Charter and Bylaws and Rules and Regulations of the Boy Scouts of America
Articles Related to Advancement
“Executive Board,” below, refers to the National Executive
Board of the National Council, Boy Scouts of America.
Article IX. Policies and Definitions—From the Charter and Bylaws
Section 1. Declaration of Religious Principle, clause 1.
The Boy Scouts of America maintains that no member
can grow into the best kind of citizen without recognizing
an obligation to God. In the first part of the Scout Oath
or Promise the member declares, “On my honor I will
do my best to do my duty to God and my country and
to obey the Scout Law.” The recognition of God as the
ruling and leading power in the universe and the grateful
acknowledgment of His favors and blessings are necessary
to the best type of citizenship and are wholesome precepts
in the education of the growing members. No matter
what the religious faith of the members may be, this
fundamental need of good citizenship should be kept
before them. The Boy Scouts of America, therefore,
recognizes the religious element in the training of the
member, but it is absolutely nonsectarian in its attitude
toward that religious training. Its policy is that the home
and the organization or group with which the member
is connected shall give definite attention to religious life.
Section 1. Activities, clause 2. The activities of the
members of the Boy Scouts of America shall be carried
on under conditions which show respect to the convictions
of others in matters of custom and religion, as required
by the twelfth point of the Scout Law, reading, “Reverent.
A Scout is reverent toward God. He is faithful in his
religious duties. He respects the beliefs of others.”
Section 1. Freedom, clause 3. In no case where a unit is
connected with a church or other distinctively religious
organization shall members of other denominations or
faith be required, because of their membership in the
unit, to take part in or observe a religious ceremony
distinctly unique to that organization or church.
Section 1. Leaders, clause 4. Only persons willing to
subscribe to these declarations of principles shall be
entitled to certificates of leadership in carrying out the
Article X. Program, Advancement—From the Rules and Regulations
Section 1. General Principles, clause 1. Education is the
chief function of the Scouting Movement and it shall be
the basis of the advancement program. A fundamental
principle of advancement shall be that the boy’s progress
is a natural outcome of his activities in his unit. The rank
requirements in these phases of the Scouting program, as
set forth in the official publications, shall furnish the basis
of the activities of the unit.
(a) In Cub Scouting, recognition is earned in the home
and the neighborhood by passing certain
achievements related to simple skills, habits, ideals,
(b) In Boy Scouting, recognition is gained through
leadership in the troop, attending and participating
in its activities, living the ideals of Scouting, and
proficiency in activities related to outdoor life,
useful skills, and career exploration.
(c) In Varsity Scouting, recognition is gained through
leadership in the team, attending and participating
in its activities, living the ideals of Varsity Scouting,
and proficiency in activities related to outdoor life,
useful skills, and career exploration.
(d) In Venturing, recognition takes on a wider scope,
involving the assumption of adultlike roles, identification
with adult careers, and participation in community
and citizenship responsibilities.
Section 1. Administration, clause 2. All advancement
procedures shall be administered under conditions which
harmonize with the aims and purposes of the Boy Scouts
Section 1. Cub Scout Advancement, clause 3. Basis for
Advancement. The Cub Scout advancement program
shall be the basis for the Cub Scout’s advancement.
There shall be three steps in Tiger Cub, Cub Scout, and
Webelos Scout advancement procedures: preparation,
qualification, and recognition.
Section 1. Cub Scout Advancement, clause 4. Ranks.
There shall be the following ranks in Cub Scouting:
Bobcat, Tiger Cub, Wolf, Bear, Webelos, and Arrow
of Light. The requirements shall be as authorized by the
Executive Board and set forth in Cub Scout publications.
Section 1. Boy Scout Advancement, clause 5. Basis for
Advancement. The Boy Scout requirements for ranks
shall be the basis for the Scout’s advancement. There
shall be four steps in Boy Scout advancement procedure:
learning, testing, reviewing, and recognition.
Section 1. Boy Scout Advancement, clause 6. Ranks.
There shall be the following ranks in Boy Scouting:
Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life, and
Eagle. The requirements shall be those authorized by
the Executive Board and set forth in the official Scouting
publications. Eagle palms may also be awarded on the
basis of requirements authorized by the Executive Board
and set forth in the official Scouting publications.
Section 1. Boy Scout Advancement, clause 7. Responsibility
of the Troop Committee. It shall be the responsibility of the
troop committee, under the leadership and guidance of
the local council, to make sure that the program of the
troop is conducted in such a way that Scouts have an
opportunity to advance on the basis of the four steps
outlined in clause 5.
Section 1. Varsity Scout Advancement, clause 8. Basis for
Advancement. Basis for Advancement. The Boy Scout
requirements for advancement shall be the basis for the
Varsity Scout advancement.
Section 1. Varsity Scout Advancement, clause 9.
Responsibility of the Team Committee. It shall be the
responsibility of the team committee, under the leadership
and guidance of the local council, to make sure that
the program of the team is conducted in such a way
that Varsity Scouts have an opportunity to advance on
the basis of the four steps outlined in clause 5.
Section 1. Venturing Recognition, clause 10.
Basis for Advancement.
(a) The Venturing advancement program shall be the
basis for the Venturer’s advancement. There shall
be four steps in Venturing advancement procedures:
preparation, learning, qualification, and recognition.
(b) A male Venturer who has achieved the First Class
rank as a Boy Scout in a troop or as a Varsity Scout
in a team may continue working toward the Eagle
Award while a Venturer until his 18th birthday.
There is no Venturing advancement route to qualify
for the Eagle Award.
Section 1. Venturing Recognition, clause 11. Ranks.
(a) There shall be awards and ranks in Sea Scouts, BSA,
the requirements for which shall be approved by
the Executive Board as proposed by the Venturing
Committee and set forth in Sea Scouting and
(b) With the exception of Sea Scouts, BSA, there are no
ranks in the Venturing program.
Clause 12. Examination in Camps.
(a) In special instances, where Scouts are attending
educational or similar institutions and/or camps which
give an intensive Scouting program, said institutions
and camps may, upon application, be authorized by
the Corporation to give the prescribed examinations
and pass Scouts in such manner and with such special
conditions as the facts presented (as to the facilities
and leadership of the institution or camp) may, in the
judgment of the Corporation, warrant.
(b) Upon the recommendation of the Corporation,
authority may be granted annually for the above
privileges to Scout camps or camps conducted by
authorized representatives of the Boy Scouts of
America that submit evidence of maintaining the
program standards, provided their programs have
been approved by the Corporation. No exception
shall be made to the time requirements to qualify for
rank advancement or for the award of Eagle Palms.
Section 1. Responsibility for Merit Badges, clause 13.
The responsibility for merit badges shall rest with the merit
badge counselor approved by the local council and
district advancement committee. Merit badge counselors
shall be registered adult members of the Boy Scouts of
America. The merit badge counselor shall prepare and
qualify youth members. There shall be no board of review
procedure for merit badges, but public recognition may
be given at a unit court of honor or other suitable occasion.
Article XI. Business, Finance, Properties, Contracts,
Registration—From the Rules and Regulations
Section 3. Special Types of Registration, clause 20.
Mentally Retarded or Severely Physically Disabled
Youth Members. In the discretion of the Executive Board,
and under such rules and regulations as it may prescribe
upon consultation with appropriate medical authorities,
registration of boys who are either mentally retarded or
severely physically handicapped, including the blind,
deaf, and emotionally disturbed, over age 11 as Cub
Scouts and over age 18 as Boy Scouts, or Varsity Scouts,
and registration of young adults who are either mentally
retarded or severely physically handicapped, including
the blind, deaf, and emotionally disturbed, over age 21
as Venturers, and the participation of each in the respective
advancement programs while registered, is authorized.