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  • Rank advancement

    I've been in cub scouts before but not boy scouts; I always wanted to do boy scouts but didn't really have the opportunity until now.

    I have just recently joined the boy scouts at the seemingly late age of 17, with my 2 younger brothers. We're home schooled and really hyped up; we've been to our first meeting and they were very welcoming.

    I have the time to dedicate to boy scouts, but I'm really curious how much I can expect to do before my 18th birthday. I intend do the best I can, but I was just looking for a realistic analysis.

    Any information provided would be much appreciated!

  • #2
    Congrats on getting into scouting. Glad you decided to join!

    As far as ranks go, all the early ranks (tenderfoot, 2nd class, 1st class) require skills to be learned and demonstrated along with troop outings and a little service time. For new scouts, the general goal is to accomplish these skills within 1 year of joining a troop, which is very do-able particularly if you attend a week long scout summer camp.

    The higher ranks (star, life, eagle), require service hours, merit badges, and positions of leadership along with a mandated time (4-6 months) of time with the Troop. This will block you from achieving the higher ranks since (as you know), you must be done by the time you turn 18.

    Realistically, if you are really driven, you can potentially make star rank, but not life. Remember, you can work on multiple ranks requirements at the same time, but the ranks will be awarded in the order listed. (ie - You cannot earn 1st class until tenderfoot & 2nd class are completed).

    My advice to you is worry less about rank and more about enjoying scouting and helping your Troop. As a 17 year old, you are probably much more focused than many of your fellow scouts, and able to learn and teach skills more quickly. The outings your Troop goes on will be a great experience for you, and will give you a chance to make lots of new friends. If there are any potential careers you are interested in, search out merit badge counselors for them and work on your merit badge. Get involved and stay involved.

    If you are really serious about being in scouting, look into joining a venturing crew in your area. Venturing is coed, has its own advancement / rank system, and (most importantly for you) allows youth members until they are 21. This will allow you to be in scoutinmg for almost 4 years instead of less than 1 as a youth member.


    • #3
      You can do a lot, but probably the real gift will be to your younger brothers, via interaction with you outside of the home environment. Just don't "mother them". Look out for them while you all learn about the game of Scouting and have fun.

      Besides, you can go to 20.999 years old in a Venturing Crew.


      • #4
        Realistically speaking, I would say you could definitely get First Class, and maybe even Star. However, the troop you are in would have to be extremely active, and you would have to attend the majority of events they have.


        • #5
          You should be able to get FC, maybe Star, join venturing and complete your Eagle if you wanted to work really hard.

          BUT - instead of turning Scouting into a rank marathon, why not just pick up some skills, hang out with your buddies and have a good time and enjoy the program. Get enough information to help your brothers and when you age out to 18, get further training and become an ASM to continue helping them be good scouts.

          If Scouting isn't going to be fun, then you're joining up for all the wrong reasons.



          • #6
            Hiya Allure, welcome to the forums and to Scouting!

            In traditional Scouting from Baden-Powell (Scouting's founder) on down, the "top rank" was First Class Scout. First Class indicates that you have the skills and character to take care of yourself and others in the outdoors. It's a big deal. I'd make that your goal, and aim to really do it well, not skate by. You know that from your homeschooling experience, eh? The stuff that you really put time and energy into doing right is the best. Do First Class right. Learn it cold, so you can do it in the cold and snow!

            Then sit down and talk with your Scoutmaster about Venturing. Venturing is our older-youth program, and you can participate until you are 21. The Venturing Silver or Venturing Ranger or one of the other capstone Venturing awards might be the right long-term goal for you. Kinda da older youth version of Eagle.



            • #7
              "You should be able to get FC, maybe Star, join venturing and complete your Eagle if you wanted to work really hard."

              The cut off is still 18 for Eagle, whether in Venturing or not. It's still not doable. He could work for the Silver and/or Ranger awards though.

              As for the OP, I agree with others who have said don't make it into a race to get ranks. Focus on picking up the skills and knowledge that will be available over the coming year. Maybe become an ASM after you turn 18. You won't be able to work on rank advancement, but you will be able to learn and have fun all the same, just as an adult instead.(This message has been edited by VigilEagle04)


              • #8
                I'm with Beavah on this one. I think First Class would be a reasonable goal, and it does indicate that a scout knows the basics of the outdoors and scouting. The Venturing idea is good as well.


                • #9
                  Star is doable if you are active. But Sea Scouts and Venturing are other options if you are advancement oriented.

                  But as others mentioned, it's about the skills you learn, and not the rank.


                  • #10
                    As most of you said, I wasn't planning on worrying about ranks because of the limited time I have in the scouts, just looking to see what you all thought.

                    The merit badges(the skills obtained from them) and friends who actually know something about camping were what drew us in.

                    Blake&Adams, that's sound advice you guys provided. I imagine I'll be helping whenever they ask for it; they're not very bashful which helps. Varsity scouting may not be a bad idea, I plan on going to college when I'm 18 but it will be in-state so it wouldn't be so bad.

                    Thank you for all the help, it's all very useful !(This message has been edited by Allure)