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Boy Scout Advancement 

Both adult and youth leaders approve Boy Scout and Varsity Scout advancement. This permits greater emphasis on standards and more consistency in measurement, but it also places another level of importance on teaching and testing. As Scouts work with one another, learning takes place on both sides of the equation as they play teacher and student in turn. Parents are involved at home encouraging, mentoring, and supporting, but they do not sign for rank advancement requirements unless they serve as leaders or Lone Scout counselors (see "Lone Scouting,"

Advancement at this level presents a Scout with a series of challenges in a fun and educational manner. As he completes the requirements he achieves the three aims of Scouting: to develop character, to train in the responsibilities of participating citizenship, and to develop physical and mental fitness. It is important to remember that in the end, a badge recognizes the Scout has gone through an experience of learning something he didn't previously know. As a result, through increased confidence, he discovers or realizes he is able to learn similar skills or disciplines. Advancement is thus about what a young man is now able to learn and to do, and how he has grown. Retention of skills and knowledge is then developed later by using what has been learned through the natural course of unit programming; for example, instructing others and using skills in games and on outings.

Advancement, thus, is not so much a reward for what has been done. It is, instead, more about the journey: As a Scout advances, he is measured and he grows in confidence and self-reliance, and he builds upon his skills and abilities. The badge signifies that a young man—through participation in a series of educational activities—has provided service to others, practiced personal responsibility, and set the examples critical to the development of leadership; all the while working to live by the Scout Oath and Scout Law.

The badge signifies a young man has provided service to others, practiced personal responsibility, and set the examples critical to the development of leadership.

When a badge and certificate are awarded to a Boy Scout to recognize that he has achieved a rank, they represent that a young man has:

  • Been an active participant in his troop and patrol.
  • Demonstrated living the Scout Oath (Promise) and Law in his daily life.
  • Met the other requirements and/or earned the merit badges for the rank.
  • Participated in a Scoutmaster conference.
  • Satisfactorily appeared before a board of review.

In the advanced ranks (Star, Life, and Eagle), the badge represents that the young man has also:

  • Served in a position of responsibility in the troop.
  • Performed service to others.


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