Charter and Bylaws and Rules and Regulations of the Boy Scouts of America

Articles Related to Advancement
"Executive Board," below, refers to the National Executive Board of the National Council, Boy Scouts of America.

Article IX. Policies and Definitions—From the Charter and Bylaws

Section 1. Declaration of Religious Principle, clause 1.The Boy Scouts of America maintains that no member can grow into the best kind of citizen without recognizing an obligation to God. In the first part of the Scout Oath or Promise the member declares, "On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law." The recognition of God as the ruling and leading power in the universe and the grateful acknowledgment of His favors and blessings are necessary to the best type of citizenship and are wholesome precepts in the education of the growing members. No matter what the religious faith of the members may be, this fundamental need of good citizenship should be kept before them. The Boy Scouts of America, therefore,recognizes the religious element in the training of the member, but it is absolutely nonsectarian in its attitude toward that religious training. Its policy is that the home and the organization or group with which the member is connected shall give definite attention to religious life.

Section 1. Activities, clause 2. The activities of the members of the Boy Scouts of America shall be carried on under conditions which show respect to the convictions of others in matters of custom and religion, as required by the twelfth point of the Scout Law, reading, "Reverent.A Scout is reverent toward God. He is faithful in his religious duties. He respects the beliefs of others."

Section 1. Freedom, clause 3. In no case where a unit is connected with a church or other distinctively religious organization shall members of other denominations or faith be required, because of their membership in the unit, to take part in or observe a religious ceremony distinctly unique to that organization or church.

Section 1. Leaders, clause 4. Only persons willing to subscribe to these declarations of principles shall been titled to certificates of leadership in carrying out the Scouting program.

Article X. Program, Advancement—From the Rules and Regulations

Section 1. General Principles, clause 1. Education is the chief function of the Scouting Movement and it shall be the basis of the advancement program. A fundamental principle of advancement shall be that the boy's progress is a natural outcome of his activities in his unit. The rank requirements in these phases of the Scouting program, asset forth in the official publications, shall furnish the basis of the activities of the unit.

(a) In Cub Scouting, recognition is earned in the home and the neighborhood by passing certain achievements related to simple skills, habits, ideals,and hobbies.

(b) In Boy Scouting, recognition is gained through leadership in the troop, attending and participating in its activities, living the ideals of Scouting, and proficiency in activities related to outdoor life,useful skills, and career exploration.

(c) In Varsity Scouting, recognition is gained through leadership in the team, attending and participating in its activities, living the ideals of Varsity Scouting,and proficiency in activities related to outdoor life,useful skills, and career exploration.

(d) In Venturing, recognition takes on a wider scope,involving the assumption of adult like roles, identification with adult careers, and participation in community and citizenship responsibilities.

Section 1. Administration, clause 2. All advancement procedures shall be administered under conditions which harmonize with the aims and purposes of the Boy Scouts of America.

Section 1. Cub Scout Advancement, clause 3. Basis for Advancement. The Cub Scout advancement program shall be the basis for the Cub Scout's advancement.There shall be three steps in Tiger Cub, Cub Scout, and Webelos Scout advancement procedures: preparation,qualification, and recognition.

Section 1. Cub Scout Advancement, clause 4. Ranks.There shall be the following ranks in Cub Scouting:Bobcat, Tiger Cub, Wolf, Bear, Webelos, and Arrow of Light. The requirements shall be as authorized by the Executive Board and set forth in Cub Scout publications.

Section 1. Boy Scout Advancement, clause 5. Basis for Advancement. The Boy Scout requirements for ranks shall be the basis for the Scout's advancement. There shall be four steps in Boy Scout advancement procedure:learning, testing, reviewing, and recognition.

Section 1. Boy Scout Advancement, clause 6. Ranks.There shall be the following ranks in Boy Scouting:Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life, and Eagle. The requirements shall be those authorized by the Executive Board and set forth in the official Scouting publications. Eagle palms may also be awarded on the basis of requirements authorized by the Executive Board and set forth in the official Scouting publications.

Section 1. Boy Scout Advancement, clause 7. Responsibility of the Troop Committee. It shall be the responsibility of the troop committee, under the leadership and guidance of the local council, to make sure that the program of the troop is conducted in such a way that Scouts have an opportunity to advance on the basis of the four steps outlined in clause 5.

Section 1. Varsity Scout Advancement, clause 8. Basis for Advancement. The Boy Scout requirements for advancement shall be the basis for the Varsity Scout advancement.

Section 1. Varsity Scout Advancement, clause 9.Responsibility of the Team Committee. It shall be the responsibility of the team committee, under the leadership and guidance of the local council, to make sure that the program of the team is conducted in such a way that Varsity Scouts have an opportunity to advance on the basis of the four steps outlined in clause 5.

Section 1. Venturing Recognition, clause 10.Basis for Advancement.

(a) The Venturing advancement program shall be the basis for the Venturer's advancement. There shall be four steps in Venturing advancement procedures:preparation, learning, qualification, and recognition.

(b) A 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 working toward the Eagle Award while a Venturer until his 18th birthday.There is no Venturing advancement route to qualify for the Eagle Award.

Section 1. Venturing Recognition, clause 11. Ranks.

(a) There shall be awards and ranks in Sea Scouts, BSA,the requirements for which shall be approved by the Executive Board as proposed by the Venturing Committee and set forth in Sea Scouting and Venturing publications.

(b) With the exception of Sea Scouts, BSA, there are no ranks in the Venturing program.

Clause 12. Examination in Camps.

(a) In special instances, where Scouts are attending educational or similar institutions and/or camps which give an intensive Scouting program, said institutions and camps may, upon application, be authorized by the Corporation to give the prescribed examinations and pass Scouts in such manner and with such special conditions as the facts presented (as to the facilities and leadership of the institution or camp) may, in the judgment of the Corporation, warrant.

(b) Upon the recommendation of the Corporation,authority may be granted annually for the above privileges to Scout camps or camps conducted by authorized representatives of the Boy Scouts of America that submit evidence of maintaining the program standards, provided their programs have been approved by the Corporation. No exception shall be made to the time requirements to qualify for rank advancement or for the award of Eagle Palms.

Section 1. Responsibility for Merit Badges, clause 13.The responsibility for merit badges shall rest with the merit badge counselor approved by the local council and district advancement committee. Merit badge counselors shall be registered adult members of the Boy Scouts of America. The merit badge counselor shall prepare and qualify youth members. There shall be no board of review procedure for merit badges, but public recognition maybe given at a unit court of honor or other suitable occasion.

Article XI. Business, Finance, Properties, Contracts,Registration—From the Rules and Regulations

Section 3. Special Types of Registration, clause 20. Members Who Have Disabilities. Only at the discretion of the Executive Board, and under such rules and regulations as may be prescribed upon consultation with appropriate medical or educational authorities, an individual with a severe mental or physical disability who meets the BSA's standards of membership and is over age 11 (as a Cub Scout), over age 18 (as a Boy Scout or a Varsity Scout), or over age 21 (as a Venturer) is authorized to register and participate in the respective appropriate advancement and recognition program appropriate within that specific program.