Troop Advancement

Boy Scouting provides a series of surmountable obstacles and steps in overcoming them through the advancement method. The Boy Scout plans his advancement and progresses at his own pace as he meets each challenge.

The Boy Scout is rewarded for each achievement, which helps him gain self-confidence. The steps in the advancement system help a Boy Scout grow in self-reliance and in the ability to help others.

For a complete, and up to date listing of all Boy Scout advancements, visit the National BSA Site.


Boy Scout Advancement accommodates the three Aims of Scouting: citizenship, growth in moral strength and character, and mental and physical development. It is one of the eight Methods of Scouting.

There are six ranks:

  • Tenderfoot
  • Second Class
  • First Class
  • Star
  • Life
  • Eagle

When a Boy Scout has achieved a rank, it represents that the young man has:

  • Demonstrated living the Scout Oath and Law in his daily life
  • Met the other requirements and/or earned the merit badges for the rank
  • Participated in a Scoutmaster conference
  • Satisfactorily appeared before a board of review

In the advanced ranks (Star, Life, Eagle), the young man has also:

  • Served in a position of responsibility in the troop
  • Performed service to others

Specific requirements for each rank, including alternate requirements for those with special needs, are available on the National website.


Merit Badge Counselor

The merit badge counselor is a key player in the Scouts BSA 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 person'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.

To register as a New Counselor

Each candidate must complete the following:

1.      National BSA Adult registration form. Indicate Merit Badge Counselor, code 42, in the position description box.

2.      Merit Badge Counselor form Packet to indicate which badges are being requested. 

3.      BSA Youth Protection training - the training can be completed online or at a District or Council Training. Create a profile or log in to your existing profile, take the training if not already completed and print out the completion card (  If you are currently registered with BSA and are unsure of your BSA number, please contact your unit or council to prevent creating a duplicate profile.

The forms should be filled out, mailed to the Council office.

Current Counselor, to add or remove a specific MB

1.      The counselor must complete the Merit Badge Counselor Form to indicate which badges are being requested to be added or removed. 

Yearly Renewal

Every year, as part of the Council  Renewal, it is required to confirm the registration of each counselor, and ensure active status of Youth Protection Training.

The counselor will be contacted to confirm their intention to continue as a Merit Badge Counselor. If the counselor does not respond within the time frame set, then they will be removed from the active list.

If a counselor does not renew in the time frame and is removed from the active list and later wishes to renew, it will be necessary to complete a new Adult Application and Merit Badge Counselor Form and forward them to Council.


File Name Description
*Guide to the Trail to Eagle This document is a guide that describes the steps the Eagle Scout candidates should take to submit their paperwork and complete the Life to Eagle proccess. Download
Eagle Scout Reference Letter Guide Includes instructions on how to address reference letters and envelopes back to the Utica Service Center, as well as the reference letter template for reviewers to fill out. First page is instructions, second and third pages should be printed double-sided. Download
Merit Badge Counselor Form Please turn in this form to the Utica Scout Office 1401 Genesee St Utica NY 13501. Counselor must also turn in an new adult leader application, and Youth Protection Certificate Download
Merit Badge Counselor Scoutbook Updates Download