Scouts BSA First Class Rank Helps and Documents

A group of girls camping and an image of the Scouts BSA First Class rank emblem.

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

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

Find helps for specific First Class requirements below.

Help with Answers for First Class Rank Requirements

Find specific helps for some of the First 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

Tread Lightly!

Learn more about the five TREAD principles:

  • T: Travel responsibly
  • R: Respect the rights of others
  • E: Educate yourself
  • A: Avoid sensitive areas
  • D: Do your part

See more information on the Tread Lightly! website.

Camping Log

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

Best Backpack for Short Term Hiking

See some recommendations from Scouts and Scouters for a good backpack to take on a one or two night outing.

How Many Count as a Patrol?

A reader asks about how many patrol members need to be present to count an activity as a patrol activity. See some answers and add your own to the comments.

Tents and Other Shelter Structures

See some ideas for pitching tents and building structures to sleep in overnight.

Video Resources

Tread Lightly!

Tread Lightly and Camping

Requirement 2: Cooking

Help for Grubmasters

The Scout who is responsible for purchasing the food, packing it, and getting it to camp is often called a grubmaster. See some tips here.

Nutrition Guidelines

Learn more about planning nutritious meals and preparing the food.

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

Menu Planning (Printable Mountain Man Breakfast recipe)

Budget and food amounts

Pans, utensils, and gear

Requirement 3: Tools

Boot Scraper Camp Gadget

A simple boot scraper camp gadget for scraping the mud off of the bottom of the boots.

Pot and Towel Rack Camp Gadget

These instructions are for a pot and towel drying rack for camp

Hand Washing Station Gadget

This uses lashings to make a handwashing station from straight sticks and an empty gallon milk jug.

More Scout Pioneering Gadgets

The Scout Pioneering website has lots of things you can build using lashings.

Even More Gadgets

Scout Life magazine also has plans for a number of projects you can build for First Class requirement 3.

Crossing the Alligator Pit Game

This is a challenging game which combines lashing skills and teamwork.

Snapper Fishing Game

This is a traditional Scout lashings game which might date back to Baden-Powell himself. It practices Scoutcraft (lashings) as well as cooperation and problem solving.

Knot Terminology

It is helpful to go over the terminology with Scouts before working on learning a knot.

Square Lashing

Animated knots shows how to make a square lashing.

Shear Lashing

Animated knots shows how to make a shear lashing.

Diagonal Lashing

Animated knots shows how to make a diagonal lashing.

Video Resources

When you should and should not use lashings

Timber hitch and clove hitch

Make a useful camp gadget

Requirement 4: Navigation

Personal Measurement Log for Orienteering

Some methods of navigation and measurement used in First Class requirement 4 require you to have something of known length for comparison. A personal measurement log will help you with this.

Video Resources

Beginner’s guide to GPS

How to make the measurements

Judging height and distance with a compass

Measuring height with a stick

Requirement 5: Nature

Native Plants in Your Area

Enter your zip code to find out about plants near you for First Class requirement 5.

Weather Hazards Online Course

This online course from BSA will help you know how to be prepared for all sorts of weather. Adult leaders who are taking Scouts on outdoor adventures need to take this course.

Video Resources

Identifying Native Plants

Weather Forecasts

Indicators of hazardous weather

Extreme weather conditions

Requirement 6: Aquatics

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.

Safety Afloat

Safety Afloat is the list of rules for boating activities laid out in the Guide to Safe Scouting.

Safe Swim Defense

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

Water Rescue Methods

Water rescue methods are methods used to rescue someone who is in trouble in the water.

4 Basic Swimming Strokes to Know

These strokes will help you propel yourself and stay safe in the water.

Basic Parts of Canoes and Kayaks

Video Resources

Swimmer Test

Safe Float Trip

How to sit in a boat

Line rescues

Requirement 7: First Aid and Emergency Preparedness

Basic First Aid

Learn to treat blisters, sprained ankle, broken collarbone, poison ivy, and bleeding.

Signs of a Heart Attack

See a list of symptoms for a heart attack.

Utility Hazards

Learn about dangers from gas leaks, electrical shorts and surges, water leaks, and carbon monoxide.

How to Purify Drinking Water

Methods include boiling, filtering, and chemical treatment.

Make a Home Emergency Plan

Learn how to plan ahead with your family to respond to emergencies.

Fire Drill

Be prepared to respond to a fire emergency in your home

First Aid Baseball Game

First aid baseball is a fun way to review first aid skills with Scouts.

Video Resources

First aid

Transporting a victim

Signs of a heart attack

Emergency action plan

Potable water in an emergency

Requirement 8: Fitness

Ideas for Staying Physically Active at Home

Physical activity keeps us mentally healthy too. See some ways to stay fit without going to a gym for First Class requirement 8.

Video Resources



Requirement 9: Citizenship

Look Up Your Elected Officials

This site will help you find your federal, state, and local officials so you can contact them.

Rights and Responsibilities

Learn about your rights and responsibilities as a US citizen beforehand to be prepared for First Class requirement 9a.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Learn how to reduce waste through the three R’s. This site includes practical ideas for putting these into practice.

Citizenship Football Game

Citizenship Football Game is a fun game to go with citizenship activity. Teams progress down the field by showing their knowledge of civics. This could be used as an inter-patrol activity.

This word search contains words and phrases related to the United States Constitution.

Video Resources

Visit with official

Environmental Issues

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Requirement 10: Leadership

Requirement 10 Helps and Answers

Recruiting New Scouts

See some ideas for inviting new Scouts to your troop for First Class requirement 10.

Video Resources

Invite a friend

Requirement 11: Scout Spirit

Requirement 11 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 First Class requirement 10 than you did for Tenderfoot and Second Class.

Requirement 12: 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 13: First Class Board of Review

Requirement 13 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.

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