Troop 4 La Jolla - Rank 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.

To become a Scout, a boy must meet these initial requirements

1. Meet age requirements. Be a boy who is 11 years old, or one who has completed the fifth grade or earned the Arrow of Light Award and is at least 10 years old, but is not yet 18 years old.

2. Complete a Boy Scout application and health history signed by your parent or guardian.

3. Find a Scout troop near your home.

4. Repeat the Pledge of Allegiance.

5. Demonstrate the Scout sign, salute, and handshake.

6. Demonstrate tying the square knot (a joining knot).

7. Understand and agree to live by the Scout Oath or Promise, Law, motto, and slogan, and the Outdoor Code.

8. Describe the Scout badge.

9. Complete the pamphlet exercises. With your parent or guardian, complete the exercises in the pamphlet How to Protect Your Children from Child Abuse: A Parent's Guide.

10. Participate in a Scoutmaster conference. Turn in your Boy Scout application and health history form signed by your parent or guardian, then participate in a Scoutmaster conference.

1. Present yourself to your leader, properly dressed, before going on an overnight camping trip. Show the camping gear you will use. Show the right way to pack and carry it.

2. Spend at least one night on a patrol or troop campout. Sleep in a tent you have helped pitch.

3. On the campout, assist in preparing and cooking one of your patrol's meals. Tell why it is important for each patrol member to share in meal preparation and cleanup, and explain the importance of eating together.

4a. Demonstrate how to whip and fuse the ends of a rope.

4b. Demonstrate that you know how to tie the following knots and tell what their uses are: two half hitches and the taut-line hitch.

5. Explain the rules of safe hiking, both on the highway and cross-country, during the day and at night. Explain what to do if you are lost.

6. Demonstrate how to display, raise, lower, and fold the American flag.

7. Repeat from memory and explain in your own words the Scout Oath, Law, motto, and slogan.

8. Know your patrol name, give the patrol yell, and describe your patrol flag.

9. Explain the importance of the buddy system as it relates to your personal safety on outings and in your neighborhood. Describe what a bully is and how you should respond to one.

10a. Record your best in the following tests: Push-ups, Pull-ups, Sit-ups, Standing long jump, 1/4-mile walk/run. Record them again 30 days later.

10b. Show improvement in the activities listed in requirement 10a after practicing for 30 days.

11. Identify local poisonous plants; tell how to treat for exposure to them.

12a. Demonstrate how to care for someone who is choking.

12b. Show first aid for the following:

  • Simple cuts and scrapes
  • Blisters on the hand and foot
  • Minor (thermal/heat) burns or scalds (superficial, or first-degree)
  • Bites or stings of insects and ticks
  • Venomous snakebite
  • Nosebleed
  • Frostbite and sunburn
13. Demonstrate Scout spirit by living the Scout Oath (Promise) and Scout Law in your everyday life.

14. Participate in a Scoutmaster conference.

15. Complete your board of review.

1a. Demonstrate how a compass works and how to orient a map. Explain what map symbols mean.

1b. Using a compass and a map together, take a five-mile hike (or 10 miles by bike) approved by your adult leader and your parent or guardian. (Note: If you use a wheelchair or crutches, or if it is difficult for you to get around, you may substitute "trip" for "hike.")

2a. Since joining, have participated in five separate troop/patrol activities (other than troop/patrol meetings), two of which included camping overnight.

2b. On one of these campouts, select your patrol site and sleep in a tent that you pitched.

2c. On one campout, demonstrate proper care, sharpening, and use of the knife, saw, and ax, and describe when they should be used.

2d. Use the tools listed in requirement 2c to prepare tinder, kindling, and fuel for a cooking fire.

2e. Discuss when it is appropriate to use a cooking fire and a lightweight stove. Discuss the safety procedures for using both.

2f. Demonstrate how to light a fire and a lightweight stove.

2g. On one campout, plan and cook over an open fire one hot breakfast or lunch for yourself, selecting foods from the food pyramid. Explain the importance of good nutrition. Tell how to transport, store, and prepare the foods you selected.

3. Participate in a flag ceremony for your school, religious institution, chartered organization, community, or troop activity.

4. Participate in an approved (minimum of one hour) service project.

5. Identify or show evidence of at least 10 kinds of wild animals (birds, mammals, reptiles, fish, mollusks) found in your community.

6a. Show what to do for "hurry" cases of stopped breathing, serious bleeding, and ingested poisoning.

6b. Prepare a personal first-aid kit to take with you on a hike.

6c. Demonstrate first aid for the following:

  • Object in the eye
  • Bite of a suspected rabid animal
  • Puncture wounds from a splinter, nail, and fishhook
  • Serious burns (partial thickness, or second-degree)
  • Heat exhaustion
  • Shock
  • Heatstroke, dehydration, hypothermia, and hyperventilation
7a. Tell what precautions must be taken for a safe swim.

7b. Demonstrate your ability to jump feetfirst into water over your head in depth, level off and swim 25 feet on the surface, stop, turn sharply, resume swimming, then return to your starting place.

7c. Demonstrate water rescue methods by reaching with your arm or leg, by reaching with a suitable object, and by throwing lines and objects. Explain why swimming rescues should not be attempted when a reaching or throwing rescue is possible, and explain why and how a rescue swimmer should avoid contact with the victim.

8a. Participate in a school, community, or troop program on the dangers of using drugs, alcohol, and tobacco and other practices that could be harmful to your health. Discuss your participation in the program with your family.

8b. Explain the three R's of personal safety and protection.

9. Demonstrate Scout spirit by living the Scout Oath (Promise) and Scout Law in your everyday life.

10. Participate in a Scoutmaster conference.

11. Complete your board of review.

1. Demonstrate how to find directions during the day and at night without using a compass.

2. Using a compass, complete an orienteering course that covers at least one mile and requires measuring the height and/or width of designated items (tree, tower, canyon, ditch, etc.).

3. Since joining, have participated in 10 separate troop/patrol activities (other than troop/patrol meetings), three of which included camping overnight.

4a. Help plan a patrol menu for one campout that includes at least one breakfast, one lunch, and one dinner, and that requires cooking at least two of the meals. Tell how the menu includes the foods from the food pyramid and meets nutritional needs.

4b. Using the menu planned in requirement 4a, make a list showing the cost and food amounts needed to feed three or more boys and secure the ingredients.

4c. Tell which pans, utensils, and other gear will be needed to cook and serve these meals.

4d. Explain the procedures to follow in the safe handling and storage of fresh meats, dairy products, eggs, vegetables, and other perishable food products. Tell how to properly dispose of camp garbage, cans, plastic containers, and other rubbish.

4e. On one campout, serve as your patrol's cook. Supervise your assistant(s) in using a stove or building a cooking fire. Prepare the breakfast, lunch, and dinner planned in requirement 4a. Lead your patrol in saying grace at the meals and supervise cleanup.

5. Visit and discuss with a selected individual approved by your leader (elected official, judge, attorney, civil servant, principal, teacher) your constitutional rights and obligations as a U.S. citizen.

6. Identify or show evidence of at least 10 kinds of native plants found in your community.

7a. Discuss when you should and should not use lashings.

7b. Demonstrate tying the timber hitch and clove hitch and their use in square, shear, and diagonal lashings by joining two or more poles or staves together.

7c. Use lashing to make a useful camp gadget.

8a. Demonstrate tying the bowline knot and describe several ways it can be used.

8b. Demonstrate bandages for a sprained ankle and for injuries on the head, the upper arm, and the collarbone.

8c. Show how to transport by yourself, and with one other person, a person

  • From a smoke-filled room
  • With a sprained ankle, for at least 25 yards
8d. Tell the five most common signals of a heart attack. Explain the steps (procedures) in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

9a. Tell what precautions must be taken for a safe trip afloat.

9b. Successfully complete the BSA swimmer test.*

9c. With a helper and a practice victim, show a line rescue both as tender and as rescuer. (The practice victim should be approximately 30 feet from shore in deep water.)

10. Demonstrate Scout spirit by living the Scout Oath (Promise) and Scout Law in your everyday life.

11. Tell someone who is eligible to join Boy Scouts, or an inactive Boy Scout, about your troop's activities. Invite him to a troop outing, activity, service project, or meeting. Tell him how to join, or encourage the inactive Boy Scout to become active.

12. Describe the three things you should avoid doing related to use of the Internet. Describe a cyberbully and how you should respond to one.

13. Participate in a Scoutmaster conference.

14. Complete your board of review.

1. Be active in your troop and patrol for at least four months as a First Class Scout.

2. Demonstrate Scout spirit by living the Scout Oath (Promise) and Scout Law in your everyday life.

3. Earn six merit badges, including any four from the required list for Eagle. (See the Eagle Rank Requirements, number 3, for this list.) A Scout may choose any of the 15 required merit badges in the 12 categories to fulfill this requirement.

4. While a First Class Scout, take part in service projects totaling at least six hours of work. These projects must be approved by your Scoutmaster.

5. While a First Class Scout, serve actively for four months in one or more of the following positions of responsibility (or carry out a Scoutmaster-assigned leadership project to help the troop):

  • Boy Scout troop. Patrol leader, assistant senior patrol leader, senior patrol leader, troop guide, Order of the Arrow troop representative, den chief, scribe, librarian, historian, quartermaster, bugler, junior assistant Scoutmaster, chaplain aide, or instructor.
  • Varsity Scout team. Captain, cocaptain, program manager, squad leader, team secretary, Order of the Arrow troop representative, librarian, historian, quartermaster, chaplain aide, instructor, or den chief.
  • Venturing crew/ship. President, vice president, secretary, treasurer, boatswain, boatswain's mate, yeoman, purser, or storekeeper.
6. Take part in a Scoutmaster conference.

7. Complete your board of review.

1. Be active in your troop and patrol for at least six months as a Star Scout.

2. Demonstrate Scout spirit by living the Scout Oath (Promise) and Scout Law in your everyday life.

3. Earn five more merit badges (so that you have 11 in all), including any three more from the required list for Eagle. (See the Eagle Rank Requirements, number 3, for this list.) A Scout may choose any of the 15 required merit badges in the 12 categories to fulfill this requirement.

4. While a Star Scout, take part in service projects totaling at least six hours of work. These projects must be approved by your Scoutmaster.

5. While a Star Scout, serve actively for six months in one or more of the troop positions of responsibility listed in requirement 5 for Star Scout (or carry out a Scoutmaster-assigned leadership project to help the troop).

6. Take part in a Scoutmaster conference.

7. Complete your board of review

1. Be active in your troop, team, crew, or ship for a period of at least six months after you have achieved the rank of Life Scout.

2. Demonstrate that you live by the principles of the Scout Oath and Law in your daily life. List the names of individuals who know you personally and would be willing to provide a recommendation on your behalf, including parents/guardians, religious, educational, and employer references.

3. Earn a total of 21 merit badges (10 more than you already have), including the following:

  • 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
  • Swimming OR Hiking OR Cycling
  • Camping
  • Family Life
You must choose only one merit badge listed in items g and j. If you have earned more than one of the badges listed in items g and j, choose one and list the remaining badges to make your total of 21.

4. While a Life Scout, serve actively for a period of six months in one or more of the following positions of responsibility:
  • Boy Scout troop. Patrol leader, assistant senior patrol leader, senior patrol leader, troop guide, Order of the Arrow troop representative, den chief, scribe, librarian, historian, quartermaster, junior assistant Scoutmaster, chaplain aide, or instructor.
  • Varsity Scout team. Captain, cocaptain, program manager, squad leader, team secretary, Order of the Arrow team representative, librarian, quartermaster, chaplain aide, instructor, or den chief.
  • Venturing crew/ship. President, vice president, secretary, treasurer, boatswain, boatswain's mate, yeoman, purser, or storekeeper.
5. While a Life Scout, plan, develop, and give leadership to others in a service project helpful to any religious institution, any school, or your community. (The project should benefit an organization other than Boy Scouting.) The project plan must be approved by the organization benefiting from the effort, your Scoutmaster and troop committee, and the council or district before you start. You must use the Eagle Scout Leadership Service Project Workbook, BSA publication No. 512-927 , in meeting this requirement.

6. Take part in a Scoutmaster conference.

7. Successfully complete an Eagle Scout board of review.


Click here for Merit Badges and Downloadable Workbooks

Click Here for Troop 4's Library Catalog

Troop 4 La Jolla - Merit Badges

You can learn about sports, crafts, science, trades, business, and future careers as you earn merit badges. There are more than 100 merit badges. Any Boy Scout may earn any merit badge at any time. You don't need to have had rank advancement to be eligible.

Pick a Subject. Talk to your Scoutmaster about your interests. Read the requirements of the merit badges you think might interest you. Pick one to earn. Your Scoutmaster will give you the name of a person from a list of counselors. These counselors have special knowledge in their merit badge subjects and are interested in helping you.

Scout Buddy System. You must have another person with you at each meeting with the merit badge counselor. This person can be another Scout, your parents or guardian, a brother or sister or other relative, or a friend.

Call the Counselor. Get a signed merit badge application from your Scoutmaster. Get in touch with the merit badge counselor and tell him or her that you want to earn the merit badge. The counselor may ask to meet you to explain what is expected of you and to start helping you meet the requirements. You should also discuss work that you have already started or possibly completed.

Unless otherwise specified, work for a requirement can be started at any time. Ask your counselor to help you learn the things you need to know or do. You should read the merit badge pamphlet on the subject. Troop 4 has many of the Merit Badge Booklets in its library. Click here for a list of books in the Library.

Show Your Stuff. When you are ready, call the counselor again to make an appointment to meet the requirements. When you go take along the things you have made to meet the requirements. If they are too big to move, take pictures or have an adult tell in writing what you have done. The counselor will ask you to do each requirement to make sure that you know your stuff and have done or can do the things required.

Get the Badge. When the counselor is satisfied that you have met each requirement, he or she will sign your application. Give the signed application to your Scoutmaster so that your merit badge emblem can be secured for you.

Requirements. You are expected to meet the requirements as they are stated—no more and no less. You are expected to do exactly what is stated in the requirements. If it says "show or demonstrate," that is what you must do. Just telling about it isn't enough. The same thing holds true for such words as "make," "list," "in the field," and "collect," "identify," and "label."

The requirements listed in this publication are the official requirements of the Boy Scouts of America. However, the requirements on the following pages might not match those in the Boy Scout Handbook and the merit badge pamphlets, because this publication is updated only on an annual basis. Click here to view and be able to download all the merit badge worksheets from the BSA.

If a Scout has already started working on a merit badge when a new edition of the pamphlet is introduced, he should continue to use the same merit badge pamphlet and fulfill the requirements therein to earn the badge. He need not start all over again with the new pamphlet and possibly revised requirements.


Click here for Merit Badges and Downloadable Workbooks

Click Here for Troop 4's Library Catalog