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Boy Scout Troop 21
(Zeeland, Michigan)
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The Scout Badge is a requirment for joining Boy Scouts.
Note that the Scout badge is NOT considered a "Rank" by BSA



The advancement program is often considered to be divided into two phases. The first phase from joining to First Class is designed to teach the boy Scoutcraft skills, how to participate in a group and to learn self-reliance. The Scout rank badge is awarded when the Scout demonstrates a rudimentary knowledge of the Scouting ideals and program. Tenderfoot, Second Class and First Class have progressively harder requirements in the areas of Scoutcraft, physical fitness, citizenship, personal growth and Scout Spirit.

Tenderfoot  Second Class  First Class


The second phase of Star, Life and Eagle is designed to develop leadership skills and allow the Scout to explore potential vocations and avocations through the merit badge program. The Star and Life ranks require that the boy serve in a position of responsibility and perform community service. Except for Scout rank, all ranks as well as Eagle Palms require that the candidate pass a Scoutmaster Conference and a Board of Review.

Star             Life          Eagle


Eagle Palms are awarded for continued leadership and skills development (merit badges) after the Eagle Scout rank has been earned. These palms help keep the Eagle Scouts active within the unit, contributing to the leadership of the unit, and assisting with the growth of the other Scouts within the unit.
Note that Eagle Palms are NOT considered "Ranks" by BSA

Eagle Palms

Video Requirements ~ Tenderfoot to First Class

If you prefer to see the requirements by video, this is the place for you.  The videos will show you the proper way to complete the requirments from Tenderfoot to First Class.  You can even download them as a Podcast. 

NOTE: In order to view these videos, you will need to have the QuickTime Movie Player plug-in for your Web browser. This free software may be downloaded from Apple.

To view video requirments for Tenderfoot, Second Class and First Class Click Here

To download the rank requirement videos as a podcast Click here.

Life to Eagle Resources

Eagle Scout Leadership Service Project Planning Guide
by Randall C Smith Troop 389 - Arlington, Texas, Tejas District / Longhorn Council
Icon File Name Comment  
Eagle Scout Leadership Service Project Workbook.pdf Eagle Scout Leadership Project Workbook  
Your Journey to Eagle Scout.pdf Your Journey to Eagle Scout (GRFC Publication)  

Merit Badge Requirements

Boy Scout merit badges give scouts the opportunity to investigate around 120 different areas of knowledge and skills. The merit badge program plays a major role in the scouting advancement program and participation can begin as soon as a scout registers with a troop. Each scout can explore topics from American Business to Woodworking as he has interest. The only limitations are his ambition and availability of adult merit badge counselors to offer instruction.

A scout decides he would like to earn a specific merit badge. He obtains approval to begin the merit badge from his Scoutmaster. The Scoutmaster identifies possible merit badge counselors. The scout identifies another scout that will be his partner to attend meetings with the counselor to follow safe scouting guidelines. He then contacts the counselor to begin badge work. The counselor reviews the requirements with the scouts and they decide on projects to complete and a completion schedule. The counselor provides expertise, advice, guidance as needed until the scouts have completed the requirements. The merit badge counselor certifies completion of requirements and the merit badge patch is presented at a court of honor or troop meeting.

Required Merit Badges:
A boy scout can begin taking merit badges as soon as he joins a troop, but no merit badges are required for advancement until he receives his First Class rank. Advancement to Star, Life, and Eagle all require completion of merit badges, service, and leadership. To reach Eagle rank, a scout must complete a total of at least 21 Boy Scout merit badges, 12 of which come from the Eagle-required badge list.

For a list of all the Merit Badges Click Here

Icon File Name Comment  
2011-04-21 Lakeshore MB Counselors.pdf 2011-04-21 Lakeshore District MB Counselors  

Merit Badge Counselors

Merit badge counselors are the key to success in the merit badge plan. They offer their time, experience, and knowledge to help guide Scouts in one or more of the merit badge subjects.

The counselor's responsibility is to

  1. Assist the Scout as he plans the assigned projects and activities to meet the merit badge requirements.
  2. Coach Scouts through interviews and demonstrations on how to do the required skills of the craft, business, or hobby.
  3. Certify the Scout after determining whether he is qualified for the merit badge.

Most local councils list merit badge counselors by district so that Scouts may call for appointments.

The number of Scouts requesting help is usually no burden to the counselor, since the number of counselors is normally determined by the popularity of the badge. Counselors schedule appointments at their convenience.

Scoutmaster Conference

A Scoutmaster has an important job in guiding scouts to advance and the scoutmaster conference is a major step in the process. The actual advancement is not the thing - it's helping the scout grow in character that's important. Many scouts can easily learn and demonstrate skills for advancement sign-offs, but picking up on all the other benefits of scouting often does not occur.

If a scout takes some time to reflect on his scouting adventure that has brought him to this scoutmaster conference, he is more apt to feel a sense of accomplishment and set goals for further advancement. Providing scouts with an outline of topics to reflect on is a great help to get them focused on their path through the program.

The attached page is intended to be completed by a scout and brought to his scoutmaster conference for rank advancement. It should be given to the scout at least a week before his conference.

Icon File Name Comment  
Scoutmaster Conference Sheet.doc Fill out this sheet before a rank advancement conference. Informal conferences for problems or planning may be requested at any time.  

Board Of Review

The members of a Board of Review should have the following objectives in mind:

  • To make sure the Scout has completed the requirements for the rank.
  • To see how good an experience the Scout is having in the unit.
  • To encourage the Scout to progress further.

     Additionally, the Board of Review provides "quality control" on advancement within the unit, it provides an opportunity for the Scout to develop and practice those skills needed in a interview situation, and it is an opportunity for the Scout to review his accomplishments.
     The Board of Review is NOT a retest; the Scout has already been tested on the skills and activities required for the rank. However, the chairman of the Board of Review should ensure that all the requirements have been "signed off" in the Scout's handbook. Additionally, the chairman should ensure that leadership and merit badge records are consistent with the requirements for the rank.
     The Board of Review is an opportunity to review of the Scout's attitudes, accomplishments and his acceptance of Scouting's ideals.