The steps to rank up include:
- Complete the checklist of requirements for the rank, in your handbook.
- Request a boy board where higher ranked scouts will ask you to questions about the requirements. (not required for the scout rank)
- Request a scoutmaster conference.
- Request an adult board. (not required for the scout rank)
- The back of your scout handbook has checklists for each of the ranks. Use these to keep track of your accomplishments. You can check off many items in various ranks in parallel - it doesn't have to be in sequence by rank. The current requirements from BSA may be found here. For example, here are the requirements for Scout.
- Checklist items may only be signed off by scouts with a rank of 1st class or higher OR uniformed adults.
- Be proactive. Ask your patrol leader or older scouts to sign things off for you. Patrol corner meetings are the perfect time.
- Try to work on several items at once and with other scouts. Car trips are a great time to work on these items.
- Most of the items have teaching material within the handbook. Use the index to find information.
- At the boy board, you will be quizzed about the requirements of the rank. Knots, first aid, sayings, scout principals...are common questions. It's easy if you have done your requirements with attention and practice. Your uniform will be inspected. Sometimes you will be asked to learn or practice a requirement some more and come back. Usually the boy board will recommend that you proceed to a scoutmaster conference. This is supervised by an adult.
- The scoutmaster conference is just a conversation with a scoutmaster about how things are going. You will usually be asked to describe what you like and don't like about the troop or its operation. It is not a test.
- The adult board is also a conversation. Non uniformed adults want to know how well you're progressing and if you're learning good foundations. It's not a test. It's meant to give you practice speaking in front of people, like an interview.
- Your rank is then awarded by the scoutmaster.
- Your rank will be recognized again at the Court of Honor.
- Higher ranks like Eagle and Life have substantial requirements not covered here.