Stan’s EYO Scouting Blog #6: Rank Requirement Changes Coming in January 2016

Stan Stolpe


In January of each year the Boy Scouts of America releases Boy Scout requirement updates. This January’s Boy Scout program changes are part of a long running review of all Scouting programs and a realignment of programs to the mission and vision of the Boy Scouts of America that was called Goal 411. This was part of the 2011-2015 National Strategic Plan. Although there were significant changes to the Cub Scout and Venturing programs, there was no perceived need for significant program design changes for the Boy Scout program. Many of the changes involved rearranging current requirements but added service for all ranks (conservation related at Life Scout), health/eating habits, and physical fitness for each rank Tenderfoot through First Class Scout. Duty to God is incorporated as a requirement in all ranks as part of Scout spirit, and for various ranks they added outdoor ethics, weather safety, and risk assessment/mitigation requirements.

Of particular note, the revised camping requirements now require six nights of camping to become a First Class Scout and three nights of camping to become a Second Class Scout (one night as a Tenderfoot Scout and two nights as a Second Class Scout). This is different than the current program that requires only three nights of camping to become a First Class Scout. Traditionally, EYO Scouts have had the goal of achieving the rank of First Class Scout in their first year of Scouting.

The overnight camping change should not affect how the EYO Scout leader plans the EYO program. It simply means that EYO Scouts will make First Class after they have become deacons. Your EYO program should still contain elements of the Scout skills of camping, cooking, first aid, map and compass, knots and lashings, fitness, aquatics, nature, woods tools, citizenship, Scout spirit, leadership, and outdoor ethics.

Another key change is that Scout now becomes a rank. Some Scout leaders referred to it erroneously as a rank previously, but it was a badge. As a rank, it has more requirements than before with several of them moved from Tenderfoot requirements. What is unique about this rank is that it does not require a board of review, just a Scoutmaster conference. The board of review is first conducted as a Tenderfoot Scout, and then for all ranks thereafter.

For those boys who join the EYO Scout patrol as Arrow of Light recipients, the EYO Scout leader should be aware that:

All requirements for the Scout rank must be completed as a member of a troop. If you have already completed these requirements as part of the Webelos Scouting Adventure, simply demonstrate your knowledge or skills to your Scoutmaster or other designated leader after joining the troop. (Boy Scout Requirements – Effective Jan. 1, 2016, Comparison to Current Requirements, online—see link below).

Boys rising up from the Webelos program now have adventures; and they complete two ranks: Webelos and Arrow of Light (AOL). The EYO Scout leader should review the new Webelos and AOL adventures. You can find the new Webelos and AOL requirements at:

There are many more details to the new requirements across all ranks too numerous to cover in detail in this blog. You can download a copy of the new 2016 Scout requirements compared to the current requirements at:

For many years I have taken advantage of the program features published by the Boy Scouts of America. The new Program Features for Troops, Teams, and Crews replaces the Troop Program Features. Volume 1 (SKU 616351) is now available at:

Volume 2 (SKU 616352) will be available in early fall. Each volume will have 16 program features with a mix of topics: outdoor, sports, health and safety, citizenship and personal development, STEM, and arts and hobbies. Leaders and youth members can use these to plan exciting programs, help facilitate advancement and personal growth, and keep youth members engaged.

The January 2016 new program features and advancement requirements need to be integrated into your annual plan. Advancement and program are methods used in the Scouting program to help young men practice the teachings of the gospel of Jesus Christ. As young men participate in outings, attend meetings, work on requirements, and strive to live according to gospel principles family members and the EYO Scout leader provide instruction, encouragement, and support. Now is a good time to begin putting together an annual plan for the EYO Scout patrol with clear priesthood purposes implementing the elements of the new program that begins in January 2016.

– Stan Stolpe has served in multiple Scouting positions at the unit, district, council, regional, and national levels in the U.S. and overseas. His current positions include district roundtable commissioner, district Cub Scout training chairman, and assistant Scoutmaster for a new Scout troop. He resides in Alexandria, Virginia, serving in the Mount Vernon Virginia Stake. The views and opinions expressed in this message are solely those of the author.

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  1. Kevin Fitzpatrick says:

    Will Scouts who started under the 3 nights of camping requirement still be able to get First class, even after the official start date if they have less than six starting 1/1/2016?

    1. Stanley Stolpe says:


      Glad you asked; for 2016:
      • Boys joining on or after Jan. 1, 2016 MUST use the new requirements.
      • Boys who have joined prior to Jan. 1, 2016:
      • Who are working on the Scout badge MAY continue to work on the existing requirements, but MUST convert to the new requirements upon completion of the Scout badge.
      • Who are working on Tenderfoot through First Class MAY continue to work on the existing requirements, but MUST convert to the new requirements upon attaining First Class.
      • Who have completed First Class MAY complete the rank they are currently working on in the existing requirements, but then MUST convert to the new requirements for subsequent ranks

      For more information, visit:


  2. Don says:

    I want to know why eyo are limited to 3 campouts.

    1. Stanley Stolpe says:


      The Church evaluated what would be age appropriate activities of Scouts to achieve the purposes of the Primary and determined for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that three nights of camping at age eleven to be appropriate for Primary age boys.

      Camping more than three days fulfills the purposes of the Aaronic priesthood for the Church and is determined to be age appropriate for 12 year old’s and older.

      Since these are Church activities conducted through using the Scout program, the nights of camping is designed to meet the objectives of the programs they are designed for: the Primary and the Aaronic priesthood.



      1. Don says:

        It is still silly to me. BSA troops have EYO going to summer camps. If a boy misses just 1 camp because of whatever, he is unable to get 1st class until he is 12. And if he has a troop like ours it maybe a 4-6 months before the next campout.

  3. John Pack says:

    My guess is the church will begin allowing six campouts for eleven-year-old scouts to accommodate the change. They’ve always set the number to allow First Class.

    1. Stanley Stolpe says:


      I’d be hesitant to go that far. If you check the Scouting Handbook released in may, it has changed to reflect achieving 2nd Class Scout in the EYO program.


      1. John Pack says:

        I hadn’t been aware of the May update. You’re probably right then — they’ll keep the 3 campout limit.

  4. Marni says:

    Interesting to read through the new requirements. I’ll be adding a lot of extras into my EYO schedule next year!

    I also noticed something I thought might be changed – for the ranks that need leadership positions, assistant patrol leader isn’t an option. We ran into an issue with a boy getting his Eagle once. He definitely did far more in that position than the chaplain aide had. Thankfully the council did approve it.

    1. John Pack says:

      Assistant Patrol Leader has never been one of the leadership positions that counted towards rank advancements (though perhaps it should be at First Class level).

  5. Alan says:

    Any thoughts on dealing with enthusiastic parents who send their son camping with the deacons so he can still advance according to their schedule?
    Thanks for sharing your wisdom and testimony.

    1. Don says:

      Politely show them the church scout handbook section 6.2 for EYO scouts;

      Eleven-year-old Scouts may participate in three one-night camps a year, which meets the camping requirements for advancement to the rank of Second Class. If desired, these overnight camps may be held with the ward’s Boy Scout troop. The eleven-year-old Scout leader plans the camps in consultation with the ward Primary presidency, the bishopric adviser to the Primary, and the ward Scouting committee. No other Scout-sponsored overnight camping should be planned for eleven-year-old Scouts.

    2. Stanley Stolpe says:

      This is very interesting. There appears to be a lack of understanding within the YM presidency if they are allowing this type of activity. Only members of the quorum should be participating in deacon quorum activities. I would point this out to the Bishop as he provides guidance to the YM presidency. It is just not appropriate for LDS Scout units. If the parents are that enthusiastic, they should consider camping with a non-LDS unit.

      1. Alan says:

        Interesting indeed. I assume that you are familiar with the Mormon Scouting Lore that an EYO can go to Scout camp if dad goes with him. I’ve heard/seen it here in the Seattle area, in Fishers, Indiana, and in Irmo, SC. This presents several challenges. You have a dad at camp who looks like a leader, but is focused only on his son and ignores everything else. You have a boy who doesn’t belong to the group, so is likely to be excluded from social interactions. Then he comes back from camp thinking he should be a Star Scout, while the other EYOs are still working on Second Class. And you have other guys wondering why he got to go to camp and they didn’t. Not good for patrol unity. Plus you lose the blessings of obedience.

      2. Todd Harvey says:

        I can understand your point, but for some wards where there are 2 EYO scouts, 1 Deacon, 2 Teachers and 1 Priest, an inclusive approach has benefits. After all, 1 individual does not make a quorum. In my experience combining quorums and occasionally inviting EYO scouts is a better solution for our membership than disbanding.

        1. Don says:

          I have often wondered how to do Youth led with 11 YO.
          Scouting is supposed to be mentorship and in BSA troops the older scouts teach the younger. But not in LDS 11 YO patrols. I still think that the 11YO get ripped off in their scouting experience, but I do my calling to the best of my ability.

        2. John R Pack says:

          I agree that the inclusive approach is better if you need a critical mass of young men. However, still better is having a program that is so much fun and fulfills YM purposes that the youth bring enough friends to have an even bigger program.

          The Patrol Leader for the 11-year-olds should set the schedule of First Class skills, select appropriate campouts, assign cooks (from those needing the requirement), notify the troop of awards needed for Courts of Honor, and help teach the skills he already knows to younger members of the patrol. Yes, it’s not the full leadership that he’ll get in the troop, but it’s a big step up from the Webelos.

          1. Stanley Stolpe says:

            As much as we like the inclusive approach, we should focus on our Church structure and build on that. I have had a single EYO Scout. Wow, what a time we had. That young man got more attention and we had so much fun together. Be careful that you do not through out what we are trying to teach if you try and model against non-LDS units. Figure out how to make it work even with small numbers of one or two. That’s not to say that occasional joint session are great . . . they are. But make the most of what you have. You will be astounded at the blessing that will come from doing it the Lord’s way. I was a doubter as a convert to the Church, but I learned otherwise. Use the power of faith to make the Primary/quorum work as designed. The young Scouts under your guidance can learn so much. Remember, they may lead a full quorum one day, but the model you present many not be so . . . and they may struggle to properly implement because their model was not right as a youth.

          2. John R Pack says:

            Remember that two-deep means there must be two adults and two youth at all scouting events — including all church events at which both scout leaders and youth are present. Youth Protection must come first — or we set up ourselves and the church for lawsuits down the road (as abuse by some church members in the past demonstrates).

            Of course, the best solution is for the lone scout to bring a lot of friends!

            My own experience, having worked in scouting for 42 years in and out of the church, is that somewhere between 6-8 a unit hits critical mass — where the energy level of the youth multiplies and their enthusiasm builds exponentially. The patrol method also comes into its own when two or more full patrols can be formed.

            I had the wonderful opportunity of having 13 eleven-year-old scouts right after I was married. We know eleven of them went on to earn Eagle (and we don’t know about the last two). That’s the kind of positive energy that comes from that kind of group.

    1. Stanley Stolpe says:

      Thank you for the update. The challenge in the 21st Century is that web links go stale. I so appreciate you publishing the refreshed link.


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