Badges of Rank
A Scout advances from Scout to Eagle by attending and participating in troop activities, learning outdoor skills, demonstrating leadership, and living the ideals of Scouting.
As they acquire new skills and assumes increasing leadership responsibilities, they earn a series of Ranks – 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 they learn, they grow in ability to do their part as a member of the patrol and the troop. As they develop knowledge and skill, they are asked to teach others, and in this way they begin 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 Rank and has been tested, they have 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 their views of the strengths and weaknesses of the troop’s programs.
The Scout’s progress is reviewed and an agreement is made for their continuing growth. The Scout should personally contact a Scoutmaster when they are ready for a Scoutmaster’s Conference. These are often conducted during troop meetings.
Boards of Review: The final step for a Rank Advancement 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 four purposes:
- To make sure that the work has been learned and completed.
- To discuss the Scout Oath and Law including their duty to their God.
- To see what kind of experience the scout is having in their patrol and troop.
- To encourage the Scout to advance to the next rank.
This review is not an examination — the Scout has learned their skills and has already been tested. They may be asked where they learned their skill, who taught them, and whether the experience has been valuable.
These meetings should be scheduled at least one week in advance with the Advancement Chairperson.
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, they will be recognized at a troop meeting. The certificate and badge for their new rank will be presented later at a formal Court of Honor.
When a Scout is seeking a particular merit badge they should:
- Consult their Scout Handbook to familiarize themselves 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 Merit Badge Coordinator 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.
Parents of a scout are not allowed to be a Merit Badge Counselor for their own scout without prior approval of the Scoutmaster. Contact your counselor for guidance, review, and help.
- All Merit Badges are first approved by the Advancement Chair.
- When the counselor thinks that you have qualified for the Merit Badge, they will sign completion of your Merit Badge in Scoutbook.
- The Merit Badge will be awarded at the next Court of Honor.
Each Scout must keep a copy of their progress in their 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 scouts keep careful notes of the dates that they complete the requirements for each merit badge, the date the badges were awarded, and the dates of advancement.
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.