A scout’s advancement is an individual process and the Troop provides the resources to help make it happen. Some scouts are fast starters while others jump on it later or just slowly drag it out. All have until their 18th birthday to complete all requirements for Eagle rank. While Eagle rank is a desired recognition it is far from what makes a true scout who follows the principles in their daily lives and becomes a great citizen.
Each scout is responsible for HIS advancement. It’s not with a parent’s involvement like in cub scouts. A scout is responsible to make all contacts and coordination in this process and personally complete the requirements as stated. Parents cannot certify any of their son’s progress. These procedures are part of the intent and growth learning process built into a scout’s development.
A scout gets items approved and signed off by the authorized person in the Troop. For ranks Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class and First Class it will normally be his patrol leader or senior scout with at least Life rank. For Star, Life and Eagle ranks it will be by an authorized adult. All ranks will have a Scoutmaster conference, and all ranks but Scout will have a Board of Review.
A scout must prepare for any portion of his advancement by reading the assigned material and be prepared to explain all aspects or demonstrate the skill as stated. It is an individual responsibility and group work is not acceptable. If it says show, then the skill must be shown, if it says display then that is required by the scout to do as well. However, for the most part it is not a memory test but understanding the skill and ability to demonstrate when required. Worksheets are allowed for reference material during the completion of the requirement.
Advancement is worked at any time not just unit meetings. A scout cannot expect to work on advancement during Troop meetings except at game time. Patrol meeting time may sometimes include passing requirements but skill demonstration, the designated activity, patrol competition times are expected to be participated in by each scout. Only during advancement specific times like Merit Badge Help Night or Troop game time options are when time is carved out for scouts to work with designated helpers. Arrangements for advancement can also be made at any time and any place in coordination with YPT (youth protection training) procedures and the individual they are working with. Note: If the “any time and any place” is for a Merit Badge and thus with Merit Badge Counselor, approval must be obtained from the Scoutmaster. This “any time and any place” for Merit Badges is not ideal as all adults are volunteers and there is generally game time at every Troop meeting as well as a dedicated monthly Merit Badge Help Night.
Scouts arrange time with the Scoutmaster for completing the Scout Spirit and Scoutmaster Conference sections for each rank after all other requirements have been completed and or certified by the Advancement Chair. A scout should not expect to complete a Scoutmaster Conference on the same night as a Board of Review and expect to be eligible for the Board of Review that same night. There are preparations (paperwork and soliciting adult volunteers) needed for each Board of Review and time is needed to complete that.
Scout Service is accomplished with a Troop organized activity or with an independent nonprofit group with a signed statement from the group coordinator attesting to the effort accomplished. It is then approved by the Scoutmaster and recorded with the Advancement Chairperson for credit.
Merit badge work with any source requires the scout to verify their accomplishment of the requirements and complete reading of the merit badge book with a Troop assigned adult to validate completion and this includes when accomplished at camp or during a clinic. Worksheet answers are allowed to be used during the recertification of completion. It’s about understanding the requirements and not a memory test. See the Merit Badge Process page for more information.
Approval to start a specified MB with a particular counselor requires a scout to obtain a blue card signed by the Scoutmaster to begin. Signing up for a summer camp Merit Badge satisfies this requirement. Some Merit Badge requirements state a counselor must approve the actual start and process to complete the requirement before beginning a requirement. Ensure this is accomplished to get proper credit. Merit Badge requirements are specific and must be accomplished as stated. There is no waiver for any requirement and each requirement is for an individual scout to do not just watch in a group. Rare exceptions can only be approved by the Scoutmaster.
The Troop has specific quantified participation requirements for the Star, Life and Eagle ranks. For the months recorded (in two-month increments), a scout must attend 75% of the Troop Meetings and 50% of the outings (1 outing in the 2 months, as there are sometimes more than 2 outings in a 2-month period) to obtain credit for the participation requirements. This is certified and tracked by the Advancement Chairperson. Leadership requirements for the Star, Life and Eagle ranks requires an elected or assigned designated leadership position and completion of the designated work sheet validated and signed every two months to obtain credit (submitted within 2 months of a 2-month completion). All leaders are to attend at least 50% of the monthly PLC meetings as part of their leadership activity, demonstrate leadership accomplishments, and obtain Troop Meeting and Outing participation (as explained above) in order to obtain credit. No accomplishments in any month means no credit for that month. Forms and leadership detail positions are available on the PLC Resources page.
Eagle Project accomplishment is a specific process and is approved by the Scoutmaster following the guidance from the National, Council, District and Troop resources. A scout must coordinate with the Scoutmaster before beginning this process to ensure the correct procedures are being used. Please see the Scoutmaster for more information on the Eagle Project process.
In general, credit for any requirement can only utilize a specific event one time. No activity can be utilized for multiple advancement requirements and all credit must follow within the specified eligible time frames. Scouts will often hear this as “no double dipping”, meaning you can’t obtain credit twice (either within the Troop, or say with an outside organization AND the Troop for the same requirement/service).