UPDATE – Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Merit Badge Timing
Update: Jan 7, 2021
The BSA announced that the proposed Diversity, Equity and Inclusion merit badge, scheduled to be required for Eagle Rank effective May 1, 2021, is being delayed to allow careful consideration and evaluation of feedback received from a wide variety of commenters on the draft requirements.
Until further notice, all Scouts working on the Eagle Scout rank should continue to use current rank requirements. Once the Eagle-required Diversity, Equity and Inclusion merit badge is introduced, Scouts in the process of earning the rank of Eagle Scout will be given adequate time to earn it. Updates regarding the merit badge will be shared with councils directly and via Scouting Wire.
Request for Extension of Time to Earn Eagle, Summit or Quartermaster Ranks
Update: Jan 1, 2021
Effective January 1, 2021, BSA will allow local councils to grant limited extensions of time to complete Eagle, Summit, or Quartermaster rank requirements. To view the complete information, related changes to the Guide to Advancement, and forms to use, download the PDF.
TEMPORARY Advancement rules for Cubs, Scouts BSA, Venturers, and Sea ScoutsTemporary Advancement Rules for Cubs, Scouts BSA, Venturers, and Sea Scouts can be viewed here.
TEMPORARY Procedure to submit Eagle Scout rank application, statements of ambitions and life purpose, and Eagle Scout Project Workbook
Update: October 10, 2020
1) Ensure all Eagle Rank requirements have been completed and your application is completed in full.
2) Submit your Eagle Scout Rank Application, Statements of Ambitions and Life Purpose, list of leadership positions held and honors and awards received, and Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook (including supporting documents and photographs), as separate .pdf files with your last name, first initial and document name as the file name; i.e., Smith J Eagle Application.pdf. Eagle Rank items uploaded to other sites for subsequent download will not be considered.
3) Email all materials to David.You@Scouting.org. Please copy your District Advancement Chair in the same email, names are listed below. For Stanford District, Eagle materials must be submitted by the 1st day of each month, to be included in that month’s boards of review.
- Always include a second adult on every email to comply with Youth Protection policies.
4) You will be contacted by your District Eagle Board Chair, contact info below.
Virtual Camping for Tenderfoot, Second Class and First Class Ranks and Camping Merit Badge
UPDATE: August 30, 2020
BSA has allowed virtual Camping to continue through December 31, 2020. In addition, Camping Merit Badge requirement 9b is temporarily suspended as a requirement to earn this badge. All other requirements must be completed to earn this badge. Upon direction from the National Council, requirement 9b will be reinstated with 30 days’ notice to our Scouting community through national channels.
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July 12, 2020
On April 13, 2020, the Boy Scouts of America permitted “virtual camping” for Tenderfoot, Second Class and First Class Ranks to ensure Scouts could continue their advancement while shelter-in-place restrictions generally prevented troop and patrol activities. The BSA will allow “virtual camping” to be considered as an organized Scout activity until September 1, 2020.
Questions have been asked about counting virtual camping nights towards Camping Merit Badge requirements. The BSA has not provided a definitive statement regarding this issue. However, BSA’s Guide to Advancement (GTA 22.214.171.124 Fulfilling More Than One Requirement With a Single Activity) allows that “When for all practical purposes, two requirements match up exactly and have the same basic intent — for example, camping nights for Second Class and First Class ranks and for the Camping merit badge — it is appropriate and permissible, unless it is stated otherwise in the requirements, to use those matching activities for both the ranks and the merit badge.” *
Can “virtual camping nights” be counted towards the 20-night Camping Merit Badge requirement? The answer is yes, as long as they meet the INTENT of the Camping Merit Badge. Could a Scout earn all 20 camping nights for Camping MB with virtual camping? The answer is no because requirements 8(d), 9(b) and 9(c) must be fulfilled while on a camping trip. The intent of the Camping Merit Badge is to develop a Scout’s camping skills and it allows one long-term camp (up to six nights) plus 14 additional camping nights to fulfill the 20-night requirement. Additionally, if a troop camps two nights a month excluding summer camp, could 4 virtual camping nights in a month count towards the 20 nights? Probably not, as it would not meet a troop’s philosophy on camping.
In the final analysis, it is up to the Camping Merit Badge Counselor and the Scoutmaster to determine which virtual camping nights meet the intent of Camping Merit Badge and would count towards the 20-night requirement**.
*Includes Tenderfoot camping.
**See article below for recording Camping Merit Badge nights.
Ordering Advancement items
In an effort to protect our community, we are available for online orders. To order, please follow these steps:
1. The Unit Leader emails the Advancement report to NDCSupply.Orders@Scouting.org. (Please include a contact phone number for our Customer Service team to contact for payment.)
2. A Customer Service team member will contact the Unit Leader for credit card information, shipping and billing information, along with verifying the correct Council and Advancement.
3. Advancement orders will be shipped to the individual placing the order.
Note: Due to COVID-19 adjustments, we are currently shipping to the 48 contiguous United States. We will continue to monitor conditions and resume shipping to Alaska and Hawaii when the current Shelter in Place restrictions are lifted.
Prefer to shop in person? See our store locations/hours/guidelines here.
Got questions on how to approach Advancement during COVID-19?
Lots of other questions answered here (goes to National BSA’s website)
Recording Unit Advancement Data in the BSA National Database
After a Scout has done the hard work to earn her/his next rank or merit badge or other award, it is important to record that achievement in the BSA National database. This can be done in one of two ways: (1) if your unit is using ScoutBook to track advancement, this recording is ‘automatic’ as long as ScoutBook is properly utilized; or (2) the recording can be done using the on-line Internet Advancement 2.0 feature found under the Legacy Tools menu at the my.scouting.org website.
If your unit is using the Internet Advancement method, this can only be done by someone assigned the role of “Unit Advancement Chair,” an assignment that is made annually by one of the Unit Key 3 in the my.scouting.org “Organization Security Manager.” This role (as are all other roles) must be reassigned each year (even if the same person is fulfilling the role) as the prior year’s assignments are cleared at the time the unit’s recharter is posted.
Detailed instructions for recording unit advancement data through either method can be found at help.scoutbook.com.
Camping Merit Badge and Camping Nights
It is important to understand how camping nights apply to completing the 20 camping nights for Camping Merit Badge.
For requirement 9a, a Scout must camp in a tent or under the stars at least 20 nights at designated Scouting activities and events, which may include one long-term camp experience of up to six consecutive nights, such as spending a week at Camp Oljato. (By BSA definition, a long-term camping experience consists of five or more consecutive days and nights in the outdoors.) A Scout then must complete an additional 14 nights camping, which can be done with 7 two-night weekend camping trips. If a Scout has attended a long-term camp, he/she cannot receive credit for attending a camp designated as a long-term camp even if attended only for a night or two. If a Scout has received the long-term credit and then participates on a 50-mile pack back trip or canoe trip lasting 5 or more nights, even though each night is spent at a different campsite, the Scout cannot earn credit towards camping nights since by definition the trip is a long-term camping experience. In all camping experiences, it is expected that the Scout is sleeping under the stars or in a tent (or teepee or snow cave) he/she pitched/built or helped pitch/build. If a camp provides tents that are already pitched, then the Scout does not have to pitch a tent.
Questions? Please contact your District Advancement Committee Chair, or email Council Advancement Committee Chair Brian Boggs.
2020 Merit Badge Requirement Update
January 1, 2020
Scouts BSA rank and merit badge requirements are in the 2020 Scouts BSA Requirements Book (33216). As our Scout Shops are closed, please consult the following resource for merit badge requirement changes. http://usscouts.org/usscouts/advance/changes/advchanges20.asp
Changes to the following Merit Badges have been made: American Business, American Heritage, Animal Science, Athletics, Bugling, Chemistry, Cooking*, Crime Prevention, Environmental Science*, geology, Kayaking, Model Design and Building, Painting, Personal Fitness*, Reading, Rifle Shooting, Safety, Space Exploration, Sustainability*, Traffic Safety, and Whitewater. (*Required for Eagle Rank)
Merit Badge Counselor Lists
As a reminder, the list of approved Merit Badge Counselors is now maintained electronically via ScoutBook in the Pacific Skyline Council.
In accordance with BSA’s Guide to Advancement 126.96.36.199, access to web-based Merit Badge Counselor Lists is restricted to Scouts BSA unit leaders and selected unit assistants with merit badge related responsibilities. An important part of the Merit Badge program requires the Scout to discuss his/her interest in earning a merit badge when obtaining a ‘Blue Card’ from the unit leader. The unit leader then recommends a merit badge counselor to the Scout from names on the electronic list. This ensures that the counselor is properly approved, registered, and his/her Youth Protection Training is current. In addition, access to these lists shall be limited as the lists contain personal information about each Merit Badge Counselor. For these reasons, access to web-based Merit Badge Counselor lists is limited to designated individuals in each unit and printed/electronic copies must not be produced or distributed because merit badge counselor privacy cannot be maintained and the lists may not be current as Scoutbook updates can occur at any time.
Advancement is an integral part of a quality program, helping young people make commitments to achieve higher goals while building character in the process.
Internet Advancement 2.0
For those units who are not using Scoutbook, the proper tool to quickly input advancement data is Internet Advancement 2.0 (previously known as Scoutbook Lite). This capability replaced the previous Internet Advancement platform, which was retired on June 10, 2019 (for all programs except Exploring). Internet Advancement 2.0 features a clean user interface and is optimized to whatever device you use: desktop, tablet or smartphone. It can be accessed by persons assigned the role of “Unit Key 3”, “Unit Key 3 Delegate”, and “Unit Advancement Chair”, roles which are assigned through the Organization Security Manager at the my.scouting.org web site. These users can access Internet Advancement 2.0 via one of the following links using their my.Scouting.org login at any of these portals:
The BSA IT team continues to add additional features on a regular basis. Updates and new features will be communicated as they are implemented.
Visit http://help.scoutbook.com for answers to commonly asked questions
The Advancement System of the Boy Scouts of America is intended to be an EDUCATIONAL PROCESS that will help a youth better understand and be prepared for numerous life circumstances such as religious commitment, civic responsibilities, leadership, career development, social skills, values, personal ethics, etc. The requirements become more detailed and sophisticated as the youth matures. This is the same experience a young person has as he goes through the educational system in school.
There are strict guidelines that BSA has set forth that need to be followed. In normal circumstances, a boy should do what is required, no more, no less. If the topic piques the boy interest, he will on his own do more than what is required.
As adults, it is our obligation not to shortchange a youth’s education or development of skills by allowing shoddy or incomplete work. Please allow a boy to LEARN by requesting that he fulfill all requirements. “All requirements” includes the very important show Scout Spirit which means the boy is living the Scout Oath and Law in his every day life!!
How to Order Advancement Items While Scout Shops are Closed
- Unit Leader will email in the Advancement report to NDCSupply.Orders@scouting.org
- Please include contact phone number so the Customer Service team member can contact you for payment.
- Customer Service Rep will contact Unit Leader for credit card information, ship to and bill to address, and verify the correct Council along with the actual advancement needed.
- Customer Service team will send via FedEx all original reports to the Council’s Registrar once a week.