Scouts BSA Advancement

What is Scouts BSA Advancement?

Scouts BSA provides a series of surmountable challenges along with the steps to overcoming them through the advancement method. The Scout plans their advancement and progresses at their own pace as they meets each challenge. The  Scout is rewarded for each achievement, which helps them gain self-confidence. The steps in the advancement system help a  Scout grow in self-reliance and in the ability to help others.

What are the Scouts BSA Ranks?

All ranks must be earned in order.  You can find the requirements for each in the Official Scouts BSA Handbook.

I’m interested in learning all I can about Advancement!

You’ve come to the right place.  The BSA Guide to Advancement provides a detailed understanding of how the Scouting program works, from Lion Cubs to Eagle Scouts, as well as the most updated changes and modifications to the advancement system.

What about Merit Badge Requirements?

Merit Badge Requirements are NOT contained in the Official Scouts BSA Handbook. Official Merit Badge Pamphlets can be purchased at our Scout Shop. There are some additional unofficial websites that also list Merit Badge requirements. Some Scouters find these unofficial online resources useful as requirements can change or merit badges can be added during the middle of a BSA printing cycle. Please keep in mind, however, that any outside links referenced on this website are not owned by the BSA and do not represent the views of the BSA or the Northeast Illinois Council.

How do I find a Merit Badge Counselor?

You can find council-approved Merit Badge Counselors by following this link.

How do I become a Merit Badge Counselor?

A Merit Badge Counselor is considered another position in the BSA and requires a new completed Adult Application. We know it seems silly, but that’s just how we do it. This doesn’t mean that you have to pay again. There is no registration fee for Merit Badge Counselors. You will however have to provide your current Youth Protection Training Certificate along with your new application.

You will need to upload your Merit Badge Counselor Application, Adult Application and Youth Protection Training Certificate to the link below. If you have additional questions about this process or about becoming a Merit Badge Counselor, please contact Megan Chellberg.

All Merit Badge Counselor Applications can be uploaded here!

What about my future Eagle Scout?

It is vital that all Eagle Candidates follow the rules and processes for obtaining the Eagle Rank as laid out by their individual District. Visit the Northeast Illinois Trail to Eagle page to find District information and other tools such as the Eagle Application, Eagle Process Flow Chart, Life to Eagle Instructions, and the submission process to help your Scout on his or her way.