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List of BSA rank requirements
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List of BSA rank requirements

The following is a list of requirements for rank advancement in the Boy Scouts of America. All text between the horizontal lines is taken verbatim from the Boy Scout Handbook, 11th edition, first printed in 1998. It is provided here as a guide to the goals of the Boy Scouts of America.

To preserve the numbering system for subrequirements, a blank entry has been inserted for the split requirement; for example, Tenderfoot requirement 4 has two entries in the requirements list, not three. Lists separated by semicolons are presented in the Handbook as bulleted lists.

Table of contents
1 Scout (Not technically a rank, but simply indicative of full membership in the organization)
2 Tenderfoot Scout
3 Second Class Scout
4 First Class Scout
5 Star Scout
6 Life Scout
7 Eagle Scout

Scout (Not technically a rank, but simply indicative of full membership in the organization)

Tenderfoot Scout

  1. Present yourself to your leader, properly dressed, before going on an overnight camping trip. Show the camping gear you will use. Show the right way to pack and carry it.
  2. Spend at least one night on a patrol or troop campout. Sleep in a tent you have helped pitch.
  3. On the campout, assist in preparing and cooking one of your patrol's meals. Tell why it is important for each patrol member to share in meal preparation and cleanup, and explain the importance of eating together.
  4. Requirement 4:
    1. Demonstrate how to whip and fuse the ends of a rope.
    2. Demonstrate that you know how to tie the following knots and tell what their uses are: two half hitches and the taut-line hitch.
  5. Explain the rules of safe hiking, both on the highway and cross-country, during the day and at night. Explain what to do if you are lost.
  6. Demonstrate how to display, raise lower, and fold the American flag.
  7. Repeat from memory and explain in your own words the Scout Oath, Law, motto, and slogan.
  8. Know your patrol name, give the patrol yell, and describe your patrol flag.
  9. Explain why we use the buddy system in Scouting.
  10. Requirement 10:
    1. Record your best in the following tests:
      • Current results: Push-ups; Pull-ups; Sit-ups; Standing long jump; 1/4-mile walk/run
      • 30 days later: Push-ups; Pull-ups; Sit-ups; Standing long jump; 1/4-mile walk/run
    2. Show improvement in the activities listed in requirement 10a after practicing for 30 days.
  11. Identify local poisonous plants; tell how to treat for exposure to them.
  12. Requirement 12:
    1. Demonstrate the Heimlich maneuver and tell when it is used.
    2. Show first aid for the following: Simple cuts and scratches; Blisters on the hand and foot; Minor burns or scalds (first-degree); Bites or stings of insects and ticks; Poisonous snakebite; Nosebleed; Frostbite and sunburn.
  13. Participate in a Scoutmaster conference.
  14. Complete your board of review.

Second Class Scout

  1. Requirement 1:
    1. Demonstrate how a compass works and how to orient a map. Explain what map symbols mean.
    2. Using a compass and a map together, take a 5-mile hike (or 10 miles by bike) approved by your adult leader and your parent or guardian. (If you use a wheelchair or crutches, or if it is difficult for you to get around, you may substitute "trip" for "hike.")
  2. Requirement 2:
    1. Since joining, have participated in five separate troop/patrol activities (other than troop/patrol meetings), two of which included camping overnight.
    2. On one of these campouts, select your patrol site and sleep in a tent that you have pitched.
    3. On one campout, demonstrate proper care, sharpening, and use of the knife, saw, and ax, and describe when they should be used.
    4. Use the tools listed in requirement 2c to prepare tinder, kindling, and fuel for a cooking fire.
    5. Discuss when it is appropriate to use a cooking fire and a lightweight stove. Discuss the safety procedures for using both.
    6. Demonstrate how to light a fire and a lightweight stove.
    7. On one campout, plan and cook over an open fire one hot breakfast or lunch for yourself, selecting foods from the four basic food groups. Explain the importance of good nutrition. Tell how to transport, store, and prepare the foods you selected.
  3. Participate in a flag ceremony for your school, religious institution, chartered organization, community, or troop activity.
  4. Participate in an approved (minimum of one hour) service project.
  5. Identify or show evidence of at least ten kinds of wild animals (birds, mammals, reptiles, fish, mollusks) found in your community.
  6. Requrement 6:
    1. Show what to do for "hurry" cases of stopped breathing, serious bleeding, and internal poisoning.
    2. Prepare a first aid kit to take with you on a hike.
    3. Demonstrate first aid for the following: Object in the eye; Bite of a suspected rabid animal; Puncture wounds from a splinter, nail, and fishhook; Serious burns (second-degree); Heat exhaustion; Shock; Heatstroke, dehydration, hypothermia, and hyperventilation.
  7. Requirement 7:
    1. Tell what precautions must be taken for a safe swim.
    2. Demonstrate your ability to jump feetfirst into water over your head in depth, leveloff and swim 25 feet on the surface, stop, turn sharply, resume swimming, then return to your starting place. (This requirement may be wiaved by the troop committee for medical or safety reasons.)
    3. Demonstrate water rescue methods by reaching with your arm or leg, by reaching with a suitable object, and by throwing lines and objects. Explain why swimming rescues should not be attempted when a reaching or throwing rescue is possible, and explain why and how a rescue swimmer should avoid contact with the victim. (This requirement may be wiaved by the troop committee for medical or safety reasons.)
  8. Participate in a school, community, or troop program on the dangers of using drugs, alcohol, and tobacco and other practices that could be harmful to your health. Discuss your participation in the program with your family.
  9. Demonstrate Scout spirit by living the Scout Oath (Promise) and Law in your everyday life.
  10. Participate in a Scoutmaster conference.
  11. Complete your board of review.

First Class Scout

  1. Demonstrate how to find directions during the day and at night without using a compass.
  2. Using a compass, complete an orienterring course that covers at least one mile and requries measuring the height and/or width of designated items (tree, tower, canyon, ditch, etc.)
  3. Since joining, have participated in ten separate troop/patrol activities (other than troop/patrol meetings), three of which included camping overnight.
  4. Requirement 4:
    1. Help plan a patrol menu for one campout - including one breakfast, lunch, and dinner - that requires cooking. Tell how the menu includes the four basic food groups and meets nutritional needs.
    2. Using the menu planned in requirement 4a, make a list showing the cost and food amounts needed to feed three or more boys and secure the ingredients.
    3. Tell which pans, utensils, and other gear will be needed to cook and serve these meals.
    4. Explain the procedures to follow in the safe handling and storage of fresh meats, dairy products, eggs, vegetables, and other perishable food products. Tell how to properly dispose of camp garbage, cans, plastic containers, and other rubbish.
    5. On one campout, serve as your patrol's cook. Supervise your assistant(s) in using a stove or building a cooking fire. Prepare the breakfast, lunch and dinner planned in requirement 4a. Lead your patrol in saying grace at the meals and supervise cleanup.
  5. Visit and discuss with a selected individual approved by your leader (elected official, judge, attorney, civil servant, principal, teacher) your Constitutional rights and obligations as a U.S. citizen.
  6. Identify or show evidence of at least ten kinds of native plants found in your community.
  7. Requirement 7:
    1. Discuss when you should and should not use lashings.
    2. Demonstrate tying the timber hitch and clove hitch and their use in square, shear and diagonal lashings by joining two or more poles or staves together.
    3. Use lashing to make a useful camp gadget.
  8. Requirement 8:
    1. Demonstrate tying the bowline knot and describe several ways it can be used.
    2. Demonstrate bandages for a sprained ankle and for injuries on the head, upper arm, and the collarbone.
    3. Show how to transport by yourself, and with one other person, a person: from a smoke-filled room; with a sprained ankle, for at least 25 yards
    4. Tell the five most important signs of a heart attack. Explain the steps (procedures) in cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
  9. Requirement 9:
    1. Tell what precautions must be taken for a safe trip afloat.
    2. Successfully complete the BSA swimmer test. (This requirement may be waived by the troop committee for medical or safety reasons.)
    3. Demonstrate survival skills by leaping into deep water wearing clothes (shoes, socks, swim trunks, long pants, belt, and long-sleeved shirt). Remove shoes and socks, inflate the shirt, and show that you can float using the shirt for support. Remove and inflate the pants for support. Swim 50 feet using the inflated pants for support, then show how to reinflate the pants while using them for support. (This requirement may be waived by the troop committee for medical or safety reasons.)
    4. With a helper and a practice victim, show a line rescue both as tender and as rescuer. (The practice victim should be approximately 30 feet from shore in deep water.)
  10. Demonstrate Scout spirit by living the Scout Oath (Promise) and Scout Law in your everyday life.
  11. Participate in a Scoutmaster conference.
  12. Complete your board of review.

Star Scout

  1. Be active in your troop and patrol for at least 4 months as a First Class Scout.
  2. Demonstrate Scout spirit by living the Scout Oath (Promise) and Scout Law in your everyday life.
  3. Earn 6 merit badges, including any 4 from the required list for Eagle.
  4. While a First Class Scout, take part in service projects totaling at least 6 hours of work. These projects must be approved by your Scoutmaster.
  5. While a First Class Scout, serve actively for 4 months in one or more of the following positions of responsibility (or carry out a Scoutmaster-assigned leadership position to help the troop):
  6. Take part in a Scoutmaster conference.
  7. Complete your board of review.

Life Scout

  1. Be active in your troop and patrol for at least 6 months as a Star Scout.
  2. Demonstrate Scout spirit by living the Scout Oath (Promise) and Scout Law in your everyday life.
  3. Earn 5 more merit badges (so that you have 11 in all), including any 3 more from the list required for Eagle.
  4. While a Star Scout, take part in service projects totaling at least 6 hours of work. These projects must be approved by your Scoutmaster.
  5. While a Star Scout, serve actively for 6 months in one or more of the positions of responsibility listed in requirement 5 for Star Scout (or carry out a Scoutmaster-assigned leadership project to help the troop).
  6. Take part in a Scoutmaster conference.
  7. Complete your board of review.

Eagle Scout

  1. Be active in you troop and patrol for at least 6 months as a Life Scout.
  2. Demonstrate Scout spirit by living the Scout Oath (Promise) and Scout Law in your everyday life.
  3. Earn a total of 21 merit badges (10 more than you already have), including the following: (a) First Aid, (b) Citizenship in the Community, (c) Citizenship in the Nation, (d) Citizenship in the World, (e) Communications, (f) Personal Fitness, (g) Emergency Preparedness OR Lifesaving, (h) Environmental Science, (i) Personal Management, (j) Swimming OR Hiking OR Cycling, (k) Camping, and (l) Family Life. (You must choose only one merit badge listed in items g and j. If you have earned more than one of the badges listed in items g and j, choose one and list the remaining badges to make your total of 21.)
  4. While a Life Scout, serve actively for a period of 6 months in one or more of the following positions of responsibility:
    • Boy Scout troop. Patrol leader, assistant senior patrol leader, senior patrol leader, troop guide, den chief, scribe, librarian, historian, quartermaster, bugler, junior assistant Scoutmaster, chaplain aide, instructor, or Order of the Arrow troop representative.
    • Varsity Scout team. Captain, cocaptain, program manager, squad leader, team secretary, librarian, historian, quartermaster, chaplain aide, instructor, den chief, or Order of the Arrow team representative.
  5. While a Life Scout, plan, develop, and give leadership to others in a service project helpful to any religious instituton, any school, or your community. (The project should benefit an organization other than Boy Scouting.) The project idea must be approved by the organization benefiting from the effort, your Scoutmaster and troop committee, and the council or district before you start. You must use the Life to Eagle Packet, BSA publication No. 18-927, in meeting this requirement.
  6. Take part in a Scoutmaster conference.
  7. Successfully complete an Eagle Scout board of review.

NOTE: All requirements for Eagle Scout must be completed before a candidate's 18th birthday. The Eagle Scout board of review can be held after the candidate's 18th birthday. For more information, see National BSA Advancement Policies and Procedures, publication No. 33088.

If you have a permanent physical or mental disability you may become an Eagle Scout by qualifying for as many required merit badges as you can and qualifying for alternative merit badges for the rest. If you seek to become an Eagle Scout under this procedure, you must submit a special application to your local council service center. Your application must be approved by your council advancement committee before you can work on alternative merit badges.

A Scoutmaster conference is conducted by the Scout and an examiner. For all ranks up to First Class inclusive, any assistant Scoutmaster may serve as an examiner. For all higher ranks, only the Scoutmaster may perform the conference. Its primary purpose is to make sure that the Scout remembers the Scout skills required for the rank he is a candidate for, and all lower ranks.

A board of review is conducted by the Scout and a panel of three adults. Its purpose is to ascertain the degree to which the Scout embodies the ideals of Scouting as outlined in the Scout Law (see Boy Scouts of America). The Scout is considered to have attained his rank immediately upon completion of the board of review.