What is Advancement?
Advancement is the process by which youth members of the Boy Scouts of America progress from rank to rank in the Scouting program. Advancement is simply a means to an end, not an end in itself. Everything done to advance and earn these ranks, from joining until leaving the program, should be designed to help the Scout have an exciting and meaningful experience.
Although Scouts are awarded badges as part of advancement, a badge is recognition of what a young person is able to do, not merely a reward for what he or she has done. The badge is proof of certain abilities, and is not just a reward for the completion of a task.
A fundamental principle of advancement in Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting and Venturing is the growth a young person achieves as a result of his or her participation in the program.
Advancement is not a competition among individual young people but is an expression of their interest and participation in the program. Youth must be encouraged to advance steadily and set their own goals with guidance from their parents, guardians, or leaders.