Scout, Tenderfoot, 2nd Class, 1st Class, Star, Life, & Eagle Scout Rank
Age Requirements & Eligibility

Merit badges, badges of rank, and Eagle Palms are for boys who are registered Boy Scouts or Varsity Scouts. Any registered Boy Scout or Varsity Scout may earn these awards until his 18th birthday. Any Venturer who achieved the First Class rank as a Boy Scout or Varsity Scout in a troop may continue working for the Star, Life, and Eagle ranks and Eagle Palms while registered as a Venturer up to his 18th birthday.


The 2013 Guide to Advancement was released in summer of 2013.
Key Changes: The Guide to Advancement 2013 continues the tradition of excellence established in the 2011 edition, while addressing many of the questions and concerns Scouters have raised. Below is a sample of some of the changes.
•     A revised and expanded emphasis on experiential learning and personal growth
•     New sections on building an advancement committee and advancement educational resources
•     Further details on the process of advancement in Boy Scouting, including how youth continue practicing and learning in the Scouting program after requirements are completed
•     A topic permitting, under certain circumstances, for a Scout’s work to satisfy more than one requirement—also known as “double dipping”
•     Updated camp advancement responsibilities for the council advancement committee
•     A revised description of the merit badge (blue card) process, and how to handle situations where merit badges may not have actually been earned
•     Added sections addressing guidelines to improve the quality of instruction at merit badge fairs and discouraging for-profit merit badge events
•     More comprehensive coverage of the responsibilities of Eagle Scoutservice project coaches, and recommendations for designating their responsibilities

Please note that the basic procedures surrounding the Eagle Scout service project will remain unchanged. Feedback suggests that moving away from council or district approval of a project plan to a project proposal is considered a positive step by a substantial majority of Scouting leaders. There will be additional steps taken this year, however, to better inform project beneficiaries of their authority to review and require changes to a Scout’s final plan.

MB Requirements2013 Boy Scout Requirements Book, No. 33216, Released

The advancement program of the Boy Scouts of America is supported by a set of requirements subject to ongoing review by the national Advancement Committee and periodic changes to provide the best experiences for Scouts. The requirements handbook (Boy Scout Requirements,

No. 33216) is updated annually to incorporate all the revisions from the previous year. Here are some of the major changes that became effective on Jan. 1, 2013:

             Second class—3e and 3f—Use of camping stoves/fires. Scouts will explain and demonstrate building, lighting, and extinguishing a wood fire, and also explain and demonstrate the use of a lightweight stove or propane stove and describe safety procedures.

             Current nutrition requirements and references are updated in Second Class 3g and First Class 4a.

             Star and Life position of responsibility requirements are to be fulfilled in the Scout’s home unit, not provisional units such as for a jamboree.

The Guide to Advancement, in topic, explains advancement procedures for options when Scouts must use the new requirements or may continue with previous requirements. Many minor updates made to merit badge requirements in 2012 also are reflected in the new Boy Scout Requirements book.

The Boy Scouts of America has also issued a definitive definition of "Active":
A Scout will be considered "active" in his unit if he is
1.    Registered in his unit (registration fees are current)
2.    Not dismissed from his unit for disciplinary reasons
3.    Engaged by his unit leadership on a regular basis (informed of unit activities through Scoutmaster conference or personal contact, etc.
4.    In communication with the unit leader on a quarterly basis.
(Units may not create their own definition of active; this is a national standard.)
If the Scout does not initiate communication, the unit leader is to contact the Scout and ask if the youth wishes to remain in Scouting. If the answer is negative, then the unit leader should no longer communicate with the Scout. If the answer is affirmative, the unit leader should provide the unit calendar. After six months of non participation, the unit leader may cease to contact with the youth and drop the Scout from the unit at recharter time.
The Scout may return to the unit at any time while on the unit charter. At any time a Scout is dropped from a charter, the youth may re-apply to a unit for readmission; the acceptance of the application is at the discretion of the unit. The youth would be reinstated at the rank and level that can be documented by either the Scout or the unit.

 2014 Merit Badge Support 

 There are more than 130 merit badges in the merit badge program. Each one has a corresponding merit badge pamphlet, and the series is written with the 12-year-old Boy Scout in mind. In addition, the pamphlets are designed for a very broad audience of Scouts. The pamphlets are available from Scouting retailers, including our Norris & Deicke Scout Shops. To provide the Scouting experience to as many boys as possible, the BSA considers the diversity of the Scouts served regarding region, economics, ethnicity, and social and religious background.

While the pamphlet is not required for the Scout to earn the merit badge, it helps the counselor to know what the Scout may be studying and the level of learning expected of the Scout. Many of the merit badge pamphlets contain suggested projects and other activities or demonstrations to help the Scout fulfill the requirements or to stimulate other ideas from the Scout and his merit badge counselor. Each book also contains a helpful resources section.

For official requirements, the current-year Boy Scout Requirements book takes precedence. However, once a Scout has started working on a merit badge, he may stay with the requirements in effect when he started. He will not be required to meet newly introduced changes unless the BSA's National Council places a specific timeline on the implementation of new requirements.

This link will take you to the official Text list of the current Merit Badges the BSA offers, with the current requirements.

GeocachingInventingRoboticsScouting Heritage

WhitewaterShotgunThree Fires Council – High Risk Merit Badge Counselor Policy - Oct 2014

2013 Guide to Advancement, Section 7, The Merit Badge Program specifies several merit badges that involve activities for which the BSA has implemented strategies to improve safety, improve the Scouts’ experience, and manage risk. The requirements for training/certification for merit badge counselors (highlighted in bold) are identified below. The requirements for conducting activities are defined in Section Qualifications of Counselors. Merit badge counselors must meet the requirements as specified in the document below.

Adobe PDF file icon 32x32TFC High Risk Merit Badge Counselor Certification Policy & Requirements

'High Risk' Merit Badges fall under the following: Aquatics Merit Badges / Shooting Merit Badges / Welding Merit Badge / Snow Sports Merit Badge / Climbing Merit Badge

 Boy Scout Rank

This is the first rank a boy joining a Boy Scout troop may earn.

 Tenderfoot Rank


Second Class Rank


 First Class Rank


 Star Rank

  • Star Rank - Requirements for earning the Star Rank

 Life Rank

  • Life Rank - Requirements for earning the Life Rank

 Eagle Scout Rank

 Bronze, Gold & Silver Eagle Palms