Ask the Expert: Do I use the new or old rank requirements?

Expertlogo1 UPDATE, 8:08 a.m. Feb. 5: To clarify, a boy only is officially working on one requirement at a time. That means that once he completes that rank, he moves to the new book. For example, a Second Class Scout who started work toward Second Class in 2009 would use the old requirements until he earns Second Class. He then moves to the new book for the First Class requirements.

Here's the original post:

It's time for another edition of Ask the Expert. Send us your questions, and Cracker Barrel will try to find the answers.

Rockie Yardley of Oklahoma's Last Frontier Council wondered:

What is National's official policy on the new rank requirements if a Scout has started working on a rank prior to Jan. 1, 2010? As you know, a Scout is generally working on multiple ranks at once. If he has already started working on a rank prior to Jan. 1, 2010, does he use the old requirements, new requirements, or can he choose? And does the rule apply to all ranks?

Great question. For the answer, we checked in with Joe Glasscock. He writes:

He completes the requirements for the rank he is working on. When he moves to the next rank, he should use the new requirements.

Thanks for the question, Rockie. If you have a burning Scouting-related query, send us an e-mail.


  1. I don’t think that adequately answers the question. As was pointed out, many scouts work on several requirements in the Tenderfoot, Second Class & First Class ranks. What is the policy there?

  2. I thought the answer was adequate. In my interpretation of the answer, while a scout may be completeing several requirements for multiple ranks at one time, he is technically only “working on” one rank. Once he receives that rank, he can begin working on the next rank, and should use the new requirements.

  3. I thought the answer was unclear, also. Your question clearly was referring to Scouts below Star, as T-1st are the only Boy Scout ranks to be worked-on simultaneously. My reading of the new Scout book leads me to believe, for example, that if a T-foot who is still working on 2nd & 1st on Jan 1, and who might have almost all of his 1st class complete and needs only one item to complete 2nd, could complete 2nd under the old requirements, but would need to follow the new requirements for 1st, even if that means doing some other work to earn it. If I am incorrect, that would conceiveably mean that a boy who was the rank of Scout on Dec 31, 2009 would be under the old requirements thru 1st class, even if it took him a couple of years to get there. It only makes sense to have a defined line where the transition must occur, and that would be that the Scout can complete the next rank he was working-on on Dec 31, and for the case of T-1st Cl, it would be the next one in the series, not the whole group. If I am wrong about this, please correct me so we implement this correctly in our Troop. In reality, all Boys who have joined our troop since we acquired the new book are unaware of the old book, and although technically they may have been under the old requirements until Jan 1, it would be unnecessary stress on the Scout to have him mess with the old book, so he goes by the new book. It would be nice to get clarification on this item before Mon, so we can explain it to parents at our CoH next Tuesday.

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