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Ten Essentials

Boy Scout Troop 55
(Clinton, Connecticut)
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First and foremost, while Cub Scouts has adult leaders that set up the schedule, prepare activities, and train the Boy Scouts, the older Boys are the Leaders!  The Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmasters are there for safety monitors and enable the older boys to LEAD.

There are 7 ranks in Boy Scouts, and unlike Cub Scouts that rank up with each age group, each boy scout achieves the next rank when all requirements in the handbook are complete on an individual basis.  It is common to have boys of the same age group be different ranks. With Troop 55, most boys learn the skills necessary while going on the weekend camping and other trips. 


The first set of ranks (Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class) really teach the boys the foundation skills in main categories like outdoor cooking, first aid, nature identification, camping skills, etc.  This process of learning the basic skills is referred as the "First Class Path".  In some troops, there are boys that help to mentor those in attaining the First Class Rank called "Troop Guides".

The second set of ranks (Star, Life, and Eagle) focus more on attaining specific skill sets via Merit Badges and focus on Leadership of the younger boys.

As each boy finishes up the requirements for the next rank, he then sees the Scoutmaster for a Scoutmaster Conference.  This is the final opportunity to ensure the scout has all the skill sets and knowledge for the next rank.  After the successfully completing the conference, he then asks for a Board of Review (BOR) from the Troop Adult Committee Members, usually 3 or more adults that are not a Scoutmaster or Assistant Scoutmaster.  This provides an opportunity to present their knowledge to the other adults.  After passing the BOR, the scout is officially the next rank.

Awards held twice a year, normally in November and May and called the Court of Honor.  Ranks, Merit Badges, and any special achievements are awarded.

Merit Badges

Merit Badges offer boys to learn more about specific subjects and there are over 135 of them.  

See the official website for the full list:

MERIT BADGE COUNSELORS:  Unlike Cub Scouts where adults can sign off any requirement, for Merit Badges, there are specific adults qualified in individual badges called Badge Counselors.  Even a Scoutmaster cannot sign off on the Merit Badge Requirements unless he is registered as a Merit Badge Counselor for that specific topic.  A "blue card" is the form of logging each merit badge requirement, and most merit badges have up to 15 requirements.  Some take 3-4 hours of training, while others could take months.


EAGLE SCOUT REQUIRED MERIT BADGES:  There are 13 core merit badges required to achieve Eagle Scout:  First Aid, XXX