Wednesday, April 8, 2020
Scout Advancement
HonorTroop 194 uses TroopMaster software to keep track of each Scout’s progress including personal information, rank advancement, and attendance at Troop events. Included in this package are 2 forms titled “Scout Personal Data” and “Adult Leader Personal Data”. We need to have you fill out both of these forms and return them to a Scout Leader as soon as possible so that we can get you and your son into the system. Transferring Scouts should provide a copy of their records from their previous Troop. This can be a paper copy or an emailed (to Mrs. Robinson, Troop Committee Chair) copy from your old Troop.

Rank Advancement

Rank advancement is the process by which a Scout progresses from rank to rank in the Scouting program. It is very leadership-oriented. Advancement is about effort and is about experience. A Boy Scout advances from Tenderfoot to Eagle by doing things with his patrol and his Troop, with his leaders, and on his own. The Boy Scout ranks are Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life, Eagle, and Eagle Palms.

The first four ranks are geared towards learning general Scouting skills and consist of Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class and First Class. Requirements for Scout through First Class can be signed off by any Scout of First Class rank or higher or an Assistant Scoutmaster (ASM) or Scoutmaster (SM) – but not by a parent! The Boy Scout Handbook has all of the information and requirements needed to achieve these advancements. Scouts should bring their Scout Handbook to all meetings and to outings where rank requirements are likely to be taught, tested, and signed off.

It’s easy for him to advance, if the following four opportunities are provided for him.

  1. Learning: You learn Scouting skills by taking an active hands-on part in Troop and Patrol meetings and outdoor programs. This learning is the natural outcome of your regular Scouting activities — your “on the job” training. The requirements are designed to be progressive so that, when you reach First Class rank, you will be a good outdoorsman, physically fit, active in your Patrol and Troop, informed and active as a citizen, and make the Scout Oath and Law a part of your daily life.
  2. Testing: When you think you have mastered a particular skill or satisfied a particular requirement, you may ask to be tested by the Senior Patrol Leader, Assistant Scoutmaster, or Scoutmaster.
  3. Reviewing: When you complete all but the last requirements for a rank, you will be ready to contact the Scoutmaster and ask for an appointment to meet with him for a “Scoutmaster Conference”. Because of the level of activity during Troop meetings most Scoutmaster Conferences will be scheduled for before or after Troop meetings.
    This is a one-on-one meeting with the Scoutmaster or an ASM. The purpose of the Scoutmaster’s Conference is to provide the Scout with the opportunity to demonstrate his knowledge of the skills required for rank advancement. The scout should plan on making this appointment in advance. Boards of Review for the rank being earned cannot be conducted until this conference is completed. After that, you will ask to appear before a “Board of Review” (see details below) composed of adult members of the Troop Committee. The purpose is not to retest you, but to make sure you can demonstrate the maturity and responsibility consistent with the rank in question. The questions are intended to be more general in nature, regarding the Scout’s individual experiences and suggestions regarding the Troop and its program, and to encourage you to keep advancing.
  4. Recognition: When you are certified by the Board of Review, you are awarded your new badge at that meeting. Your achievement will also be recognized at the Troop’s next Court of Honor.
    COURT OF HONOR is a ceremony where scouts are presented with earned ranks, badges and awards. All Scouts who attend the Court of Honor are expected to be in their Class "A" uniform. Parents, family members, Troop Committee members and friends are encouraged to attend and support their Scout. The Court of Honor is typically held quarterly in February, May, August, and November.

Advancement from Scout to Eagle is an important part of the Scouting experience and is completely explained in the Scout Handbook. Opportunities for completing advancement requirements will be provided to the Scouts; it is the Scout’s responsibility to take advantage of those opportunities.

Board of Review Procedures

  • Boards of Review will be held on:
    • The third Tuesday of the month for non-court of honor months
    • The second and third Tuesdays of the month in which there is a scheduled court of honor
  • Boards of Review must be scheduled in advance
  • Each scout will sign-up for a Board of Review after all rank advancement requirements have been completed
  • The sign-up sheet will be located on the back table at each scout meeting
  • When signing up for a Board of Review each scout should include their name, desired rank advancement and the date of their scoutmaster conference (if it has been completed)
  • Boards of review will be scheduled on a first come first served basis

A note to parents:
Included on the Board of Review sign-up sheet is a parent volunteer opportunity. We are always looking to have parents serve on Boards of Review. It is wonderful opportunity for parents to meet with the scouts and learn about their scouting experiences. As you participate in the Boards of Review, you will witness their progression in embodying the Scout Law, and you will bring insight to help them look at the Scout Oath in different ways. There is no training or experience required to serve in this vital role. The only requirement is that you not sit on a Board of Review for your own child. If you are available to serve on a Board of Review, please sign-up in advance on the Board of Review schedule.

Merit badges

Merit badges are a major part of the Scouting program and Scout rank advancement. Merit badge progress is recorded on “Blue Cards”. Blue Cards need to be signed by the Scoutmaster and the merit badge counselor before work on the merit badge is started. Completed merit badge Blue Cards, are signed again by the Scoutmaster and the merit badge counselor. Completed cards go to the Awards Chair, Mrs. Begin, so that they can be processed and entered into your records. A list of merit badge counselors is available on the Troop Web Site.

Through the Merit Badge Program, a Scout learns career skills, develops socially, and may develop physical skills and hobbies that give a lifetime of healthful recreation.

Merit Badges are focused on learning skills in specific areas of interest. There are over 120 merit badges that can be earned! Merit badges are not required for Tenderfoot through First Class, but many scouts may earn a few at Summer Camp or as a patrol activity. For the remaining ranks of Star, Life and Eagle, earning merit badges is mandatory. To reach Eagle, there is a set (twenty-one) of specifically required merit badges, and each rank above First Class requires the scout to earn several of these. See the Handbook for details.

Scouts should maintain a notebook to keep track of their achievements. A three ring binder works best, with sections for note taking, holding merit badge and rank advancement cards, patches from treks, a log of all of their Scouting activities, newsletters, calendar, and other related information. Encourage your Scout to keep a Scouting diary – they’ll find this very rewarding.

When a Scout is interested in earning a Merit Badge:

  • He must obtain a Merit Badge book (from Scout Shop or Troop Library) and a blue card from the Scoutmaster or an Assistant Scoutmaster.
  • He must identify a Counselor for the desired Merit Badge. A list of Troop Merit Badge Counselors and contact information is available on the Troop web site.
  • Blue must be signed by Scoutmaster and Merit Badge Counselor before starting work on the Merit Badge.
  • Merit Badge Counselor will certify progress and completion of a Merit Badge.
  • After the Scout completes the Merit Badge and returns the signed blue card to the Scoutmaster, the Advancement Chairman will enter the Merit Badge data in the Scout's records, fill out and submit an advancement form.
  • The Merit Badge will be awarded to the Scout as soon as possible.
  • The Scout will be formally recognized at the next Court of Honor.

Boy Scout Advancement Process

1. Boy Scout Handbook is the key. Spend some time reviewing it yourself and with your scout.

2. Ranks: Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life, Eagle.

3. Scout – requirements are listed in the Scout Handbook. Each requirement lists what page in the Handbook further discusses the requirement. Webelos who have earned their Arrow of Light have already completed these requirements. The requirements culminate in a short Scoutmaster Conference. Ideally the rank of Scout is completed within the first few weeks after crossing over to Boy Scouts.

4. Junior Ranks: Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class rank advancement requirements (which stress basic scout skills) are listed in the Scout Handbook and have the page numbers of the amplifying info for each requirement. Unlike Cub Scouts - there is no minimum time-in-rank requirement for these three ranks and the requirements for all three ranks can be accomplished simultaneously. Requirement sign offs can be conducted by any First Class Scout or above, or Adult Leader. Additionally, the troop has designated Troop Guides (more senior ranking Boy Scouts) whose job is to make themselves available to sign off requirements for the ranks of Scout through First Class. Each rank culminates in a Scoutmaster Conference (that tests the Scouts knowledge of the current and all previous rank requirements) and a Board of Review (3 adults from the troop who ask more over-arching type questions for 10-12 minutes). Ideally, the rank of First Class is achieved within 12 months of crossing over but again there is no time limit (other than 18th birthday).

5. Senior Ranks: Star, Life and Eagle rank advancement requirements change significantly from the earlier ranks. Basic scout skills have already been demonstrated by achieving the rank of First Class. Now the scout will demonstrate more in depth scout knowledge by completing a specific number of merit badges (both Eagle required and non-Eagle required). These merit badges can be worked on individually, with the troop, or at summer camps or Camporees. The scout can begin working on merit badges at anytime (i.e. he does not have to wait until achieving the rank of First Class). Additionally, leadership now becomes an emphasis, with each rank requiring the scout to be actively involved in an approved leadership position for 4 months for Star, 6 months for Life and 6 months for Eagle. Also, 6 service hours each are required for Star and Life. Eagle culminates in the scout completing an Eagle project and Eagle application to the Council (discussion of this is better served once your scout achieves the rank of Life). All three ranks will again culminate with a Scoutmaster Conference and Board of Review (20-25 minutes). The one hour Eagle Board of Review is conducted at the District level.