Advancement & Recognition

Advancement is the process by which youth members of the Boy Scouts of America progress from rank to rank.

Every Scout activity moves a youth toward three basic aims:  character development, citizenship training, and mental and physical fitness.  Advancement is one of the eight methods used by Scout leaders to help Scouts fulfill the aims of the Boy Scouts of America.

Refer to the Guide to Advancement  for the most current advancement policies, procedures, and resources.

Unit leaders can record advancements using the Internet Advancement system or ScoutBook.

Cub Scout Advancement

The Cub Scout advancement program is designed to encourage the natural interests of your youth.  Each of the ranks and awards in Cub Scouting (Lion, Bobcat, Tiger, Wolf, Bear, Webelos, and Arrow of Light) has its own requirements.  As a boy or girl advances through the ranks, requirements get progressively more challenging, matching the increased skills and abilities of your youth as they grow older.

Cub Scout Learning Library  – Access Cub Scouting tools, including detailed information on the Cub Scout advancement program and requirements.

Scouts BSA Advancement

Scouts BSA provides a series of surmountable obstacles and steps in overcoming them through the advancement method.  Scouts plan their advancement and progresses at their own pace. Scouts are rewarded for each achievement, which help them gain self-confidence.  The steps in the advancement system help Scouts grow in self-reliance and in the ability to help others.

Scouts BSA Advancement Awards - Access Scouts BSA specific resources, requirements and forms.

Eagle Scout Resources  – Learn about the steps required to earn the Eagle Scout rank and find resources for service projects and recognitions.

Venturing Advancement

The Venturing award series is designed to help Venturers grow in adventure, leadership, personal growth, and service.  The Venturing Awards program has four levels:


  • Venturing Award:  All Venturers are encouraged to earn this award shortly after joining a crew.
  • Discovery Award:  This award focuses on participation in crew activities and events.
  • Pathfinder Award:  Leadership must be demonstrated to earn this award.
  • Summit Award:  While mentoring is a key part of the entire Venturing program, the Summit award is earned by Venturers that utilized their skills and leadership abilities to help others advance and grow.

Venturing Achievement Awards, including Ranger, Quest, and TRUST, can also be earned by interested participants.

Venturing Awards   – Learn more about available awards within the Venturing program.

Reports Required for Rank Advancements

This is a reminder to Scouting leaders that Advancement Report forms are required to purchase rank advancements in the Scout Shops.

If your unit is using ScoutBook (which we encourage all packs and troops to use), or Internet Advancement (which will be phased out soon), you can print the report directly from your computer. The report must be turned in when rank advancements are purchased.

The alternative to the computer reports is manually completing the form (available below).

Without these reports, the council may not be able to have accurate records of what the Scouts have earned. This is especially important for the Scouts as the move through the program as dates of ranks earned and time requirements require accurate records.

When you send someone to the Scout Shop to pick up awards, make sure the bring along the Advancement report!

Advancement Report form

Scouts BSA Merit Badge Program

There is more to merit badges than simply providing opportunities to learn skills.  There is more to them than an introduction to lifetime hobbies, or the inspiration to pursue a career – though these invaluable results occur regularly.  It all begins with a Scout’s initial interest and effort in a merit badge subject,

Followed by a discussion with the unit leader or designated assistant, continues through meetings with a counselor, and culminates in advancement and recognition.  It is an uncomplicated process that gives a Scout the confidence achieved through overcoming obstacles.  Social skills improve.  Self-reliance develops.  Examples are set and followed.  And fields of study and interest are explored beyond the limits of the school classroom.

Merit Badge Requirements  – View the official listing of merit badge requirements

Merit Badge Counselors

The list of approved merit badge counselors for each district is available from the council service centers. The list is updated on a regular basis.

Merit badge counselors that need to update their contact information or merit badges they are willing to teach should be done by completing a Merit Badge Counselor information sheet. Once completed, the information sheet should be sent to the Fargo or Bismarck Scout Center.

Recognition for Adult Volunteers


Silver Beaver Award

The Silver Beaver Award is the highest award the Council can bestow upon a registered volunteer Scouter in recognition of distinguished service to the Council and its youth. Nominations will not only be judged on their outstanding volunteer service at the Council level, but their overall service to youth.

The Silver Beaver Awards are presented during the Council Annual Recognition Banquet.

Download the nomination form

Nominations for the 2020 Silver Beaver Awards are due no later than January 31, 2020.

2019 Silver Beavers

At the 2019 Council Recognition Luncheon, the outstanding volunteers shown above were presented with the Silver Beaver award - the highest award a council may bestow on adult volunteers.

Pictured above (left to right): Charles Votova, Michael Guck, Diane Smith, Perry Vogel, Daniel Link and Keith Domke.

Congratulations to these great volunteers!

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Fargo, ND 58103
(701) 293-5011