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Bay Area CouncilResourcesSCOUT ADVANCEMENT

Scout Advancement

What Is Advancement?

Advancement is the process by which a Scout progresses from rank to rank in the Scouting program. It is simply a means to an end and not an end in itself. Everything done to advance and earn higher ranks is designed to help the Scout have an exciting and meaningful experience.

The advancement method is designed to encourage a young man to accomplish a progressive series of fun and educational tasks. Earning merit badges allows Scouts to explore many fields, helps them round out their skills, and perhaps introduces them to subjects that will become lifelong interests or rewarding careers.

Cub Scouts

Tigers Cub - 1st grader (or age 7) and adult partners. 15 requirements in each of 5 areas
Bobcat - for all boys who join Cub Scouting.
Wolf - must have completed first grade (or age 8). 12 achievements
Bear - must have completed second grade (or age 9). 12 or 24 achievements over 4 categories.
Webelos - must have completed third grade (or age 10).
Arrow of Light - The highest rank in Cub Scouting 

Rank Info

Boy Scouts

For information on available advancements and requirements please click here

Policies related to Rank Advancement click here


Scout Badge (Boy Scout joining requirements)


Second Class 

First Class 

Star Scout 

Life Scout 

Eagle Scout


Eagle Rank application 

Eagle Service project workbook 

National Eagle Scout Association (NESA) application 

NESA scholarship applications 

Eagle Palms


What Is a Merit Badge?

A special part of a Scout's learning adventure, merit badges are awards presented to a Scout when he completes the requirements for one of the merit badge subjects. There are more than 100 merit badges a Scout may earn. The subject matters range from vocational and careers introduction to personal development, hobbies, sports, high adventure, citizenship, and life-skills development.

Every merit badge is designed to teach the Scout new skills while outwardly encouraging him to challenge himself and have fun in the process. Merit badges offer a range of difficulty over a breadth of subject matters, and a Scout is free to pursue any merit badge he wishes. The merit badge itself is a simple embroidered patch, but the intangible end result of earning it is that the Scout gains self-confidence from overcoming obstacles to achieve a goal.

Merit Badge Program