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BSA Rank Advancement
Changes effective 04/1999

redball.gif (967 bytes) Explanation of the Changes in the New Handbook
redball.gif (967 bytes) Rank Change Details
redball.gif (967 bytes) Official BSA Pamphlet on Changes (PDF file - 500K)

10th Edition Scout Book.jpg (6841 bytes)

1990 - 1998

11th Edition Scout Book.jpg (7447 bytes)

1999 - Current

Attention Scout Leaders:  
The current requirements became effective with the issue of the new Boy Scout Requirements book on April 1, 1999.  The current requirements for all Merit Badges can be found at Merit Badge Requirements.

The old requirements are not valid for any awards earned in the Exploring or Venture Program after December 31, 1999.  All advancement to be earned and awarded must be based on the current Scout Handbook!

Age Requirement Eligibility

Merit badges, badges of rank, and Eagle Palms are for boys who are registered Boy Scouts or Varsity Scouts. Any registered Boy Scout or Varsity Scout may earn these awards until his 18th birthday. Any Explorer who achieved the First Class rank as a Boy Scout or Varsity Scout in a troop may continue working for the Star, Life, and Eagle ranks and Eagle Palms while registered as an Explorer up to his 18th birthday.   See the update in the Explorer / Venturing section regarding the changes in the Exploring program.


Boy Scout Requirements Book

On a regular basis, Boy Scouts of America issues a Booklet, entitled Boy Scout REQUIREMENTS which lists the current requirements for all Boy Scout Rank Advancements and Merit Badges.  The requirements listed in that book might not match those in the merit badge pamphlets because the pamphlets may not have been recently revised. The requirements in this book are the official requirements of the Boy Scouts of America.


Rank Change Details
Effective: April 1, 1999

In addition to the Rank requirements changes, there will be numerous changes to Merit Badge requirements.  These will be posted as they become available.

There was a three month transition period for the new requirements.   Beginning on January 1, 1999, Scouts could advance using either the current requirements (as they appear in the 1998 Requirements Book) or the new requirements (which appear in the 1999 Boy Scout Requirements Book and Boy Scout Handbook).  

After April 1, 1999, only the new requirements will be accepted.  (Boards of Review MAY take place after April 1st, if the requirements are completed by that date.)

One specific item to note: Safety and Sports MB's will become  OPTIONAL MB's (Green Borders), while Hiking and Cycling will be added to the Required list for Eagle Scout (Silver Borders).

Male Participants in the Exploring program of Learning for Life (Explorers) who have achieved the First Class rank as a Boy Scout in a troop or as a Varsity Scout in a team could continue advancement toward Star, Life and Eagle Scout ranks until December 31, 1999, using the old (1998) requirements, rather than the revised requirements shown below.  After December 31, 1999, they are ineligible for Boy Scout advancement unless they are also registered as members of a Boy Scout Troop, a Varsity Scout Team or a Venturing Crew.


Revisions to the requirements,
which became effective on April 1, 1999,
are shown in Bold Underlined print, similar to this paragraph.

Deletions from the exisiting requirements
are shown struck through in red italics, like this text.

Unchanged text is shown like this.


redball.gif (967 bytes) Scout
redball.gif (967 bytes) Tenderfoot
redball.gif (967 bytes) Second Class
redball.gif (967 bytes) First Class
redball.gif (967 bytes) Star
redball.gif (967 bytes) Life
redball.gif (967 bytes) Eagle


ScoutScout Rank Requirements:

Requirement 1 now reads:

Meet age requirements: Be a boy who has completed Complete the fifth grade, or be is 11 years old, or has have earned the Arrow of Light Award, but be younger than is under 18 years old.

A New Requirement 3 has been added, which reads:

Find a Scout Troop near your home

Old items 3-9 have been renumbered 4-10

Requirement 5 now reads:

Demonstrate the Scout sign, salute, and handclasp handshake.

Requirement 6 now reads:

Demonstrate tying the square knot (a joining knot).

Requirement 9 now reads:

Complete the Pamphlet Exercises: With your parent or guardian, complete the exercises in the pamphlet "How to Protect Your Children from Child Abuse and Drug Abuse : A Parent's Guide".

Requirement 10 now reads:

Participate in a Scoutmaster conference. Turn in your Boy Scout application and health history form signed by your parent or guardian, then participate in a Scoutmaster conference.


TenderfootTenderfoot Rank Requirements:

Requirement 2 now reads:

Spend at least one night on a patrol or troop campout. Sleep in a tent you have helped pitch.  on a ground bed you have prepared.

A New Requirement 3 has been added, which reads:

On the campout, assist in preparing and cooking one of your patrol's meals.  Tell why it is important for each patrol member to share in meal preparation and cleanup, and explain the importance of eating together.

Old items 3-13 have been renumbered 4-14

Requirement 10a now reads:

Record your best in the following tests:

 

  • Push-ups
  • Pull-ups
  • Sit-ups
  • Standing long jump
  • 1/4 mile Run/walk approximately one quarter mile.

Requirement 10b now reads:

Show improvement in the activities listed in requirement 10a above after practicing for 30 days.


Second Class Rank Requirements:

Requirement 1b (and the footnote for this requirement) now read:

b. Using a compass and a map togetheryou've drawn, take a 5-mile hike (or 10 miles by bike) approved by your adult leader and your parent or guardian.*
*(If you use a wheelchair or crutches, or if it is difficult for you to get around, you may substitute "trip" for "hike".)

Requirement 2e was renumbered as 2b.

Requirement 2b was renumbered as 2c, and now reads:

On one campout, demonstrate proper care, sharpening, and use of the knife, saw, and ax, and describe when they should be used.

Requirement 2c was renumbered as 2d, and now reads:

Use the tools listed above in requirement 2c to prepare tinder, kindling, and fuel for a cooking fire.

Requirement 2d was renumbered as 2f, and now reads:

Demonstrate how to light a fire and a lightweight stove. Light the cooking fire. Assist with the meal preparation and cleanup.

Requirements 2e & 2g were added, and read:

  1. Discuss when it is appropriate to use a cooking fire and a lightweight stove.  Discuss the safety procedures for using both.
  2. On one campout, plan and cook over an open fire one hot breakfast or lunch for yourself, selecting foods from the four basic food groups.  Explain the importance of good nutrition.  Tell how to transport, store, and prepare the foods you selected.

The first sentence of Requirements 7 was designated as requirement 7a.  The rest of Requirement 7 was changed to match the BEGINNER SWIMMER TEST and was designated as 7b and now reads:

Demonstrate your ability to jump feetfirst into water over your head in depth, level off and swim 25 feet on the surface, stop, turn sharply, resume swimming, then return to your starting place. swim 50 yards using two different strokes.**

New Requirement 7c was added, and reads:

Demonstrate water rescue methods by reaching with your arm or leg, by reaching with a suitable object, and by throwing lines and objects.**  Explain why swimming rescues should not be attempted when a reaching or throwing rescue is possible, and explain why and how a rescue swimmer should avoid contact with the victim.

Requirements 7a & 7b  refer to the following footnote:

**(This requirement may be waived by the troop committee for medical or safety reasons.)


First Class Rank Requirements:

Requirement 4 was completely rewritten, and now reads:

  1. On one campout, serve as your patrol's cook. Prepare a breakfast, lunch, and dinner menu that requires cooking; secure ingredients; supervise your assistants in fire building; and prepare the meals. Lead your patrol in saying grace at the meals, and supervise cleanup.
  2. a. Help plan a patrol menu for one campout -- including one breakfast, lunch, and dinner - that requires cooking.  Tell how the menu includes the four basic food groups and meets nutritional needs.
  3. b. Using the menu planned in requirement 4a, make a list showing the cost and food amounts needed to feed three or more boys and secure the ingredients.
  4. c. Tell which pans, utensils, and other gear will be needed to cook and serve these meals.
  5. d. Explain the procedures to follow in the safe handling and storage of fresh meats, dairy products, eggs, vegetables, and other perishable food products.  Tell how to properly dispose of camp garbage, cans, plastic containers, and other rubbish.
  6. e. On one campout, serve as your patrol's cook.  Supervise your assistant(s) in using a stove or building a cooking fire. Prepare the breakfast, lunch, and dinner planned in requirement 4a.  Lead your patrol in saying grace at the meals and supervise cleanup.

New Requirement 7a has been added and reads:

Discuss when you should and should not use lashings.

Requirements 7a & 7b were renumbered as 7b & 7c, and 7b was changed to read:

Demonstrate tying the timber hitch and the clove hitch and their use in square, shear, and diagonal lashings by joining two or more poles or staves together.

Requirements 8a & 8b were changed to read:

  1. a. Demonstrate tying the bowline (rescue) knot and describe several ways it can be used. how it's used in rescues.
  2. b. Demonstrate bandages for a sprained ankle. and for injuries on the head, the upper arm, and the collarbone, and for a sprained ankle.

Requirement 9 was completely rewritten, and now reads:

  1. Demonstrate your ability to swim 100 yards using one resting stroke and two other strokes, and to float (rest) as motionless as possible for 1 minute. (This requirement may be waived by the troop committee for medical or safety reasons.)
  2. a. Tell what precautions must be taken for a safe trip afloat.
  3. b. Successfully complete the BSA swimmer test.*
  4. c. Demonstrate survival skills by leaping into deep water wearing clothes (shoes, socks, swim trunks, long pants, belt, and long-sleeved shirt).   Remove shoes and socks, inflate the shirt, and show that you can float using the shirt for support.  Remove and inflate the pants for support.  Swim 50 feet using the inflated pants for support, then show how to reinflate the pants while using them for support.*
  5. d. With a helper and a practice victim, show a line rescue both as tender and rescuer.  (The practice victim should be approximately 30 feet from shore in deep water.)

Requirements 9b & 9c  refer to the following footnote:

*(This requirement may be waived by the troop committee for medical or safety reasons.)


Star Rank Requirements:

The list of Required merit badges for Eagle Scout, referenced in Requirement 3 has changed.  Sports and Safety have been removed, and Hiking and Cycling have been added.

The note regarding the use of required merit badges has been changed to read:

(The required list for Eagle has 15 merit badges in 12 categories. Any of the 15 may be used for this requirement.) * A Scout may choose  any of the 15 required merit badges in the 12 categories to fulfill requirement 3. See page __ of this book for a complete list of required badges for Eagle.

Requirement 5 has been changed to read:

While a First Class Scout, serve actively 4 months in one or more of the following troop positions of responsibility (or carry out a Scoutmaster-assigned leadership project to help the troop): 

Boy Scout troop.

  • Patrol leader, 
  • assistant senior patrol leader, 
  • senior patrol leader, 
  • troop guide, 
  • den chief, 
  • scribe, 
  • librarian, 
  • historian, 
  • quartermaster, 
  • bugler,
  • junior assistant Scoutmaster, 
  • chaplain aide, or
  • instructor. 
  • Venture crew chief, or 
  • Varsity team captain. 

Varsity Scout team.

  • Captain, 
  • cocaptain, 
  • program manager,
  • squad leader, 
  • team secretary, 
  • librarian, 
  • historian,
  • quartermaster, 
  • chaplain aide, 
  • instructor,  or
  • den chief.

Life Rank Requirements:

The list of Required merit badges for Eagle Scout, referenced in Requirement 3 has changed.  Sports and Safety have been removed, and Hiking and Cycling have been added.

The list of positions, referenced in Requirement 5 has changed as described for Star Scout above.

The note regarding the use of required merit bdges has changed as described for Star Scout above.


Eagle Rank Requirements:

The list of Required merit badges  in Requirement 3 has changed:

In item (f): Safety has been removed, and has been replaced with Personal Fitness.

In item (j): Personal Fitness and Sports have been removed, and have been replaced with Hiking and Cycling.

Requirement 4 has been changed to read:

  1. While a Life Scout, serve actively for a period of 6 months in one or more of the following troop positions of responsibility: 

Boy Scout troop.

  • Patrol leader, 
  • assistant senior patrol leader, 
  • senior patrol leader, 
  • troop guide, 
  • den chief, 
  • scribe, 
  • librarian, 
  • historian, 
  • quartermaster, 
  • junior assistant Scoutmaster, 
  • chaplain aide, or
  • instructor. 
  • Venture crew chief, or 
  • Varsity team captain. 

Varsity Scout team.

  • Captain, 
  • cocaptain, 
  • program manager,
  • squad leader, 
  • team secretary, 
  • librarian, 
  • quartermaster, 
  • chaplain aide, 
  • instructor,  or
  • den chief.

Requirement 5 has been changed to read:

While a Life Scout, plan, develop, and give leadership to others in a service project helpful to any religious institution, any school, or your community. (The project should benefit an organization other than Boy Scouting.) The project idea must be approved by your Scoutmaster and troop committee and approved by the council or district before you start. You must use the Life to Eagle Packet, BSA Publication YOU MUST USE THE "Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook", No. 18-927, in meeting this requirement   IN MEETING THIS REQUIREMENT

Requirement 7 has been changed to read:

Successfully complete an Eagle Scout Complete your board of review.

 

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Last Update March 28, 2004