Advancement and Awards

Guide to Advancement

The Guide to Advancement is the official source for administering advancement in helps Scouters understand and implement the advancement programs and procedures of the Boy Scouts of AmericaPolicies and procedures outlined in the Guide to Safe Scouting apply to all BSA activities, including those related to advancement and Eagle Scout service projects.

Additional information and best practices appear in other official BSA resources such as BSA Advancement Newsthe national Advancement Team’s Twitter feed, and the advancement educational presentations released by the national Advancement Committee. The latest advancement resources can be found on the BSA advancement resources page

Scoutbook is the BSA’s online unit management tool and helps Scouts, parents and leaders track advancement and milestone achievements along the Scouting trail. 

Merit Badges

Scouts can earn more than 130 merit badges. There is more to merit badges than simply providing opportunities to learn skills. There is more to them than an introduction to lifetime hobbies, or the inspiration to pursue a career—though these invaluable results occur regularly. Merit badge counselors can be located using the Merit Badge Counselor List button in Scoutbook.  This link can be found in the lower portion of the page that loads following the selection of your unit on the dashboard page. 

The merit badge counselor is a key player in the advancement program. Whatever your area of expertise or interest—whether it is a special craft or hobby (basketry, leatherwork, coin collecting), a profession (veterinary medicine, aviation, engineering), or perhaps a life skill (cooking, personal management, communications)—as a merit badge counselor, you can play a vital role in stirring a young man's curiosity about that particular topic. By serving as a merit badge counselor, you offer your time, knowledge, and other resources so that Scouts can explore a topic of interest. 


ScoutsBSA Boards of Review

After a Scout in a troop has completed the requirements for any rank, they appear before a board of review. Its purpose is to determine the quality of their experience and decide whether they have fulfilled the requirements for the rank. Resource: Guide to Advancement (Section 8, and


Eagle Scout Boards of Review: 

When the Scout is ready to have an Eagle Board of Review scheduled, the unit should email and attach a copy of the completed Eagle Scout Rank Application with all signatures. The district advancement chair will reply with the assigned district representative and include them in the email so the unit and representative can schedule the board. The unit leadership is responsible for arranging the board and providing three board members. At least one district or council representative must serve as a member of an Eagle Scout board of review. 


Eagle Scout Service Project

While a Life Scout, plan, develop, and give leadership to others in a service project helpful to any religious institution, any school, or your community. The project must benefit an organization other than Scouting. A project proposal must be approved by the organization benefiting from the effort, the unit leader, unit committee, and the council or district before the project starts. 

When a Scout is ready to have a district review of the Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook, the Scout should email to request a project review. The email should include:

  • Unit number 
  • Scout's first and last name
  • Scout's nickname (if they go by another name)
  • Date of Scout's 18th birthday
  • Scout's contact information
  • Any availability restrictions                        
  • List any special circumstances 
  • Attach a copy of the Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook
  • Attach a copy of the project approval page (page 15, Proposal Page H) with all signatures 

Please remember to follow youth protection guidelines and copy an adult on all emails. The district advancement chair will reply with the assigned district representative and include them in the email introducing everyone. The Scout should then contact the assigned district representatives to schedule a meeting.


Scout program updates



For additional information or questions about advancement, contact the district advancement chair.