Advancement & Awards

What is Advancement?

Advancement helps develop a Scout’s growth within the Unit from their first year of Cub Scouts to their Eagle Project. It recognizes the Scout’s personal achievements and completion of requirements that ultimately make them a more prepared, well-rounded citizen. Below you will find detailed advancement information for your particular program.

Cub Scout Advancement

Boy Scout Advancement

How do I record my Scouts’ advancements?

The Internet Advancement Tool enables the Scouting unit to enter rank advancement, merit badges, and awards into a Scout’s “permanent record.” This is the official record maintained at the Council level and replaces all previous forms of paper advancement records. These records are critical for various aspects within a Scout’s progress through Cub and Boy Scouts but must be up to date if a Scout is looking to obtain Eagle Rank. The Internet Advancement printout that is generated when you enter records is now required by the Northeast Illinois Council to purchase rank patches, etc. from the Scout Store. Scoutbook records are also acceptable.

To learn more, check out the BSA’s FAQ on Internet Advancement.

I’ve heard discussion about something called Scoutbook. What is it and how do I use it?

Scoutbook is a resource for leaders and parents that allows a Pack, Troop, Crew to:

  1. Keep a calendar of events and send invites to those events.
  2. Track advancement and sync advancement records to the records kept by the Northeast Illinois Council. Parents and Scouts can see their advancement record.
  3. Send communication to your pack or troop via E-mail or Text.
  4. Boy Scouts can track Merit Badge Requirements for a counselor to approve later.
  5. Track leader training.
  6. Search for Merit Badge Counselors.

Setting up a unit account in Scoutbook can be completed following the steps:

Setting up your unit roster in Scoutbook: 

 Scoutbook Advancement Resources:

Click here for additional Scoutbook Resources.

Venturing Awards

The Venturing program has unique awards and ranks that can be earned by Venturers. Click here to view detailed information.

Sea Scout Awards

The Sea Scout program has a unique advancement and awards system. Click here to view detailed information.

Exploring Awards

The Exploring program also has unique awards. Click here to view detailed information.

What if my child has Special Needs? Can he or she earn the same ranks as other Scouts?

Of course! The Scouting program is meant to ensure that every child has the opportunity to participate fully and to advance through the ranks at their own pace, focusing on their abilities and strengths.  The Boy Scouts of America has specific guidelines meant to help your Scout reach their fullest potential at their own pace in the program. The Northeast Illinois Council DisAbilities Awareness Committee also provides guidance, resources, and training regarding Special Needs Scouting, in addition to ensuring that our Council and District events feature DisAbility Awareness activities. Visit the DisAbilities Awareness Committee here for more information on special needs scouting in the Northeast Illinois Council.

What about STEM Awards and Activities (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math)?

Scouts of all ages love STEM and the opportunity to engage hands-on in the process of scientific inquiry. The Northeast Illinois Council STEM Committee offers many opportunities for Scouts to earn STEM Awards, and we do our best to make sure our Council and District events feature a STEM activity. For more information on STEM Awards, activities, and how to become a STEM mentor and share your skills with our scouts, click here.

What about Religious Awards?

Cub, Boy, and Venture Scouts can attain various religious awards respective to their faith. The BSA does not administer these awards directly but supports National Committees that oversee the curriculum and guidelines for these awards. The Northeast Illinois Council Religious Committees serve our scouting families by providing access to resources, training, and events geared towards scouts who wish to earn religious awards. Visit our Religious Relationships page for more information on our Religious Committees and Religious Awards.