Advancement is the process by which youth members of the Boy Scouts of America progress from rank to rank in the Scouting program. Advancement is simply a means to an end, not an end in itself. Everything done to advance and earn these ranks, from joining until leaving the program, should be designed to help the young person have an exciting and meaningful experience. Education and fun are functions of the Scouting movement, and they must be the basis of the advancement program. A fundamental principle of advancement in Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, Varsity Scouting, and Venturing is the growth a young person achieves as a result of his/her participation in unit program.
Boy Scout Rank Requirements
Today’s youth are spending more time than ever using digital media for education, research, socializing, and fun. To help families and volunteers keep youth safe while online, the Boy Scouts of America has introduced the Cyber Chip program. In developing this exciting new tool, the BSA teamed up with content expert NetSmartz®, part of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children® and training experts from many law enforcement agencies.
The Cyber Chip can be earned by any youth in the BSA’s programs. Topics include cyber bullying, cell phone use, texting, blogging, gaming, and identity theft. Material is tailored at each level for age-appropriateness.
- Cub Scouts: Grades 1–3
- Cub Scouts: Grades 4–5
- Boy Scouts, Varsity Scouts, Venturers, Sea Scouts: Grades 6–8
- Boy Scouts, Varsity Scouts, Venturers, Sea Scouts: Grades 9–12
Eagle Scout Advancement
Guide for Merit Badge Counselors
The merit badge counselor is a key player in the Boy Scout advancement program. Whatever your area of expertise or interest—whether it is a special craft or hobby (basketry, leatherwork, coin collecting), a profession (veterinary medicine, aviation, engineering), or perhaps a life skill (cooking, personal management, communications)—as a merit badge counselor, you can play a vital role in stirring a young man’s curiosity about that particular topic. By serving as a merit badge counselor, you offer your time, knowledge, and other resources so that Scouts can explore a topic of interest.
If you are not yet a merit badge counselor, it is easy to become a volunteer. You will need to register with the Boy Scouts of America, through your BSA local council. This entails contacting the local council, then obtaining, completing, and turning in the “Adult Application.” The council will then process the application. (Every applicant is screened.)
In order to register, merit badge counselors are expected to complete BSA Youth Protection. This training can be done through The BSA’s Online Learning Center . The Boy Scouts of America seeks to create a safe environment for young people and adult leaders to enjoy the program and related activities. BSA Youth Protection training helps preserve that environment.
For more information, consult the Guide for Merit Badge Counseling, No. 512-065 or Merit Badge Counselor Information, No. 34405 . To learn more about the merit badge program, see section 7 of the Guide to Advancement, “The Merit Badge Program.”
Merit Badge Program
- Introduction to Merit Badges
- Merit Badge List
- Worksheet for Building a Merit Badge Counselor List, No. 4439
- Merit Badge Blue Card Information
- Reporting Merit Badge Counseling Concerns, No. 512-800
- National Advancement Committee Webpage
- National Advancement Committee Resources
- Guide to Advancement
- Advancement News Archive
- Advancement Report, No. 34403
- On Increasing Advancement, No. 512-047
- Recommendations for Regional and Area Volunteers Supporting the Advancement Program, No. 512-048
Merit Badge Makeup Day
Council Advancement Committee Members
- Current List of MCBSA Advancement Committee Members