These are the important things to know about rank advancement.

A Scouts Responsibility

TFC - Trail to First Class

Troop 714's Trail to First Class (TFC) program is designed to provide guidance and direction to our first year scouts until they have achieved the rank of First Class.

The TFC Advisor along with other scout Leaders will work to ensure that these Scouts perform the necessary requirements to achieve the ranks of Tenderfoot, Second Class and First Class. Skills for these requirements will be taught during classes at regular troop meetings, campouts, summer camp, service projects and other events. The goal of this program is to enable each TFC Scout to reach the rank of First Class within one year after their join date. 

SMC - Scoutmaster Conference

The Scoutmaster conference is a visit between the Scoutmaster and a Scout.

Typically it is held after the Scout completes all requirements for a rank, but before the board of review. The Scoutmaster conference determines if the Scout is ready to go before the board, Scoutmaster conferences can also be held to encourage Scouts who are not advancing, or are having difficulty in the troop.

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Scheduling - SMC & BOR

It is Scout's responsibility to Schedule a Scoutmaster Conference (SMC) and Board of Review (BOR) once he has completed the requirements for a rank advancement.

BOR - Board of Review

The Board of Review is how the troop committee tracks the progress of a Scout to determine his understanding of the ideals of Scouting and how he applies them in daily life.

The board will satisfy itself that the Scout has done what he was supposed to do for that rank and will review with the Scout the requirements for the next rank. The Board of Review is also a way of reviewing the troop's progress.


Definition of Acronyms

  • SMC: Scoutmaster Conference

  • BOR: Board of Review

  • SM: Scoutmaster

  • ASM: Assistant Scoutmaster

  • TFC: Trail to First Class

  • AC: Advancement Coordinator

  • BOR ASM: Board of Review Asst. Scoutmaster

Scoutmaster Conference (SMC) - Scheduling



Ranks: Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class & First Class

  • These ranks have their SMC done by the patrol Assistant Scoutmaster (ASM) or Trail to First Class (TFC) ASM or by the Scoutmaster.

  • After SMC the Scout should schedule BOR (Board of Review) at this time with the BOR ASM.

  • The ASM is responsible for reporting the SMC to the Advancement Coordinator (AC) and the BOR ASM in person or by email.

Ranks: Star, Life & Palm

  • These ranks are done by the Scoutmaster (SM).

  • It is the Scout's responsibility to schedule his SMC with the BOR ASM in person or by email. This includes campouts.

  • The Scout must review the following before contacting the BOR ASM:

    • Get a History Report from the AC.

    • Check rank requirements in book and history report.

    • Required Time in rank.

    • Position of responsibility.

    • Required Merit Badges.

    • Service Hours.

    • Project (Eagle Only)

    • Application (Eagle & Palm)

    • Have both history report and book sign-off by an ASM or Patrol Leader.

  • Submit signed history report and book to BOR ASM for review

  • If all is well he will schedule SMC for the next week’s troop meeting or campout.

  • If BOR ASM is not available at the meeting, contact him by email (Subject SMC). Your book and report will be reviewed at the next troop meeting. Be prepared for SMC at that meeting if all is well.

  • At SMC, have the SM review and sign your book.

  • After SMC, the Scout should schedule BOR at this time with the BOR ASM.


Board of Review (BOR) - Scheduling

Ranks: Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life, Palm are scheduled by the Board of Review (BOR) Assistant Scoutmaster (ASM).

Note: Eagle BORs are NOT scheduled by the BOR ASM.

  • It is the Scout's responsibility to schedule a BOR

  • Show the BOR ASM your Scout book and/or Palm application with the SMC section signed off for the desired rank.

  • If the BOR ASM is not present, contact him by email and be ready with the above and below requirements at the next troop meeting.

  • Must contact 1 day or more prior to the troop meeting if requesting by email.

  • No book, no signature, BOR will not be scheduled.

BOR Requirements:

  • Need to check in with BOR ASM on the day of your BOR.

  • Requirements: (even on campouts)

  • Book (must have book for all BORs, no book, no BOR)

  • Palm Application (if needed).

  • Full Class A uniform including neckerchief and slide, belt, socks.

  • Uniform must have patches up to date: especially rank. If you have not received your latest rank badge yet, it is ok.

  • Hat and sash are optional.

  • If you do not meet the above requirements, No BOR.

  • There are only 4 or 5 slots for BOR per troop meeting, depending on the ranks being reviewed. If you are not scheduled you may not get in.

  • Campout BORs must be scheduled as well.

Parents: This is a Scout's responsibility, let them be responsible.


Merit Badges

You can learn about sports, crafts, science, trades, business and future careers as you earn merit badges. There are more than 100 merit badges. Any Boy Scout may earn any merit badge at any time. You don't need to have had tank advancement to be eligible.

Get Merit Badge Worksheets at


Merit Badges are an important part of a Scout's advancement. These procedures are designed to make it easy for the Scout, his leaders and the Merit Badge Counselors to track progress and keep an accurate record of the Scout’s advancement. They also ensure that the correct paperwork is completed so the merit badges can be awarded as soon as possible and recognized at the next Court of Honor.

The Application for Merit Badge form is called a "blue card" due to its size and color. It is divided into the following three sections:

  1. Application for Merit Badge

  2. Applicant's Record

  3. Counselor's Record.


Merit Badge Procedures:

  1. Select a merit badge to work on. Decide which merit badge you are going to work on. You can ask your Scoutmaster or the Merit Badge Coordinator for help. Then, get a copy of the merit badge booklet. You can buy a copy, check it out from the Troop library, or check it out from the public library.

  2. Fill out a blue card. Get a blue card and fill out your information and the name of the merit badge on all three sections. You can get blank blue cards from the Merit Badge Coordinator, the Scoutmaster or the Merit Badge Counselor.

  3. Get Scoutmaster approval to start. Ask the Scoutmaster to sign section 1, under "qualified to begin work". The Scoutmaster checks to make sure you are ready to begin work on this badge and that you are starting the merit badges in the correct sequence.

  4. Meet with the Counselor. Before you start any work on the requirements, contact a Merit Badge Counselor for this merit badge, in person or by phone. Your Assistant Scoutmaster or the Merit Badge Coordinator can provide a list of Counselors for this badge. Discuss the requirements with your Counselor and how you will complete them. The Counselor fills in their name in section 1 and retains section 3 of the blue card. You should keep sections 1 and 2 of the blue card. Remember, you must have a buddy (another Scout, relative, or friend) with you for all meetings with the Merit Badge Counselor.

  5. Work on the merit badge. Read through the merit badge booklet, and then start work on the requirements. Mark the date on section 2 of your blue card as you complete each requirement. You can schedule additional meetings with your Merit Badge Counselor to get help on the requirements. Ask the Counselor to initial section 2 of your blue card for each requirement you have completed.

  6. Finish work on the merit badge. After you have completed all the requirements, schedule a final meeting with the Merit Badge Counselor. Ask the Counselor to verify and initial all requirements on section 2 then sign sections 1 and 2 of your blue card. The Counselor should also update the section 3 they kept for their records.

  7. Get final Scoutmaster approval. Make sure everything is completed on sections 1 and 2 of your blue card. Ask the Scoutmaster to sign section 2. Keep section 2 in a safe place, for your records. If you borrowed the merit badge booklet, remember to return it to the Troop library or the public library. If you bought the booklet, consider donating it to the Troop library or giving it to a friend.

  8. Turn in your paperwork. Turn in section 1 of the completed blue card to your Assistant Scoutmaster. He updates his records and forwards the card to the Troopmaster Coordinator, who updates the TroopMaster database and prints the advancement report. Finally, the Scoutmaster or Assistant Scoutmaster obtains the badge and presents it to you at the next opportunity. All merit badges are then recognized at the next Court of Honor.


Merit Badge Rules:

  1. The Scout must have another person with him each time he meets with the Merit Badge Counselor. This person can be another Scout, a parent or guardian, a brother or sister, a relative or a friend.

  2. The Scout must not start on the requirements before getting approval from the Scoutmaster and meeting with the Merit Badge Counselor. Any work started before the first meeting should be redone, unless approved by the Counselor.

  3. The Scout is expected to meet the requirements as they are stated ­-- n-- noo more and no less. He is expected to do exactly what is stated in the requirements. If it says "show or demonstrate," that is what he must do. Just telling about it isn’t enough. The same thing holds true for such words as "make," "list," "in the field," and "collect," "identify," and "label."

  4. There is no deadline for earning merit badges, except the Scout's 18th Birthday. Once he has started working on a merit badge (that is, obtained a signed blue card from the Scoutmaster, had an initial discussion with a Merit Badge Counselor, and started working on the requirements), he may continue to work on those requirements until he completes the badge or turns 18.

  5. In some cases, the merit badge booklet may be out of date. However, the Scout must use the most current requirements in effect when he starts work on the merit badge, as published in the Boy Scouts Requirements book for the current year.

  6. If the requirements change while a Scout is working on the badge, he may continue to use the old requirements until he completes the work, or he may use the new requirements if he wishes. It is his choice, and his alone.

  7. If a merit badge is discontinued, Scouts working on the badge when it is removed from the Boy Scout Requirements booklet may continue to work toward completing the badge, and get credit for earning the badge, until they turn 18. However, it may not be possible to obtain an actual merit badge patch, once the local council's supply is exhausted.

  8. If a discontinued merit badge is replaced with one or more other merit badges covering the same or similar topics a Scout that has earned the discontinued badge may also earn the new badge or badges. For example, the Rifle and Shotgun Shooting MB was replaced by the Rifle Shooting MB and the Shotgun Shooting MB. If the badge is simply renamed Scouts may NOT earn the badge again. For example, the Firemanship MB was simply renamed to the Fire Safety MB.

  9. A merit badge cannot be taken away once it has been earned, provided the Counselor is a registered counselor for that badge.

  10. It is permissible for two or more boys to work on a merit badge together. However, the Merit Badge Counselor should ensure that each boy individually meets all of the requirements. The Counselor should provide individual attention to each boy in the group, so they receive the maximum benefit of the Counselor's guidance.

  11. With the Counselor's permission, a boy may utilize a school class or other training class to meet some or all of the requirements for a merit badge. For example, a chemistry class at school could be used to satisfy some of the requirements for the Chemistry Merit Badge, or a dog obedience course could be used to satisfy some of the requirements for the Dog Care Merit Badge.

  12. The Scout should keep section 2 of the blue card for all merit badges they have earned. This is their backup documentation if they should move to a new Troop.