BSA Guide to Advancement

Boy Scouts of America publishes a comprehensive Guide to Advancement.  There are also new rank requirements that became effective on Jan.1, 2016.  

Merit Badges

Merit Badges Offered by the Troop

The list of merit badges currently offered by the troop is available.  If you're interested in any of these merit badges, contact the Troop Merit Badge Coordinator

Merit Badge Requirements and Library

A complete list of all merit badges and requirements is available on-line.  The troop library also has a large collection of merit badge booklets that can be used for free.  Contact the Merit Badge Book Librarian to check if the merit badge booklet you want is available or to contribute your used book for others.

Merit Badges Counseling

Information and resources for Merit Badge Counselors is on the Leaders page.

Rank Advancement

All boys are encouraged to regularly advance in rank and to earn merit badges.  Steady progress of one rank per year allows scouts the opportunity to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout.

Once a boy has completed the requirements for a rank, he must complete a Scoutmaster's Conference and a Board of Review.  Read the information below and then check the calendars page for scheduling a Scoutmaster's Conference and a Board of Review.  After successfully completing the Scoutmaster's Conference and the Board of Review, the scout is awarded the rank and given the badge.  Formal recognition of the award is scheduled for the next Court of Honor.

Scoutmaster Conferences

Scoutmaster Conferences for rank advancement are held after all requirements for a rank have been signed off.   Scoutmaster conferences for Scout (not officially a rank), Tenderfoot, Second Class, and Star can be conducted by any Assistant Scoutmaster at a regular troop meeting or with the Scoutmaster. Conferences for the ranks of First Class, Life and Eagle must be held with the the Scoutmaster.  Additionally, Scouts can request a Scoutmaster Conference at any time to go over their progress or request guidance from the Scoutmaster.  A Scoutmaster can also initiate a conference if he feels one is warranted.

Click here to send an e-mail to the Board of Review Coordinators to request a Scoutmaster Conference and Board of Review.  You must include your name and the rank for which the you will be reviewed.

Board of Review Process

The Board of Review is how the Troop Committee tracks the progress of a Scout to determine his understanding of the ideals of Scouting and how he applies them in daily life in the troop. If the Board of Review is for rank advancement, the Board will satisfy itself that the Scout has done what he was supposed to do for that rank and will review with the Scout the requirements for the next rank. The Board of Review is also a way of reviewing the troop's progress.

During the review the Board will discuss the scout's development along the trail to Eagle, ask questions about skills that were required for the rank, and evaluate the scout in terms of troop activities and readiness for the next rank.  It is also a time for the scout to ask any questions and to give feedback to the troop committee about activities and his Scouting experience in both the troop and patrol.

The Board of Review is not a rubber stamp of approval for advancement; the scout must show his enthusiasm and commitment to the Scouting program and its tenets. This review is also not an examination or retest of skills learned.  Rather, it is an attempt to determine the Scout's attitude and his acceptance of Scouting's ideals, both in the troop and outside of it. The Board should get a sense of the importance that the Scout attributes to Scouting in his home life, at school, and in the troop. It also shows how the Scout perceives the troop and its adult leaders.

The Board of Review is scheduled automatically after the scout passes the Scoutmaster Conference.

Click here to send an e-mail to the Board of Review Coordinators to request a Scoutmaster Conference if you have not already done this.   You must include your name and the rank for which the you will be reviewed.

Scoutmaster Conference and Board of Review Responsibilities

Responsible Description

Scoutmaster Conference
ScoutSends an e-mail to the Board of Review Coordinators requesting a Scoutmaster Conference   The e-mail must include the scout's name and rank for which the scout will be reviewed
Scoutmaster Confirms date, time, and place of Scoutmaster Conference with an e-mail to Scout and Scout's parents
Receives a copy of the Scout's Advancement Report from the Advancement Chair.
Advancement ChairSends a copy of the Scout's Advancement Report to the Scoutmaster
Scout Arrives at the Scoutmaster Conference location in full official (Class A) uniform, and with his official Boy Scout Handbook containing all required signoffs, 10 minutes before scheduled time
ScoutmasterConducts Scoutmaster Conference.  Upon successful completion of the conference, Scoutmaster provides Scout with signed Advancement Report and notifies the Board of Review coordinator.  

Board of Review
Board of Review CoordinatorAfter getting confirmation of the successful completion of the Scoutmaster's Conference, the Board of Review Coordinator confirms the date, time, and place of Board of Review with an e-mail to Scout and Scout's parents
Scout Arrives at the Board of Review location in full official (Class A) uniform 10 minutes before scheduled time, with his signed Advancement Report from the Scoutmaster Conference and his official Boy Scout Handbook
Troop Committee MembersConduct Board of Review with Scout.  The review typically ranges from 15-30 minutes, depending upon the rank up for review and how comfortable the board is with the scout's feedback.  The Scout is then asked to leave the room, and the Board meets privately to evaluate Scout.  The Scout is then informed either that he has passed, or what additional actions are required in order to pass.

The Scout Badge and Ranks

This is the first rank of a scout and indicates basic knowledge about Boy Scouts.

Tenderfoot through First Class Ranks

Upon joining Boy Scouts, boys work on the Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class ranks. These ranks focus on Scouting skills - the outdoors, physical fitness, citizenship, patrol/troop participation, and personal development. After completing these ranks, a Scout should be adept at participating in all of the activities in the Boy Scout program, literally a First Class Scout.  During this phase, requirements for all three ranks may be worked on at the same time.
All boys are encouraged through the process of becoming a Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class Scout.  For example, when new scouts "cross over" from a Cub Scout pack, they are assigned a patrol guide who teaches and reviews all of the things necessary to earn Tenderfoot.  In addition, during a boy's first summer camp the troop schedules time and programs necessary to earn Tenderfoot.

It is important to note that requirements change occasionaly.  Details of the current requirements are in current handbooks.  

Star, Life and Eagle Scout Ranks

During the second phase, Scouts work on the Star Scout, Life Scout, and Eagle Scout ranks. These ranks are worked on one at a time and must be earned in order. Here the focus of advancement switches from Scouting skills to personal development and community service. Merit badges are an integral part of this part or rank advancement.
After earning the Eagle Scout award, a Scout still has the opportunity for advancement recognition by earning Eagle Palms.

Participation Policy

The troop has a participation policy for rank advancement.  There is additional information on the Parents page.

Record Keeping

Blue Cards

Merit badge blue cards are used to record completion of requirements for merit badges.  A scout must request a blank blue card from the Scoutmaster.  The scout then completes the requirements under the mentoring of a Merit Badge Counselor, who records the completed requirements and signs the blue card.  The scout then gives the blue card to the scoutmaster.  The Advancement Coordinator tracks the achievement and prepares the Court of Honor at which the merit badge is awarded to the Scout.

Official Records

While the troop and council keep records of each Scoutâ‚„s achievement and advancement, there is only one official record of advancement; each boyâ‚„s Scout handbook. For merit badges, only the merit badge blue cards and advancement award cards serve as the official record. When applying for Eagle, the records that are accepted are the handbook and cards. Please take care of the book and cards!  (Tip: Get a three-ring binder with baseball card pocket inserts. The card inserts make excellent holders for blue cards and advancement cards.)

Eagle Application and Records

The latest Eagle Application is available.   The Life to Eagle Packet and other Eagle information is also available on-line.

Community Service Projects

Community service projects are required for 2nd Class, Star, Life, and Eagle rank advancement.  Projects are listed on the Service Projects page

Year Round Camper

Most scouts earn the Year Round Camper patch offered through the Connecticut Yankee Council, which requires 12 consecutive months of camping overnight and making meals outdoors.  The camping calendars from previous years are available if you need them to complete your award application

Connecticut Yankee Council Appalachian Trail Patch

This patch is earned by hiking segments of the Appalachian Trail in Connecticut.  As the segments are completed, Scouts earn ring segments to surround the patch.  When all segments are completed, the "End To End" ring segment is earned.  Check out the Appalachian Trail hiking map or contact the hiking or backpacking merit badge counselor for more information.

Hornaday Medal

Troop 42 is unique in the Northeast one of the few to earn the Hornaday Medal as a troop.

Religious Awards

Religious awards can be earned at a variety of levels and a number of faiths.  Contact the Troop Chaplain or check the links page for more information.

Knot Craft

Scouts earn cords of different colors when they have mastered knots described in the Troop 42 Knot Craft booklet.