A Program with a Purpose

For nearly a century, the Boy Scouts of America has been dedicated to

  • Developing character
  • Instilling duty to God, citizenship, and patriotism
  • Promoting physical, mental, and moral fitness in the youth of the United States.

By learning new skills and forming lasting friendships thought the BSA program, generations of Boy Scouts have grown up to become some of our nation’s most outstanding leaders.

An Overview of Scouting Advancement

Refer to the BSA Guide to Advancement for more information.  Troop 4 also has a policy on advancement with more details.

Delivering the promise of Scouting doesn’t happen by chance. Scouts are organized into patrols – grouped by age and skill level – and they meet periodically as a Troop to further their experience in the Scouting program. The Boy Scout Troop is structured so that it is led by the youth members themselves, with guidance from adult leaders behind the scenes. As a Scout develops the necessary skills through participation in weekly meetings and outdoor experiences, he advances in Rank within the Troop.

What are the Scout ranks?

During his scouting years, the Scout will advance through the ranks of

  • Scout
  • Tenderfoot
  • Second Class

The requirements for the ranks of Scout through First Class concentrate mainly on developing basic skills that will enable the Scout to be comfortable in the outdoors.

  • First Class
  • Star
  • Life
  • Eagle

The ranks of Star through Eagle develop the Scout’s service and leadership skills.

How does a Scout advance?

  • The requirements for these ranks are clearly spelled out in the BSA Handbook.
  • Each Scout must have his own personal copy of the Handbook where his achievements will be recorded.
  • While a Scout may work on requirements for any rank in any order, the ranks may only be earned in succession. In other words, a Scout may have First Class requirements signed off before earning the rank of Second Class; however, he may not earn the rank of First Class until after he has earned the Second Class rank.
  • The Leaders of the Troop are responsible for providing opportunities for Scouts to learn, practice and demonstrate the required skills of rank advancement.
  • The best place to deliver these opportunities is in the outdoors at our many outings. Each outing is designed to emphasize the development of one or more skills.

Who signs off on advancement requirements?

  • Once the Scout feels that he has satisfied a requirement and can demonstrate it proficiently, it is up to the Scout to find an appropriate leader to sign off the requirement.
  • Any trained adult leader in the Troop, other than the Scout’s own parent, guardian or sibling, may sign off requirements.
    • Trained leaders are the Scoutmaster, Assistant Scoutmasters, or Committee Members.
    • In addition, Scouts holding a rank of Star or higher may be called upon by the adult leaders to help with signing off on requirements up to the rank of First Class.

What happens when all requirements have been satisfied?

  • The final two requirements for all ranks are to participate in a Scoutmaster’s Conference and a Board of Review.  See more details on these here.
  • Again, the Scout is responsible for requesting and attending both of these events.
  • Typically, the Scoutmaster and Rank Advancement Chair will request that the Scout send an e-mail as a formal request for the conference or review.