Mechanics of Advancement: In Boy Scouting and Varsity Scouting
PLEASE NOTE: The Guide to Advancement has been updated for 2017.
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Both adult and youth leaders approve
Boy Scout and Varsity Scout advancement. This permits
greater emphasis on standards and more consistency in
measurement, but it also places another level of
importance on teaching and testing. As Scouts work with
one another, learning takes place on both sides of the
equation as they play teacher and student in turn. Parents
are involved at home encouraging, mentoring, and
supporting, but they do not sign for rank advancement
requirements unless they serve as leaders or Lone Scout
counselors (see "Lone Scouting," 184.108.40.206).
Advancement at this level presents a Scout with a series
of challenges in a fun and educational manner. As he
completes the requirements he achieves the three aims
of Scouting: to develop character, to train in the
responsibilities of participating citizenship, and to develop
physical and mental fitness. It is important to remember that
in the end, a badge recognizes the Scout has gone through
an experience of learning something he did not previously
know. As a result, through increased confidence, he
discovers or realizes he is able to learn similar skills or
disciplines. Advancement is thus about what a young man
is now able to learn and to do, and how he has grown.
Retention of skills and knowledge is then developed later
by using what has been learned through the natural course
of unit programming; for example, instructing others and
using skills in games and on outings.
Advancement, thus, is not so much a reward for what has
been done. It is, instead, more about the journey: As a Scout
advances, he is measured and he grows in confidence and
self-reliance, and he builds upon his skills and abilities.
The badge signifies that a young man—through participation
in a series of educational activities—has provided service
to others, practiced personal responsibility, and set the
examples critical to the development of leadership; all the
while working to live by the Scout Oath and Scout Law.
The badge signifies a young man has provided service to others, practiced personal responsibility, and set the examples critical to the development of leadership.
220.127.116.11 Scouting Ranks and Advancement Age Requirements
After being awarded the Scout badge, there are six ranks in Boy Scouting that are to be earned sequentially no matter what age a boy joins the program.
All Boy Scout awards, merit badges, badges of rank,
and Eagle Palms are only for registered Boy Scouts,
Varsity Scouts, and Lone Boy Scouts; and also for
qualified Venturers or Sea Scouts who are not yet 18
years old. Venturers and Sea Scouts qualify by achieving
First Class rank as a Boy Scout, Varsity Scout, or Lone
Scout. The only exceptions for those older than age 18
are related to Scouts registered beyond the age of
eligibility ("Registering Qualified Members Beyond Age
of Eligibility," 10.1.0.0) and those who have been
granted time extensions to complete the Eagle Scout
rank ("Time Extensions," 18.104.22.168).
Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class ranks are oriented
toward learning and practicing skills that will help the Scout
develop confidence and fitness, challenge his thought
processes, introduce him to his responsibilities as a citizen,
and prepare him for an exciting and successful Scouting
experience. Requirements for Tenderfoot, Second Class, and
First Class may be passed at any time after the Scout badge
has been earned. For example, a Scout working toward
Tenderfoot may fulfill and be signed off on all the first aid–
related requirements for all three of the ranks. For information
on boards of review for these ranks, see "Particulars for
Tenderfoot Through Life Ranks (or Palms)," 22.214.171.124,
especially point No. 7.
All requirements for Star, Life, and Eagle, except for those
related to merit badges, must be fulfilled after the successful
completion of a board of review for the previous rank.
In Boy Scouting, advancement requirements must be
passed as written. If, for example, a requirement uses
words like "show," "demonstrate," or "discuss," then that
is what Scouts must do. Filling out a worksheet, for
example, would not suffice.
126.96.36.199 Four Steps in Advancement
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 unit program that
generates advancement as a natural outcome should take
boys to First Class in their first 12 to 18 months of
membership. Boy Scout advancement is a straightforward
matter when the four steps or stages outlined below are
observed and integrated into troop programming. The
same steps apply to Varsity Scouting, or where members
are qualified to continue with Boy Scout advancement in
Venturing or Sea Scouts. In these cases, references to
troops and various troop leaders would point to teams,
crews, and ships, and their respective leaders.
188.8.131.52 The Scout Learns
He learns by doing, and as he learns, he grows in his
ability to do his part as a member of the patrol and troop.
As he develops knowledge and skill, he is asked to teach
others; and in this way he learns and develops leadership.
Once a Scout has been tested and signed off by
someone approved to do so, the requirement has been
met. The unit leader is accountable for ensuring proper
advancement procedures are followed. A part of this
responsibility includes the careful selection and training
of those who approve advancement. If a unit leader
believes a boy has not learned the subject matter for
a requirement, he or she should see that opportunities
are made available for the Scout to practice or teach
the requirement, so in this way he may complete his
learning and further develop his skills.
184.108.40.206 The Scout Is Tested
The unit leader authorizes those who may test and pass
the Scout on rank requirements. They might include his
patrol leader, senior patrol leader, an assistant unit leader,
another Scout, or the unit leader himself. Merit badge
counselors teach and test him on requirements for
220.127.116.11 The Scout Is Reviewed
After he has completed all requirements for a rank, the
Scout meets with a board of review. For Tenderfoot, Second
Class, First Class, Star, and Life ranks, and Eagle Palms,
members of the unit committee conduct it. See "Particulars for Tenderfoot Through Life Ranks (or Palms)," 18.104.22.168.
The Eagle Scout board of review is held in accordance
with National Council and local council procedures.
22.214.171.124 The Scout Is Recognized
When the board of review has approved his advancement,
the Scout deserves recognition as soon as possible. This
should be done at a ceremony at the next unit meeting.
His achievement may be recognized again later, during
a formal court of honor.
126.96.36.199 After the Scout Is Tested and Recognized
After the Scout is tested and recognized, a well-organized
unit program will help him practice his skills in different
settings and methods: at unit meetings, through various
activities and outings, by teaching other Scouts, while
enjoying games and leading projects, and so forth. These
activities reinforce the learning, show how Scout skills and
knowledge are applied, and build confidence. Repetition
is the key; this is how retention is achieved. The Scout
fulfills a requirement and then is placed in a situation
where he has to put it to work. If he has forgotten what he
learned, he may have to seek out a friend, leader, or
other resource to help refresh his memory. As he does so,
we are able to watch him grow.
The concepts of "reasonable" and "within reason"
will help unit leadership and boards of review
gauge the fairness of expectations for considering
whether a Scout is "active" or has fulfilled
positions of responsibility. A unit is allowed, of
course, to establish expectations acceptable to its
chartered organization and unit committee. But for
advancement purposes, Scouts must not be held to
those which are so demanding as to be impractical
for today’s youth (and families) to achieve.
Ultimately, a board of review shall decide what is
reasonable and what is not. In doing so, the board
members must use common sense and must take into
account that youth should be allowed to balance
their lives with positive activities outside of Scouting.
188.8.131.52 Varsity Scouting Particulars
Rank requirements for Varsity Scouts are the same as for
Boy Scouts, except positions of responsibility are met in
Varsity-specific roles that can be found in Boy Scout
Requirements. Advancement is supervised not by adult
leaders, but by a young man called an advancement
program manager, with assistance from a team
committee member. Methods for conducting boards of
review are covered in "Boards of Review: An Overview for All Ranks," 184.108.40.206. Council and district advancement
committees should consult the Varsity Scout Guidebook,
No. 34827, for a full understanding of how the
220.127.116.11 Varsity Scout Letter
The Varsity Scout letter is available to
Varsity Scouts and adult team leaders.
Requirements include attendance at
meetings and activities, active
participation in high-adventure or
sports programs, and living the Scout Oath and Scout
Law. It can be worn on the Varsity Scout jacket or the
merit badge sash. Gold bars may be added to signify
additional letters earned. For more, see the Varsity Scout
Guidebook, No. 34827.
18.104.22.168 Varsity Scout Denali Award
The Denali Award is a Varsity Scouting
pinnacle. It is available only to team
members who have earned a Varsity
letter, and features requirements such
as advancement in rank, a position of
leadership, and service as a team
captain or program manager leading
and supporting activities. A unit level
board of review is conducted according
to the procedures outlined in section 8,
"Boards of Review: An Overview for All Ranks." District
or council representatives are not involved. Note the
exception under 22.214.171.124, "Particulars for TenderfootThrough Life Ranks (or Palms)," relating to the composition
of the board.
126.96.36.199 Rank Requirements Overview
When people are asked what they did in Scouting, or
what it is they think Scouts do or learn, they most often
mention the outdoor activities, such as camping and
hiking. A First Class Scout would surely add first aid or
fire building or swimming or cooking or knot tying. And
those who made at least Star or Life would doubtless talk
about the merit badges they had earned to achieve those
ranks—especially those required for Eagle. But these
hands-on experiences, as memorable as they are, make
up only a portion of what must be done to advance.
And the remaining requirements—those beyond the
merit badges and skills activities—are generally the
most difficult to administer and judge. This section
concentrates on those. Consult the Troop Leader
Guidebook, No. 33009 (volume 1), for guidance on
implementing the others.
Since we are preparing young people to make a positive difference in society, we judge that a member is "active" when his level of activity in Scouting has had a sufficiently positive influence toward this end.
188.8.131.52 Active Participation
The purpose of Star, Life, and Eagle Scout requirements
calling for Scouts to be active for a period of months
involves impact. Since we prepare young people to go
forth, and essentially, make a positive difference in our
American society, we judge that a member is "active"
when his level of activity in Scouting, whether high or
minimal, has had a sufficiently positive influence toward
Use the following three sequential tests to determine
whether the requirement has been met. The first and
second are required, along with either the third or
- The Scout is registered. The youth is registered in
his unit for at least the time period indicated in the
requirement, and he has indicated in some way,
through word or action, that he considers himself
a member. If a boy was supposed to have been
registered, but for whatever reason was not, discuss
with the local council registrar the possibility of
- The Scout is in good standing. A Scout is considered
in "good standing" with his unit as long as he has
not been dismissed for disciplinary reasons. He mustalso be in good standing with the local council and
the Boy Scouts of America. (In the rare case he is
not, communications will have been delivered.)
- The Scout meets the unit’s reasonable expectations;
or, if not, a lesser level of activity is explained.
If, for the time period required, a Scout or qualifying
Venturer or Sea Scout meets those aspects of his
unit’s pre-established expectations that refer to a level
of activity, then he is considered active and the
requirement is met. Time counted as "active" need
not be consecutive. A boy may piece together any
times he has been active and still qualify. If he does
not meet his unit’s reasonable expectations, then he
must be offered the alternative that follows.
Units are free to establish additional expectations on uniforming, supplies for outings, payment of dues, parental involvement, etc., but these and any other standards extraneous to a level of activity shall not be considered in evaluating this requirement.
Alternative to the third test if expectations are not met:
If a young man has fallen below his unit’s activityoriented
expectations, then it must be due to other
positive endeavors—in or out of Scouting—or due to
noteworthy circumstances that have prevented a
higher level of participation.
A Scout in this case is still considered "active" if a
board of review can agree that Scouting values
have already taken hold and have been exhibited.
This might be evidenced, for example, in how he
lives his life and relates to others in his community,
at school, in his religious life, or in Scouting. It is
also acceptable to consider and "count" positive
activities outside Scouting when they, too, contribute
to his growth in character, citizenship, or personal
fitness. Remember: It is not so much about what a
Scout has done. It is about what he is able to do
and how he has grown.
Additional Guidelines on the Three Tests.There may be,
of course, registered youth who appear to have little
or no activity. Maybe they are out of the country on an
exchange program, or away at school. Or maybe we just
haven’t seen them and wonder if they’ve quit. To pass the
first test above, a Scout must be registered. But he should
also have made it clear through participation or by
communicating in some way that he still considers himself
a member, even though—for now—he may not fulfill the
unit’s participation expectations. A conscientious leader
might make a call and discover the boy’s intentions.
If, however, a Scout has been asked to leave his unit
due to behavioral issues or the like, or if the council or
the Boy Scouts of America has directed—for whatever
reason—that he must not participate, then according to
the second test he is not considered "active."
In considering the third test, it is appropriate for units to set
reasonable expectations for attendance and participation.
Then it is simple: Those who meet them are "active." But
those who do not must be given the opportunity to qualify
under the third-test alternative above. To do so, they must
first offer an acceptable explanation. Certainly, there are
medical, educational, family, and other issues that for
practical purposes prevent higher levels of participation.
These must be considered. Would the Scout have been
more active if he could have been? If so, for purposes of
advancement, he is deemed "active."
We must also recognize the many worthwhile
opportunities beyond Scouting. Taking advantage
of these opportunities and participating in them may
be used to explain why unit participation falls short.
Examples might include involvement in religious activities,
school, sports, or clubs that also develop character,
citizenship, or personal fitness. The additional learning
and growth experiences these provide can reinforce
the lessons of Scouting and also give young men the
opportunity to put them into practice in a different setting.
It is reasonable to accept that competition for a Scout’s
time will become intense, especially as he grows older
and wants to take advantage of positive "outside"
opportunities. This can make full-time dedication to his
unit difficult to balance. A fair leader therefore, will
seek ways to empower a young man to plan his growth
opportunities both inside and outside Scouting, and
consider them part of the overall positive life experience
for which the Boy Scouts of America is a driving force.
A board of review can accept an explanation if it can be
reasonably sure there have been sufficient influences in
the Scout’s life that he is meeting our aims and can be
awarded the rank regardless of his current or most recent
level of activity in Scouting. The board members must
satisfy themselves that he presents himself, and behaves,
according to the expectations of the rank for which he
is a candidate. Simply put: Is he the sort of person who,
based on present behavior, will contribute to the Boy
Scouts of America’s mission? Note that it may be more
difficult, though not impossible, for a younger member to
pass through the third-test alternative than for one more
experienced in our lessons.
184.108.40.206 Demonstrate Scout Spirit
The ideals of the Boy Scouts of America are spelled out
in the Scout Oath, Scout Law, Scout motto, and Scout
slogan. Members incorporating these ideals into their
daily lives at home, at school, in their religious life, and
in their neighborhoods, for example, are said to have
Scout spirit. In evaluating whether a member has fulfilled this requirement, it may be best to begin by asking him to
explain what Scout spirit and living the Scout Oath and
Scout Law mean to him. Young people know when they
are being kind or helpful, or a good friend to others.
They know when they are cheerful, or trustworthy, or
reverent. All of us, young and old, know how we act
when no one else is around.
Evaluating Scout spirit will always be a judgment call, but through getting to know a young man and by asking probing questions, we can get a feel for it. We can say however, that we do not measure Scout spirit by counting meetings and outings attended. It is indicated, instead, by the way he lives his life.
"Scout spirit" refers to ideals and values; it is not the same as "school spirit."
A leader typically asks for examples of how a Scout has lived the Oath and Law. It might also be useful to invite examples of when he did not. This is not something to push, but it can help with the realization that sometimes we fail to live by our ideals, and that we all can do better. This also sends a message that a Scout can admit he has done wrong, yet still advance. Or in a serious situation-such as alcohol or illegal drug use-understand why advancement might not be appropriate just now. This is a sensitive issue, and must be treated carefully. Most Scout leaders do their best to live by the Oath and Law, but any one of them may look back on years past and wish that, at times, they had acted differently. We learn from these experiences and improve and grow.We can look for the same in our youth.
220.127.116.11 Service Projects
Basic to the lessons in Scouting, especially regarding
citizenship, service projects are a key element in the Journey
to Excellence recognition program for councils, districts,
and units. They should be a regular and critical part of the
program in every pack, troop, team, crew, and ship.
Service projects required for ranks other than Eagle must
be approved according to what is written in the
requirements and may be conducted individually or
through participation in patrol or troop efforts. They also
may be approved for those assisting on Eagle Scout
service projects. Service project work for ranks other than
Eagle clearly calls for participation only. Planning,
development, or leadership must not be required.
Time that Scouts spend assisting on Eagle service projects
should be allowed in meeting these requirements. Note
that Eagle projects do not have a minimum time
requirement, but call for planning and development, and
leadership of others, and must be preapproved by the
council or district. (See "The Eagle Scout Service
The National Health and Safety Committee has issued two
documents that work together to assist youth and adult
leaders in planning and safely conducting service projects:
Service Project Planning Guidelines, No. 680-027, and its
companion, Age Guidelines for Tool Use and Work at
Elevations or Excavations, No. 680-028. Unit leadership
should be familiar with both documents.
18.104.22.168 Positions of Responsibility
"Serve actively for a period of … months in one or more … positions of responsibility" is an accomplishment every candidate for Star, Life, or Eagle must achieve.The following will help to determine whether a Scout has fulfilled the requirement.
22.214.171.124.1 Positions Must Be Chosen From Among Those Listed. The position must be listed in the position
of responsibility requirement shown in the most current
edition of Boy Scout Requirements. Since more than one
member may hold some positions—"instructor," for
example—it is expected that even very large units are
able to provide sufficient opportunities within the list. The
only exception involves Lone Scouts, who may use
positions in school, their place of worship, in a club, or
elsewhere in the community. Units do not have authority to
require specific positions of responsibility for a rank. For
example, they must not require a Scout to be senior patrol
leader to obtain the Eagle rank.
Service in positions of responsibility in provisional units,
such as a jamboree troop or Philmont trek crew, do not
count toward this requirement.
For Star and Life ranks only, a unit leader may assign,
as a substitute for the position of responsibility, a
leadership project that helps the unit. If this is done, the
unit leader should consult the unit committee and unit
advancement coordinator to arrive at suitable standards.
The experience should provide lessons similar to those
of the listed positions, but it must not be confused with,
or compared to, the scope of an Eagle Scout service
project. It may be productive in many cases for the
Scout to propose a leadership project that is discussed
with the unit leader and then "assigned."
126.96.36.199.2 Meeting the Time Test May Involve Any Number of Positions. The requirement calls for a period of months.
Any number of positions may be held as long as total
service time equals at least the number of months required.
Holding simultaneous positions does not shorten the
required number of months. Positions need not flow
from one to the other; there may be gaps between
them. This applies to all qualified members including
When a Scout assumes a position of responsibility, something related to the desired results must happen.
188.8.131.52.3 Meeting Unit Expectations. If a unit has established
expectations for positions of responsibility, and if, within
reason (see the note under "Rank Requirements Overview," 184.108.40.206), based on his personal skill set, the Scout meets
them, he fulfills the requirement. When a Scout assumes
a position, something related to the desired results must
happen. It is a disservice to the Scout and to the unit to
reward work that has not been done. Holding a position
and doing nothing, producing no results, is unacceptable.
Some degree of responsibility must be practiced, taken,
220.127.116.11.4 Meeting the Requirement in the Absence of Unit Expectations. It is best when a Scout’s leaders provide him
position descriptions, and then direction, coaching, and
support. Where this occurs, and is done well, the young
man will likely succeed. When this support, for whatever
reason, is unavailable or otherwise not provided—or
when there are no clearly established expectations—then
an adult leader or the Scout, or both, should work out the
responsibilities to fulfill. In doing so, neither the position’s
purpose nor degree of difficulty may be altered
significantly or diminished. Consult the current BSA
literature published for leaders in Boy Scouting, Varsity
Scouting, Venturing, or Sea Scouts for guidelines on the
responsibilities that might be fulfilled in the various
positions of responsibility.
Under the above scenario, if it is left to the Scout to
determine what should be done, and he makes a
reasonable effort to perform accordingly for the time
specified, then he fulfills this requirement. Even if his
results are not necessarily what the unit leader, members
of a board of review, or others involved may want to see,
he must not be held to unestablished expectations.
18.104.22.168.5 When Responsibilities Are Not Met. If a unit
has clearly established expectations for position(s) held,
then—within reason—a Scout must meet them through
the prescribed time. If he is not meeting expectations,
then this must be communicated early. Unit leadership
may work toward a constructive result by asking him
what he thinks he should be accomplishing. What is his
concept of the position? What does he think his troop
leaders—youth and adult—expect? What has he done
well? What needs improvement? Often this questioning
approach can lead a young man to the decision to
measure up. He will tell the leaders how much of the
service time should be recorded.
If it becomes clear nothing will improve his performance,
then it is acceptable to remove the Scout from his
position. It is the unit leader’s responsibility to address
these situations promptly. Every effort should have been
made while he was in the position to ensure he
understood expectations and was regularly supported
toward reasonably acceptable performance. It is unfair
and inappropriate—after six months, for example—
to surprise a boy who thinks he has been doing fine,
with news that his performance is now considered
Only in rare cases—if ever—should troop leaders inform a Scout that time, once served, will not count. If a Scout believes he has performed his duties satisfactorily,
but his leaders disagree, then the possibility that
expectations are unreasonable or were not clearly
conveyed to the youth should be considered. If after
discussions between the Scout and his leaders—and
perhaps including his parents or guardians—he believes
he is being held to unreasonable expectations, then upon
completing the remaining requirements, he must be
granted a board of review. If he is an Eagle candidate,
then he may request a board of review under disputed
circumstances (see "Initiating Eagle Scout Board of Review Under Disputed Circumstances," 22.214.171.124).
126.96.36.199.6 "Responsibility" and "Leadership." Many suggest
this requirement should call for a position of "leadership"
rather than simply of "responsibility." Taking and accepting
responsibility, however, is a key foundation for leadership.
One cannot lead effectively without it. The requirement
as written recognizes the different personalities, talents,
and skill sets in all of us. Some seem destined to be
"the leader of the group." Others provide quality support
and strong examples behind the scenes. Without the
latter, the leaders in charge have little chance for success.
Thus, the work of the supporters becomes part of the
overall leadership effort.
188.8.131.52 Unit Leader (Scoutmaster) Conference
The unit leader (Scoutmaster) conference, regardless of
the rank or program, is conducted according to the
guidelines in the Troop Leader Guidebook, No. 33009
(volume 1). Note that a Scout must participate or take
part in one; it is not a "test." Requirements do not say he
must "pass" a conference. While it makes sense to hold
one after other requirements for a rank are met, it is not
required that it be the last step before the board of
review. This is an important consideration for Scouts on a
tight schedule to meet requirements before age 18.
Last-minute work can sometimes make it impossible to fit
the conference in before then, so scheduling it earlier can
avoid unnecessary extension requests.
The conference is not a retest of the requirements upon
which a Scout has been signed off. It is a forum for
discussing topics such as ambitions, life purpose, and
goals for future achievement, for counseling, and also for
obtaining feedback on the unit’s program. In some cases,
work left to be completed—and perhaps why it has not
been completed—may be discussed just as easily as that
which is finished. Ultimately, conference timing is up to
the unit. Some leaders hold more than one along the
way, and the Scout must be allowed to count any of them
toward the requirement.
Scoutmaster conferences are meant to be face-to-face,
personal experiences. They relate not only to the Scouting
method of advancement, but also to that of "association
with adults" (see topic 184.108.40.206, "The Methods of Scouting"). Scoutmaster conferences should be held with
a level of privacy acceptable under the BSA’s rules
regarding Youth Protection. Parents and other Scouts
within hearing range of the conversation may influence
the Scout’s participation. For this reason, the conferences
should not be held in an online setting.
Unit leaders do not have the authority to deny a Scout a
conference that is necessary for him to meet the
requirements for his rank. If a unit leader conference is
denied, a Scout—if he believes he has fulfilled all the
remaining requirements—may still request a board of
review. See "Boards of Review Must Be Granted When Requirements Are Met," 220.127.116.11. If an Eagle Scout
candidate is denied a conference, it may become
grounds for a board of review under disputed
circumstances. See "Initiating Eagle Scout Board of Review Under Disputed Circumstances," 18.104.22.168.
22.214.171.124 Fulfilling More Than One Requirement With a Single Activity
From time to time it may be appropriate for a Scout to
apply what was done to meet one requirement toward
the completion of another. In deciding whether to allow
this, unit leaders or merit badge counselors should
consider the following.
When, for all practical purposes, two requirements match
up exactly and have the same basic intent—for example,
camping nights for Second Class and First Class ranks
and for the Camping merit badge—it is appropriate
and permissible, unless it is stated otherwise in the
requirements, to use those matching activities for both
the ranks and the merit badge.
Where matching requirements are oriented toward
safety, such as those related to first aid or CPR,
the person signing off the requirements should be
satisfied the Scout remembers what he learned from
the previous experience.
Some requirements may have the appearance of
aligning, but upon further examination actually differ.
These seemingly similar requirements usually have
nuances intended to create quite different experiences.
The Communication and Citizenship in the Community
merit badges are a good example. Each requires the
Scout to attend a public meeting, but that is where the
similarity ends. For Communication, the Scout is asked
to practice active listening skills during the meeting and
present an objective report that includes all points of
view. For Citizenship, he is asked to examine differences
in opinions and then to defend one side. The Scout
may attend the same public meeting, but to pass the
requirements for both merit badges he must actively
listen and prepare a report, and also examine
differences in opinion and defend one side.
When contemplating whether to double-count service hours
or a service project, and apply the same work to pass a
second advancement requirement, each Scout should ask
himself: "Do I want to get double credit for helping others
this one time, or do I want to undertake a second effort
and make a greater difference in the lives of even more
people?" To reach his decision, each Scout should follow
familiar guideposts found in some of those words and
phrases we live by, such as "helpful," "kind," "Do a
Good Turn Daily," and "help other people at all times."
As Scout leaders and advancement administrators, we
must ask ourselves an even more pointed question: "Is it
my goal to produce Scouts who check a task off a list or
Scouts who will become the leaders in our communities?"
To answer our own question, we should consult the same
criteria that guide Scouts.