For the ranks of Scout through First Class there are four stages of advancement: a scout learns, is tested, reviewed, and then recognized. You again have a set of requirements. You have to master subjects such as orienteering, knots, lashings, and first aid (the learning stage). Once done with all of the requirements, your skills will be put to the test on a Test Board (the testing stage). Once the Test Board is satisfied with your Scouting knowledge, you will have a Board of Review (BOR). This BOR is made up of Troop Committee parent members who discuss your progress in the troop, and then finally you'll meet with the Scoutmaster for a Scoutmaster Conference (the reviewing stage). Once done with the Test Board, BOR and Scoutmaster's Conference, you will have earned your rank and will receive the badge at the next Court of Honor (the recognition stage). On the Road to Eagle, you'll find that the ranks of Star, Life, and Eagle work a little differently still, but you won't have to worry about that for a while.
Not sure what to expect on your Test Board? It's easy, just review these Test Board Subjects to see what they'll expect you to know. Be Prepared, and you'll do great!
Advancement Training Days (ATDs)
Advancement Training Days occur once every month or two on a Saturday. The time and duration of the ATD is listed on Calendar (usually 8-11am). The idea is that Scouts will come and go throughout the day, staying as long as they can, and Senior Scouts will help them advance. This time is devoted to letting Scouts have requirements signed off and completing Test Boards, Scoutmaster Conferences and Board of Reviews. The longer a scout stays, the more he will complete. Most of the initial Scout rank requirements can be earned at one Advancement Day. The other ranks take longer to complete, but Advancement Days are the best time to complete requirements. As a new scout, it is very important that you attend ATDs.
Courts of Honor (COH)
Every three months the troop's scouts and parents all meet on a Tuesday night to award rank advancements, merit badges, and any other awards earned within the last three months. The COH is the equivalent of a Blue and Gold Dinner in Cub Scouting. It is a fun event and all scouts should attend, especially if receiving something that evening. The December and June Court of Honors are also Potluck dinners.
Below are recommended plans & timelines for rank advancement – these deadlines are designed to help scouts manage their time effectively. Please note that notifications and reviews should be completed in a timely manner in order to be fully prepared. Scouts who have not followed the recommended preparation process may still sign-up for Test Boards in the week immediately preceding the Advancement Training Days, if space is available. Scouts and parents need to be aware that the prospect of a successful outcome is significantly diminished if the scout doesn't follow the Scout Motto by … Being Prepared. Using the Advancement Worksheet is a good place to start.
SCOUT, TENDERFOOT & SECOND CLASS Advancement Timeline
· 4 weeks before: Download your Advancement Worksheet. Start calling senior scouts to make an appointment for a review;
· 3 weeks before: Complete all requirements and be sure they are signed off;
· 2 weeks before: Complete the review; if the reviewer is unable to give you a recommendation, be sure to concentrate your preparation in the area(s) suggested on your Advancement Worksheet;
· 1 week before: Notify your Patrol Leader and the Senior Patrol Leader (preferably by e-mail, with a copy to the Scoutmaster), if you plan to go for a test board. Include in your email with whom you reviewed and whether you received a recommendation.
FIRST CLASS Advancement Timeline
· 5 weeks before: Download your Advancement Worksheet. Start calling senior scouts to make appointments for two reviews;
· 4 weeks before: Complete all requirements and be sure they are signed off;
· 3 weeks before: Complete your first review
· 2 weeks before: Complete your second review; if the reviewer is unable to give you a recommendation, be sure to concentrate your preparation in the area(s) suggested on your Advancement Worksheet ;
· 1 week before: Notify your Patrol Leader and the Senior Patrol Leader by e-mail, with a copy to the Scoutmaster, if you plan to go for a test board. Include in your email with whom you reviewed and whether you received a recommendation.