Advancement is an important component of Scouting. It is through advancement that Scouts learn the lessons they need to prepare them to take their places as adults in American society. The advancement program is established by the National Headquarters of Boy Scouts of America and implemented throughout the United States by Boy Scout Councils. The ranks of Scouting include Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life and Eagle. Each rank has specific requirements and elective activities that each Scout must successfully perform to advance. The advancement lessons are taught and evaluated by senior Scouts, the Scoutmaster Staff and Merit Badge Counselors.
As each Scout advances, he must participate in some form of community service and he must demonstrate that he has “good Scout Spirit” – that he lives by the Scout Oath, Law, Motto and Slogan. It is not enough to simply pass the requirements for each rank. Each Scout must understand that he is responsible for demonstrating good Scout Spirit. This is determined during the Scoutmaster’s Conference, which is a private interview held with the Scoutmaster or one of his Assistants at one of the troop meetings.
After the Scoutmaster has had his conference with the advancement candidate and has determined that he is ready to be presented to the Board of Review, he asks the Chairman of Advancement for the troop to convene the Board. It is comprised of at least three Troop Committee members. The purpose of the Board is to ensure that the candidate for each rank, except Eagle, has successfully mastered the requirements for that rank.
Please note that Troop 624 places special emphasis on first aid because this is one area where someone could be seriously hurt if the Scouts do not know their first aid well. First aid questions will be asked on every Board of Review and Scouts are expected to be able to respond to them accurately.
The candidate Eagle Scouts must sit before the National Board of Review and they receive their rank through the National Court of Honor. The Troop Committee convenes the National Board of Review, however a representative of the District Eagle Scout Committee must participate due to the importance of the rank. Only a small percentage of all Scouts ever achieve the rank of Eagle Scout. For a list of the Eagle Scouts from Troop 624, go here.
After a candidate for advancement successfully proves himself worthy of his promotion to the satisfaction of the Troop Committee, he and his fellow Scouts receive their awards in an advancement ceremony known as the Court of Honor. Troop 624 usually has two such events each year – one before Scout Camp and the other in September or October following Scout Camp. It is quite a festive occasion and all families and friends are invited to attend and witness our Scouts’ accomplishments.