What is Advancement?

photo of a boy scout.Advancement is the process by which youth members of the Boy Scouts of America progress from rank to rank in the Scouting program. Advancement is simply a means to an end, not an end in itself. Everything done to advance and earn these ranks, from joining until leaving the program, should be designed to help the Scout have an exciting and meaningful experience.

Although Scouts are awarded badges as part of advancement, a badge is recognition of what a young person is able to do, not merely a reward for what he or she has done. The badge is proof of certain abilities, and is not just a reward for the completion of a task.

A fundamental principle of advancement in Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting and Venturing is the growth a young person achieves as a result of his or her participation in the program.

Advancement is not a competition among individual young people but is an expression of their interest and participation in the program. Youth must be encouraged to advance steadily and set their own goals with guidance from their parents, guardians, or leaders.

A Change in Free Rank Advancement


Dear Scouters,

We want to take this opportunity to acknowledge your dedication to the advancement of our Scouts. Currently we have seen an increase in the total number of ranks advancements over the past year. Your hard work is being noticed and “Thank you” for a job well done.

In an effort to continually provide a quality program for our Scouts, we reviewed the free rank program available to each unit. For many years if your unit was “100% Boys Life”, then you received free rank advancement for each Scout. We are changing the criteria for units to receive free rank advancement. The reason for the change is to create a greater focus on youth advancement, trained leaders and unit/council fundraising efforts. These criteria for free rank advancement are in alignment with the Unit’s Journey to Excellence requirements. Listed below are the new criteria for free Rank Advancement. The Middle Tennessee Council continues to believe and support Boy’s Life magazine as an enhancement to a young person’s Scouting Experience.

To receive free rank advancement your unit will need to meet/complete the following:

  1. Unit Recharters on time, turned in prior to deadline
  2. Achieve 95% of all leaders Youth Protection Trained
  3. Achieve 80% of Overall Leaders Trained for their specific position
  4. Annually hold Family Friends of Scouting presentation from a Council Representative
  5. Sell Popcorn during the Popcorn Sale
  6. Sell Camp Cards during the Camp Card Sale

Your unit can elect to adopt the new criteria at your next recharter or remain with “100% Boys Life”. Beginning December 2018 all units will have to adopt the new criteria listed above to receive free rank advancement.

Thank you for your continued support to provide safe and quality program to the Scouts of the Middle Tennessee Council

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