Advancement & Merit Badges

Before a Court of Honor:

Please turn in any completed Merit Badge blue cards (printouts from camp or a MB College are fine too) to Mrs Ritterbusch aritterbusch@troop1hopkinton.org or Mr Schonhorn jschonhorn@troop1hopkinton.org at least one week before a Court of Honor so that we can enter them into the database and buy the badges for you at the Scout Store.

Earning a New Rank:

If you are ready to earn a new rank, please schedule your Scoutmaster Conference & Board of Review. Sometimes Scoutmaster conferences can be done at campouts too, time permitting. For scheduling purposes please fill out the online form so we know to expect you. The online form will alert the Scoutmasters and the Advancement Chairs:
http://goo.gl/forms/fmyNNOL63e

Scouts should bring their handbooks to meetings every week, so we can do a check-in on their progress to make sure they are on track. Make sure they aren’t stuck on a certain requirement and don’t know how to get it done. Older scouts are happy to help with this. Council recommends we check in with scouts periodically even if they have not requested a Scoutmaster Conference or Board of Review.

New BSA Requirements phased in for 2016-17:

  • New scouts who joined the troop in 2016, should begin using the 2016 BSA rank requirements now.
  • Scouts who joined in 2015 of earlier and are not yet 1st Class, can use old BSA rank requirements until 12/31/16 or until they earn 1st Class, whichever comes first. Then they must switch to new requirements after 1/1/17 regardless.
  • Scouts who joined in 2015 or earlier and are 1st class or above, can use old BSA requirements to complete their current rank. Then they must switch to new requirements after earning their next rank or after 1/1/17 regardless.
  • Comparison Chart – old vs new requirements
  • New BSA Requirements insert that you can print out for your BSA handbook.
  • Any questions, please ask Mrs Ritterbusch or Mr Schonhorn. This is all new to us too 🙂

Earning the earlier ranks – Scout, Tenderfoot, 2nd Class and 1st Class:

  • These involve learning and demonstrating a variety of scouting skills.
  • Requirements can be signed off by any scout with the rank of 1st class or above. Our Troop Guides are Will D. and Aditya, so they are the best scouts to ask to sign off on requirements.
  • A Scout can work on the requirements for the Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class ranks at the same time, but must earn them in sequence. For example they might learn all the knot tying skills needed for multiple ranks at the same event.
  • There is no time requirement on the early ranks, so BSA hopes that boys will be able to earn 1st Class within about a year after joining Boy Scouts.
  • After completing the requirements for any of the earlier ranks, the scout should fill out our online form to arrange for a Scoutmaster conference with any of the scoutmasters.
  • After their Scoutmaster conference, they will have a Board of Review. (Scout is the only rank that does NOT need a Board of Review.)

Earning the later ranks – Star and Life:

  • These involve doing community service hours, earning several merit badges including some Eagle-required ones, spending a specified number of months in their current rank and serving in a position of responsibility within the troop.
  • To serve in a position of responsibility, a scout should talk to SPL Zach Ritterbusch and Scoutmaster Mr Dionne about a position he might like to take on and then submit written goals for their accepted position to them.
  • Most rank requirements must be signed off by a Scoutmaster or higher ranking scout. Service hours can be signed off at the time they are completed, Mrs Ritterbusch can sign off on the Merit Badge requirement. Once the requirements are met, the scout should fill out our online form to arrange for a Scoutmaster conference with Mr. Dionne scoutmaster@troop1hopkinton.org.
  • After their Scoutmaster conference, they will have a Board of Review.

Earning Eagle Scout:

  • Earning Eagle is a much longer more complex process involving a long application, leading a service project, earning 21 badges (including 13 from the required list), and a Board of Review with Knox Trail Council. Read more on the BSA website.
  • Mr Kimball is our Eagle Mentor, so scouts interested in earning the rank of Eagle should contact him with any questions at skimball@troop1hopkinton.org.

Merit Badge Counselors:

For a list of merit badge counselors, please ask Mrs Ritterbusch, Mr Schonhorn or Mrs Bograd. They can login to the Knox Trail Council database and get a current list for you.