When you join Boy Scouts you enter with the rank of “Scout” and advance as follows:
- Tenderfoot: page 14 in the Boy scout Handbook
- Second Class: page 15
- First Class: page 16
- Star: page 594
- Life: page 594-595
- Eagle: page 595-596
Skim the Boy Scout Handbook. Read the table of contents so you have an idea of what the book covers. Many questions you have may be answered by a quick check in you book. The index in the back of the book will also help you quickly locate the information you need. Remember, you can always ask your patrol leader.
Read Chapter 1, it will tell you haw you advance in Boy Scouts. Some of your classmates will quickly move through Tenderfoot, 2nd and 1st Class. Others will move more slowly. One of the great things about Boy Scouts is that it allows each boy to move through the ranks at his own pace.
You must earn your ranks in order, but you may work on Tenderfoot, 2nd, and 1st Class at the same time. For example, you may have four things signed off in Tenderfoot, three things signed off in 2nd Class, four things signed off in 1st Class while your rank is still “Scout”. If you get everything signed off for 2nd Class and still have 12 things to do for Tenderfoot, you must do all the Tenderfoot requirements before you can receive the 2nd Class rank. Until you do that, you are still “Scout”.
Rank advancements are presented at the Troop Court of Honor. If you are working hard and active in the troop, you might receive your Tenderfoot and 2nd Class at the same Court of Honor or perhaps your 2nd and 1st Class at the same Court of Honor. Remember you set the pace. For you to receive your rank advancement your parent(s) must come forward with you at the Court of Honor.
Advancing in rank requires that you take responsibility for your advancement. If you ask, your patrol leader will work with you to help you learn any of the requirements in this rank. You must work on them yourself and tell your patrol leader what help you need. Most everything you need to learn is explained in the Boy Scout Handbook. When you are ready to have something signed off, tell your patrol leader. It is your patrol leader or a member of the Leadership Corps, who will sign off your work. It may not be signed off by your parents or other adults as in Cub scouts. Ultimately, it is your responsibility to get things signed off, so ask, ask, ask.
It is important that you are comfortable in performing each of the skills required for a rank because your future ranks build on this base of knowledge. If you have any questions we like you to ask your Patrol leader first. If you do not understand something after asking him, please ask the Senior Patrol Leader or one of the adult scout leaders. We are here to help you learn and succeed.
You will hear people talking about showing “scout spirit”. Scout spirit covers many things. Basically it means that you behave in a manner that reflects the Scout oath (page 5), the Scout Law (pages 7-8), and the Scout Slogan (page 9). In addition, it means that you are active in the troop by attending troop meetings and activities. This requirement can be signed off only by the Scoutmaster.
Star, Life and Eagle ranks require that you have service hours for advancement. You will also want service hours so that you can earn “scout bucks”. Scout bucks are accumulated by the individual scout and can later be used at the “Scout Bucks Auction”.
Service hours reflect the amount of time a scout works in service to others. The types of things a scout will earn service hours for varies a great deal. Service hours for advancement must be earned while working for the community, a church or school. Some examples of service hour projects include: working on a eagle project of another scout, working on a community project, helping a non-profit organization, etc. Scouts are informed at troop meetings of service hour opportunities. If you are involved in something outside of a troop event that you think is worth service hours, please, ask the Scoutmaster before you assume it will count as service hours in our troop.
All members of the troop are expected to work at the troop fund-raising activities.
After you have all the requirements for a rank signed off you must have a Scoutmaster Conference. Then you have a Board of Review. When these are completed you will receive you rank advancement at the next Court of Honor. Since we have only three Courts of Honor a year, plan head so that you aren’t trying to get two things signed off, your Scoutmaster conference and Board of Review done the week before the Court of Honor. It will not happen.
You should plan to have your Scoutmaster Conference and Board of Review completed no less than two weeks prior to the Court of Honor. This is to allow the Advancement Chairman time to do the paperwork required and purchase the patches for the Court of Honor.
Each rank requires a Scoutmaster Conference. This is a meeting you have with the Scoutmaster after you have everything signed off (except Scout Spirit — remember, the Scoutmaster signs this off) for a particular rank. When you are ready, you must call the Scoutmaster and schedule your conference. Plan ahead and don’t let time creep up on you. After you have scheduled an appointment, be on time and be in full uniform.
This conference gives the Scoutmaster an opportunity to talk with you and get to know you better. This is not a test. At the Scoutmaster conference you will likely talk about the things in scouting you like best. Are you having any problems? What are your plans for advancing to the next rank? What other goals might you have? When appropriate, what your leadership goals are? You may discuss merit badges and which ones you might enjoy doing next, and which ones you should be doing next. Your Scoutmaster will check that you have completed all he requirements for the rank and prepare you for your Board of Review.
Board of Review:
After your Scoutmaster conference you will have a Board of Review. For Tenderfoot, 2nd and 1st Class, the “board” consists of older scouts in higher ranks and adult scout leader or committee member. For Star, Life, and Eagle, the Board of Review consists of Troop Committee members (adults).
Your Board of Review must be completed at least two weeks before the Court of Honor. Check the calendar so you can schedule and complete it by the deadline. For Tenderfoot, 2nd and 1st Class, the Scoutmaster will schedule your Board of Review once you have completed your Scoutmaster Conference. For Star, Life, and Eagle, you must call the Advancement Chairman once you have passed your Scoutmaster Conference and he/she will schedule your Board of Review.
The purpose of this review is to see that you have done what is needed to advance in rank. You may be asked questions about the requirements. For example, you might be asked how you are doing in scouts, how you are living the Scout Oath and Law in your everyday life or what your goals are both in general and in scouting. This should not be a problem. Remember, you studies, showed your knowledge or skill to your patrol leader, and had it reviewed by the Scoutmaster. If prepared, you will do just fine. Again, full uniform is a necessity for this interview.
Once you have passed your Board of Review, you will receive your new rank at the next Court of Honor. If you have passed Tenderfoot in November and the next Court of Honor is not until March, you may call yourself a Tenderfoot. You may also begin working on or finishing up your Second Class rank.