Ranks

Scout Ranks

Advancement & Awards

Scouting provides a series of surmountable obstacles and steps in overcoming them through the advancement method. The Scout plans her advancement and progresses at her own pace as she meets each challenge. The Scout is rewarded for each achievement, which helps her gain self-confidence. The steps in the advancement system help a Scout grow in self-reliance and in the ability to help others.

Achieving Ranks

The advancement program for BSA Scouts of America is symbolized by the earning of seven ranks. The advancement program is often considered to be divided into two phases. The first phase from joining to First Class is designed to teach the scout scoutcraft skills, how to participate in a group and to learn self-reliance. The Scout badge is awarded when the Scout demonstrates a rudimentary knowledge of the Scouting ideals and program. Tenderfoot, Second Class and First Class have progressively harder requirements in the areas of Scoutcraft, physical fitness, citizenship, personal growth and Scout Spirit.

The second phase of Star, Life and Eagle is designed to develop leadership skills and allow the Scout to explore potential vocations through the merit badge program. The Star and Life ranks require that the scout serve in a position of responsibility and perform community service. Except for Scout rank (and Eagle Palms as of August 1, 2017), all ranks require that the candidate participate in a Scoutmaster conference and pass a Board of Review.

Scout

Scout was previously a joining badge, but is now considered the first rank, and is earned by completing certain requirements. As of January 2016, the Scout badge has a gold fleur-de-lis on a tan background. The badge is awarded when the scout demonstrates a rudimentary knowledge of the Scouting ideals such as tying a square knot and knowing the Scout oath, law, motto, and slogan.

Tenderfoot

Tenderfoot is the second rank a scout can earn. A Scout can work on the requirements for the Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class ranks at the same time, but each rank must be earned in sequence. The badge is awarded when the Scout completes requirements in the areas of Scoutcraft, physical fitness, citizenship, personal growth and Scout Spirit.

Second Class

Second Class is the rank above Tenderfoot and below First Class. A Scout can work on the requirements for the Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class ranks at the same time, but must be earned in sequence. The badge is awarded when the Scout completes requirements in the areas of Scoutcraft, physical fitness, citizenship, personal growth and Scout Spirit.

First Class

First Class is the rank above Second Class and below Star Scout. A Scout can work on the requirements for the Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class ranks at the same time, but must earn them in sequence. The badge is awarded when the Scout completes requirements in the areas of Scoutcraft, physical fitness, citizenship, personal growth and Scout Spirit. At this point, Scouts stop focusing on the Scout skills, and start working on leadership.

Star

Star is the rank above First Class and below Life Scout. It is the third-highest rank. Star is awarded when the Scout serves actively in the troop in a position of responsibility for at least 4 months; performs at least six hours of community service; and earns six merit badges (four of which must be among the 13 required for Eagle Scout rank).

Life

Life is the second-highest rank attainable, above Star and below Eagle. Life is awarded when the Scout serves actively in the troop, serves in a position of responsibility for six months, and performs six hours of community service. A Scout must also earn five merit badges (at least three of which must be required for the rank of Eagle) for a total of 11, including the six previously earned. Finally, the Scout must pass a Scoutmaster conference, and board of review.

Eagle

Eagle Scout is the highest rank attainable in Scouting. Since its introduction in 1911, the Eagle Scout rank has been earned by more than two million young men.

Requirements include earning a minimum total of 21 merit badges, including all required badges that were not previously earned, and demonstration of Scout Spirit, service and leadership. This includes an extensive service project that the Scout plans, organizes, leads, and manages. Eagle Scouts are presented with a medal and a badge that visibly recognizes the accomplishments of the Scout. Additional recognition can be earned through Eagle Palms, awarded for completing additional tenure, leadership and merit badge requirements.