HOME—US Scouting—Boy Scouts of America
Boy Scouting Division (BSA)
Age Requirements / Advancement / Highest Awards
- Note that Scout troops and Varsity Scout teams are separate units.
- Scouts & Varsity Scouts are male only.
- Boy Scouting adults are coed, with all positions open to those 21 or older, and only Assistant Scoutmaster & Assistant Varsity Scout Coach open to those ages 18 to 20.
Age Range / Highest Award
||age 11 OR
finished grade 5 + min. age 10 OR
earned Arrow of Light + min. age 10
|until age 18
||until age 18
Advancement for Scouts and Varsity Scouts
- Scouts/Varsity Scouts wear only the highest rank earned.
- All ranks must be earned in order.
- The first 3 ranks cover basic Scout skills.
- The higher 3 ranks include merit badges, service, and leadership.
- Each Eagle Palm represents 5 additional merit badges plus 3 months active service. Note that the Silver Palm is higher than the Gold Palm!
Scout Badge (joining requirements; not a rank)
Star (6 merit badges)
Life (11 merit badges)
Eagle Scout (badge/medal) (21 merit badges)
Pictures of Older Rank Badges
All Rank Requirements, Tenderfoot through Eagle Scout, 1910—Present
Advancement for Varsity Scouts only
- In addition to (or instead of) standard Scout advancement, Varsity Scouts can also earn the 'Varsity Letter' and the Denali Award.
- The Varsity Letter is primarily for active participation.
- The Denali Award requires earning the Varsity Letter, advancing a rank toward Eagle (or earning a Palm), and holding a Varsity leadership position for 6 months.
Varsity Letter (not a rank)
Denali Award (not a rank)
Other Advancement-related Badges & Awards
Merit Badges (over 120 merit badges; 21 required for Eagle Scout); Eagle required badge/left; regular badge/right
Eagle Palms (Bronze/Gold/Silver; not considered ranks, but additional awards an Eagle Scout can earn)
Interpreter Badges / Religious Award
BSA Aquatic Awards
Leave No Trace / Boy Scout World Conservation Award
Age Requirements/Advancement/Highest Awards—