Scouting's Rank Advancement
(Click on the rank or badge to see individual rank requirements)
Scout. The first badge of Scouting can be earned as soon as a scout joins a troop, especially if they have earned the Arrow of Light as a Webelos scout. This first recognition is earned by applying and memorizing some important scouting basics.
Tenderfoot is the first rank as a Scout. The requirements provide basic skills to prepare for higher adventure outings. This rank represents a valuable set of skills that a scout has learned and demonstrated.
Second Class scouts work on building their survival and camping skills. Compass work, nature study, camp tools, and swimming are areas where skills are mastered and demonstrated. Having completed all the requirements, should be able to lead a hike, care for equipment, set up camp, and do basic first aid.
Individual requirement items for Tenderfoot, 2nd Class, and 1st Class ranks may be worked on simultaneously. However, the ranks must be earned in the proper sequence.
When the First Class rank is attained, a scout has learned all the basic camping and outdoors skills of a scout. They can fend for themselves in the wild, lead others on a hike or campout, set up a camp site, plan and properly prepare meals, and provide first aid for most situations they might encounter. A First Class scout is prepared.
Up through First Class rank, a scout was busy learning skills and becoming a self-sufficient scout. They now move from being a learner to being a leader. The Star rank is attained with participation, leadership, service, and self-directed advancement through merit badges.
Continuing to develop leadership skills, the Life Scout rank is earned by filling additional leadership positions, service hours, and merit badges. A Life Scout is expected to be a role model and leader, giving guidance to scouts and helping the troop. Being a good leader can only be learned by doing and leadership positions allow the scout to make decisions, lead discussions, and encourage others.
Attaining the Eagle rank is often the end goal of a scout. It looks good on a resume and shows commitment to a program over an extended span of time. But, just like each rank advancement before it, the Eagle rank is a major advancement milestone, but not the culmination of scouting. They can also continue to lead and guide the troop or can change his focus to helping Cub Scouts become Scouts. They may become a Junior Assistant Scoutmaster, helping the Scoutmaster with projects to improve the troop. Or, they can look for worthwhile endeavors outside of scouting to apply scouting skills.
Generally, a new Scout can complete Scout to First Class within one to two years. Star and Life rank can be reached within another one to two years. The path to Eagle Scout can require another complete year and must be achieved by the 18th birthday. Troop 114 has awarded over 200 Eagle Scouts badges, some as young as 14-years old and some as old as 17 +364 days. Your Scout will get out of Scouts whatever they commit to Scouts. Troop 114’s adult leaders are committed to assisting all Scouts reach and attain their Eagle Scout rank.
Merit Badge Program
Merit badges are the second main area of the advancement program. There is a degree of choice in the merit badge program. A sub-group of merit badges are known as Eagle Required merit badges. To earn Eagle Scout, most of these badges must be earned. Scouts work on merit badges from the time they join until they turn 18 years old. There is no time limit to completing one, other than turning 18.
New Scouts usually concentrate on advancing in rank during the first year of Scouting, and then begin completing merit badges during Troop Meetings and at camp. There are currently 137 Merit Badges offered in the BSA.