Guide to Advancement 2013

BSA Mission Statement

The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Scout Law.

“Every Scouting activity moves boys toward three basic aims: character development, citizenship training, and mental and physical fitness.”
—Scoutmaster Handbook

“Advancement is one of the eight methods used by Scout leaders to help boys fulfill the aims of the BSA.”
—Scoutmaster Handbook

Policy on Unauthorized Changes to Advancement Program

No council, committee, district, unit, or individual has the authority to add to, or subtract from, advancement requirements. There are limited exceptions relating only to youth members with special needs. For details see section 10, “Advancement for Members With Special Needs.”

Mandated Procedures and Recommended Practices

This publication clearly identifies mandated procedures with words such as“must” and “shall.” Where such language is used, no council, committee,district, unit, or individual has the authority to deviate from the procedures covered, without the written permission of the national Advancement Team.

Recommended best practices are offered using words like “should,” while other options and guidelines are indicated with terms such as “may” or“can.” Refer questions on these to your local district or council advancement chairs or staff advisors. They, in turn, may request interpretations and assistance from the national Advancement Team.

The Guide to Safe Scouting Applies

Policies and procedures outlined in the Guide to Safe Scouting apply to all BSA activities, including those related to advancement and Eagle Scout service projects.

What Does "Unit Leader" Mean?

Throughout this publication the term “unit leader” refers only to a Cubmaster, Scoutmaster, Varsity team Coach, Venture crew Advisor, or Sea Scout Skipper. “Unit leadership” is sometimes used as a generic reference to any adult leader in a unit and as such would include the unit leader along with any other adult leaders.