As always, the BSA’s top priority is the health and safety of all youth participating in BSA programs. In 2020, the BSA instituted several modifications to rank requirements and merit badge requirements (“advancement modifications”) to accommodate activity restrictions necessitated by COVID-19. Effective March 01, 2022, those modifications will be removed, and the standard rules for advancement and merit badges will again become effective. These requirements are published at https://www.scouting.org/programs/scouts-bsa/advancement-and-awards/ and in the Requirements Guidebook.
Specifically, these modifications related to the swimming requirements for Second and First class ranks, virtual activities for Tenderfoot, Second and First Class, and requirement 9b of the Camping merit badge.
The Guide to Advancement, section 10.2.2.0, states that “Members must meet current advancement requirements as written for merit badges, all ranks, and Eagle Palms—no more and no less—and they are to do exactly what is stated.”
COVID modifications to be rolled back
As of March 01, 2022, all temporary changes made to Scouts BSA advancement requirements to address the COVID-19 pandemic will expire, and there will be a return to the standard rules for Scouts BSA advancement. This includes deferment of some swimming requirements for First and Second class, virtual activities for Tenderfoot, Second and First Class, and requirement 9b of the Camping merit badge.