Advancement has many definitions, but the definition for Scouting might well be, simply, "the art of meeting a challenge". For that is exactly what the Boy Scout advancement program asks boys to do.
It invites each Scout to master a challenging series of skills that prepare them to enjoy the outdoor action Scouting promises. As they master these skills they move up through six Boy Scouting ranks, each more demanding than the last, and each qualifying them for more exciting outdoor adventure, recognition - and more fun !!
This happy "fun and adventure" outcome, however, is only part of the advancement advantage. For a Scout cannot master the skills of the outdoors without learning something of the skills of living and working with others outdoors. He cannot grow more adept at winter survival without growing in all-season self-confidence. He cannot work so hard in the open without becoming more fit wherever he is. And try as he may, he cannot avoid making new friends, exploring new hobbies, trying new sports, and developing a deeper love and concern for the health of our planet.
Before clicking on the requirements of the specific ranks, which you can find in the green rail to your right, please review the following mandatory steps to rank advancement in Troop 7.
The Five Steps in Advancement
There are five basic steps in Boy Scout advancement, and they lead to all six ranks.
Step 1: The Scout learns. He learns Scouting skills by taking an active hands-on part in troop and patrol meetings and outdoor programs. This learning, as we said above, is the natural outcome of his regular Scouting activities.
Step 2: He is tested. When his leaders see that he has mastered a skill and satisfied a given requirement, they tell him so and reward his achievement, usually done by the Assistant Patrol Leader, Patrol Leader, Troop Guide, Assistant Senior Patrol Leader or Senior Patrol Leader.
Step 3: He meets with the Scoutmaster in a Scoutmaster Conference. The Scoutmaster makes sure things are going well, finds out if there are any problem areas, and just over-all checks with the scout to make sure everything is as it should be.
Step 4: He is reviewed. When a Scout completes all requirements for a rank, he appears before a "board of review' composed of members of the Troop Committee. Their purpose is not to retest him, but to make sure he has met all the requirements, to chat with him about how he feels he's getting along with the troop and its programs, and of course to encourage him to keep advancing.
Step 5: He is recognized. When a Scout is certified by the board of review he is awarded his new badge of rank as soon as possible at a Troop meeting and then in front of his parent(s) at the next Court of Honor, the badge of rank and/or the rank card.
The Scoutmaster Conference
There are six of the seven ranks in Scouting that contain the requirement "participate in a Scoutmaster conference". The purpose of the conference is to develop, over a period of time, an increasing level of understanding and trust between the Scoutmaster and each Scout. Once this relationship is established and begins to grow, the Scoutmaster can be increasingly effective in helping the boy get the most from Scouting. This is also a time for the Scout to discuss any problems or questions he may have.