Advancement is the process by which youth members of the Boy Scouts of America progress from rank to rank and is the method by which we promote and encourage the ongoing involvement and commitment that keeps members coming back. It works best when it is built into a unit’s program so that simply participating leads to meaningful achievement and recognition—and to a continually improved readiness for more complex experiences.
Advancement Is Based on Experiential Learning
Everything done to advance — to earn ranks and other awards and recognition — is designed to educate or to otherwise expand horizons. Members learn and develop according to a standard. This is the case from the time a member joins and then moves through the programs of Cub Scouting, Scouts BSA, Venturing, and Sea Scouts.
Experiential learning is the key: Exciting and meaningful activities are offered, and education happens. Learning comes from doing. For example, youth may read about first aid, hear it discussed, and watch others administer it, but they will not learn it until they practice it. Rushing a Scout through requirements to obtain a badge is not the goal. Advancement should be a natural outcome of a well-rounded unit program, rich in opportunities to work toward the ranks.
Policy on Unauthorized Changes to Advancement Program
No council, committee, district, unit, or individual has the authority to add to, or subtract from, advancement requirements. There are limited exceptions relating only to youth members with disabilities.
Unit Advancement Reports
Are you buying awards for your Scouts? Then you must have a Unit Advancement Report. Visit this page to learn more about unit advancement reporting.
Advancement Changes Related to COVID-19
General questions and answers about COVID-19’s impact on BSA advancement
2020 special extension for Eagle Scout candidates due to COVID-19
Internet Advancement allows you to enter youth advancements, awards, and merit badges and perform the following actions:
- Select members from your existing roster,
- Review, update, or add ranks, merit badges, and/or awards,
- Access an online Review Unit Roster feature and the Unit Advancement Summary,
- Print an Advancement Report with a Unit Awards Summary to assist in purchasing.
When you upload your unit’s advancement information through Internet Advancement, your updated information is synced to your Scouts’ membership records with the Boy Scouts of America’s database (usually within 48 hours). This is the database of record that the national organization will use to cross-check your Scouts’ information when/if they apply for the rank of Eagle Scout.