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Trail to First Class



The first three ranks in Scouting are called the "learning ranks". This is where Scouts learn fundamental skills such as cooking, first aid, knots and lashings, and more.
  1. Here are the steps for advancement on the Trail to First Class: 
  2. Scout learns skill (at camp, in meetings, etc.) 
  3. Troop Guide (first year) or Patrol Leader (main troop) tests the Scout 
  4. Troop Guide (first year) or Patrol Leader (main troop) initials AND dates Scout’s handbook when complete 
  5. Scout talks to Patrol Advisor to review any signed off requirements 
  6. Patrol Advisor initials and dates Scout’s handbook (may spot check but does not redo testing!) 
  7. Patrol Advisor informs Advancement Coordinator on signed off requirements 
  8. Advancement Coordinator updates TroopMaster 
  9. Scout is recognized at next Court of Honor once all rank requirements are complete

Sign-off Process

  • Patrol Advisor to co-witness new Patrol Leader sign-offs for first 30-days 
  • Patrol Advisors may sign off on requirements in certain cases (PL not available, swim test, etc.) 
  • Scout Handbook is to be used for all sign-off, TroopMaster is central record and backup 
  • Approved Troop Instructors may be used for domain-specific instruction, PoR credit can be received
NOTE: The BSA has an excellent set of online rank videos that describe each rank and help walk a Scout through the requirements.