Cub Scouts Learn about Boy Scouting

When boys turn 10 1/2 or 11, they advance from Cub Scouting into Boy Scouting. At this point, their focus is to become stronger young men with improved leadership skills. These goals are tracked by earning different ranks. Ranks are achieved by accomplishing a number of goals. At the same time as working toward rank advancement, the Boy Scouts work on earning merit badges. There are more than 100 subjects of merit badges including life skills, hobby, and career fields.

Scout Ranks

There are a number of ranks in the Boy Scout program. The boy passes a few requirements to become a Boy Scout. He then works through the following:

  • Tenderfoot
  • Second Class
  • First Class (he must be a First Class Scout for 4 months before becoming a Star Scout)
  • Star (he must be a Star Scout for 6 months before becoming a Life Scout)
  • Life (he must be a Life Scout for 6 months before becoming an Eagle Scout)
  • Eagle

Visit this page to learn more about Boy Scout Advancement and Awards

Merit Badges

Merit badges earned by a Scout are worn on a merit badge sash. There are currently more than 130 potential merit badges to earn. However, to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout, your son must earn a total of 21 merit badges. Of those, there are 13 Required Merit Badges. See the current list of Required Merit Badges.

Advancement Record

While your Scoutmaster and troop will assist you, it is your responsibility to keep track of the rank advancements and merit badges that are earned. The Boy Scout Handbook has a checklist that can be used. There are also online tools and resources, paper tracking checklist, and so on.

Since there are a number of ways to keep track of your completed work, please check with your Scoutmaster to see how this is done for your troop, and how you can assist in this process.

Boy Scout Uniform

The Boy Scout uniform is khaki. The uniform policy varies according to the ward’s troop uniform policy, but most troops have the minimum uniform consisting of the khaki Boy Scout shirt.  Some troops have also designed their own matching tee shirts which may be worn as more casual alternatives to the khaki shirts. Scouts in the same troop usually wear neckerchiefs of the same color and design, but this is optional.

Key Terms

  • blue card:  A card used to track the completion of a merit badge.
  • Boy Scout:  A registered youth member of a Boy Scout troop. In LDS units boys ages 11 through 13 are in the Boy Scout troop.
  • Court of Honor:  A recognition ceremony honoring those who have met the requirements for advancement in rank or have earned merit badges or other awards. Families are encouraged to attend. Always lowercase (“Eagle Scout court of honor”).
  • Eagle Scout service project:  While a Life Scout, a boy plans, develops, and gives leadership to others in a project that benefits a religious organization, school, or community. Required for the Eagle Scout rank.
  • Merit Badge:  A recognition given to a Boy Scout for completing the requirements for a badge in a specific field. Capitalize the name but not the words “merit badge.” Example: “earn the Lifesaving and Swimming merit badges.” Thirteen merit badges are required to attain the rank of Eagle Scout. Non-required merit badges are called “electives.”
  • Merit Badge Counselor:  A registered adult volunteer at least age 18 who is expert in a merit badge field and shares enthusiasm for that field with Scouts and who certifies that requirements have been met.
  • National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT) :  A week-long training experience for youth leaders conducted by the council.
  • Order of the Arrow:  Scouting’s national honor society. Youth members (Arrowmen) must hold First Class Scout rank; they are elected by all youth members of the troop, based on their Scouting spirit and camping ability. The aim of the OA is to promote the outdoor program and service to Scouting.
  • Patrol:  A small group of Boy Scouts (usually five to eight) who belong to a troop and work together in and out of troop meetings. Normally, there are several patrols in one troop. Capitalize only when part of a title, such as “Fox Patrol.”
  • Rank:  A level achieved by a Scout as he advances in Boy Scouting.
  • Scout camp:  Most Scouts attend Scout camps during the summer when they are 12 and 13 years old. Scout camp is an excellent place to earn merit badges and spend days and nights outside.
  • Sea Scouting:  A branch of Venturing in which Sea Scouts specialize in traditional nautical activities, such as sailing, motor boating, and maritime careers.
  • Troop:  The unit that conducts Boy Scouting for the chartered organization. Capitalize only when used with the troop number. The adult leader of the troop is called the Scoutmaster. Combinations: “Boy Scout troop,” “Troop 14.”
  • Venturing:  The young adult program of the BSA for young men and women ages 14 through 20.  The Scouts are called Venturers; the leader is the Venturing crew Advisor.

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