District Advancement

Below are many resources and articles available for scouts and scouters to use to achieve their advancement goals. 

District Specific Information

Refer to the respective district for more specific information on advancement.

Sky Islands District

Serving: All of Pima County and southern Pinal County.

Cochise District

Serving: All of Cochise and Santa Cruz Counties.

Advancement Overview

Advancement is the process by which youth members of the Boy Scouts of America progress from rank to rank and is the method by which we promote and encourage the ongoing involvement and commitment that keeps members coming back for more. It works best when it is built into a unit’s program so that simply participating leads to meaningful achievement and recognition—and to a continually improving readiness for more complex experiences.

Advancement Is Based on Experiential Learning

Everything done to advance—to earn ranks and other awards and recognition—is designed to educate or to otherwise expand horizons. Members learn and develop according to a standard. This is the case from the time a member joins and then moves through the programs of Cub Scouting, Scouts BSA, and Venturing or Sea Scouts.

Experiential learning is the key: Exciting and meaningful activities are offered, and education happens. Learning comes from doing. For example, youth may read about first aid, hear it discussed, and watch others administer it, but they will not learn it until they practice it. Rushing a Scout through requirements to obtain a badge is not the goal. Advancement should be a natural outcome of a well-rounded unit program, rich in opportunities to work toward the ranks.

General Resources


Scoutbook is the BSA’s online unit management tool and helps Scouts, parents and leaders track advancement and milestone achievements along the Scouting trail. Scoutbook subscriptions are free to all scouting units. 

Scoutbook user guides are available here.


Rank Advancement

Merit Badges

Special Awards

Special Wards are awards given by the Boy Scouts of America, National Council. These designations are optional and exciting opportunities for Scouts to expand their skills.

Other Useful Links

Refer to these links for more details about advancement information and awards.