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Recording Scouts BSA Advancement

Accurately track achievements earned by Scouts

Tracking and recording advancements for Scouts is important, and helps ensure they're rewarded for their work.

Scouts BSA Handbook

The first place a Scout's achievements should be recorded is in their Handbook. The handbook is the perfect companion for a Scout at their weekly meetings, monthly campouts, and week-long summer camp experience. Make sure accurate dates and signatures are added to the Scout's handbook as they advance.

Unit Advancement Records

Each troop should have a unit advancement chair whose primary responsibility is to record achievements as they are earned, maintain the advancement records for the troop, and purchase rank advancements, merit badges, and other awards.

  1. Track advancements with either a third-party software program or the old-fashioned, handwritten Individual Scout record sheets and book.
  2. Track the date earned for the rank, merit badge, or award.
  3. Prepare the Unit Advancement Report form for the Scout Shop purchase; use Internet Advancement.
  4. Purchase the advancements, merit badges, and awards from the Scout Shop
  5. Prepare the patches and recognition cards for presentation at the court of honor
  6. Track partial rank or merit badge requirements that have been completed
  7. In the event of a Scout transfer, provide a printed Scout advancement history for the new troop

Council Advancement Records

Achievements earned by a Scout must be recorded with the council.

  • It is recommended that units use Scoutbook for submitting advancement records to the council
  • Unit Advancement Reports submitted with Internet Advancement immediately update the Scout's record at the council
  • Other software or handwritten Unit Advancement Reports submitted to the Scout Shop when purchasing the achievements are manually recorded at the council office.
  • The Eagle Scout rank is updated by the council registrar after their board of review

Unit Advancement Reports are kept on file for seven years.

Arrow of Light and Webelos Transfers

Cub Packs must record the Arrow of Light rank before the Webelos Scout transfers to a Boy Scout troop.

Scout Transfers and their advancement record

Scouts that transfer to another unit within our council will keep their advancement record between the old and new troop.

Scouts that transfer from another council will have to bring a copy of their advancement record with them. Advancement records do not automatically or electronically transfer between councils. A manual entry of the Scout's advancement record will need to be done by the unit advancement chair in Scoutbook or Internet Advancement or by a council registrar. A copy of the advancement history transfer should be kept on file with both the troop and at the council office.

Important Dates

Throughout the Scouts BSA advancement program, there are date requirements between ranks, leadership tenure, and dates merit badges are earned. Make sure you follow the BSA Advancement policies for these requirements (see the Handbook for exact requirements).

  • Record the date the merit badge or rank was earned, not the date of the court of honor or when the award was purchased.
  • Merit badges earned for the Eagle Scout rank must be recorded with the council prior to verification, which is easy to do with Internet Advancement.

BSA Guide to Advancement

The BSA Guide to Advancement can answer most advancement questions a unit leader may have regarding advancement.. It can be found on the scouting.org website.

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