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The Path to Preparedness

Why Advance? To be Prepared for Life.

Advancement is the process by which youth in the Boy Scouts of America progress from rank to rank, learning and growing to become better citizens, ready for career and life. It is the method by which we promote and encourage the ongoing involvement and commitment that keeps members coming back for more. 

It Is a Method—Not an End in Itself

Advancement is simply a means to an end, not an end in itself. It is one of several methods designed to help unit leadership carry out the aims and mission of the Boy Scouts of America. 

Advancement Is Based on Experiential Learning

Experiential learning is the key: Exciting and meaningful activities are offered, and education happens. Learning comes from doing. For example, youth may read about first aid, hear it discussed, and watch others administer it,but they will not learn it until they practice it. Rushing a Scout through requirements to obtain a badge is not the goal. Advancement should be a natural outcome of a well-rounded unit program, rich in opportunities to work toward the ranks.

Personal Growth Is the Primary Goal

Scouting skills—what a young person learns to do—are important, but not as important as the primary goal of personal growth achieved through participating in a unit program. The concern is for total, well-rounded development. Age-appropriate surmountable hurdles are placed before members, and as they face these challenges they learn about themselves and gain confidence.

Learning Scout skills and concepts through active participation is a vehicle for personal growth, but it is not the primary goal. For example, learning how to tie a knot, plan a menu, swim, or administer first aid may turnout to be critical in one’s life, but they are secondary to the goal of personal growth that comes with learning. As a Scout learns a skill and then is tested on it, and reviewed and recognized, they develop confidence. They come to realize he or she can learn and do other similar things. The retention of Scouting skills and knowledge is important, of course; but for retention to take place, it will be because Scouting skills and knowledge are used in our programs.

For information on advancement for each program (merit badges, segments, awards, patches etc,) please visit the Quick Links for the program of your choice.


Quick Links

Key Contacts

Michelle Baumann – (503) 225-5714
Volunteer Services Clerk

Todd McDonald – (503) 225-5711
Director of Program & Member Experience

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