ADVANCEMENT IS THE PROCESS by which youth members progress through ranks in the Scouting program by the gradual mastery of Scouting skills.
Regardless the program—Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, Varsity Scouting, Venturing, or Sea Scouts—where advancement takes place, it is nothing more and nothing less than a method. It is a means toward accomplishing the Boy Scouts of America mission. It is not an end in itself.
“Advancement is one of the eight methods used by Scout leaders to help youth fulfill the aims of the BSA.”
The outcomes of the Scouting experience should be fun and educational, and not just relate to completing rank requirements that might place unrealistic expectations on a member who has a disability.
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The new - 2021 Guide to Advancement is now available. To download a copy for yourself and your unit, click on the 2021 Guide to Advancement button below. Updated July 2021.
There is a Word Document that will give you the sections that were updated from the 2019 version -
As you can see on Page 7, these sections were among the most heavily updated:
Section 4: Mechanics of Advancement
Section 7: The Merit Badge Program
Section 8: Boards of Review: An Overview for All Ranks
Section 9: The Eagle Scout Rank
Section 10: Advancement for Members with Special Needs
Apache District includes all of South Charlotte including Ballantyne, Pineville, Lake Wylie, as well as, West Charlotte , Uptown and all parts in between.
Hornets Nest District
The Hornets Nest District serves the Northeast portion of the Mecklenburg County Council.
Etowah District encompasses the Southeast Charlotte area between Albemarle Road and Providence Road, out to the Matthews and Mint Hill areas.
The Special Initiatives Division is made up of three districts, each designed to serve specific needs not able to be met by the above districts.
Misc. Advancement Items To Be Prepared!
Advancement Report Processing
Reporting Advancements to the council is required for all units. Using Scoutbook to record unit advancement and to print an award purchase list is highly recommended; but some circumstances may necessitate use of the BSA Advancement form which can be found here.
The advantage of using Scoutbook or the paper form is the advancement and awards will be registered in the BSA national database and preserved. If a Leader purchases a badge or an award without a Scoutbook purchase list or a paper form, the advancement or award will not be registered with BSA. All purchases made without submitting the supporting documentation will require the purchaser to complete an Advancement Request form. If Advancements are not properly reported to the council, the Scout may not be able to carry over proper records to a new unit, or advance in rank (including Eagle Scout.)
Blue Card Records
Even with Scoutbook, blue cards are the Scout's official record for having completed merit badges. Blue card records can be invaluable to confirm merit badges for Star, Life, and especially for Eagle Boards of Review.
The Council Advancement Committee has made the decision to mandate that two sections of the Blue Card showing the Scoutmaster’s signature are to be presented at the Scout Office counter with the Advancement Report to receive the MB. The MB counselor section is not required.
After the Scout Shop receives advancement reports and blue cards, processing may take up to 5 business days. Troop leaders should include contact information so that the Scout Shop can call when reports and blue cards are ready for pickup.
Conservation Service Awards
Conservation Awards and STEM
The Council Advancement Committee has a subcommittee to promote conservation-related and STEM-related activities and awards. The Conservation-STEM Subcommittee invites Scouts who are interested in earning any of the BSA Distinguished Conservation Service Awards or BSA Supernova STEM Awards to consult with the committee before beginning work on requirements. These awards require sustained effort over 2 to 4 years. With continuous consultation with a trained Adviser offering guidance from the outset, the Scout’s work and documents will be significantly more likely to attain a level of quality and depth to qualify for BSA National review. A Scout presenting a completed binder and application form for a signature without on-going collaboration with mentors and advisors is less likely to meet the rigorous standards in place for a successful submission and review.
Please contact Stuart Tucker at email@example.com if any Scout is interested in pursuing one of these awards.
BSA Distinguished Conservation Service Award
In early November, 2020, BSA announced a new conservation award program to replace the Hornaday Award program.
Information is posted at -
50th Anniversary Environmental Protection Agency Award
Program Term – January 1 to December 31, 2021
The Environmental Protection Agency, as part of a public awareness campaign to celebrate its first 50 years, has partnered with the Boy Scouts of America to create an award for members of troops, crews and ships. This new award will recognize youth who research and learn about the subjects of human health and the environment, as the EPA develops its vision for the next 50 years.
The objective of the EPA award is to combine a variety of disciplines to challenge and educate youth; introduce them to the breadth of the EPA’s involvement in environmental protection and conservation; and encourage them to research, investigate, experiment, demonstrate, survey, and study air pollution, water pollution, solid and hazardous waste, and ocean dumping.
Download the EPA Award Application here -
COVID Information for Advancement
Advancement during COVID?
Bryan on Scouting
Advancement during COVID-19
Merit Badges & Social Distancing
Bryan on Scouting (Mar. 2020)
Nova & Supernova STEM Awards
For more information about the program, approval signatures, activities, or scholarships, send email to -
Scouts BSA STEM Up and Away Nova Award for Engineering
iFly has added virtual (remote) learning opportunities for Scouts interested in earning the Up and Away Nova Award.
Scouts BSA members can complete requirements 3 and 5 of the Up and Away Award through the online course and requirement 4 with a dedicated visit to iFLY Charlotte (Concord) located at 7840 Lyles Ln NW, Concord, NC 28027, phone 704 851 4359.
For information on registration, programs for individuals or groups, scheduling, and costs, please click on
For information on adult registration and training as a Nova Award Counselor and a Supernova Award Mentor, please click on - https://www.scouting.org/stem-nova-awards/volunteer-support/