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Scouting ranks, from Lion to Eagle

Learning new skills is fun—and being recognized for it is even better! Advancement is one of the primary methods which Scouting uses to help young men and women grow. The BSA Advancement Policies guide states "A fundamental principle of advancement in Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, Varsity Scouting, and Venturing is the growth a young person achieves as a result of his/her participation in his/her unit program."

By definition, advancement is the process by which youth members of the Boy Scouts of America progress from rank to rank in the Scouting program. It's important to remember that advancement is simply a means to an end and not an end in itself. Everything done to advance and earn awards should be designed to help young people have an exciting and meaningful experience.

Advancement operates differently in each of the three major Scouting programs: Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Venturing. In Cub Scouts, boys are organized into "dens" based on their grade. As they grow older, they complete sets of requirements each year called "adventures" in order to earn the ranks of Tiger, Wolf, Bear, Webelos, and finally the Arrow of Light Award. To learn more about Cub Scout advancement, visit the national BSA website.

Boy Scouts are not divided into sub-groups by grade; instead, every Boy Scout works on the same rank sequence: Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life, and Eagle. Boy Scouts can also earn over 130 merit badges, each of which focuses on a different area of study or career: from Archery to Nuclear Science to Wilderness Survival. To learn more about Boy Scout advancement, visit the national BSA website.

Although Venturing does not focus on rank advancement like Cub Scouts or Boy Scouts does, Venturers do have the opportunity to earn awards as they plan and carry out activities with their crew. Core awards (Venturing, Discovery, Pathfinder, and Summit) focus on adventure, leadership, personal growth, and service—allowing Venturers to mark their progress as they progress through the program. Specialty awards encourage Venturers to dive more deeply into areas such as the outdoors (Ranger), sports (Quest), and their faith (TRUST). To learn more about Boy Scout advancement, visit the national Venturing website.

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The Blue Grass Council receives support from the Cumberland Trails United Way, United Way of Franklin County, United Way of South Central Kentucky, and United Way of South Eastern Kentucky.

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