Advancement is simply a means to an end, not an end in itself. It is one of several methods designed to help unit leadership carry out the aims and mission of the Boy Scouts of America.


Boy Scouting provides a series of surmountable obstacles and steps in overcoming them through the advancement method. The Scout plans their advancement and progresses at their own pace as they meet each challenge. The Scout is rewarded for each achievement, which helps them gain self-confidence. The steps in the advancement system help a Scout grow in self-reliance and in the ability to help others.

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.

Click here for the Advancement Guidelines and Highlights.

In 2020, the Dan Beard Council is committed to recognizing the awards both Scouts and Scouters have earned, or have been nominated for, in a more consistent time-frame. For details on the Awards and Recognition Process, click here.

The Cub Scout program is centered primarily in the den, the home, and the neighborhood, but often takes place in the outdoors. It leads to advancement through six ranks, which—except for the Bobcat rank—are grade- or age-based.

  • Bobcat. Earned first by all Cub Scouts, no matter what age they join.
  • Tiger. For boys or girls who have completed kindergarten or are 7 years old.
  • Wolf. For boys or girls who have completed first grade or are 8 years old.
  • Bear. For boys or girls who have completed second grade or are 9 years old.
  • Webelos. For boys or girls who have completed third grade or are 10 years old.
  • Arrow of Light. For boys or girls who have completed fourth grade.

The Scouts BSA requirements for rank are the basis for a Scout’s advancement. There are four steps in the Scout BSA advancement procedure: learning, testing, reviewing, and recognition. Scouts BSA has the following ranks: Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life, and Eagle.

Units can now submit advancement for unit youth members online. Use Online Advancement to add ranks, merit badges and awards, and update information on existing advancement.

An Eagle Scout is the highest achievement or rank attainable, which was founded over one hundred years ago. Requirements include earning at least 21 merit badges. The Eagle Scout must demonstrate Scout Spirit, an ideal attitude based upon the Scout Oath and Law, service, and leadership. This includes an extensive service project that the Scout plans, organizes, leads, and manages. Eagle Scouts are presented with a medal and a badge that visibly recognizes the accomplishments of the Scout.

You can learn about sports, crafts, science, trades, business, and future careers as you earn merit badges. There are more than 135 merit badges, and any Boy Scout or Varsity Scout, or any qualified Venturer or Sea Scout may earn any of these at any time. Click here for Merit Badge Requirements.

The merit badge counselor is a key player in the Boy Scout advancement program. Whatever your area of expertise or interest—whether it is a special craft or hobby (basketry, leatherwork, coin collecting), a profession (veterinary medicine, aviation, engineering), or perhaps a life skill (cooking, personal management, communications)—as a merit badge counselor, you can play a vital role in stirring a young person’s curiosity about that particular topic. By serving as a merit badge counselor, you offer your time, knowledge, and other resources so that Scouts can explore a topic of interest.

Merit Badge Challenge is available to all registered Boy Scouts. This popular event improves advancement for all attending troops/crews and provides our youth the opportunity to explore vocations and new hobbies.

Each Scout has the opportunity to earn up to three merit badges. Emphasis is placed on those merit badges that lend themselves to an indoor or wintertime activity such as Chemistry, Law, Computers, Communication, and Citizenship badges.

Are you interested in volunteering in your district of the Dan Beard Council? Learn more about the District Advancement Chairman position by clicking here or the button below.

The objective of the District Advancement Chairman is to give leadership to the District Advancement Committee to monitor and deliver the Scouting advancement program throughout the Dan Beard Council. This is accomplished by providing training, promoting advancement, implementing policies and procedures, and giving leadership to those involved with the advancement process.


East Fork District                                             Tom Manning | email        

     Chris Sapelli | email               

Fort Ancient District                                       Vacant

Fort Hamilton District                                    Jim Fenske | email     

Little Miami District                                        Linda McWilliams | email | 513-560-2882

Queen City District                                          Ken Roth | email

Trailblazer District                                          Vacant

Whitewater Trails District                             Joe Kihm | email

Council Advancement Chair                         Steve Cammarn | email 

Vice Chair of Cub Scout Advancement      Cathleen Owen  |  email

Vice Chair – Information & Technology      Eric Saddler | email

Vice Chair – Merit Badges                            John Millar | email

Vice Chair – Awards and Recognition        Ed Milbrada | email

Council Religious Emblems Coordinator   Dan Eslinger | email