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I. Purpose

Scouting provides many opportunities for you to learn skills and take part in terrific adventures. The troop will recognize your achievements by awarding badges of rank. Setting out to advance through the ranks of scouting and becoming an Eagle Scout is an ambitious goal. Learning all the skills and completing all the requirements takes dedication and hard work. This five-page guide clearly states the procedures and expectations Troop 12 leaders use to test and approve rank requirements. Use it with your Boy Scout Handbook to help you succeed on the trail to Eagle.

  1. Organization

Sections 1 through 5 are addressed to you, a scout working to advance. Section 6 is for your parents. Section 7 is for scouts doing the testing and signing off for you. Section 8, which shares the secret to becoming an Eagle Scout, is for everyone.


  1. Read

Begin by reading portions of your Boy Scout Handbook with your parents to familiarize yourself with the requirements for the rank that you are working on and to learn the material.

II. Develop a Plan

Work with your patrol leader and your patrolís troop guide to identify and plan appropriate opportunities to learn a skill and/or complete a specific requirement during a troop meeting, patrol meeting, campout, summer camp, and/or trip. To make this easier, it is important that you bring your Scout Handbook to every troop meeting, patrol meeting, and campout.

  1. Work the Plan
  2. Remember the plan and implement it. For example, if you are scheduled to cook breakfast on a campout, be the first one up and begin the task without being asked. If you are sleeping in, the patrol leader my assign the task to someone else.

  3. Get Tested and Signed off
  4. When you feel you have completed a requirement, tell your patrol leader, who will assign a scout to test you or do the testing himself. If your patrol leader is not available, you may see your patrolís troop guide, or any junior leader in the troop. The scout doing the testing must be at least one rank above the rank of the requirement being tested. When he is satisfied the requirement was properly completed, he will initial and date (month, date, and year) your handbook. You should immediately check to ensure your book is initialed and dated.

  5. See your Troop Guide

After a requirement is signed off, see your patrolís troop guide, who will note this on his log sheet.


Boy Scout Handbook, page 14.

Junior leaders include any of the positions listed on page 172 of the Boy Scout Handbook.

E.g., A Second Class scout can only test Tenderfoot requirements; a First Class scout can only test Tenderfoot and Second Class requirements; a Star, Life, or Eagle Scout can test Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class requirements.


Repeat steps I through V until you have completed all but the last two requirements for the rank you are working on.


The last two requirements for each rank are the Scoutmaster Conference and Board of Review.

  1. Scoutmaster Conference
  2. When you have completed all but the last two requirements for a rank, tell the scoutmaster, who will schedule a Scoutmaster Conference.

  3. Board of Review
  4. After completing the Scoutmaster Conference, contact the Advancement Chairman to schedule a Board of Review.

  5. Requirements for a Scoutmaster Conference and Board of Review

When appearing for your Scoutmaster Conference and Board of Review, you must be in complete uniform, including sash. All current patches are to be properly displayed. Before appearing, talk with your patrol leader to learn and memorize the required greeting to enter a Board of Review.


  1. Dan Beard Program
  2. At summer camp, there is a specific program run by camp staff for you to learn and complete many of the Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class requirements. The staff will not initial your handbook; instead, immediately after each session, you should see your patrol leader. The procedure under Section 1 steps IV and V will then be followed.

  3. Swimming Requirements

Typically, swimming requirements are completed at summer camp. The camp staff member who witnessed the requirement should initial and date your handbook. Immediately thereafter, you should ask your patrol leader to add his initial next to those of the camp staff member.


  1. Service Projects
  2. Requirement 4 under Second Class, Star, and Life calls for a specified number of hours on a Scoutmaster approved Service Project. After completing time on a service project, ask the person in charge of the project (scout or adult) to note the project, date, number of hours completed, and initial your handbook.

  3. Documentation

Your signed Boy Scout Handbook is the original documentation that you completed the requirements. Keep your book intact, clean, and dry so that it will last for years. It is strongly recommended that you purchase a BSA black canvas book cover to protect it. Likewise, all blue merit badge cards, white merit badge cards, and rank advancement cards should be carefully saved in a safe place. It is strongly recommended you purchase clear plastic sheets, such as those used by baseball card collectors, to keep your cards in order in a


If you have earned merit badges, they should be attached to a sash and worn to every
Board of Review, even if merit badges are not required for the rank advancement being reviewed.

Committee members should also be in complete uniform to be an example for the boys.

BSA catalog #Y34002A, $8.95


notebook. If there are any questions when council or national staff reviews your Eagle application, your handbook and/or cards will be required.


  1. Attendance
  2. In order to advance, you must be "active in patrol and troop activities." You will not pass your scoutmaster conference and/or board of review if you have not been active. Attendance is taken at troop meetings and campouts. Both this information and adult leader observations are used to see how active you have been in troop activities.

  3. Troop Equipment
  4. At the end of each campout, the troop quartermaster assigns each piece of troop equipment to a specific scout for cleaning and drying at home. You are responsible for completing your assigned tasks and returning the equipment at the next troop meeting. Properly completing these tasks is a demonstration that you are helpful, obedient, clean, and trustworthy. The quartermaster maintains records of how well you and every other scout fulfill these tasks; this information is shared with the Scoutmaster and Troop Committee prior to a Scoutmaster Conference and/or Board of Review.

    Patrol leaders are responsible for ensuring each of their scouts complete their assigned tasks and return the equipment on schedule. They should be using appropriate leadership and communication skills, such as making reminder phone calls. The quartermaster data for each patrol will be used by the Scoutmaster and Troop Committee in evaluating a patrol leaderís performance as a leader.

  5. Scout Spirit
  6. All ranks except Tenderfoot include a requirement to "demonstrate the scout spirit by living the Scout Oath and Scout Law in your everyday life." The Scoutmaster and Troop Committee will consider their observations of your behavior on all points of the scout oath and law, including the quartermasterís data on care of troop equipment. In addition, your attitude and cooperation with adult leaders and youth leaders will be considered. The Scoutmaster and/or Troop Committee may ask to see improvement in one or more areas before approving a Scoutmaster Conference or Board of Review requirement.

  7. Leadership
  8. The Star, Life, and Eagle ranks require a scout to "serve actively" in a position of responsibility (i.e., leadership) within the troop. To fulfill this requirement, you must do the work for the position; simply "wearing the patch" does not fulfill the requirement.

  9. Merit Badges

Before beginning work on any merit badge, the following must be true.

    • Rank of scout or higher;
    • Less than age 18;
    • Obtain a signed blue card from the scoutmaster;
    • Work with a merit badge counselor at a BSA Summer Camp or one included on the current NNJC merit badge counselor list.
    • Complete an initial meeting with your Merit Badge Counselor.

It is important to realize that merit badge requirements change frequently and that those printed in a merit badge pamphlet may not be current. It is important for a scout to complete


These can be obtained at a collectorís shop, a BSA Trading Post, or from 20th Century Plastics, 1-800-767-0777.

Advancement Committee Policies and Procedures. Page 32.

Boy Scout Handbook. Page 187.


the current requirements that are published in the latest edition of Boy Scout Requirements. Requirements are also posted on the web site

There is no time requirement for completion of a merit badge other than age 18.

VI. Time

Time is an important factor in the trail to Eagle as all requirements for Eagle must be completed by your 18th birthday. You advance at your own pace, but working efficiently to make steady progress is important. As stated in BSA publications, active scouts will usually complete the Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class ranks within a year of joining a troop. This will give you more opportunity to help others in the troop and to earn the honor ranks of Star, Life, and Eagle.

  1. Responsibility

Within the troop, there are numerous boy and adult leaders to support you in learning scouting skills and completing the program. However, the bottom line is that you, with the support of your family, are responsible for your own advancement.


  1. Parent witnessing of requirements
  2. A few requirements such as Tenderfoot Req. 10a and 10b will be completed at home with the support of parents. The before and after results should be recorded in your sonís Scout Handbook by a parent. When the requirement is completed, the parent should not initial the handbook. The parent should write a letter to your sonís patrol leader stating this requirement has been completed, as noted in the handbook. After reviewing the letter and talking with your son, the patrol leader will initial and date the Scout Handbook.

  3. Parental Involvement and Support

Parents can help their son advance by doing as many of the following as is practical for them.

  • Bring your son to patrol meetings, troop meetings, campouts, summer camp, and trips.
  • Assist with transportation on campouts, summer camp, and trips.
  • Ensure your son properly cleans and dries troop equipment assigned to him and that it is returned to the Quartermaster at the next troop meeting.
  • Make your home available for patrol meetings and committee meetings.
  • Take your son shopping for uniforms, equipment, and food, as needed.
  • Assist your son in learning requirements (see Section 1 step I).
  • Attend campouts and summer camp.
  • Volunteer to help the scoutmaster and troop committee.
  • Attend Scouting Adult Leader Training.
  • Learn scouting skills and develop leadership skills.
  • Become an adult leader in the troop.
  • Attend award ceremonies and courts of honor with your son.
  • Take an active interest in your sonís advancement. From time to time, ask him what requirement he is working on this week or on the next campout. If the answer is, "I donít know", one or more things arenít happening that should be.
  • Be supportive of your sonís participation in scouting day in and day out.

It is understood that not all parents will be able to be involved in all these ways. By everyone in the troop doing their part, the needed support will be provided. Special needs should be brought to the Scoutmasterís attention.


Boy Scout Requirements is published annually.

Advancement Committee Policies and Procedures. Page 32.

Boy Scout Handbook, page 14. Scoutmaster Handbook, page 119. Advancement Committee Policies and Procedures, page 23.



  1. Requirements
  2. The scout being tested is expected to meet the requirements as stated Ė no more and no less. Furthermore, he is to do exactly what is stated. If it says "show or demonstrate", that is what he must do. Just telling about it isnít enough.

  3. Countersigning

If, in the process of completing the steps under Section 1, 2, 3, or 4, the "wrong" person happens to initial a handbook, no initials should be crossed out. The correct person should simply "countersign" or add his initials next to those already there when he is satisfied the scout has completed the requirement.


Although only about 2% of scouts earn the Eagle rank, Troop 12 will share with you the secret to becoming an Eagle Scout Ė DONíT QUIT!


Any questions or suggested edits to this guide should be given to the scoutmaster.


Boy Scout Handbook. 11th Edition, Page 14, 172, 187.

Scoutmaster Handbook. Rev. 2000, Page 119, 120.

Advancement Committee Policies and Procedures. 1989. Page 3, 22, 23, 27, 32.

Boy Scout Requirements.

BSA Official Retail Catalog.

A Guide for Merit Badge Counseling.


A Guide for Merit Badge Counseling. BSA Publication No. 34532A. 2001.

Charles Ritchie, Advisor. Kwahadi Dancers, Amarillo, TX.