BSA Rank Advancement Guidelines

Definition of “Active”
(Source: Boy Scouts of America National Council website http://www.scouting.org/boyscouts/guideformeritbadgecounselors/rankadvanceFAQ.aspx)

A Scout will be considered "active" in his unit if he is:

  1. Registered in his unit (registration fees are current)
  2. Not dismissed from his unit for disciplinary reasons.
  3. Engaged by his unit leadership on a regular basis (informed of unit activities through Scoutmaster conference or personal contact, etc.)

The unit leaders are responsible for maintaining contact with the Scout on a regular basis. The Scout is not required to attend any certain percentage of activities or outings. However, unit leaders must ensure that he is fulfilling the obligations of his assigned leadership position. If he is not, then they should remove the Scout from that position.

Definition of “Scout Spirit”
(Source: Boy Scouts of America National Council website http://www.scouting.org/boyscouts/guideformeritbadgecounselors/rankadvanceFAQ.aspx)

Scout spirit applies to how a Scout lives and conducts his daily life. He shows Scout spirit by being a role model to his peers, living by the Scout Oath and Law. The concept of Scout spirit is not based on how many Scouting events or outings a Scout attends, but rather by how he helps bring out the best in others as a reflection of his own character and attitude in his daily life.

BSA Advancement Rules and Regulations – Article X. Section 1b.
In Boy Scouting, recognition is gained through leadership in the troop, attending and participating in its activities, living the ideals of Scouting, and proficiency in activities related to outdoor life, useful skills, and career exploration.

“Be Active in Your Troop and Patrol” Source: Boy Scout Handbook (Page 169)
To gain full advantage of all that Scouting has to offer, you need to be present when things are happening. Take part in meetings, in planning activities, and in the fun adventures. If you’re there, you can do your part to make your patrol and troop a success

BSA - Advancement Committee Policies and Procedures

  • “No council, district, unit, or individual has the authority to add to or subtract from any advancement requirement.” (Page 23)
  • Scoutmaster Conferences - "The requirement for advancement is that the Scout participates in a Scoutmaster conference, not that he "passes" the conference. When advancement is going to be deferred, the Scouts should not come to the Scoutmaster conference thinking that everything is OK and then be surprised that his advancement is deferred. He should have plenty of warning and guidance prior to the Scoutmaster conference. This is not a time to shut the door on advancement, but rather to work with the Scout to create goals that will allow him to succeed. However, even after a negative Scoutmaster conference for the ranks of Tenderfoot to Life, if the Scout desires a board of review, he should be granted his request." (Page 25/26)
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