The Ranks in Boy Scouts

Trail to First Class
At Troop 494, we have an active Trail to First Class Program. New Scouts are assigned to their own patrols with a Troop Guide that provides senior leadership. An Assistant Scoutmaster provides adult guidance for the Troop Guides. Typically, new scouts complete their First Class by the end of their first year. Important: These requirements may be worked on simultaneously with those for Second Class and First Class; however these ranks must be earned in sequence.

Scout
Last Revised 2004

  1. Meet age requirements. Be a boy who has completed the fifth grade or is 11 years old, or has earned the Arrow of Light Award but is under 18 years old.
  2. Complete a Boy Scout application and health history signed by your parent or guardian.
  3. Find a Scout troop near your home.
  4. Repeat the Pledge of Allegiance.
  5. Demonstrate the Scout sign, salute, and handshake.
  6. Demonstrate tying the square knot (a joining knot).
  7. Understand and agree to live by the Scout Oath, Law, motto, and slogan, and the Outdoor Code. (These can be found here).
  8. Describe the Scout badge.
  9. Complete the pamphlet exercises. With your parent or guardian, complete the exercises in the pamphlet How to Protect Your Children from Child Abuse: A Parent's Guide.
  10. Participate in a Scoutmaster conference. Turn in your Boy Scout application and health history form signed by your parent or guardian, then participate in a Scoutmaster conference.

Tenderfoot
Last Revised 2008 (revisions in bold)

  1. Present yourself to your leader, properly dressed, before going on an overnight camping trip. Show the camping gear you will use. Show the right way to pack and carry it.
  2. Spend at least one night on a patrol or troop campout. Sleep in a tent you have helped pitch.
  3. On the campout, assist in preparing and cooking one of your patrol's meals. Tell why it is important for each patrol member to share in meal preparation and cleanup, and explain the importance of eating together. 
  4. Do the Following:
    1. Demonstrate how to whip and fuse the ends of a rope.
    2. Demonstrate that you know how to tie the following knots and tell what their uses are: two half hitches and the taut-line hitch.
  5. Explain the rules of safe hiking, both on the highway and cross-country, during the day and at night. Explain what to do if you are lost.
  6. Demonstrate how to display, raise, lower, and fold the American flag.
  7. Repeat from memory and explain in your own words the Scout Oath, Law, motto, and slogan.
  8. Know your patrol name, give the patrol yell, and describe your patrol flag.
  9. Explain the importance of the buddy system as it relates to your personal safety on outings and in your neighborhood. Describe what a bully is and how you would respond to one.
  10. Record your best in the following tests:
    1. Current Results
        Pushups _______
        Pull-ups _______
        Sit-ups ____ ___
        Standing long jump (_______ft _______in)
        1/4-mile walk/run _______
    2. 30 Days Later
        Pushups _______
        Pull-ups _______
        Sit-ups _______
        Standing long jump (_______ft _______in)
        1/4-mile walk/run _______
    3. Show improvement in the activities listed in requirement 10a after practicing for 30 days.
  11. Identify local poisonous plants; tell how to treat for exposure to them.
  12. Do the Following:
    a. Demonstrate how to carefor someone who is choking
    b. Show first aid for the following:
      Simple cuts and scratches
      Blisters on the hand and foot
      Minor burns or scalds (first-degree)
      Bites or stings of insects and ticks
      Poisonous snakebite
      Nosebleed
      Frostbite and sunburn
  13. Participate in a Scoutmaster conference.
  14. Complete your board of review.

Second Class
Last Revised 2008

  1. Do the Following: 
    1. Demonstrate how a compass works and how to orient a map. Explain what map symbols mean.
    2. Using a compass and map together, take a five-mile hike (or 10 miles by bike) approved by your adult leader and your parent or guardian.
        If you use a wheelchair or crutches, or if it is difficult for you to get around, you may substitute "trip" for "hike" in this requirement.
  2. Do the Following:
    1. Since joining, have participated in five separate troop/patrol activities (other than troop/patrol meetings), two of which included camping overnight.
    2. On one of these campouts, select your patrol site and sleep in a tent that you pitched.
    3. On one campout, demonstrate proper care, sharpening, and use of the knife, saw, and ax, and describe when they should be used.
    4. Use the tools listed in requirement 2c to prepare tinder, kindling, and fuel for a cooking fire.
    5. Discuss when it is appropriate to use a cooking fire and a light-weight stove. Discuss the safety procedures for using both.
    6. Demonstrate how to light a fire and a lightweight stove.
    7. On one campout, plan and cook over an open fire one hot breakfast or lunch for yourself, selecting foods from the food pyramid. Explain the importance of good nutrition. Tell how to transport, store, and prepare the foods you selected.
  3. Participate in a flag ceremony for your school, religious institution, chartered organization, community, or troop activity.
  4. Participate in an approved (minimum of one hour) service project.
  5. Identify or show evidence of at least 10 kinds of wild animals (birds, mammals, reptiles, fish, mollusks) found in your community.
  6. Do the Following:
    1. Show what to do for "hurry" cases of stopped breathing, serious bleeding, and internal poisoning.
    2. Prepare a personal first-aid kit to take with you on a hike.
    3. Demonstrate first aid for the following:
        Object in the eye
        Bite of a suspected rabid animal
        Puncture wounds from a splinter, nail, and fish hook
        Serious burns (second degree)
        Heat exhaustion
        Shock
        Heatstroke, dehydration, hypothermia, and hyperventilation
  7. Do the Following:
    a. Tell what precautions must be taken for a safe swim
    b. Demonstrate your ability to jump feetfirst into water over your head in depth, level off and swim 25 feet on the surface, stop, turn sharply, resume swimming, then return to your starting place
    c. Demonstrate water rescue methods by reaching with your arm or leg, by reaching with a suitable object, and by throwing lines and objects. Explain why swimming rescues should not be attempted when a reaching or throwing rescue is possible, and explain why and how a rescue swimmer should avoid contact with the victim.
  8. a. Participate in a school, community, or troop program on the dangers of using drugs, alcohol, and tobacco, and other practices that could be harmful to your health. Discuss your participation in the program with your family.
    b. Explain the three R's of personal safety and protection.
  9. Demonstrate Scout spirit by living the Scout Oath (Promise) and Scout Law in your everyday life.
  10. Participate in a Scoutmaster conference.
  11. Complete your board of review.

First Class
Last Revised 2008

  1. Demonstrate how to find directions during the day and at night without using a compass.
  2. Using a compass, complete an orienteering course that covers at least one mile and requires measuring the height and/or width of designated items (tree, tower, canyon, ditch, etc.).
  3. Since joining, have participated in 10 separate troop/patrol activities (other than troop/patrol meetings), three of which included camping overnight.
  4. Do the Following:
    1. Help plan a patrol menu for one campout that includes at least one breakfast, one lunch, and one dinner and that requires cooking at least two meals. Tell how the menu includes the foods from the food pyramid and meets nutritional needs.
    2. Using the menu planned in requirement 4a, make a list showing the cost and food amounts needed to feed three or more boys and secure the ingredients.
    3. Tell which pans, utensils, and other gear will be needed to cook and serve these meals.
    4. Explain the procedures to follow in the safe handling and storage of fresh meats, dairy products, eggs, vegetables, and other perishable food products. Tell how to properly dispose of camp garbage, cans, plastic containers, and other rubbish.
    5. On one campout, serve as your patrol's cook. Supervise your assistant(s) in using a stove or building a cooking fire. Prepare the breakfast, lunch, and dinner planned in requirement 4a. Lead your patrol in saying grace at the meals and supervise cleanup.
  5. Visit and discuss with a selected individual approved by your leader (elected official, judge, attorney, civil servant, principal, teacher) your constitutional rights and obligations as a U.S. citizen.
  6. Identify or show evidence of at least 10 kinds of native plants found in your community.
  7. Do the Following:
    1. Discuss when you should and should not use lashings.
    2. Demonstrate tying the timber hitch and clove hitch and their use in square, shear, and diagonal lashings by joining two or more poles or staves together.
    3. Use lashing to make a useful camp gadget.
  8. Do the Following:
    1. Demonstrate tying the bowline knot and describe several ways it can be used.
    2. Demonstrate bandages for a sprained ankle and for injuries on the head, the upper arm, and the collarbone.
    3. Show how to transport by yourself, and with one other person, a person:
        From a smoke-filled room
        With a sprained ankle, for at least 25 yards
    4. Tell the five most common signs of a heart attack. Explain the steps (procedures) in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
  9. Do the Following:
    1. Tell what precautions must be taken for a safe trip afloat.
    2. Successfully complete the BSA swimmer test.
    3. With a helper and a practice victim, show a line rescue both as tender and as rescuer. (The practice victim should be approximately 30 feet from shore in deep water.)
  10. Demonstrate Scout spirit by living the Scout Oath (Promise) and Scout Law in your everyday life.
  11. Tell someone who is eligible to join Boy Scouts, or an inactive Boy Scout, about your troop's activities. Invite him to a troop outing, activity, service project or meeting. Tell him how to join, or encourage the inactive Boy Scout to become active. (new requirement)
  12. Describe the three things you should avoid doing related to use of the Internet. Describe a cyberbully and how you should respond to one.
  13. Participate in a Scoutmaster conference.
  14. Complete your board of review.

Trail to Eagle
Once the rank of First Class is achieved, the scout works on his advancement by earning merit badges, participating on service projects, serving as a leader and following the Scout Law and Oath.

Star
Last Revised 2004

  1. Be active in your troop and patrol for at least six months as a Star Scout.
  2. Demonstrate Scout spirit by living the Scout Oath (Promise) and Scout Law in your everyday life.
  3. Earn five more merit badges (so that you have 11 in all), including any three more from the required list for Eagle.
    Name of Merit Badge
    ________________________________ (required for Eagle)
    ________________________________ (required for Eagle)
    ________________________________ (required for Eagle)
    ________________________________
    ________________________________
  4.   A Scout may choose any of the 15 required merit badges in the 12 categories to fulfill this requirement. See the Eagle rank requirements for a complete list of required badges for Eagle.
  5. While a Star Scout, take part in service projects totaling at least six hours of work. These projects must be approved by your Scoutmaster.
  6. While a Star Scout, serve actively for six months in one or more of the troop positions of responsibility listed in requirement 5 for Star Scout (or carry out a Scoutmaster-assigned leadership project to help the troop).
  7. Take part in a Scoutmaster conference.
  8. Complete your board of review.

Life
Last Revised 2004

  1. Be active in your troop and patrol for at least six months as a Star Scout.
  2. Demonstrate Scout spirit by living the Scout Oath (Promise) and Scout Law in your everyday life.
  3. Earn five more merit badges (so that you have 11 in all), including any three more from the required list for Eagle.
    Name of Merit Badge
    ________________________________ (required for Eagle)
    ________________________________ (required for Eagle)
    ________________________________ (required for Eagle)
    ________________________________
    ________________________________
  4.   A Scout may choose any of the 15 required merit badges in the 12 categories to fulfill this requirement. See the Eagle rank requirements for a complete list of required badges for Eagle.
  5. While a Star Scout, take part in service projects totaling at least six hours of work. These projects must be approved by your Scoutmaster.
  6. While a Star Scout, serve actively for six months in one or more of the troop positions of responsibility listed in requirement 5 for Star Scout (or carry out a Scoutmaster-assigned leadership project to help the troop).
  7. Take part in a Scoutmaster conference.
  8. Complete your board of review.

Eagle
All requirements for Eagle Scout must be completed before a candidate's 18th birthday. The Eagle Scout board of review can be held after the candidate's 18th birthday. For more information, see the article National BSA Policies Related To Rank Advancement posted on this system.
Last Revised 2004

There is a great site that has lots of information on working on the Eagle rank. Check out: EagleScout.org

If you have a permanent physical or mental disability you may become an Eagle Scout by qualifying for as many required merit badges as you can and qualifying for alternate merit badges for the rest. If you seek to become an Eagle under this procedure, you must submit a special application to your council service center. Your application must be approved by your council committee on advancement before you can work on alternative merit badges.

  1. Be active in your troop and patrol for at least six months as a Life Scout.
  2. Demonstrate Scout spirit by living the Scout Oath (Promise) and Scout Law in your everyday life.
  3. Earn a total of 21 merit badges (10 more than you already have), including the following:
    1. First Aid
    2. Citizenship in the Community
    3. Citizenship in the Nation
    4. Citizenship in the World
    5. Communications
    6. Personal Fitness
    7. Emergency Preparedness OR Lifesaving,
        (You must choose only one of these two merit badges. If you have earned more than one of the badges listed, choose one and list the remaining badge to make your total of 21.)
    8. Environmental Science
    9. Personal Management
    10. Swimming OR Hiking OR Cycling,
    11.   (You must choose only one of these three merit badges. If you have earned more than one of the badges listed, choose one and list the remaining badges to make your total of 21.)
    12. Camping
    13. Family Life
      Name of Merit Badge
      ________________________________
      ________________________________
      ________________________________
      ________________________________
      ________________________________
      ________________________________
      ________________________________
      ________________________________
      ________________________________
  4. While a Life Scout, serve actively for a period of six months in one or more of the following positions of responsibility:
      Boy Scout Troop
        Junior Assistant Scoutmaster
        Senior Patrol Leader
        Assistant Senior Patrol Leader
        Patrol Leader
        Assistant Patrol Leader
        Order of the Arrow Representative
        Troop Guide
        Den Chief
        Scribe
        Librarian
        Historian
        Quartermaster
        Instructor
        Chaplain Aide
      Varsity Scout Team
        Captain
        Co-Captain
        Program Manager
        Squad Leader
        Team Secretary
        Order of the Troop Representative
        Librarian
        Historian
        Quartermaster
        Chaplain Aide
        Instructor
        Den Chief
  5. While a Life Scout, plan, develop, and give leadership to others in a service project helpful to any religious institution, any school, or your community. (The project should benefit an organization other than Boy Scouting.) The project idea must be approved by the organization benefiting from the effort, your Scoutmaster and troop committee, and the council or district before you start. You must use the Eagle Scout Leadership Service Project Workbook, BSA publication No. 18-927B, in meeting this requirement.Take part in a Scoutmaster conference.
  6. Successfully complete an Eagle Scout board of review.

Eagle Palms
A scout may earn Eagle Palms after becoming Eagle Scout. You may wear only the proper combination of Palms for the number of merit badges you earned beyond the rank of Eagle. The Bronze Palm represents five merit badges, the Gold Palm 10, and the Silver Palm 15.
Last Revised 2004

  1. Be active in your troop and patrol for at least three months after becoming an Eagle Scout or after award of last Palm.
  2. Demonstrate Scout spirit by living the Scout Oath (Promise) and Scout Law in your everyday life.
  3. Make a satisfactory effort to develop and demonstrate leadership ability.
  4. Earn five additional merit badges beyond those required for Eagle or last Palm.
  5.   Merit badges earned any time since becoming a Boy Scout may be used to meet this requirement.
  6. Take part in a Scoutmaster conference.
  7. Complete your board of review.

*Taken without permission from meritbadge.com

Last updated on April 2, 2008