0:46. NextBoy Scout

Badge Placement on Boy Scout California uniform

Advancement is the process by which youth member's progress through ranks in the Scouting program by the gradual mastery of Scouting skills. Ranks are simply a means to and end, not an end in themselves.

All Boy Scouts need to initate the request to be tested for all rank advancements.


  • The new scout should review these requirements which includes completing the exercises in the pamphlet How to Protect Your Children from Child Abuse: A Parent's Guide which is in the front of the Handbook.
  • Setup an appointment for a Scoutmaster Conference with your Scoutmaster.
  • Attend the Scoutmaster Conference in full uniform.

This should be within the first two week of joining. A parent or guardian must stay during the Scoutmaster Conference.

When a scout has completed the Scoutmaster Conference, he will be presented the Scout Award at a troop meeting soon thereafter.

Tenderfoot, Second Class and First Class

Scouts are tested by another scout First Class or higher who has attended the Troop Youth Leader Training. Usually this person would be their Patrol Leader. Older brothers can help a younger brother learn the material but brothers should not sign off brothers.

A registered trained troop scouter can sign for rank advancement only in circumstances approved by the Scoutmaster.

A scout may work on ranks simultaneously but must earn them in sequence. The steps for advancement are:

  • Scout Spirit will reviewed with the Scoutmaster during the Scoutmaster Conference and will be signed-off if appropriate.
  • Contact the Scoutmaster for a Scoutmaster Conference. Tenderfoot and Second Class Scoutmaster Conferences are usually completed on a troop meeting night, either before, during, or after, but conferences may also be granted on campouts. A full uniform, including proper patch placement, is required for all Scoutmaster Conferences. NO EXCEPTIONS!
  • Upon successful completing of a Scoutmaster Conference, a scout must contact the Advancement Chairman to schedule a Board of Review. A full uniform, including proper patch placement, is also required for all Boards of Review. NO EXCEPTIONS!
  • Upon completion of the Board of Review, the Scout Handbook is brought to the Troop Records Administrator to update the troop database.

The Scout Handbook is brought to all conferences and reviews. The book is signed if the scout has demonstrated that he is prepared for the next step.

When a scout has completed the Board of Review, he will be presented his rank at a troop meeting soon thereafter.

Star and Life

The troop database is the official record of merit badges and troop leadership time. The scout will need to get the official troop record form from the Troop Records Administrator for the Scoutmaster Conference. This form will stay with the scout until the advancement process is completed. After the Board of Review, it is returned with appropriate signatures to the Records Administrator.


The Eagle Scout Project proposal will be approved first by both the Scoutmaster and the Troop Committee and then by the Council Eagle Project review team. The Eagle Board of Review will be set up upon final review of the completed project and merit badges by Council.

Eagle Palms

For each set of 5 merit badges past those required for Eagle, Scouts have to opportunity to be further recognized by a Bronze Palm (5 merit badges), a Gold Palm (10 merit badges) and a Silver Palm (15 merit badges).

Merit Badges

Merit badges are a very important part of your advancement toward the final step of Eagle. Proper procedure in getting them is also important. Some merit badge counselors have certain ways thay they want the work done and will not accept the work if not done in that manner. In order to save your time and perhaps disappointment, please follow the proper procedure for getting your merit badges.

Obtain an application for a merit badge (blue card) from the Scoutmaster.

Call your assigned couselor before you start. Let the counselor know you are working on that merit badge and ask how they want it done.

When the work is complete, call your counselor for an appointment to have it approved. You must have another person with you at each meeting with the merit badge counselor. This person can be another scout, your parents or guardian, a brother or sister, a relative or a friend.

After approval, turn your blue card in at a troop meeting so you can get your badge and have it recorded in the troop database.

Soon after you have turned in your blue card, the troop will present you with your merit badge and the Applicant's Record portion of the blue card signed. This portion of the blue card is your proof of work done so keep it in a safe place.

All appointments with couselors must be in full uniform. Some couselors will refuse to see you if you are not, even if you do have an appointment. Make sure you are on time. It's better to be five minutes early than three minutes late.

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