New Boy Scout Rank Requirements Take Effect Jan. 1, 2016

At the 2013 National Meeting the announcement was made that changes we coming to the BSA’s 3 largest programs with a refocus on the Mission and Aims of Scouting. In 2014, we saw the introduction of The NEW Venturing Program Mode and new awards based on Adventure-Leadership-Service-Personal Growth. In 2015 we implemented the new Cub Scout Adventure Program. Now, for 2016, the updates to the Boy Scout program are being implemented.


  • Scout-rank-badge-old-and-newScout the “joining badge” will become the Scout rank. The requirements are intentionally harder, but there still will not be a Board of Review.
  • Boy Scouts will tell about their ‘duty to God’ at each rank from Tenderfoot to Eagle Scout (plus Eagle Scout palms). Check out the 2016 Boy Scout requirements FAQs for information about how to handle this in your Troop.
  • The number of service hours for Tenderfoot-First Class has increased, and 3 hours for Life must be conservation-related.
  • The number of campouts required for Second Class and First Class has increased.
  • A physical activity requirement has been added for Second Class and First Class.


For 2016:

  • Boys joining on or after Jan. 1, 2016 MUST use the new requirements.
  • Boys who have joined prior to Jan. 1, 2016:
    • Who are working on the Scout badge MAY continue to work on the existing requirements, but MUST convert to the new requirements upon completion of the Scout badge.
    • Who are working on Tenderfoot through First Class MAY continue to work on the existing requirements, but MUST convert to the new requirements upon attaining First Class.
    • Who have completed First Class MAY complete the rank they are currently working on in the existing requirements, but then MUST convert to the new requirements for subsequent ranks.

For 2017: All Scouts MUST use the new requirements regardless of rank.

Do I need a new Handbook?

Not necessarily, particularly for Star to Eagle Palms. BSA has provided inserts that you can add to your existing book.


To help us keep up to date on all the changes, and various resources, BSA has create the Program Updates exitIcon web page. Some of the resources on the site relate directly to the changes in Boy Scout rank requirements.


If you’d like more information about advancement or recognition in the National Capital Area Council, please contact Alan Deter, Chairman of the Council Advancement and Recognition Committee. Please include your District and Unit information.