It’s officially 2016, meaning the new Boy Scout rank requirements I’ve been blogging about for months are now official.
Where can you find the requirements, when must your Scouts start using them and what are the big changes?
You have questions, and we have answers.
Let’s do this.
Where can I find the new Boy Scout requirements?
The BSA has made it easy for you, providing this PDF straight from the new Boy Scout Handbook (which, by the way, will available soon).
There’s also this requirements insert (PDF), which is suitable for printing and including in a previous-generation Handbook.
When do my Scouts start using these new Boy Scout requirements?
Think of 2016 as a transition year during which both the old and the new requirements will be used, based on the Scout’s joining date or his current rank on Jan. 1, 2016.
I blogged about the transition a few weeks back, but here are the basics:
The rank requirements are official as of Jan. 1, 2016. Scouts who joined the Boy Scouts of America on or after Jan. 1, 2016, MUST follow the rank requirements as printed in this Boy Scout Handbook or in the current year’s Boy Scout Requirements book.
Scouts who joined the BSA prior to Jan. 1, 2016:
- Who are working on the Tenderfoot through First Class ranks MAY continue to follow the old requirements, but MUST convert to the current requirements upon attaining First Class.
- Who have completed the First Class rank MAY complete the rank they are currently working on in the old requirements, but MUST convert to the current requirements for subsequent ranks.
Beginning Jan. 1, 2017, all Scouts MUST use the current requirements regardless of rank.
What are the big changes?
In the last few months of 2015, I did a deep dive into the new Boy Scout requirements. Click each of these below to take a closer look:
- Number of required camping nights has increased
- Number of required service hours has increased
- Emphasis on physical fitness has increased
- Scout is now its own rank
- Boy Scouts are required to tell about their duty to God at each rank
What if I still have questions?
They’re probably answered on the BSA’s Program Updates page. It’s my go-to source for information on — what else? — BSA program updates.