Information sourced from Scouting.org
Both adult and youth leaders approve Boy Scout advancement. This permits greater emphasis on standards and more consistency in measurement, but it also places another level of importance on teaching and testing. As Scouts work with one another, learning takes place on both sides of the equation as they play teacher and student in turn. Parents are involved at home encouraging, mentoring, and supporting, but they do not sign for rank advancement requirements unless they serve as leaders.
As the Scout completes the requirements he achieves the three aims of Scouting: to develop character, to train in the responsibilities of participating citizenship, and to develop physical and mental fitness. It is important to remember that in the end, a badge recognizes the Scout has gone through an experience of learning something he did not previously know. As a result, through increased confidence, he discovers or realizes he is able to learn similar skills or disciplines. Advancement is thus about what a young man is now able to learn and to do, and how he has grown. Retention of skills and knowledge is then developed later by using what has been learned through the natural course of unit programming; for example, instructing others and using skills in games and on outings.
Advancement, thus, is not so much a reward for what has been done. It is, instead, more about the journey: As a Scout advances, he is measured and he grows in confidence and self-reliance, and he builds upon his skills and abilities.
The badge signifies that a young man—through participation in a series of educational activities—has provided service to others, practiced personal responsibility, and set the examples critical to the development of leadership; all the while working to live by the Scout Oath and Scout Law.
The badge signifies a young man has provided service to others, practiced personal responsibility, and set the examples critical to the development of leadership.
After being awarded the Scout badge, there are six ranks in Boy Scouting that are to be earned sequentially no matter what age a boy joins the program.
Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class ranks are oriented toward learning and practicing skills that will help the Scout develop confidence and fitness, challenge his thought processes, introduce him to his responsibilities as a citizen, and prepare him for an exciting and successful Scouting experience. Requirements for Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class may be passed at any time after the Scout badge has been earned. For example, a Scout working toward Tenderfoot may fulfill and be signed off on all the first aid–related requirements for all three of the ranks.
All requirements for Star, Life, and Eagle, except for those related to merit badges, must be fulfilled after the successful completion of a board of review for the previous rank.
In Boy Scouting, advancement requirements must be passed as written. If, for example, a requirement uses words like "show," "demonstrate," or "discuss," then that is what Scouts must do.