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Boy Scout Troop 238
(Welcome, North Carolina)
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Rank Advancement

 "Scouts are boys of action. The only knowledge they seek is that knowledge of a subject which will make them “doers.”  - Boy Scouts of America, 1913

Each Scout progresses through the following 7 ranks:

  • Scout
  • Tenderfoot
  • Second Class
  • First Class
  • Star
  • Life
  • Eagle

Each rank has certain milestones or “requirements” that must be fulfilled before the rank is awarded.  Each requirement follows a basic 4 step process:

  • The scout learns
  •  The scout is tested
  • The scout is reviewed
  • The scout is recognized

Requirements for Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class may be worked simultaneously.  Requirements for Star, Life, and Eagle must be worked in serial order.

How quickly a scout advances is up to him.  The troop program will provide opportunities, all year long, for advancement.  Advancement is somewhat of a byproduct of an active troop program with enthusiastic scouts participating.  In such an environment advancement happens quickly and in somewhat of a "stealth" sort of way!  Scouts with a high level of participation and engagement in camping outings and troop meetings may earn First Class within 12 to 18 months of joining the troop.  Scouts that do not attend, have spotty attendance, or decline to engage the activities on camping trips, outings and troop meetings will advance at a much slower pace.  Advancement is only one of the methods of scouting, so slow advancement is not necessarily a bad thing.


Troop 238 does not run a “curriculum” based rank advancement program, like a school, where a regiment of sit down instruction, class work, book work, and lecture are the norm.  Scouting is meant to be a hands on activity and a game… 

Scouts learn by doing in guided discovery mostly during outings!

Merit Badges

The BSA Merit Badge Process:


“In Scouting, a boy is encouraged to educate himself instead of being instructed.”

-          Sir Robert Baden-Powell- the founder of scouting



Click on the video!

Individual Initiative:


A scout may start a merit badge at ANY TIME.  There is no need or reason to wait for summer camp or a merit badge college.  The scout has until his 18 birthday to complete the badge.


  1. A scout decides that he would like to earn a specific merit badge
  2. The scout obtains approval to begin the merit badge from his Scoutmaster
  3. The Scoutmaster issues the merit badge card (blue card)
  4. The Scoutmaster identifies possible merit badge counselors
  5. The scout identifies another scout or adult that will be his partner to attend meetings with the counselor (youth protection guideline, no one on one contact between youth and adult)
  6. Scout contacts the counselor to begin badge work
  7. The counselor reviews the requirements with the scout and they decide on projects to complete and a completion schedule. The counselor provides expertise, advice, guidance as needed until the scout has completed the requirements
  8. The merit badge counselor certifies completion of requirements and signs the blue card 
  9. The scout returns the signed card to the scoutmaster. 
  10. The merit badge patch is presented at a court of honor or troop meeting



Group Work:


Such as merit badge colleges, summer camp, troop level merit badge


Blue cards may or may not be issued in some cases in effort to streamline paperwork and avoid duplicity of effort.  Prerequisites should be completed beforehand whenever possible.  The scout is responsible to complete the merit badge work.  Partial completed merit badges from group work will pick up with step number 4, assignment of a merit badge counselor to help complete the merit badge.



General Information Regarding Merit Badges:


Troop level merit badge opportunities may present themselves on occasion; however, the Boy Scout program is not about a merit badge focus, and the program is not intended to be like school with formal sit down class room type instruction.  On the contrary, it is important that scouting is NOT like school. Advancement is one of the methods of scouting.  If a scout is motivated and wants to earn more and more, that is wonderful thing and the troop will support that.  Remember, collecting the most merit badges will not get your son to Eagle quicker.  There are 13 Required merit badges and 8 elective merit badges needed to earn the Eagle Award.  It takes a little planning and some work!  In total there are over 130 different merit badges that a scout can earn!

The Trail to Eagle:

21 merit badges are required to achieve the Eagle Award13 must come from the list of REQUIRED merit badges below. The remaining 8 are considered electives and can be any merit badge (like mammal study, Indian Lore, etc).

The 13 Eagle required merit badges are:

  • First Aid
  • Citizenship in the Community
  • Citizenship in the Nation

  • Citizenship in the World

  • Communication

  • Personal Fitness

  • Emergency Preparedness OR Lifesaving

  • Environmental Science OR Sustainability

  • Personal Management

  • Swimming OR Hiking OR Cycling

  • Camping

  • Family Life

  • Cooking  (new for 2014)


You may ask why the scoutmaster must approve a merit badge before it can be started (It didn't work this way in Cub Scouts): 


The reasons for this are many, but the 3 most important are:


1. To be sure that the merit badge that the scout wishes to start is in line with his level of maturity and scouting experience


2. The merit badge is in line with the scout’s long term advancement needs and trail to Eagle


3. Completion of the badge can be monitored, and partially completed merit badges can be tracked and followed. 


The Scoutmaster and/or the advancement chairperson will monitor which merit badges have been completed and which are partially completed, and will remind the scout from time to time on partial completions.  The troop will assist the scout in helping the scout to help himself to complete the merit badge; however, it is not the responsibility of the scoutmaster or the troop to make a scout complete the requirements of a merit badge. 

On Line Merit Badge Resource:


Click here:

The official Boy Scouts of America web site has the latest updates and requirements listed.   Please see the scoutmaster with any questions.  "Unofficial" yet helpful merit badge worksheets can be found at

There are over 130 different merit badges! 


Eagle Scout Workbook & Application

PDF versions of the Eagle workbook and Application can be found below.  Click on the documents to view, print, or download  

Current Versions:
October 2015 Workbook
2016 Application

“The boy is not governed by don't, but is led by do.”

    -Robert Baden-Powell

Icon File Name Comment  
512-728_WB_fillable.pdf Eagle Scout Application 2016  
512-927_fillable.pdf Eagle Project Workbook Oct 2015