Scout BSA Advancement and Recognition

There are four basic steps in Scout advancement, and they apply to all six ranks.

  • Step 1: The Scout learns. They learns Scouting skills by taking an active, hands-on part in troop and patrol meetings and outdoor programs. this learning, as we said above, is the natural outcome of their regular Scouting activities — their “on-the-job” training.
  • Step 2: The Scout is tested. When their leaders see that the Scout has mastered a given skill and satisfied a given requirement, they tell them so — and record the achievement.
  • Step 3: The Scout is reviewed. When a Scout completes all requirements for a rank, they appear before a “board of review” composed of members of the troop committee. Their purpose is not to retest the Scout, but to make sure the Scout has met all the requirements, to chat with the Scout about how they feel they are getting along with the troop and its program, and of course to encourage them to keep advancing.
  • Step 4: The Scout is recognized. When a Scout is certified by the Board of Review, they are awarded the new badge of rank as soon as possible, normally in a ceremony at the next troop meeting. The Scout should be recognized again at the troop’s next court of honor.

Information on Scout awards and advancement

New Eagle Scout Application

The Eagle Scout Application is frequently updated. Make sure you are using the current application. See the National Council website.

Merit Badges

As of 2019, there are 135 Merit Badges available for Scouts to earn.  The Scout first picks a subject of interest and then reaches out to the Merit Badge Coordinator for that badge.  Your Troop can help you locate a Merit Badge Coordinator within your Council.

Available Merit Badges.

Other Awards

Conservation Good Turn, The BSA Ready & Prepared Award, Emergency Preparedness BSA, religious emblems, William T. Hornaday Awards, and more…

Scout Leader Recognition

Adult leaders are eligible to earn many awards on their own, including Religious Emblems, Emergency Preparedness, Veteran Scouter Recognition, and others.  Learn more about adult awards.