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Introduction to Advancement Topics


Advancement Documents

A number of Scouters have provided various Spreadsheets, Word Documents, PDF Files, etc. for use by other Scouters for tracking advancements in the various Scouting sections.  That list of available documents can be accessed by clicking on the link above.


Boy Scout Advancement requirements are found in the Boy Scout Requirements book, which is issued annually. Copies of the information in that book, including information on recent changes to the requirements, are posted on this system.

Cub Scout Advancement requirements are found in the Tiger Cub Handbook, the Wolf Cub Scout Book, the Bear Cub Scout Book, and the Webelos Scout Book. Copies of the Cub Scout requirements taken from those books are available on this system.


Definitions of "Active Participation", "Demonstrate Scout Spirit", and
"Serve Actively ... in ... Positions of Responsibility"

Active Participation:

The requirements for Star, Life, Eagle, and Eagle Palms all include a requirement to "Be active in your troop and patrol ..." The Guide to Advancement now contains an extensive section on how to determine whether the Scout has met the requirement. Rather than duplicate that information here, please click here to see the information.

Demonstrate Scout Spirit:

The requirements for Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life, and Eagle Palms all include a clause to "Be active in your troop and patrol ...", and the requirements for Eagle contain a similar clause, "Demonstrate that you live by the principles of the Scout Oath and Law ...." The Guide to Advancement now also contains an section on how to determine whether the Scout has met this requirement, too. Rather than duplicate that information here, please click here to see the information.;

Serve Actively ... in ... Positions of Responsibility

The requirements for Star, Life, and Eagle all include a requirement to "Serve Actively ... in ... Positions of Responsibility" The Guide to Advancement now contains an extensive section on how to determine whether the Scout has met this requirement as well. Rather than duplicate that information here, please click here to see the information.


On August 1, 1998, BSA split the former BSA Exploring program into two separate organizations. Explorer Posts in the following areas were transferred to the new Venturing Division of BSA and became Venturing Crews. Sea Exploring Ships became Sea Scouting Ships.

  • Arts and Hobbies
  • Outdoor,
  • Sea Scouting,
  • Sports, and
  • Religious Life (formerly called Youth Ministries)

All other Explorer Posts and their members were transferred to the Exploring Program in Learning for Life, which is a separate subsidiary corporation of BSA. Explorers are NOT eligible for Boy Scouting or Venturing Advancements un.

Venturing Advancement consists of four separate Advancement tracks:

  • The Venturing Bronze, Gold, and Silver Awards are available to all youth (male and female) in the Venturing program.
  • The Ranger Award is also available to all youth (male and female) in the Venturing program, but is primarily for members of Outdoor Crews.
  • Sea Scouting has its own Advancement Program for youth members (male and female) of Sea Scouting Ships.
  • Boy Scout Advancements - under the following procedures and restrictions.
    • Any male Venturer who has achieved the First Class rank as a Boy Scout in a troop or as a Varsity Scout in a team may continue advancement toward Star, Life and Eagle Scout ranks and Eagle Palms up to his 18th birthday.
    • He must meet the requirements as prescribed in the official Boy Scout Handbook and the current Boy Scout Requirements book.
    • The Venturer may fulfill leadership requirements by serving as president, vice president, secretary, or treasurer of his crew, or as boatswain, boatswain's mate, yeoman, purser, or storekeeper for his ship.
    • The Scoutmaster conference will be conducted by the Advisor or Skipper.
    • As the Venturer meets requirements for the Star and Life ranks, a board of review will be conducted by the crew or ship committee.
    • The Eagle board of review should follow the procedures established by the local council.

Advancement by Explorers ended on December 31, 1999

Explorers who were working on rank requirements toward the Star, Life, and Eagle Scout ranks could continue to do so until December 31, 1999.

The Boy Scout Division at the national office must be contacted for procedures to follow for Explorers who completed the requirements for Eagle Scout prior to December 31, 1999, if an Eagle Board of Review for that Explorer was not conducted before June 30, 2000.

Explorers that did not complete the requirements for a rank by December 31, 1999 may no longer earn advancements as part of the Exploring program. If they desire to continue Boy Scout advancement, they must register as a member of BSA in either a Boy Scout Troop, Varsity Scout Team, Venturing Crew, or Sea Scouting Ship, and complete the requirements the same as other Scouts and Venturers. All Boy Scout advancements must be completed before the boy's 18th birthday.


Page updated on: May 03, 2012



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