* Advancement General Overview

Advancement is the process by which youth members of the Boy Scouts of America progress from rank to rank in the Scouting program. Advancement is simply a means to an end, not an end in itself. Everything done to advance and earn these ranks, from joining until leaving the program, should be designed to help the young person have an exciting and meaningful experience.

Education and fun are functions of the Scouting movement, and they must be the basis of the advancement program. A fundamental purpose of advancement is the self-confidence a person acquires from his participation.

Requirements serve as the basis for a Scout’s rank advancement. The four steps to advancement are learning, testing, reviewing, and recognition.

A fundamental principle of advancement in Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, Varsity Scouting, and Venturing is the growth a young person achieves as a result of his/her participation in unit program.

One of the major avenues of achievement in Scouting is advancing from rank to rank. To advance, a youth member fulfills specific requirements, usually including active participation, skill achievement, service to others, and leadership experience.

Advancement is a key component in the Scouting program. It provides opportunities for youth to learn and grow, to develop character and to become good citizens. It is fun with a purpose. It is not like school although it is meant to educate. It is age appropriate for all Scouting youth. In Scouting there are four steps to advancement: learn, demonstrating what was learned, what was learned is reviewed and recognition for what was learned.
The requirements for advance in rank are established by the National BSA. Local Councils are not permitted to add to or subtract from these requirements except for those with disabilities. The National Council has established policies and general procedures for all rank advancement. These are found in the publication: Guide to Advancement, BSA document #33088 [paper copy is revised yearly and the electronic copy (Guide to Advancement), a PDF document, is updated throughout the year.

The following procedures outline the specific guidelines and practices for Advancement in the Orange County Council. It attempts to answer many of the routine questions that new leaders ask. It outlines the methods for recording and reporting the advancement that takes place in Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Varsity and Venturing units. The Eagle rank is a special case that involves many steps.

There are special considerations for Scouts with disabilities. All youth have an opportunity to advance. Those with disabilities meet requirements that are consistent with their abilities. See the Scouts with Disabilities Manual, PDF.

Advancement begins at the unit level. The unit leader is responsible for providing the youth in the unit with advancement opportunities and guidance. The leader is expected to make advancement an integral part of the unit program. The National guideline is that every youth should advance at least one rank each year. How this advancement takes place depends on the type of unit and the ages of the youth. Each unit should have one committee member, the Advancement Chair, responsible for tracking unit advancement, organizing recognition ceremonies, conducting Boards of Review.

Each District has an Advancement and Recognitions Committee. It is the responsibility of this committee to promote advancement within the District, provide information on advancement, resolve advancement problems, and maintain advancement standards in accordance with the National Advancement policies. (See the menu item, “Advancement Committee and Their Policies” for the current list of the District Advancement Chairpersons.)

The Orange County Council has an Advancement and Recognitions Committee made up of the District Advancement Chairpersons and one or more Council people. It is the responsibility of this committee to:
1. Promote advancement Council-wide
2. To resolve problems and
3. To ensure that advancement occurs uniformly and fairly throughout the Council.

The Orange County Council Advancement Committee maintains this “Advancement “Website.

The Orange County Council Advancement Committee is responsible for content and maintenance of this website. The Advancement Webmaster may be reached via e-mail using the ‘Webmaster’ link at the very bottom of every page. Please e-m ail the Webmaster if you have any questions about the site’s content – you are our “Quality Control”.

The Orange County Council Advancement Committee administers the advancement program. The Orange County Council Service Center, located at the William Lyon Homes Center for Scouting, 1211 East Dyer Road, Santa Ana, CA 92705, is responsible for processing and maintaining the “official advancement records” and for providing professional guidance and support to the Council Advancement Committee.