Advancement & Merit Badges
Advancement is the process by which Scouts progress from rank to rank in the Scouting program. Boy Scouting has the following ranks: Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life and Eagle.
Although advancement is a key part of the Scouting program, advancement is not a race or a competition. New Scouts joining the troop can and will get lots of guidance as they develop Scouting skills and capabilities and advance in rank towards First Class. They will receive guidance from both older Scouts and adult leaders.
Don’t think of advancement as something separate from your Scouting experience or lots of hard work. When you join Scouts and participate in the activities and outings (camping, hiking, troop meetings, community service activities, leadership roles) you will be advancing, by learning and demonstrating the various skills that move you towards your next rank.
All the details about advancement from Scout rank through Eagle rank can be found in the current version of the Boy Scout Handbook. Note that all rank requirements were revised in 2016, so be sure you are checking the right version of the Handbook. The latest advancement requirements can also be found on the BSA website Advancement and Awards Page .
For more detailed information on the process for completing your Eagle Scout rank please see the Working Toward Eagle Scout page.
For ranks after First Class, advancement includes both Scouting activities and Merit Badges. Think of Merit Badges as hands-on labs focused on a particular topic – with over 135 badges available, you can explore things that interest you: skiing, hiking, biking, medicine, electronics, photography, first aid, boating, canoeing, welding, fingerprinting, shooting sports, and more … The full list is on the BSA website Merit Badge Page.
In order to complete a merit badge, you must first get permission from the Scoutmaster and have him sign a "blue card" which tracks your progress through the badge. You will get blue cards from the Troop Advancement Chairman, who will also help you find a Merit Badge Counselor(MBC), which is an adult leader who will guide you through the steps of the Merit Badge. We have MBC's for many of the badges within the Troop but if there is something you are interested in we can find an MBC from a neighboring Troop who might be willing to help. You can also earn several Merit Badges during summer camp week. We do have MBC's for all Eagle required badges (see below) within the Troop leaders and periodically they will offer a Merit Badge class during Troop meetings, so take advantage of these when you can. Click here to go to the Troop 1775 Merit Badge Procedure page.
As mentioned above, there is also a group of Merit Badges that cover the core values of Scouting, and 13 of those are required to earn the rank of Eagle Scout. Those are:
- Swimming, Hiking, or Cycling.
- Citizenship in the Community.
- Citizenship in the Nation.
- Citizenship in the World.
- Lifesaving and/or Emergency Preparedness.
- Environmental Science or Sustainability.
- Family Life.
- First Aid.
- Personal Fitness.
- Personal Management.