The primary guide for tracking a Scout’s rank advancement is the Rank Advancement pages at the back of the Boy Scout Handbook. Scouts books do become lost or damaged, so it is recommended that the Scout and their family make frequent copies (or photographs) of the rank advancement pages as the scout completes requirements and they are signed off in the book.
Troop 1988 also uses Scoutbook as an online (or on a mobile device) way for tracking a Scout’s rank progress. If you do not have an account for monitoring and recording your Scout’s progress, please request one from the Troop Advancement Chairperson or the Scoutmaster.
Periodically, the Boy Scouts of America makes changes to the requirements for rank advancement. When this occurs, it is not necessary to purchase a new Scout handbook. Scouts may check and print out a copy of the most recent rank requirements and keep these pages with their original scout book. Often there is a “grace period” where Scouts are permitted to complete the rank they are currently working on under the old requirements, and then begin to use new requirements with their next rank.
All Scouts are currently required to use the rank requirements associated with the 2017 printing or newer. There are some minor changes in the requirements effective in 2018 and 2019, but these will not yet apply to scouts who have already started working on their next rank.
For Scouts who have started working on their Tenderfoot through First Class ranks under either the 2017 or 2018 requirements, they may continue to use those requirements. Similarly if you are already First Class or higher and have started working on your next rank, you may continue to use those current requirements for that rank, but must switch to the new 2019 requirements for your next rank. Scouts joining in 2019 must use the 2019 requirements, regardless of the requirements printed at the back of your Scout Handbook.
In particular, Requirement 1a for First Class (2018), now reads as:
1a. Since joining Boy Scouts, participate in 10 separate troop/patrol activities, at least six of which must be held outdoors. Of the outdoor activities, at least three must include overnight camping. These activities do not include troop or patrol meetings. On campouts, spend the night in a tent that you pitch or other structure that you help erect, such as a lean-to, snow cave, or tepee.