Scouts BSA

Scouting is the ultimate form of learning by doing.  Scouts in the Scouts BSA program (ages 11-17) explore their interests and improve their skills while working toward Scouting’s highest rank: Eagle.  By first imagining, planning then doing their own service projects, Scouts learn the value of hard work and experience the thrill of seeing it pay off.

In Scouts BSA, Scouts plans their advancement and progress at their own pace as they meet each challenge.

Scouts advance from Scout rank to Tenderfoot to Eagle by doing things to complete requirements with the patrol and troop, with leaders, and on their own.  Scouts BSA advancement applies four steps:

  1. The Scout learns.
  2. The Scout is tested.
  3. The Scout is reviewed.
  4. The Scout is recognized.


Guidance.  BSA’s guidance to administering Scouts BSA advancement can be found in the Guide to Advancement – Mechanics of Advancement.

Advancement requirements.  Current information on advancement, including an overview of the advancement program, and the most current requirements for each rank and special opportunity can found at this link: Advancement and Awards

Merit badges.  The merit badge program is an integral part of Scouts BSA advancement, with more than 135 Merit Badges that provide the ultimate form of learning by doing.  The Merit Badge Program section provides important information and resources for counselors, leaders, and Scouts.


Eagle rank.  The pinnacle of Scouts BSA advancement is earning the rank of Eagle.  The Information and Resources for Life to Eagle Advancement section provides important information and resources to assist leaders, Scouts, and parents.


Additional Resources

  • Alternative rank requirements.

1)  Please read BSA’s guidance to requesting alternative requirements found at this link {click here}.

2)  Please read the council’s policies and procedures that apply to a request for alternative requirements, Section 2.1.  {click here}.

3)  The Scout’s unit must submit a request for alternative rank requirements by discussing and completing an Individual Scout Advancement Plan, No 512-936, available under the Advancement heading at this link {click here}.