Scouts BSA Advancement

UPDATE November 29, 2023: As part of continuous improvements, changes have been made to rank and merit badge requirements.

For more details, visit Scouts BSA 2024 Rank and Merit Badge Updates to view the list of changes! The changes will take effect officially on January 1, 2024.

Click Here For Current Advancement and Awards Requirements

Awards and Other Opportunities

  • Cyber Chip  Today's youth are spending more time than ever using digital media for education, research, socializing and fun.  To help families and volunteers keep youth safe while online, the Boy Scouts of America introduces the Cyber Chip.  In developing this exciting new tool, the BSA teamed up with content expert NetSmartz®, part of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children® and training expert for many for many law enforcement agencies.
  • Den Chief Service Award  To recognize youth members who serve as den chief for at least a year, understand Cub Scouting, attend Den Chief training and are active. 
  • 50-Miler Award  The 50-Miler Award is presented to each qualifying individual for satisfactory participation in an approved trip  In order to qualify for the award, the group of which the individual is a member must fulfill certain requirements.  For the application, click HERE.
  • Firem'n Chit  This certification grants a Scout the right to carry matches and build campfires.  The Scout must show their Scout Leader, or someone designated by his leader, that they understand their own responsibility to fulfill certain requirements.
  • Totin' Chip  This certification grants a Scout the right to carry and use wood tools.  The Scout must show their Scout Leader, or someone designated by the leader, that he/she understands the responsibility to fulfill certain requirements
  • Historic Trails Award  To earn the award, members of your unit must plan and participate in a historic activity and fulfill certain requirements. 
  • Kayaking BSA  To encourage the development of kayaking skills and water safety. .
  • Mile Swim BSA  To encourage swimming skills and recognize Scouts who swim one mile or more. 
  • NOVA Award Program  The Boy Scouts of America's NOVA Awards program incorporates learning with cool activities and exposure to science, technology, engineering and mathematics for Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and Venturers.  The hope is that the requirements and activities for earning these awards stimulates interest in STEM-related fields and shows how science, technology, engineering and mathematics apply to everyday living and the world around them.  Counselors and mentors help bring this engaging, contemporary and fun program to life for youth members. 
  • Paul Bunyan Woodsman  Study the Boy Scout Handbook and The Camping merit badge pamphlet and demonstrate to your Scoutmaster or other qualified person certain qualifications. 
  • Religious Emblems Programs  A Scout is reverent.  He/she is reverent toward God.  He/she is faithful in his religious duties and respects the convictions of others in matters of custom and religion. For additional information, visit: Duty To God BSA
  • William T. Hornaday Awards  William T. Hornaday awards are presented for distinguished service in natural resource conservation for units, Scouts, Venturers and Scouters.  Boy Scouts may earn the Hornaday Badge or the Hornaday Bronze or Silver Medal.
  • World Conservation Award  The World Conservation Award provides an opportunity for individual Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, and Venturers to "think globally" and act "locally" to preserve and improve our environment.  This program is designed to make youth members aware that all nations are closely related through natural resources and that we are interdependent with our world environment.
  • National Outdoor Awards Program  Do you enjoy camping under the stars, rafting a whitewater river, or hitting the trail afoot, on a bike or even on a horse?  Can you pitch a tent, find your way, and bandage an ankle using only materials in your pack?  Are you prepared to do any of these in rain, snow, sleet or heat?  If so, the National Outdoor Awards are for you.  There is nothing virtual about these awards-you can earn them only by demonstrating knowledge and experience in the outdoors.  To download the application, click HERE.