Scouts BSA Second Class Rank Helps and Documents

Two young men enjoying a camping trip and an image of the Scouts BSA Second Class rank emblem.

About the Second Class Rank for Scouts BSA

Second Class is the rank a  Scout can earn after Tenderfoot. The requirements for Second Class continue to teach the youth to the skills needed to advance in Scouts BSA.

The Second Class requirements may be worked on simultaneously with the requirements for Tenderfoot and First Class; these ranks must still be earned in sequence though.

See helps for the specific requirements below.


Help with Answers for Second Class Rank Requirements

Find specific helps for some of the Second Class rank requirements listed below. Some of these resources will just give the answers. Others will provide engaging ways for older Scouts to introduce these concepts to new Scouts.

Requirement 1: Camping and Outdoor Ethics

Camping Log

Keep track of your nights of camping with this log. You will need this for the Camping merit badge also.

How to Select a Campsite

When selecting a site, consider safety, size, terrain, privacy, permission, and water. Read more.

Leave No Trace

The 7 Principles of LNT:

  • Plan ahead and prepare
  • Travel and camp on durable surfaces
  • Dispose of waste properly
  • Leave what you find
  • Minimize campfire impacts
  • Respect wildlife
  • Be considerate of others

Review the principles of Leave No Trace on the BSA website or on the Leave No Trace website. Or use the video below.

Video Resources

Leave No Trace Video:

Campsite Video:

Requirement 2: Cooking and Tools

When Is a Fire Appropriate?

Everyone enjoys a fire at camp, but there are some downsides. Sometimes a camp stove is a better option for cooking. Read more.

Firem’n Chit Certification

This BSA certification provides a set of fire safety rules which can be used for training with Scouts.

The Science of Fire

Newer scouts often struggle to get a fire going. Understanding the fire triangle will help them.

How to Build a Fire Skit

This would work as an introduction to a session on fire building for Second Class requirement 2.

Help for Grubmasters

See some tips for purchasing and packing your food for camp. Includes safety information.

Disposing of Dishwater at Camp

Scouts should know how to dispose of water which has been used for cleaning dishes, which is also known as gray water. One easy way to strain dishwater is to use a plastic grocery bag.

Nutrition Guidelines

Learn more about planning nutritious meals and preparing the food.

How to Tie a Sheet Bend Knot

See a step by step tutorial of how to tie the sheet bend knot.

How to Tie a Bowline Knot

See a step by step tutorial of how to tie the bowline knot.

Dutch Oven Cooking

See some fool proof Dutch oven tips and recipes.

Foil Pack Dinners

Go beyond burgers and potatoes. See some new foil pack combinations and tips for cooking these easy meals.

Recipes for Camp Cooking

See some more favorite recipes for camp.

Video Resources

Fire or no fire?

Tinder, kindling, and fuel

Camp stoves

Meal planning and food safety

How to tie a sheet bend knot

How to tie a bowline knot

Requirement 3: Navigation

How to Use a Map and Compass

This article covers taking a bearing, aiming off, and declination. These will give a good start to Second Class requirement 3.

How to Read a Topographic Map

You will need to understand the scale, the map symbol, and the contour lines. Read more.

Maps, Compasses, and Declination

The difference between true north and magnetic north is called declination.

Personal Measurement Log for Orienteering

Some methods used in orienteering require you to have something of known length for comparison. A personal measurement log will help you with this.

Finding Direction Using a Watch and the Sun

This method only requires a watch and the sun. It can be used for Second Class requirement 3.

Use the Moon and a Watch to Find North

This is another explanation of how to orient yourself using a watch.

How to Find True North without a Compass

This article includes several methods, including the needle method and the stick trick.

Video Resources

Compass skills

Hiking Hazards

Finding directions

How to use a map and compass and take a bearing

Use your watch as a compass

Requirement 4: Nature

Identify Evidence of Wild Animals

See some tips for different kinds of evidence and get a worksheet for keeping track of your sightings for Second Class requirement 4.

Identify Animal Tracks

Take a quiz to practice identifying animal tracks.

Identify Animal Droppings

This quiz will help you learn how to identify animals from their poop, also known as scat.

Video Resource

Requirement 5: Aquatics

Safe Swim Defense

Safe Swim Defense provides the steps which a BSA unit must take to safely participate in an activity which involves swimming.

BSA Swim Test

The BSA swim test is used to determine ability level so that participants can swim in an area which is appropriate for them.

Water Rescue Methods

Water rescue methods are methods used to rescue someone who is in trouble in the water. These must be covered as part of Second Class requirement 5.

Video Resources

Safe Swim and Beginner Test

Water rescues

Requirement 6: First Aid

How to Avoid Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke

Learn how to recognize the symptoms and treat these dangerous conditions.

Avoiding and Treating Hypothermia

Use the COLD acronym to avoid danger, but learn how to treat these conditions also.

Test your skills in 10 emergency scenarios

Take this quiz to see if you know how to provide first aid in ten different situations.

First Aid Baseball Game

First aid baseball is a fun way to review first aid skills with Scouts. This game could be used to reinforce the skill instruction for Second Class requirement 6.

Kim’s Game with Items for a Home First Aid Kit

Kim’s game is a traditional Scouting game which was introduced by Sir Robert Baden-Powell. It is based on a game described by Rudyard Kipling.

Video Resources

How to treat burns

How to do the Firefighter Carry

How to do the four handed seat carry

How to treat various injuries

Show what to do for hurry cases

How to reduce injuries

How to respond to accidents and emergencies

Requirement 7: Fitness

Substance Abuse Prevention Programs

See some options for Scouts who don’t do these type of programs at school.

How to Help Scouts Avoid Addiction

See some tips from Scouting magazine for materials to use with Second Class requirement 7.

Requirement 8: Citizenship

Opening Flag Ceremony

This is a typical way to open a Scout meeting.

Closing Flag Ceremony

This closing is appropriate for a troop meeting.

How to Fold the US Flag

Instructions and diagrams for folding the American flag. Folding the flag correctly is a way to show respect as part of the instruction for Second Class requirement 8.

Flag Retirement Ceremony

Flag Retirement Ceremony

A simple and respectful way to retire a flag which has become too worn for display.

Service Project Ideas

Service Project Ideas

See some ideas for service projects and add your own ideas to the comments here.

What Can Scouts Use as Service Hours

What Can Scouts Count as Service Hours?

A reader asks what types of activities can be considered service. Read some answers from Scouters and add your own thoughts.

Video Resources

Flag ceremony

Respecting the flag

Requirement 9: Leadership

The Three R’s of Personal Safety and Protection

We don’t want to scare youth, but they should know what to do if they feel uncomfortable in a situation. The Three R’s of personal safety should be a part of that discussion.

BSA Bullying Resources

See a number of programs and fact sheets which are available to help prevent bullying in Scouting. Some of these could be helpful as part of Second Class requirement 9.

Video Resources

To Be or Not to Be Seen

One Good Friend

It’s Not About Me

Getting Into the Game

Back on Track

Personal Safety


Requirement 10: Scout Spirit

Requirement 10 Helps and Answers

What Is Scout Spirit?

Scout spirit is mentioned in several of the requirements for Scouts BSA ranks. But what is Scout spirit and how does a Scout go about demonstrating it?

Scout Law

See the 12 points of the Scout Law and what they mean. Remember to focus on different points for Second Class requirement 10 than you did for Tenderfoot.

Requirement 11: Scoutmaster Conference

What Is a Scoutmaster Conference?

Scouts should not stress over the Scoutmaster conference. If they know a little bit about it beforehand it will not seem intimidating at all.

Scoutmaster Conference – Adding Requirements

A Scoutmaster may not add or take away requirements for advancement.

Requirement 12: Second Class Board of Review

Requirement 12 Helps and Answers

What Is a Board of Review?

When a Scout has completed all of the requirements for a rank, he must appear before a board of review. A board of review is NOT the same as a Scoutmaster Conference but just with more people.

Board of Review Questions

Reader Shelley asked “I’m a new Troop Committee Chair and was wondering if anyone has some great questions that they ask their Scouts during their Board of Reviews?” Sometimes committee members struggle to come up with good Board of Review questions.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.