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Calculating 4-Month or 6-Month Target date

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"I've always seen and done 6/15 to 12/15. Six months. If the previous BOR was on June 15, the earliest the next one can be is December 15. Never had that rejected."


Coming from a background in financial services and many years of doing interest calculations on debt, I would say that this is exactly what is meant by assuming that all months have 30 days.


(Unless they mean that a four-month tenure must always be at least 120 days, but it doesn't sound like that's where this is going.)


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I'm an engineer, I thrive on technicalities. My salary is quoted as so many dollars per month, yet I'm paid on a bi-weekly basis. I asked why my check amount doesn't increase in magnitude in February and decrease in March. I get confused looks by those sorry business majors in the accounting department. :)


Yes, if a rank was earned on the "15th" of a month, it is easy to determine a six or four month tenure. But for the particular example given, earning 1st Class on 10/31 when does the four months duration in rank be met? My guess would be February 28 (or 29 if a leap year).


So either use four complete months (Nov, Dec. Jan, Feb in the example above) or the same numerical day (i.e. the 15th) if it does not.

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Would someone lock the barn door please? The horse ran away ...


If you want to be increidibly technical, use 124 days ( 4 x 31 ) for Star and 186 days ( 6 x 31 ) for Life and Eagle. No one can question the quantity of tenure then. (Quality is another story...)


Now, the only time my own son advanced "on the guideline" was First Class to Star. With Scout Camp behind him, all the merit badges were in hand. All he needed was leadership and service time.


I think my first question when I hear about advancement tenure is "What's the rush?" There's usually plenty of time(This message has been edited by John-in-kc)

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Here is the answer from National:


Thank you for contacting the National Advancement Team regarding how months are counted toward rank advancement requirements.


Your council registrar is correct. Months are calculated as the period of time between the same dates in successive months. They are not calculated as a specific number of weeks or days. Time periods listed in rank and merit badge requirements were specifically written the way they are on purpose. They are not intended to be interpreted to mean something else. If it was intended that the requirement completion be determined using weeks or days, it would have been written that way. In summary:


  • A month is the period of time between the same dates in successive months.
    • A week is a period of seven days, but the beginning of the week can be any day of the week.
      • Days are individual dates (not necessarily a full 24 hours).


For time served in a position of responsibility the requirement was written using months to simplify the process of keeping track of the time spent. It would be too difficult and confusing to use days or weeks instead of months. For example, if a Scout had their First Class board of review on March 15, then the earliest they would be eligible to sit for a Star board of review would be four months later on July 15, assuming all other requirements were completed by then. Likewise, the earliest the Scout would be eligible to sit for their Life board of review would be January 15.


I trust that this answers your question.


Thanks for all you do for Scouting.



Garfield S. Murden | National Director, Scouts BSA


Pilots & Program Development

1325 West Walnut Hill Lane | P.O. Box 152079

Irving, Texas 75015-2079





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@RichardHall, welcome to the forums!

So, I hope your inquiry to national wasn't based on a decades old thread! Did you have a scout who came up against some deadlines, and this really mattered?

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