Scout - This rank welcomes a Scout into the Troop and Scouting Community. He is required to have basic knowledge of the Scouting ideals and program. It includes the ability to be able to recite the Scout Oath, Law, Motto and Slogan from memory.
Tenderfoot thru First Class - This is the stage where a Scout learns and is tested on basic Scouting skills which include physical fitness, citizenship, personal growth, Scoutcraft and Scout spirit. He learns how to work as a member of a team (Patrol) and what it takes to be an effective leader. He can work on any and all requirements Tenderfoot thru First Class simultaneously no matter what rank he currently holds.
Star - This stage is a change from the first four ranks and is designed to develop leadership skills, and to explore potential vocations and avocations through the Merit Badge program. A Scout is now required to take on a leadership position (Position of Responsibility) and perform community service projects. This is a shift from being the student to becoming the teacher and mastering the skills that he learned at the lower ranks.
Life - This is when a Scout demonstrates the leadership skills he has been learning by taking on a higher-level leadership position (Position of Responsibility). At this stage, it is not just enough to blend in, a Scout needs to stand out as a leader. He will need to perform one or more community service projects with at least 3 hours being conservation related. He is required to earn additional Merit Badges, three of which must be Eagle required. The expectations and commitment are a little higher at this stage.
Eagle - This is the stage where a Scout shows that he has become a proficient leader and is able to handle responsibilities. He demonstrates, at meetings and on outings, that he has mastered his Scouting and leadership skills and that he has become a role model for younger Scouts. He is required to organize, plan and lead a complex, multi-phase community service project and earn Merit Badges centered around first aid, physical fitness, citizenship and developing organizational skills.
The rank of Eagle Scout is NOT a participation award. It is earned by hard work, dedication and by going over and above what a regular Scout would do. That is why only 4% of Scouts actually earn the rank of Eagle Scout. The Eagle rank is the highest award a Scout can earn, it is the 'Gold Medal' of Scouting. Just like earning a gold medal in another sport or activity, you need to be committed and put in the time, effort and energy needed to earn the gold medal. The Eagle Award is one of the top youth recognition awards and is something that will be on the Scout’s resume long after sports or other activities have fallen off. In other words, it's worth the commitment required. It would not be fair to modify, change or lessen the expectations/requirements for this award as that would take away from the efforts and achievements of those that have previously earned the Eagle Award in Troop 3.
Participation Guidelines These guidelines have been developed so that there is uniformity and consistency in the advancement process. It is NOT meant to hold anyone back but rather to ensure that everyone meets the same minimum requirement. In the past, the way of determining if a Scout met the requirement was subjective and up to the Scoutmaster to decide. By setting a standard it removes any chance of showing favoritism. In order to excel or advance in any organization you need to participate. The commitment requested for the higher ranks and for Eagle is nothing beyond what other youth activities and sports teams require. Additionally, each rank, from Second Class to Eagle, requires that a Scout demonstrate “Scout Spirit”. While there is no strict definition of Scout Spirit, being active in Troop activities is considered a component of Scout Spirit. Scouting is like anything else, you get out of it what you put into it.
Signing Off On Requirements A Scout can work on requirements at any time, and is encouraged to work on them as often as he wants. After a Scout has completed a requirement during a Troop meeting, on a camping trip or while at home, he should immediately get that requirement signed off in his handbook while it is still fresh in his memory. Below is the list of leaders and which requirements they can sign off on. Once a Scout has completed all the requirements he will be awarded that rank at the next Troop meeting, with the exception of the rank of Eagle.
Troop Guide - Can sign off on all requirements, with the exception of participation, up to and including the rank of First Class.
Senior Patrol Leader - Can sign off on all requirements, with the exception of participation and Position of Responsibility, up to and including the rank of Life.
Assistant Scoutmaster - Can sign off on all requirements up to and including the rank of Life and should only sign off on Eagle requirements when the Scoutmaster is not available.
Scoutmaster - Can sign off on all rank requirements.
Committee Members - Can only sign off on the Board of Review requirements for each rank.
A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.