We believe that a Scout should receive recognition for his achievements.Advancement sets a pattern of setting positive goals and reaching them throughout life. Even though it’s not one of the primary aims of Scouting, advancement is a natural byproduct when your Scouting experience is acquainting you with the BSA ideals, the patrol method, the outdoors, association with adults, personal growth, leadership development, and the Scout uniform. It’s easy to advance by following these four basic steps:
The requirements for the ranks of Tenderfoot through First Class prepare you to take full advantage of all that Scouting has to offer. Star, Life, and Eagle requirements focus on service to others and developing leadership skills.
Requirements for each rank are outlined in the Boy Scout Handbook. You can work on advancement requirements with your parents or other family members, with other Scouts and with adult Scout leaders. This can be done on your own, in patrol and troop meetings, and during other troop functions such as campouts. A good rule of thumb is to try to complete one or two rank requirements at each troop meeting.
Scout skills cannot be mastered by performing them just once. You will have many opportunities to practice each skill, and you will be thoroughly tested on each requirement before it is “signed off”. In addition, expect to practice each skill repeatedly, even after it has been signed off. As you progress, you will also have opportunities to teach these skills to less experienced Scouts, which will further reinforce your knowledge and skill.
As you complete each requirement, you will be tested and signed off in the BACK section of your handbook (pp. 438 – 449) by the Scoutmaster or by someone he designates. This person may be an Assistant Scoutmaster, a Troop Committee Member, or another, more experienced, Scout. (In Boy Scouts troop leaders, rather than parents, sign off advancement requirements. In order to avoid the appearance of impropriety, in most troops, troop leaders will not normally sign off rank requirements for their own sons. Infrequent exceptions may be made in the case of a leader who is teaching skills to several Scouts at once at a patrol or troop meeting or other Scouting function, but every effort should be made to have another leader sign off the instructing leader’s sons if possible.)
It’s up to you to take advantage of the advancement opportunities available to you, and to take initiative to ask for someone to test you when you are ready. You are responsible for keeping your own personal advancement record in your handbook. You should also record your service hours, campouts, troop activities, and leadership positions in your handbook.
You must earn the ranks in order, but you may complete any requirement for Tenderfoot through First Class at any time. (For example, you may complete a First Class requirement before finishing your Tenderfoot requirements, but you must earn Tenderfoot rank before you are awarded Second Class and First Class ranks.)
You will be meeting regularly with the Scoutmaster to discuss your activity in the troop and your understanding and practice of the ideals of Scouting. This Scoutmaster conference is also used to discuss your goals and accomplishments and is required for each rank advancement.
You do not have to wait until you have completed the requirements for a rank in order to ask for a Scoutmaster conference. You may talk with the Scoutmaster at any time that is convenient to both of you. However, for a Scoutmaster conference to count toward rank advancement it must take place after all other requirements are complete and before the Board of Review. At this required conference the Scoutmaster will also help you determine whether or not you are ready to go before the Board of Review.
Text from http://usscouts.org/