Boy Scout advancement is a program in which a Scout’s progression is the natural outcome of his regular Scout activities. When a Scout leader recognizes that a Scout has mastered a given skill and satisfied the requirement he will tell the Scout so and record his achievement.  At Scout meetings when skills may be demonstrated, a Scout should join in and participate and try to learn the skills.  If he has fully learned a skill, he should go to a Scoutmaster (SM, ASM or JASM) and demonstrate the requirement completely.  It will then be signed off.  Some advancement is done in formal classes where we instruct them. The boys should have read their books before the class, but for some Scouts adding more “schoolwork” will drive them away from Scouting. After they have been taught the skills; the class is broken up and each Scout must individually demonstrate the skill to a Scoutmaster. A small amount of help may be given to a Scout during his demonstration; but if he doesn’t get it right, have him reread it, or reteach it. Do not sign it off then; have him come back later and demonstrate his mastery of the skill. Do not expect that all the boys who watched the demonstration deserve to get their requirement signed off that night–some boys don’t pick things up as fast, some boys don’t pay much attention, sometimes there isn’t enough time to test each boy individually that night. The same holds true for requirements that state, “Explain….” Each boy must personally and separately from the group explain that requirement in order to get it signed off.
A spirited Scout is one who reads his book and comes to meetings prepared to demonstrate his knowledge. These Scouts will advance more rapidly than others in his patrol.  Most Scouts work at a moderate rate, earning one rank per Court of Honor or one rank every second Court. The Trail to First Class ideally takes about a year, but usually it takes longer.  Scouts who advance to quickly may have a hard time adjusting to the program change after reaching First Class.  Some Scouts are not very interested in advancement.  They are in Scouts for other reasons.  We try to recognize them and offer them opportunities for advancement; but if they’re not interested we do not force them.  A balanced patrol, then, will always have boys at various ranks. It is highly unlikely that all the boys in one patrol will have the same level of motivation and same number of opportunities to get their skills learned, demonstrated, and signed off at the same rate.  As a boy advances in Scouting he will work with different aged boys and many different adults. He will gain confidence by leading other Scouts and talking with adults.


Please read about conferences in the Scoutmaster Handbook.  The troop maintains conference sheets with sample questions.  Please feel free to add your own, but remember you are not retesting their skills.  A conference should last 15-25 minutes.


A boy should be in full uniform. Below First Class, he should bring his Scout Handbook to the Board.  Above First Class, he should bring his personal scrapbook. At these formal
meetings conducted by a group of Committee members and other parents, he may be asked to talk about his experiences earning this rank and what he needs to work on for his next rank. Although the first few Boards are somewhat scary for a boy, they teach him public speaking skills and prepare him for the ultimate Board–his Eagle Scout Board.  When he goes for his first job interview, he will be able to speak with a sense of confidence gained from these interviews about his skills and experiences.