Advancement and Awards

Guide to Advancement

The Guide to Advancement 2015 is the official source for administering advancement in helps Scouters understand and implement the advancement programs and procedures of the Boy Scouts of America: Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, Varsity Scouting, Venturing, and Sea Scouts. Policies and procedures outlined in the Guide to Safe Scouting apply to all BSA activities, including those related to advancement and Eagle Scout service projects.

Additional information and best practices appear in
other official BSA resources such as BSA Advancement Newsthe national Advancement Team’s Twitter feed, and the advancement educational presentations released by the national Advancement Committee. The latest advancement resources can be found on the BSA advancement resources page

Units advancement chairs enter youth advancements, awards, and merit badges utilizing internet advancement.​

 

Merit Badge Counselors

A merit badge counselor is both a teacher and a mentor to the Scout as he works on the merit badge. Merit badge counselors should be satisfied that each Scout under their guidance meets all the requirements set forth for the merit badge. In this sense, a merit badge counselor is an examiner. In a larger sense, the real opportunity for a counselor lies in coaching—helping Scouts over the different hurdles of the requirements and helping make them aware of the deeper aspects of the subject from their knowledge and experience.

The merit badge counselor may help a Scout by providing instruction and guidance on the subject matter. However, the counselor must not complete the Scout's work on the requirements. The counselor needs to test the Scout to ensure that he has completed all the required work but may not modify the merit badge requirements in the process. This standard ensures that the advancement requirements are fair and uniform for all Scouts. For a list of merit badge counselors, contact your Scoutmaster. If you have questions, please contact Robert White.

Boy Scout Boards of Review

After a Boy Scout has completed the requirements for any rank, he appears before a board of review. Its purpose is to determine the quality of his experience and decide whether he has fulfilled the requirements for the rank.

Eagle Scout Boards of Review:  At least one district or council representative must serve as a member of an Eagle Scout board of review. To schedule an Eagle Scout board of review, contact the district advancement chair.

Eagle Scout Service Project

While a Life Scout, plan, develop, and give leadership to others in a service project helpful to any religious institution, any school, or your community. (The project must benefit an organization other than Boy Scouting.) A project proposal must be approved by the organization benefiting from the effort, your unit leader and unit committee, and the council or district before you start. To obtain approval from the district for an Eagle Scout service project, contact the district advancement chair.

Resources: 


Eagle Palms Changes

Eagle Palms are bronze, gold and silver awards presented to young men who earn five, 10, 15 or more merit badges beyond the 21 required to become an Eagle Scout. The BSA has announced significant changes to the way Scouts earn Eagle Palms. The modifications take effect August 1, 2017. The changes bring Eagle Palm requirements in line with the needs of older Scouts. The National Boy Scouting Subcommittee has eliminated unnecessary obstacles, such as the Eagle Palm board of review, and expanded the definition of active participation. But the biggest change affects young men who haven’t yet earned Eagle. Beginning Aug. 1, all earned Palms may be awarded instantly to new Eagle Scouts at their Eagle court of honor. This abolishes the wait of months or years for these young men to receive all Palms available to them.

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Second Class Camping Requirements Changing

The number of overnight campouts required for a young man to earn the Second Class and First Class ranks will be reduced under new requirements that take effect August 1, 2017. But the total number of camping nights a Boy Scout will experience in the program as he progresses toward the rank of Eagle Scout will not change. In 2016, alongside the release of the 13th edition of the Boy Scout Handbook, the BSA increased the number of campouts required for Second Class to three since joining from two. It increased the number of campouts required for First Class to six since joining from three. The August 1, 2017, revisions return the number of overnight campouts to pre-2016 levels but preserve the amount of time spent outdoors. The change, the BSA says, maintains a focus on life-changing outdoors experiences while recognizing that not all outdoor activities need to include overnight camping. Hikes, service projects and outdoor-heavy merit badges like Geocaching and Orienteering add to the adventure of being a first-year Scout. The changes leave untouched the Eagle-required Camping merit badge, which calls for at least 20 nights of camping. Because all camping nights since becoming a Scout can be used for this requirement — even those that count toward Second Class and First Class — the effect is that the total number of camping nights required to become an Eagle Scout is unchanged.

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2017 Guide to Advancement Released

The Guide to Advancement was recently updated. Read about the significant changes on pages 7-9. The Guide to Advancement is the official source for administering advancement in helps Scouters understand and implement the advancement programs and procedures of the Boy Scouts of America: Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, Varsity Scouting, Venturing, and Sea Scouts. Policies and procedures outlined in the Guide to Safe Scouting apply to all BSA activities, including those related to advancement and Eagle Scout service projects.

2017 Guide to Advancement


 

Scout program updates

 


Contacts

For additional information or questions about advancement, contact the district advancement chair.