Rank Advancement

Troop 27 Rank Advancement Process

  1. The Scout LEARNS.
    At troop meetings, patrol meetings, campouts, and at home, the Scout learns and practices skills that are required for advancement. Skills can be learned individually or taught by an adult or another Scout. Skills are practiced with other Scouts, patrol leaders, or adults during patrol meetings, troop meetings, campouts, or any other scouting activity.
  2. The Scout is TESTED.
    1. Once the scout feels he has mastered a skill, he asks the Scoutmaster, or an individual designated by the Scoutmaster, to test the skill.  The requirement is approved or advise is given that additional learning is needed. 
    2. At troop meeting and campouts, the scout approaches the Advancement Chair or designate for sign offs on things like Service Hours, Participation, Troop Activities, and Position of Responsibility.
    3. The scout requests and completes a Scoutmaster conference. It can happen at any time during the process of completing requirements. The Advancement Chair or designate will arrange a time for the scout to meet with a Scoutmaster or designate mainly during campouts, although it can be arranged during troop meetings when requested.
  3. The Scout is REVIEWED.
    1. For ranks above Scout, when the scout has completed all the requirements except the Board of Review, the scout meets with a Board of Review made up of troop committee members.  The Board makes sure that the scout has completed all the requirements and talks with the scout about his Scouting experience.
    2. It is preferred a Scout be in full uniform with the badges worn properly for any Board of Review. It may be the uniform as typically worn by the Scout’s troop. If wearing all or part of the uniform is impractical for whatever reason, the Scout should be clean and neat in appearance and dressed appropriately, according to the Scout’s means. Boards of Review shall not reject candidates solely for reasons related to uniform or attire if they are dressed to the above description.
    3. The review should take approximately 15 minutes to 30 minutes.
    4. After the Board of Review, the Scout is asked to wait outside the room or out of hearing range while the Board deliberates. To approve awarding a rank, the Board must agree unanimously.
    5. If the members of the board agree a Scout is ready to advance, the Scout is called in and congratulated. The Board of Review date - not that of a subsequent Court of Honor - becomes the rank’s effective date.
    6. If a Board does not approve, the candidate must be so informed and told what can be done to improve. Most Scouts accept responsibility for their behavior or for not completing requirements properly. A Scout must not be rejected at a Board of Review for reasons unrelated to advancement requirements.
  4. The Scout is RECOGNIZED.
    As soon as possible, scouts’ advancement is recognized at a troop meeting where presented the new rank badge. (Scouts will later be recognized again at a special ceremony called a Court of Honor.)

Notes and clarifications:

§ Scoutmaster Conferences and Board of Reviews are held mainly on campouts although they can be requested at any time.

§ To sign up for rank advancement, the scout will use the campout sign up link and indicate he would like to rank advance at that upcoming campout.  If the Scout requests to schedule a Scoutmaster conference or a Board of Review during a troop meeting, it must be done by emailing the Rank Advancement coordinator prior to the meeting (between 3 to 5 days notice).

§ For the purposes of advancement, “Showing Scout spirit” is determined by the Scoutmaster based on scouting ideals as found in the Scout Oath, Law, Motto, and Slogan. The Scout shares how he lives those ideals in his daily life at home, at school, in religious life, and in their neighborhoods, for example, to demonstrate to have Scout spirit.

§ Star, Life, and Eagle Scout requirements call for Scouts to be active for a period of months. The scout must be registered in that period and in good standing with the troop. Also, he needs to meet the expectation of the troop regarding level of activity. This means attending at least 50% of the meetings and 50% of the outings during the advancement period as indicated in the requirement. If a Scout has fallen below the unit’s activity-oriented expectations, then the reason must be due to other positive endeavors - in or out of Scouting - or due to noteworthy circumstances that have prevented a higher level of participation.

§ The Scout handbook is the master record of the Scout’s completion of requirements; if lost, it is the Scout’s responsibility to recover the information. The Troop records are for administrative purposes and reflect the Scout’s achievements. It is also the responsibility of the Scout to ensure the accuracy of all records as they pertain to him.

§ Troop 27 holds a Court of Honor two times a year to recognize the Scouts that have advanced in rank, earned merit badges, or any other awards. These are family events, and all are invited.

§ Resources:

Conducting a Scoutmaster Conference

  • A Scoutmaster conference is not a “test.” Requirements do not say the Scout must “pass” a conference. While it makes sense to hold one after other requirements for a rank are met, it is not required that it be the last step before the Board of Review.
  • The conference is not a retest of the requirements upon which a Scout has been signed off. It is a forum for discussing topics such as ambitions, life purpose, and goals for future achievement, for counseling, and for obtaining feedback on the unit’s program. In some cases, work left to be completed - and perhaps why it has not been completed - may be discussed just as easily as that which is finished. Ultimately, conference timing is up to the unit. Some leaders hold more than one along the way, and the Scout must be allowed to count any of them toward the requirement.
  • The conference should take approximately 30 to 45 minutes.

Conducting a Board of Review

  • A Board of Review must consist of no fewer than three members of the troop committee and no more than six, all of whom must be at least 21 years of age.
  • Troop’s Scoutmaster and assistants shall not serve on a board for a Scout in their unit.
  • A parent or guardian shall not serve on a board for his own son.
  • The scout, parent, or guardian shall not select members of the board.
  • One member serves as chair. The troop committee decides how he or she is chosen. The chair conducts a review meeting according to BSA procedures and reports results to the unit advancement coordinator.
  • It shall not become a retest or “examination,” or a challenge of the Scout’s knowledge. In most cases it should, instead, be a celebration of accomplishment.
  • Full field uniform is preferred. The board cannot reject Scouts if they:
    • Wear as much of the uniform as they own.
    • Wear their uniform as correctly as possible.
    • Wear their uniform per unit practice; or
    • Has no uniform, but dresses neatly, cleanly, and appropriately according to their means.
  • The review should take approximately 15 minutes to 30 minutes.
  • Unanimous approval from board member is required for Scout to advance. If no unanimous approval:
    • Do not disclose specifics to Scout. Only discuss areas requiring improvement.
    • The board of review may be adjourned and reconvened at a later date.