ADVANCEMENT GUIDELINESAdvancement is an integral part of the Scouting program which provides recognition for individual effort and accomplishment, as well as a measure of acquired proficiency in basic skills. Advancement is a three- part obligation of:
A Scout who is not steadily advancing to 1st Class rank is missing a vital part of the program. Advancement beyond 1st Class is attainable through the opportunities which the Troop provides, but it also requires determination, initiative, and leadership on the part of the Scout. Guidelines indicating the maximum amounts of time that should elapse from joining to the attainment of each rank up through 1st Class are listed below. If these are not being met, the Scout and/or parents should contact the Advancement Chairman.
These are maximums; an active, well motivated Scout can achieve 1st Class within 12 months. Troop 116 strongly encourages Eagle candidates to have both the Swimming and Lifesaving merit badges, the Cooking merit badge, and the 50-Miler Award.
Merit Badge Protocols
Merit badges are an integral part of advancement for ranks above First Class. Merit badges are important for the Scout to learn new skills, to work outside the normal Troop meeting with an adult counselor, and to present what he has done. Some weekly meeting programs and most of the planned monthly outings include counselors and opportunities for working toward and passing off merit badge requirements. Prior and outside preparation is required. Requirements for earning merit badges include the following steps to be taken by the Scout.
Advancement Board of Review Protocols
A Scout coming before an Advancement Board of Review should be thoroughly familiar with what was done for the rank applied for, including merit badge work completed for the rank. He must be in proper and complete Official Scout Uniform (with merit badge sash). Scouts who are ready to advance and want to shedule a Board of Review should do the following:
BOARDS OF REVIEW OVERVIEW, REQUIREMENTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Boards of Review must be conducted in accordance with the current issue of the BSA publication, Guide to Advancement. For 2nd Class through Life ranks, the board of review consists of no fewer than three to no more than six troop committee members. Scoutmasters and assistants may not serve on a board of review for a Scout in their own troop. Parents or guardians may not serve on a board for their son. The candidate or his parent(s) or guardian(s) shall have no part in selecting any board of review members. The review should not take more than 30 minutes.
For Eagle boards of review at least one district or council representative must serve as a member. If the troop requests it, more than one may do so. There shall be no fewer than three and no more than six members, all at least 21 years old. They need not be on an advancement committee or registered with the Boy Scouts of America, but they must have an understanding of the rank and the purpose and importance of the review. A board of review may not occur until after the local council has verified the application.
The purpose of a Scout appearing before a Board of Review is to determine the quality of his experience, decide whether he is qualified to advance, and if so, encourage him to continue the quest for Eagle or the next Palm. During the review, board members may refer to the Boy Scout Handbook, Scoutmaster Handbook, and other references. A Scout may be asked where he learned his skills and who taught him, and what he gained from fulfilling selected requirements. The answers will reveal what he did for his rank. It can be determined, then, if this was what he was supposed to do. Discussion of how he has lived the Scout Oath and Scout Law in his home, troop, school, and community should be included.
Ranks and Palms may not be presented until the advancement is reported to the local council through the BSA's Internet Advancement or on the official Advancement Report form.
A Scout advances from Tenderfoot to Eagle by doing things with his patrol and troop, with his leaders, and on his own. A well-rounded and active troop program that generates advancement as a natural outcome should take boys to First Class in their first 12 to 18 months of membership. Advancement beyond 1st Class is attainable through the opportunities which the Troop provides, but it also requires determination, initiative, and leadership on the part of the Scout.