Sometimes it will take even longer, so don't procrastinate.
- Remember you don't control much of this process. Working with an outside organization and getting the many signatures and approvals required will delay your project.
- You are leading this project, not doing it. Allow extra time to accommodate others' schedules
- You do NOT have to wait until all your merit badges are done to start your project. You can begin as soon as you are a Life Scout.
The Great Trail council has a page dedicated to earning your Eagle.
Be sure to familiarize yourself with the requirements and the Eagle Project Workbook first so you understand exactly what will be required of you.
GTC Forms & Checklist
Looking for an Eagle Project? We are often given Projects that would be great Eagle Projects. You can check them out at the page below. Have a Project for us? Send us an email to let us know the details.
Possible Eagle Projects
Also, check out our Eagle Wall to see what other scouts in our Troop have done over the years.
Troop 101 Eagle Wall
Adult Leader Training
The BSA offers both mandatory and optional training for Adult Leaders and Volunteers.
You can learn about the training offered, and ensure you are up to date on the BSA's latest Youth Protection Training at the following site