Advancements  In Scouting, unlike most sporting activities, advancement depends on the personal drive, interest, and motivation of the individual, not whether he can do better than another Scout in accomplishing the requirements for a rank advancement or merit badge.

The advancement program of Scouting provides a forward-moving series of tests. It sets certain standards for passing them. It offers awards to the Scout who passes the tests in the form of special badges for each Rank or Merit Badge.  Achieving the rank of Eagle is the ultimate goal for a Scout.  Be sure to check out our Eagles Nest to see the Scouts that have achieved Eagle from our Troop.

Advancement through the Ranks and Merit Badges 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 did not 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. The badge signifies a young man has provided service to others, practiced personal responsibility, and set the examples critical to the development of leadership.

This page is broken down into 3 parts: RANKS, MERIT BADGES and Scoutbook.
RANKS: Your first source of information for the requirements in earning these ranks is your Boy Scout Handbook. In addition to being an informative guide to scouting, it is used to record completion of the steps required to advance in Rank. It will be a part of your every Scouting activity.

Rule of thumb for seven Boy Scout Ranks:
Scout             - Complete 1 month after joining (Required to get Pipestone)
Tenderfoot      - Complete 1 year after joining
Second Class - Complete 1 year after joining (Required for 2nd year Pipestone)
First Class      - 1 year from Second Class (Required for 3nd year Pipestone)
Star                - 1 year from First Class (Required for 4nd year Pipestone) 
Life                 - 1 year from Star (Required for 5nd year Pipestone) 
Eagle              - Before 18th birthday

How Ranks are Earned:
1 - Show Active Participation: Each Scout must attend and take an active part in troop activities including meetings, campouts and service projects.
2 - Show Scout Spirit: He must demonstrate a positive attitude about Scouting, showing that he understands the ideals of the Scout Oath and Law and is trying to live up to them.
3 - Master Certain Skills: He must demonstrate to adult or Scout leaders that he understands the requirements of rank advancement or merit badges and has mastered the skills necessary to pass the examinations for them and record them in his BSA Handbook.
4 - Participate In a Scoutmaster ConferenceIn this meeting the Scout and Scoutmaster review generally the progress and attitude of the Scout as well as set goals and timetables for the next step in his rank advancement.
5 - Pass Examination by a Board of Review: Each rank from Tenderfoot through Eagle requires that the Scout be examined by a board comprised of at least three adult members of the Troop Committee. Boards of Review are held on the second Tuesday of each month. The purpose of a Board of Review is not to retest all the requirements of the rank but rather to ensure the completion of all the requirements, to discuss the applicant’s experience in Scouting, and to encourage advancement toward the next rank. 
6 - Receive Rank badge: Your son will be formally recognized for his rank advancement and wallet-sized certificate card in front of the Troop during the Circle at the next Troop Meeting.

Please note that a Scout may work on the requirements for Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class simultaneously. Then, Advancement through Star, Life, and Eagle Ranks must occur sequentially. 
MERIT BADGES: are the second main area of the Boy Scout advancement program. Unlike ranks, there is a degree of choice in the merit badge program. There are more than 120 Merit Badges that scouts can earn. Merit badges cover a wide range of topics including skills, sports, crafts, trades, future careers, and can help a Scout discover abilities he didn't know he had, and fields of interest he's barely heard of.

Boy Scouts may work on merit badges from they time they join a Scout troop until they turn 18 years old. There is no time limit for completion of merit badges other than age 18. Some Merit Badges Require Prior Approval before starting certain requirements. Most do not. There will be opportunities for your son to earn merit badges as a group, but many are individual choices done with a counselor, see the steps below.

How Merit Badges are Earned:
1 - Find one you would like to earn in your Scout Book or on the BSA site by clicking HERE
2 - With the Scoutmaster discuss the badge you want to earn and if it approved have him sign it
3 - Find a counselor designated for that particular merit badge using the list provided by your Soutmaster
4 - Contacts the counselor, indicating which merit badge is desired to be earned
5 - Meet and learn from the counselor what are the expectations for this merit badge
6 - Completes the requirements as clearly listed for each merit badge. The counselor determines when each requirement is fulfilled
7 - Has the blue merit badge card signed by the counselor
8 - Scout delivers completed blue merit badge card to Scoutmaster who will provide final signature
9 - The Advancement Coordinator update the BSA Advancement records, Scoutbook and purchases the badge from the Council Scout Store
10 - Scout will be awarded this merit badge at the next Troop meeting and the blue card returned to him (required as part of Eagle Scout Rank advancement in the future)

An Eagle Scout must earn at least 21 merit badges, with 12 of these from a compulsory list. The remainder of the badges help with earning ranks as well as Eagle Palms after the Eagle Scout award has been earned. A Scout learns and grows with each merit badge that he successfully completes. Achieving the rank of Eagle is the ultimate goal for a Scout.  Be sure to check out our Eagles Nest to see the Scouts that have achieved Eagle from our Troop.