Rank advancement is the central mechanism of Boy Scouts, and much of the program is structured around it. Most of the resources for rank advancement can be found in the Boy Scout Handbook, including information on all of the basic skills of Boy Scouts and many of the forms that a Scout must fill out to advance in rank. However, there are many other details to rank advancement that the book does not cover, and many scouts end up confused about these details. For the sake of having all of this information clearly stated in a place that anyone can access it, these aspects of advancement will be covered here.
Rank Advancement Form
This is a form that must be completed towards the end of a rank, but before doing a Scoutmaster Conference and Board of Review. It asks for signatures from your Patrol Leader, as well as the Senior Patrol Leader, Treasurer, Quartermaster, and Advancement Chairman to make sure you have no missing money and equipment and that you have done everything you need to do for the rank. This form is available in the literature rack outside the gym at every meeting, and here: Rank Advancement Worksheet
Scoutmaster Conference and Board of Review
A Scoutmaster Conference and Board of Review is listed at the end of each rank’s requirement, and must be completed only after every other requirement for that rank has been signed off. The Scoutmaster Conference can be conducted by the Scoutmaster or an Assistant Scoutmaster and can be scheduled for any time one of those people is available – a Conference does not have to take place during a Scouting event (but do keep the 2-on-1 rule in mind). A Board of Review sign-up sheet is posted on the Advancement table outside the gym during every meeting. Once you have completed your Scoutmaster Conference, make sure to get your name on that sheet as soon as possible. The adults will assemble the Board of Review for you, and find you in the gym whenever they are ready.
Campouts, Service Hours, and Leadership Positions
These three time-based types of advancements are very common throughout the ranks of Scouting, and scouts tend to run into the same problem with all three of them: keeping track of their progress. Any time an adult leader is asked to sign off one of these requirements, they will ask for proof that the scout has been on the required number of campouts, or served in a service project or leadership position for the required amount of time. This becomes a problem, because most scouts do not keep a regular log of their campouts, service hours, and leadership. This is an easy problem to fix, however. The Boy Scout Handbook has a section right after the rank requirement lists (p. 444-447) containing a Camping Log and a Service Log, which a scout may use to record the campout/service project/leadership position, how long it lasted, and get an adult signature. It is a feature that few scouts take advantage of, but it is highly recommended that every scout record their campouts, service hours, and leadership positions in this log in order to make the process of completing these requirements much easier.
Campouts and service hour opportunities can be found on our calendar: Troop 23 Calendar
For open leadership positions, ask the Scoutmaster or current Senior Patrol Leader.
The Skills Review is a special requirement for obtaining the First Class and Life Scout ranks in Troop 23. It is a unique verification progress that makes sure the Scouts who are obtaining these ranks have really learned the skills that Scouting is meant to teach them. It can be done with any Eagle Scout who has been in or is currently a part of Troop 23. The Skills Review form can be found here: Skills Review