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Boy Scout Troop 870
(Pasadena, Maryland)
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Rank Advancement

We promise a great deal to a boy when he joins Boy Scouting. We make it the promise of learning, fun, excitement, and outdoor adventure. We also promise ourselves that through Scouting’s educational program we will try to help each Scout that participates to become a citizen of fine character – physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.


The Scouting Ranks

Scout –when a boy enters Boy Scouts, he begins to develop these characteristics by understanding the Codes by which a Scout lives – the Scout Oath & Law, the Motto, Slogan and Outdoor Code. When he knows what the Scout badge represents, we reward him with the basic trefoil badge, a badge that means he can point the right way in life. 

Tenderfoot – He begins to develop his personal responsibility and self-reliance through outdoor skills such as hiking, camping, and cooking & the basics of how to save a life through the first aid program. For his efforts he is awarded the trefoil badge.

Second Class – When he becomes more involved with the operations of the troop, he acquires more advanced skills. For this effort, the boy is awarded the ribbon and knot to remind him to cheerfully serve others.

First Class  - As the Scout badge builds from Tenderfoot to First Class, the Scout grows in confidence, knowledge, and skill. When he proudly displays the first class badge, he has not only learned how to survive in the great outdoors, but has developed the basic values he will follow for the rest of his life; the values define in the Scout Oath & Law.  

The program established by Troop 870 provides an opportunity for every Scout to advance through the rank of First Class within his first year. The experts tell us that the boys who go the farthest and stay the longest are usually the ones, who obtain the rank of First Class in the first year, but this is not a rule, a boy should progress at his own pace. Unlike Cub Scouts, advancement for a Boy Scout is his own responsibility. Please review the requirement from within the Scout Handbook and help him plan a schedule for his advancement based on his abilities. Investing that time can prevent many conflicts and much confusion later.

The advancement records are kept by the Committee Chairman for Advancement. When a scout finishes a requirement as given in his handbook, he should approach a Star, Life, Eagle Scout, or a registered adult and ask for that requirement to be signed off for the ranks of Tenderfoot through First Class.

The rank requirements of Star, Life, and Eagle will only be signed off by a registered adult. These ranks are award by satisfying tenure in a leadership role and merit badge development. When satisfied that that requirement has been met, the evaluator will date and sign that particular segment of the Scout’s book. While the troop keeps a database of record on the Scouts advancement, the book is the “official” record and should be treated as such. For when it is time to review the handbook for Eagle rank, all items must be filled out and in order.

When a Scout has completed all of the requirements for advancement to the next rank, he schedules a Scoutmaster’s Conference. One of the proprietary requirements for which a Scoutmaster signs, is “Scout Spirit.”  This is somewhat a subject evaluation covering attitude and how well a Scout takes advantage of a challenge. After the SM conference, the Scout schedules a Board of Review with the Committee’s Advancement Chairperson. The Board of Review is typically held on meeting nights and is subject to a cut off timeline at the Committee’s desecration before an upcoming Court of Honor.  When a Scout has passed the review by a Committee, the achievement will be recorded in the Troop database and back up records are maintained by the Advancement Chairperson. The rank advancement will be announced at that or the next weekly meeting and will be awarded at the next Court of Honor ceremony.
In addition to BSA requirements for rank advancement, Troop 870 expects minimal levels of participation to be considered as a sign of “Scout Spirit”. There are three general areas in which a scout’s participation is taken into account in measuring spirit for advancement eligibility. A minimum level of 50% participation is expected for (1) weekly meetings, (2) outdoor activities, and (3) Eagle projects and other troop service projects. If a scout finds that school, sports or other activities prevent them from full participation in the scouting program through the course of the year, we understand. There are many outlets that also display scout spirit in many ways. A scout should confer with the Scoutmaster before their attendance falls below the minimum attendance level as such situations arise. Participation in other Scouting events such as Order of the Arrow, Den Chief to a Cub Scout Pack, or a high adventure elsewhere that directly conflict with troop related activities will be considered the same as participation in troop events.


Merit Badges

Before a Scout begins working on a Merit badge, he should obtain a blue tri-fold merit badge card from his Scoutmaster or Advancement Chairperson. It should be filled out appropriately and have the front signed by the Scoutmaster. No work should be done on a merit badge without the Scout having contacted an authorized and currently registered merit badge councilor for that particular badge.

The standard rule of ethics calls for any adult leader, or parent, that is serving as the merit badge councilor for any Boy Scout must have a minimum of two other Scouts working on that badge during the same scheduled meetings; especially if they occur outside of the troop’s weekly meetings. This must also be approved by the Scoutmaster or Advancement Chairperson in advance. The Troop maintains a list of in house Merit Badge Councilors on our website and in hardcopy at the meetings. Other councilors outside the troop are available and can be found by contacting the District Merit Badge Registrar. When a Merit Badge is complete and signed off by his councilor, he is to turn it into the Scoutmaster. The achievement will be recorded in the Troop database and back up records are maintained by the Advancement Chairperson, the Baltimore Area Council, and on the B.S.A. national database. It will be awarded to him at the next Court of Honor.

Order of the Arrow

The Order of the Arrow (OA) is National Honor Society of Scouting. This organization is comprised of honor campers, as recognized by a Scout’s peers, which is dedicated to the cheerful service of others. 

A Boy Scout or Ault Leader cannot actively seek membership into the OA, they are elected in after satisfying the minimum criteria set forth by the OA. Only a small percentage of a troop is ever elected to membership. Once a nominated Scout, or Scouter,  is “tapped out” at an OA campfire ceremony, he or she is required to attend an ordeal weekend where, if they complete all requirements, they are invited into the fellowship of Scouts in the Order of the Arrow.

Election into the OA is one of the highest honors a troop can bestowed upon a boy. His election means he has demonstrated excellent camping skills and citizenship. It also shows that other Scouts in this troop view this candidate the one who most exemplifies the cheerful selfless service to others that is embodied in the Oath, law, & Slogan. To be eligible for election the Scout must first have the Scoutmaster’s recommendation, be a First class Scout, and have 15 days and nights camping within the last two years, including 6 consecutive days and nights of camping (summer camp).