Your first source of information for the requirements in earning these ranks is your Scouts BSA 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 Scouts BSA 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: They must demonstrate a positive attitude about Scouting, showing that they understand the ideals of the Scout Oath and Law and is trying to live up to them.
3 - Master Certain Skills: They must demonstrate to the Scoutmaster, or whoever the Scoutmaster designates, that they understand the requirements of rank advancement and has mastered the skills necessary to pass the examinations for them and record them in their Handbook.
4 - Participate in a Scoutmaster Conference: In this meeting the Scout and Scoutmaster review geneally the progress and attitude of the Scout as well as set goals and timetables for the next steps in rank advancement.
5 - Pass 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 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: The Scout will be formally recognized with their 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.