Cub Scout | Boy
Scout | Eagle Scout Procedure | Merit Badge Counselor List | Venturing |
Unit Recognition | Adult
For contact information see the Contact
Questions about Advancement in the time of
See this guidance
from National HQ (PDF) and this web
page on Scouting.org
On April 13, 2020, National issued some temporary
changes to advancement requirements - see the Covid-19
FAQ page for the most up-to-date guidance. .
Also, see the Scouting Magazine Blog article on "How
to hold a board of review by videoconferencing"
Life to Eagle Training - if you have a Scout who needs it,
contact the Advancement Committee at advancement@TCScouts.org
Virtual Merit Badge Classes - see Announcements
District Advancement Committee Meeting
Note: In-person meetings are suspended during the
Social Distancing mandate - e-mail email@example.com
if you need a Board of Review or Eagle project approval.
Fourth Thursday in Sep, Oct, Jan-Apr and Jun-
7:00PM - TC3 - Room 262
Third Thursday in Nov, Dec, May- 7:00PM -
TC3 - Room 262
July meeting is usually at Camp Barton
No August meeting
The monthly District Advancement Committee meetings
will be a "one stop shopping" place for prospective Eagle
Scouts to get their projects reviewed and approved, meet with mentors,
and have their Eagle Board of Review. The Advancement Committee is
also charged with encouraging and coordinating advancement at all
program levels (Cub, Scout and Venturing). Each unit is requested to
send a representative to the District Advancement Committee - for more
information, contact advancement@TompkinsCortlandScouts.org
on Advancement Policy?
National HQ publishes the Guide to
which is the official Boy Scouts of America source
on advancement procedures at all levels - Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and
No council, committee, district, unit, or individual has
the authority to add to, or subtract from, advancement requirements.
There are limited exceptions relating only to youth members with
This publication clearly identifies mandated procedures
with words such as “must” and “shall.” Where such language is
used, no council, committee, district, unit, or individual has the
authority to deviate from the procedures covered, without the written
permission of the national Advancement Team. Recommended best practices
are offered using words like “should,” while other options and
guidelines are indicated with terms such as “may” or “can.”
Refer questions on these to your local district or council advancement
chairs or staff advisors. They, in turn, may request interpretations and
assistance from the national Advancement Team.
There are lots of other resources on Scouting issues on
the internet - but it's important to remember, as the Guide
(Section 22.214.171.124) says:
Be aware that statements or interpretations offered from
unofficial websites and other such sources may be out of date or
incorrect. They will not be considered in resolving advancement
questions and issues. In situations not specifically covered in this
guide, advancement chairs, coordinators, or other administrators should
make decisions based on the aims and mission of the Boy Scouts of
America, as well as the Scout Oath and Scout Law, other applicable
official and current BSA resources—and common sense.
Every unit should have a copy of the Guide - download
it from the National Website (PDF - 12MB)
to Advancement can also be accessed through the web
Cub Scout Advancement
Cub Advancement Requirements:
2019 Changes to Scouts BSA
American Business (completely revised) American Labor
(1) Archery (3b; for 5, option A: f1[d], f3; for 5, option B: f1[d], f3;
deleted 4f) Bird Study (1, 3, 3a; added 3d; new 6; renumbered existing
6, 7, 8; added 10, 11) Communication (1d) First Aid (1, 5, 8 )
Fly-Fishing (3, 9, 10; added 11) Forestry (2c) Geocaching (7, 8c;
deleted 5c, 5d) Golf (1, 7b) Law (11d) Lifesaving (Second Class
requirements 5c and 5d) Motorboating (5, 5e, 5f, 5g; added 4h, 4i;
deleted 6) Personal Management (2a, 2b, 4b, 4c, 5, 6, 8d, 10a, 10b;
added 2c, 2d, 4d, 4e) Railroading (added 8a) Reptile and Amphibian
Study (8a, 8b) Rifle Shooting (1f; added 1f and 1f[2; for 2, option
C: b, h) Rowing (2) Scouting Heritage (2a) Soil and Water Conservation
(added 4e) Woodwork (5, 6). See the US
Scouts Service Project website for details.
The 14th edition of the Scouts BSA Handbook includes
changes to advancement requirements. For example, the number of
overnight camping activities required for the First-Class rank was
reduced from six to three, and for the Scout Rank, members
are no longer required to demonstrate, but must discuss, pocketknife
safety to satisfy the requirement. All rank requirements were
changed to reflect the name change of the program and to make the
The text in the corresponding chapters of the
handbook was not properly edited to reflect these changes and
reflects the old requirements. It is important that troops
utilize the requirements listed in the Rank Requirements section of
the handbook (pages 441–454).
Positions of Responsibility for Eagle Scout
Award: In the latest printing of the Scouts BSA Handbook , the
items highlighted in red below were
inadvertently left off the list of qualifying positions of
responsibility for the Eagle Scout Award. The requirement should
read as follows:
- While a Life Scout, serve actively in your troop for six
months in one or more of the following positions of
- Scout troop. Patrol leader, assistant senior patrol
leader, senior patrol leader, troop guide, Order of the
Arrow troop representative, den chief, scribe, librarian,
historian, quartermaster, junior assistant Scoutmaster,
chaplain aide, instructor, webmaster, or outdoor ethics
- Venturing crew President, vice president,
secretary, treasurer, den chief, historian, guide,
quartermaster, chaplain aide, or
outdoor ethics guide.
- Sea Scout ship. Boatswain, boatswain’s mate, purser,
yeoman, storekeeper, crew leader,
media specialist, specialist, den chief, or chaplain
- Lone Scout. Leadership responsibility in your school,
religious organization, club, or elsewhere in your
To keep up with the latest changes, see the BSA
Updates Page and the US Scouting Service Project page for 2019
Special Transitional Rule for
new Scouts joining Scouts BSA
between February 1 and December 31, 2019
Time Extension for Earning Eagle Scout
On February 1, 2019, the Boy Scouts of America began admitting girls into Scouts BSA. One of the characteristics of
Scouting — for over a hundred years — is that no matter when you
join, however long you stay, or the rank you attain, the Scouting
experience prepares you for life. And for some, the pinnacle of their
Scouting experience is achieving the highest rank of Eagle Scout.
The policies of the BSA indicate that, except in
extraordinary circumstances, a youth desiring to achieve the rank of
Eagle must do so before the youth’s 18th birthday. This will continue
to be our policy.
It is in the interests of the entire BSA, and in fact
our nation, that all girls who join the BSA in 2019 should have an
opportunity to earn their Eagle badge should they diligently and
promptly complete all requirements. Accordingly, after carefully
considering recommendations from stakeholders, including feedback from
volunteers and professionals, the National Executive Committee o f the
Boy Scouts of America has approved the following temporary transition
rules regarding extensions for youth over 16 but not yet 18 years of age
on February 1, 2019 to complete the requirements for the Eagle Scout
award. To preserve the integrity of the Eagle Scout Award, no exceptions
to or waivers of any of the requirements for the Eagle Scout Award are
permitted under this limited exception, and all requirements must be
completed while the individual is a registered member of Scouts BSA, or
after achieving the First Class Rank in Scouts BSA (as specified in the
BSA Guide to Advancement ).
Since the BSA has determined that the minimum period of
elapsed time to complete the requirements of the Eagle Scout rank is
approximately 19-20 months, the extension is not available to any youth
who is under 16 years of age on February 1, 2019 (as they will have
adequate time to ear n their Eagle before turning 18) nor to any youth
who has already turned 18 years of age on February 1, 2019 (as they will
be ineligible to join Scouts BSA).
1. Beginning on February 1, 2019, youth 16 years of
age or older, but not yet 18, who register as members of Scouts BSA on
or before December 31, 2019 may request extensions to complete the
Eagle Scout Award requirements after they turn 18 years of age.
2. Requests for extensions must be received no later
than thirty (30) days after turning 18 years of age. Only the National
Council may grant extensions. The actual extension will be based upon
the individual’s registration date and age at the time of the
request and will provide not more than twenty-two months from the date
of initial registration to complete all requirements.
3. In the interest of fairness, these temporary
transition rules apply to all youth joining Scouts BSA during 2019 –
both girls and first-time joining boys.
For more information see the announcement
on the BSA National website
"Serve actively ... in ...
positions of responsibility" and "Active Participation"
For many years, these phrases in the requirements for the
ranks in the Scouts BSA program has been a matter for dispute and inconsistent
application. The Guide to Advancement has
Positions of Responsibility" and "126.96.36.199
Active Participation" discussing and defining what does, and does
not, count as satisfying these requirements as well as what a unit can,
and cannot, do in defining them. Every troop leader should review these
sections, and note that the Guide explicitly points out that
"must" means must - waivers from something which
"must" be done cannot be given by unit, district or council
Eagle Scout Forms: Be
sure that you are using the very latest forms. You can find the printing year
above the barcode on the back of the application. Better yet, always
download a new form before you fill one out - you can find the
latest forms on the District Forms page.
Life-To-Eagle Procedures: The
Council Advancement Committee have set up the following required
procedure for all of the districts in the Baden-Powell
Life to Eagle Training: All Scouts
should attend a "Life to Eagle" training session
as soon as they earn their Life rank. These training
sessions are offered at Roundtables several times a year -
watch the District Calendar or Training
Page for upcoming dates.
Find a project and get troop approval:
Scout, with the help of the Scoutmaster, finds a project.
Complete the Eagle Scout Service Project Proposal, pages A
thru E, and Eagle Scout Service Project Fundraising
Application, page A, found in the Eagle
Project Workbook, making
sure to collect all signatures except for the District
Schedule a meeting to present the
project: The Scout then schedules his first meeting with
the District Advancement Committee. He should contact the
District Advancement Chairman at advancement@TompkinsCortlandScouts.org
no later than two weeks before the next Roundtable and make an appointment for that
Committee meeting (see District
Calendar for times and place).
Present the Project Proposal:
Project will be discussed with board.
Any problems are discussed and explained
to the Scout
Chairman gives go ahead with project and
A Mentor is assigned to Scout.
Now - and only now - the Scout
can begin work on the project. Don't jump the gun and
start work before you get approval!
Execute the Project - The Mentor
should stays in contact with the Scout, calling every once
in a while if they have not heard for the Scout in a while.
Once the Project is finished - The
Collect required signatures for the rest
of the packet.
Finish project write up and after-action
The Troop Committee or Scoutmaster, not
the Scout, contacts three of the six references listed
on the Eagle Application, secures a sealed confidential
letter of recommendation from each of those individuals,
and includes them in the Eagle Scout Application
Once all merit badges are completed,
collect all needed signatures on the Eagle Scout
Application up to and including Baden-Powell Council certification.
Make an appointment for final project
review at the next monthly District Advancement Committee
Final Project Review (by District
The Scout should bring all complete
project materials as well as blue cards for all merit
badges, and be in complete uniform
Board gives tentative approval if
acceptable, if not the Scout gets feedback and fixes
issues and makes new appointment with board
If project is acceptable, merit badges
are completed, and all paperwork completed the Scout is
given his final board of review
Final Paperwork Processed - District
Advancement Chairman delivers all paperwork to office
Application (link to National site) and Eagle Scout Biography and Project Summary
(Locally updated form).
Eagle Court of Honor - once the Eagle
application is approved by BSA National, the troop should
schedule a Court of Honor to present the award to the Scout.
Don't forget to invite anyone who had any part in the
Scout's progress to Eagle!
How to become a merit badge counselor:
Check the Merit Badge Counselor List
- please don't sign up for a badge just because your child or
a Scout in your child's troop wants to take a badge. If there's
already a Counselor in your town who is listed for one of
the badges, encourage the Scout to call them first. This
serves two purposes: (a) it has always been a part of the
Merit Badge program to encourage Scouts to meet with outside
experts in the area of the badge; and (b) recruiting many
duplicate Counselors in the same area weakens the system (if
there are too many Counselors for a badge, none of them gets
contacted very often, and we wind up losing most of
them). There are over 100 merit badges - why not pick
some for which there aren't already Counselors in your
Qualification: A Merit Badge
Counselor must be at least 21 years old, and must meet the
requirements for any BSA adult member, including taking Youth
Protection Training (YPT) and keeping that training
current. A Counselor should be
proficient in the merit badge subject by vocation,
avocation, or special training - as the purpose of the Merit
Badge system is to allow Scouts to meet people who are well
informed in a given area, please do not apply for badges
unless you are very familiar with the field.
Choose your badges: While there is no
specific limit for how many badges any one person can sign
up for, as a general rule the District would prefer that
Counselors limit themselves to five or six badges. Pick the
ones you're most qualified for or which are most
needed. You can find a complete list of merit badges,
with requirements, on the US
Scouts Service Project website.
Register and Apply: (Two Options):
The Council will do the routine
background check, as for any adult application.
The District Advancement Committee will
review the application at its next monthly meeting
Listing: If approved by the District
and Council, the counselor is notified, and listed on the
Merit Badge Counselor list on this website.
Baden-Powell Council Merit Badge Counselor List:
All of the counselors on
the current list have been contacted and are presently
registered and willing to serve. The list is Council-wide - any Scout may work with any counselor,
whether or not the counselor lives in the same district as the
Scout. If the counselor is flagged with a "Y" in
the "Troop Only" column, he or she has asked to work
only with Scouts from their own troop - out of troop Scouts
should be considerate and contact them only if there are no
other available counselors.
The list can be downloaded in three different sort orders:
NOTE: In order to protect the data on the list from being
indexed by search engines, the merit badge counselor PDF file is password
protected. You will need to enter a password to open and print
the list. The password is the Scout
Motto, in lower case,
without a space between the two words. (And no, that
doesn't mean the password is "scoutmotto", wise guy.
Two words, first letters "b" and "p" - you do
have that memorized, don't you? Of course you do.)
Want the list in Excel format? Send an
e-mail to webmaster@TCScouts.org
- I'll be happy to e-mail it to you, but I really don't
recommend this approach as your local copy will not be
updated periodically when the PDF's on the website are.
If you have technical problems
downloading or opening or reading the file, contact webmaster@TCScouts.org
If you have any updates or corrections to the
information on the list, contact advancement@TompkinsCortlandScouts.org
for Taughannock District counselors, or B-P Council Program
Director Adam Kovalchick at firstname.lastname@example.org
for counselors in the other three districts.
Merit Badge Counselor Training is
available through My.Scouting.org
as is most BSA training. Log in to My.Scouting.org,
go to "My Dashboard", then select "Training
Center". Click on "Boy Scouts" and you should
find Merit Badge Counselor training on the list. Click
"+Add Plan" next to the training, and take the course.
Merit Badge Resources: see our Forms
and Links page
Recently Added Boy Scout Merit Badges
The latest merit badges to be added were:
For the latest information on changes to the merit badge
list see the
Scouting Magazine blog
Explorers and Venturers, 14 years old and older,
can earn the Duke of Edinburgh Award!
Duke of Edinburgh's Award and the Boy Scouts of America have joined forces
to expand the internationally renowned DofE Award into the world of
Scouting. This year, the BSA national office launched the pilot program in
five councils nationwide: Baden-Powell, Circle 10, Los Angeles Area,
National Capital Area, and Yocona.
Founded in 1956 in the UK by Her Majesty The Queen's
husband, HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, the Duke of Edinburgh's
Award is a non-competitive, self-development program for youth ages 14 to
25. Dedicated to achievement in community service, physical fitness,
special skills, and adventurous journey, the Award aims to build
self-esteem and promote character development within every participant.
The Award is an exciting, non-competitive experience that
cultivates and instills confidence and self-worth within every
participant. Through its proven and trusted quality framework,
participants enjoy an unparalleled experience that hones their talents and
skills and instills within them a crucial sense of belonging and
Over 7 million people have received the Duke of
Edinburgh's Award since its inception. The Award's fundamental philosophy
and Four Tenant operational format have proved resilient, attractive, and
adaptable to many cultures, languages, and environments, and it remains as
relevant today as ever before, experiencing record levels of interest
annually. Last year, more than 140,000 participants from around the world
earned a Bronze, Silver, or Gold Award.
A letter introducing
the Pilot Program can be downloaded here in PDF format.
For more information or to get involved, please contact
Baden-Powell Council DofE coordinator, at 607-844-3921 or
a quick summary, there are four core awards, going from the joining-level
Venturing Award to the Summit Award, the highest honor in Venturing.
The awards blend adventure, leadership, personal development and
service to give Venturers a structure for developing their own personal
vision into manageable goals. That’ll translate into recognition by
peers, mentors and the larger community.Each award has a focus. For the
Venturing award, it’s joining; for Discovery, it’s participation;
for Pathfinder, it’s leadership; and for the Summit award, it’s
patch incorporates the Venturing logo, and the design gets progressively
more intricate as a young man or young woman progresses in
Recipients of the Summit Award get an awesome patch but also receive
a medal. Plus, as adults, Summit Award recipients may wear the
green, white and silver square knot pictured. It’s the same knot worn
by recipients of the old Venturing Silver Award, which was retired
at the end of 2014.
There are also Specialty
Awards and Leadership
Awards for Venturers to earn.
"Scouting's Journey to Excellence"
Journey to Excellence” is the BSA’s performance recognition
program designed to encourage and reward success and measure the
performance of our units, districts, and councils. It replaced the Quality Awards Program as a means of encouraging excellence
in providing a quality program at all levels of the BSA.
"Journey to Excellence" marks a change in
emphasis from year-end numbers to year-round quality. Rather than set
numeric targets for results, the program tries to help units judge
their performance on those factors which create quality program for the
youth members, which in turn helps units retain members and grow.
Units earn points in a number of areas (13 areas
for Packs and Troops, 11 for Crews and Ships). In most of the areas,
there are three levels - Bronze, Silver and Gold. The Bronze level is
supposed to represent those things which are a minimum for a quality
program, a unit which earns all Gold would be one of the best of the
best. To earn the annual "Journey to Excellence" award at the
Bronze Level, a Pack or Troop has to be at least at Bronze Level in 11
out of 13 areas (or 9 out of 11 for Crews and Ships), and must also have
a total number of 700 points overall. If they have met the Bronze
requirements, units can progress to Silver Level with 1,000 points, and
to Gold Level with 1,600 points.
Click on the links in this table for forms and
information specifically for your type of unit:
|Boy Scout Troop
|Sea Scout Ship
One of the requirements for Journey to Excellence is
Service - units must perform service projects for their community. In
order for the service projects to count, they have to be reported - be sure to log your service hours! Enter them on
Service Hours website.
National has a Journey
to Excellence website with additional information, including the
Journey to Excellence for the District and Council.
Adult Leader Recognition
For more contact information see the Contact
District Scouting Awards Event
July 22 at 6:30PM at Camp Barton
Questions may be directed to Kathlene Gross (607-279-3177) or
by e-mail to recognition@TCScouts.org
The following awards will be given at the
Annual District Awards Program:
National or B-P Council
Training and other Recognition Knots: Ever wondered about all those knots you see on other
leaders' uniforms? Here's a page giving the
meanings and requirements for all of the square knots (offsite link to
The US Scout Service Project) (also see this
web page from boyscouttrail.com). Training knots are available
for Cub, Webelos, Boy Scout and Venturing Leaders as well as Commissioners
and District Committee members - you can apply for those yourself. Contact Kathlene Gross
recognition@TCScouts.org to apply for the knots.
Veteran Scouter Recognition -
Veteran year pins are awarded every 5 years (5, 10, 15, 20...). Note that pins up to 20 years are
awarded by Council, 25 years and up have to be obtained from BSA
National HQ. Submit this
(fillable PDF from National website) to the Council office for all
- National Unit Leader Award of Merit - This award is
presented at the request of the unit to the unit leader - Cubmaster,
Scoutmaster, Venturing Crew Advisor or Varsity Coach. The unit committee chair completes the Unit
Leader Award of Merit Nomination Form on behalf of the unit
committee. For Boy Scout troops, Varsity Scout teams, and Venturer crews,
the nomination must include endorsement by the senior patrol leader, team
captain, or crew president, respectively (Cub packs, being adult led, do
not have this requirement). The unit or district
commissioner certifies that the form is complete. The unit submits the
nomination form to the council for approval by the Scout executive and
council commissioner or president.
- District Award of Merit - The highest
award a District may give. Each year, Taughannock District gives one
or two awards. To nominate someone for the District Award of Merit,
nomination form on the National website, or get a copy from
District Recognition Chair. There are no specific hard-and-fast
requirements for the District Award of Merit, but a general rule of thumb is
that someone should have been active at least five years and have
done at least some Scouting service outside the unit in which he or
she is registered (although long service unit leaders will be
considered). You can download a complete list
of previous recipients of the District Award of Merit (PDF).
- Silver Beaver - The Silver Beaver is the highest award a
Council may give. Each year, the Baden-Powell Council gives about four
Silver Beaver awards to deserving Scouters from around the Council. To nominate someone for the
nomination form on the National website, or get a copy from the
Baden-Powell Council or the Taughannock District Recognition Chair (recognition@TCScouts.org
). There are no specific hard-and-fast
requirements for the Silver Beaver Award, but a general rule of thumb is
that someone should have been active at least ten years and have
done at least some Scouting service at the Council level (although long service
district- or unit-level leaders will be
considered). You can download a complete list
of previous recipients of the Silver Beaver (PDF).
Taughannock District Awards
These "unofficial" awards are given by the District,
among others which pop up from time to time. If you know someone
you think would deserve one of these awards, nominate them! Download
the Nomination Form MS
Word - PDF - and send it to
Recognition Chair Kathlene Gross - recognition@TCScouts.org
(or give it to her at Roundtable).
awarded to a non-Scouting individual or organization who has done
particular service to Scouting or to youth in general.
Outstanding Unit - awarded from time to time to Scouting
units - Packs, Troops, Crews, Posts - who have delivered outstanding
program to their youth members.
Gorget Award - presented to an outstanding youth leader
nominated by unit or district leadership.
Unit Service Award - presented to a unit which has provided
outstanding community service during the previous year.
Spark Plug Award - Does your unit have a
leader who gives real "Spark" to the unit and its activities?
Give leaders the recognition they deserve and tell them "Thank You!"
The Spark Plug recipients are selected by the Unit, and confirmed by the
No more than one Spark Plug per unit per year, please, and no one can get
the Spark Plug twice in the same unit.
The District may
award one or more of the following each year, as selected by the Key 3 (Chair, DE, District
Commissioner). If you know someone who should be considered for one of
these awards, send an e-mail to recognition@TCScouts.org:
- Rising Star - may be presented to
"newish" leaders who have done special service for the
- Old Guard- may be presented to an Old F... we mean,
"Distinguished Elder Scouter" who has been serving the
District and/or units for many years.
- Patriot Patrol - a group of current Scouters who have done
outstanding service for the District over the past year.
- Taughannock 76'er - as a youth
leader parallel to the Patriot Patrol, this will be awarded annually to
a group of outstanding youth leaders in the District.
- Old Scout - given occasionally to repeat members of the Old
- Founders Award - awarded from time to time to Scouters with
especially long and distinguished service - download a
list of recipients of the Founders Award (PDF)
- Good Turn -
Masonic Scouting Awards
The Masons have two awards available for Scouts and
The General Douglas MacArthur Youth Award
recognizes distinguished or outstanding voluntary community service by
non-Masonic orgaiznations or individuals. It is given to "those who
have given of themselves, that ultimate goal in life, serving our
youth." Download a nomination
form here (PDF).
The Eagle Scout Award "recognizes the
dedication of a Scout to the pursuits of Scouting and of his achievement
leading to Eagle Scout. The recipient will get a special personalized
commendation certificate and letter from the Grand Master, along with a
medallion. Download a nomination form