Badges of Rank
A Scout advances from Tenderfoot to Eagle by attending and participating in troop activities, learning outdoor skills, demonstrating leadership, and living the ideals of Scouting. As he acquires new skills and assumes increasing leadership responsibilities, he earns a series of Progress Awards – Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life, and Eagle– with each award more challenging (and more rewarding) than the one before.
There are four basic steps of advancement that are common to each rank:
The Scout learns. A Scout learns by doing. As he learns, he grows in ability to do his part as a member of the patrol and the troop. As he develops knowledge and skill, he is asked to teach others, and in this way he begins to develop leadership.
The Scout is tested. Completion of each individual requirement for Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, or First Class awards is documented in the Scout Handbook. A Patrol Leader, Troop Guide, Scoutmaster, Assistant Scoutmaster, Troop Committee member, or another member of the troop who is a Star Scout or above may sign for these requirements.
The Scout is reviewed. After a Scout has completed the requirements for a Progress Award and has been tested, he has a Scoutmaster’s Conference and appears before a Board of Review.
Scoutmaster Conference: The Scoutmaster’s Conference is an opportunity for the Scout to have a discussion with the Scoutmaster or an Assistant Scoutmaster. It gives the Scoutmaster a chance to learn more about each individual Scout, and gives the Scout a chance to discuss his views of the strengths and weaknesses of the troop’s programs. The Scout’s progress is reviewed and an agreement is made for his continuing growth. The Scout should personally contact the Advancement Chair when he is ready for a Scoutmaster’s Conference. These are often conducted during troop advancement meetings.
Boards of Review: The final step for a Progress Award is to appear before a Board of Review. A Board of Review is made up of three to six members of the Troop Committee. This meeting has three purposes: To make sure that the work has been learned and completed. To see what kind of experience the scout is having in his patrol and troop. To encourage the Scout to advance to the next rank.
This review is not an examination — the Scout has learned his skills and has already been tested. He may be asked where he learned his skill, who taught him, and whether the experience has been valuable. These meetings should be scheduled at least one week in advance with the Advancement Chairperson, and will generally be conducted on the second Wednesday night of each month. The Scout must wear a Class A uniform when meeting with a Board of Review.
The Scout is recognized. After the Board of Review has certified a Scout’s advancement, he will be recognized a troop meeting. The certificate for his new rank will be presented later at a formal Court of Honor.
When a Scout is seeking a particular merit badge he should:
- Consult his Scout Handbook to familiarize himself with the requirements. Obtain and study the current issue of the Merit Badge Pamphlet, which may be borrowed from our Troop Library, purchased from Occoneechee Council Service Center in Raleigh or ordered from the Scout catalog (http://www.scoutstuff.org). Current merit badge requirements, information, resource sheets, and other documents are available at www.meritbadge.org. This site lists current requirements, the last revisions date, and the next revision date.
- See the Advancement Chair who keeps a current list of Approved Merit Badge Counselors. She/he will provide you with a Merit Badge Card which must be taken to your Counselor.
- Contact your counselor for guidance, review, and help. Merit badges require a minimum of three sessions. Parents are only allowed to serve as merit badge counselors for Home Repairs and Family Life badges.
- When the counselor thinks that you have qualified for the Merit Badge, he will sign your Merit Badge Card.
- Deliver the signed Card to the Advancement Chair. S/he will send a record of your badge to the Scout Council Headquarters in Raleigh and have it placed on file in your permanent Scout record.
- The Merit Badge will be awarded at the next Court of Honor.
Each Scout should keep a copy of his progress in his own Scout Handbook. The Handbook lists each step required for advancement and must be precisely followed to assure acceptance by the Scouting National Office. We recommend you keep careful notes of the dates you complete the requirements for each merit badge, the date the badges were awarded, and the dates of advancement. Keep the Scout’s copy of the Blue Card. Many Scouts have found their personal records to be invaluable for verification when uncertainty arises in regard to their progress through Scouting ranks. Patrol Leaders who are First Class and Star Scouts and above may sign for requirements for Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class.