Boy Scout Ranks, Activities & Awards

Scouting’s advancement program remains structured yet flexible in the Boy Scout program. Generally, boys progress through the ranks of Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life and Eagle through a combination of required achievements and optional challenges.

To achieve the coveted Eagle rank, boys earn the following core badges:

  • First Aid
  • Citizenship in the Community
  • Citizenship in the Nation
  • Citizenship in the World
  • Communications
  • Personal Fitness
  • Emergency Preparedness OR Lifesaving
  • Environmental Science
  • Personal Management
  • Camping
  • Hiking OR Cycling OR Swimming
  • Family Life

Along the way, boys can focus on a wide range of more than a hundred achievements, including such specialized foci as:

  • fly-fishing
  • public speaking
  • archeology
  • orienteering
  • astronomy
  • climbing
  • communications
  • salesmanship

Apart from the achievements and progress through ranks, boys learn, lead and explore by participating in national and international jamborees, in challenging outdoor and leadership programs at the national scout ranch at Philmont in New Mexico, and in locally organized hikes and trips to locations such as Maui and the Grand Canyon.

Because the Scout motto is Be Prepared, training is an essential element of the Boy Scout experience. As a result, the national, regional and local scout organizations arrange for Scout training in leadership, safety, and outdoors skills among others.

Though there’s much more to do—see for a good introduction—worth a special note are the religious awards available to Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts. Each of 34 major religions has organized an Emblem program that adherents can pursue, to strengthen their faith.