The highest rank in Scouting is the Eagle Scout, (7 below). This is the goal of all Scouts, but only a select few will make it all the way. It requires a lot of hard work, persistence, dedication and focus. The reward for becoming an Eagle Scout is the lifetime mark of achievement that comes with this high honor. There are Six Scout ranks before EAGLE.
All Scouts start by earning their Scout badge(1). The requirements for this are simple and include understanding of the Scout Oath, Law, motto, slogan, and Outdoor Code. This should all be completed shortly after your son joins the troop. As your Scout learns and demonstrates new skills, he will become a Tenderfoot(2), followed by 2nd Class(3) and 1st Class(4). The next rank is the Star Scout(5). Although Scouts can start earning merit badges at any time, this is the first rank which requires the Scout to earn merit badges. After Star comes Life Scout(6) and then the Eagle Scout(7).
Merit badges are earned through troop wide activities, at summer camp, or by the Scout himself through his own hard work. Each merit badge has a specific counselor within the troop. If a Scout wants to earn a particular merit badge, they are to obtain permission from the ScoutMaster or an Assistant Scoutmaster who will supply them with a "Blue Card". The Merit Badge Counselor Coordinator will provide the name of the Merit Badge Counselor. When the requirements for the merit badge are completed, the counselor will sign off on the Blue Card and a portion of this will be turned in to the Troop Advancement Coordinator. This is the only official record that the merit badge has been earned, and the Scout will get to keep a portion of the blue card for their records.
We are always in need of adult volunteers with skill sets and expertise in certain areas. With over 130 different merit badges we almost always can find a way for you to help out. Ask the Merit Badge Counselor Coordinator, ScoutMaster or an Assistant Scoutmaster and they will make sure you receive all the information you need to become an official Merit Badge Counselor.
It is important to remember that advancing in rank is not a race. We want Scouts to advance at a pace that is appropriate for them. We would prefer to have Scouts master their skills rather than having them "advance" without any mastery.
Typically, we have a goal of each scout becoming a First Class scout by the end of their first full year in the troop. It is the responsibility of the Scout's Patrol Leader to make sure that the Scout is advancing at an appropriate pace.
Requirements up to 1st class can be signed off by the scouts Patrol leader, Assistant Senior Patrol Leader (ASPL) Senior Patrol Leader (SPL). Requirements can also be signed off by the Assistant Scout Master (ASM) or Scout Master.
After completing the requirements for a rank, the Scout will participate in a ScoutMaster Conference and a Board of Review (BOR). These are not testing sessions or interrogations but it is a chance for the adult leaders to see how a Scout is doing and to make sure that the program is being delivered as it should be.