| The joining requirements and the
ranks of Scouting, along with the requirements to advance through them,
are described in the Boy Scout Handbook.
Rank advancement is the responsibility of each individual Scout. Most requirements can be met while attending troop and patrol meetings and participating in the programs, campouts, and other troop and patrol activities.
For the earlier ranks (Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class), authorized older Scouts (e.g., SPL, ASPL, Patrol Leader) are allowed to verify and "sign off" requirements. Parents are not permitted to pass their sons on any requirement unless they are an authorized registered adult leader.
To attain the higher ranks in Scouting (Star, Life, and Eagle), a Scout must acquire certain merit badges. Some are specified and some can be chosen from a list of over 100 merit badges. The Scout is also required to successfully hold leadership positions, perform service projects, and show Scout spirit.
Troop 77 has also developed its own program to better enable Scouts to develop the Scout spirit and leadership required for advancement. The "General Expectations of a Scout" forms assist the Scout in understanding his expectations and he is given many opportunities to evaluate his own performance and to discuss it confidentially with an adult leader. Several other troops in our council have also found our guidelines to be very helpful and are implementing all or part of our program.
|The Scoutmaster Conference is an informal discussion between the Scout and the Scoutmaster to discuss advancement. This conference can be initiated by the Scoutmaster or the Scout, but one is required to pass each rank. A sign up sheet is posted at every troop meeting for Scoutmaster conferences. Most conferences can be accomplished during any weekly troop meeting. The Scout is always required to bring his Boy Scout Handbook to the conference, as it contains his official record of advancement.|
| As a final step in each rank advancement, a Scout much have a Board
of Review. (Again, the Scout is always required to bring his Boy Scout
Handbook to his Board of Review.) This is a meeting the Scout has with
a group of four or five Troop Committee members or other parents from the
troop other than the Scoutmaster or Assistant Scoutmasters will sit on
the Board so that the review process is not delayed. Parents should
make every attempt to learn about this process and support the Board of
If the Scout completes all the requirements for the rank, had a successful Scoutmaster Conference and a Board of Review, he will be informed that he has achieved the rank he was seeking. Since Troop 77 holds Board of Reviews during our normal troop meetings, the Scout will receive his new rank at the closing ceremony of the meeting in which he passes his Board of Review. He will be formally recognized at Troop 77's next Court of Honor.
A Court of Honor is the ceremony in which formal recognition of achievement is given to all the members of the troop who have advanced in rank, completed merit badges, earned awards, or otherwise distinguished themselves. Courts of Honor are usually held three or four times a year, in place of a normal troop meeting, and are many times preceded by a family-oriented potluck dinner. Parent and family attendance at a Court of Honor is very important to all Scouts even if an individual Scout is not receiving an award. Just as with the weekly troop meeting, the Court of Honor is planned and run by the Scouts and is an excellent opportunity for the Scout's family to show support and recognize all the Scouts for their accomplishments and their efforts in organizing a meaningful and enjoyable program.