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Scouts BSA First Class Rank

Helps and Documents

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

  1. Since joining Scouts BSA, participate in 10 separate troop/patrol activities, at least six of which must be held outdoors. Of the outdoor activities, at least three must include overnight camping. These activities do not include troop or patrol meetings. On campouts, spend the night in a tent that you pitch or other structure that you help erect, such as a lean-to, snow cave, or tepee.
  2. Explain the potential impacts of camping, both on the environment and on other outdoor users. Explain why the Outdoor Code and Leave No Trace principles are important for protecting the outdoors.

Requirement 1 Helps and Answers

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

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.

Requirement 2: Cooking

  1. Help plan a menu for one of the above campouts that includes at least one breakfast, one lunch, and one dinner, and that requires cooking at least two of the meals. Tell how the menu includes the foods from MyPlate or the current USDA nutritional model and how it meets nutritional needs for the planned activity or campout.
  2. Using the menu planned in First Class requirement 2a, make a list showing a budget and the food amounts needed to feed three or more youth. Secure the ingredients.
  3. Show which pans, utensils, and other gear will be needed to cook and serve these meals.
  4. Demonstrate the procedures to follow in the safe handling and storage of fresh meats, dairy products, eggs, vegetables, and other perishable food products. Show how to properly dispose of camp garbage, cans, plastic containers, waste water, and other rubbish.
  5. On one campout, serve as cook. Supervise your assistant(s) in using a stove or building a cooking fire. Prepare the breakfast, lunch, and dinner planned in First Class requirement 2a. Supervise the cleanup.

Requirement 2 Helps and Answers

Help for grubmasters

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

Dutch Oven Cooking

See some fool proof Dutch oven tips and recipes.

Foil Pack Dinners

Foil Pack Dinners

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

camping recipes

Recipes for Camp Cooking

See some more favorite recipes for camp.

Requirement 3: Tools

  1. Discuss when you should and should not use lashings.
  2. Demonstrate tying the timber hitch and clove hitch.
  3. Demonstrate tying the square, shear, and diagonal lashings by joining two or more poles or staves together.
  4. Use lashings to make a useful camp gadget or structure.

Requirement 3 Helps and Answers

Boot Scraper Camp Gadget

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

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.

Requirement 4: Navigation

  1. Using a map and compass, complete an orienteering course that covers at least one mile and requires measuring the height and/or width of designated items (tree, tower, canyon, ditch, etc.).
  2. Demonstrate how to use a handheld GPS unit, GPS app on a smartphone, or other electronic navigation system. Use GPS to find your current location, a destination of your choice, and the route you will take to get there. Follow that route to arrive at your destination.

Requirement 4 Helps and Answers

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.

Requirement 5: Nature

  1. Identify or show evidence of at least 10 kinds of native plants found in your local area or campsite location. You may show evidence by identifying fallen leaves or fallen fruit that you find in the field, or as part of a collection you have made, or by photographs you have taken.
  2. Identify two ways to obtain a weather forecast for an upcoming activity. Explain why weather forecasts are important when planning for an event.
  3. Describe at least three natural indicators of impending hazardous weather, the potential dangerous events that might result from such weather conditions, and the appropriate actions to take.
  4. Describe extreme weather conditions you might encounter in the outdoors in your local geographic area. Discuss how you would determine ahead of time the potential risk of these types of weather dangers, alternative planning considerations to avoid such risks, and how you would prepare for and respond to those weather conditions.

Requirement 5 Helps and Answers

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.

Requirement 6: Aquatics

  1. Successfully complete the BSA swimmer test.
  2. Tell what precautions must be taken for a safe trip afloat.
  3. Identify the basic parts of a canoe, kayak, or other boat. Identify the parts of a paddle or an oar.
  4. Describe proper body positioning in a watercraft, depending on the type and size of the vessel. Explain the importance of proper body position in the boat.
  5. With a helper and a practice victim, show a line rescue both as tender and as rescuer. (The practice victim should be approximately 30 feet from shore in deep water.)

Requirement 6 Helps and Answers

BSA Swim Test

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

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

Safe Swim Defense

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

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

Requirement 7: First Aid and Emergency Preparedness

 Do the following:

Requirement 7 Helps and Answers

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

Fire Drill

Be prepared to respond to a fire emergency in your home

First Aid Baseball

First Aid Baseball Game

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

Requirement 8: Fitness

8a. After completing Second Class requirement 7a, be physically active at least 30 minutes each day for five days a week for four weeks. Keep track of your activities.
8b. Share your challenges and successes in completing First Class requirement 8a. Set a goal for continuing to include physical activity as part of your daily life.

Requirement 8 Helps and Answers

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.

Requirement 9: Citizenship

  1. Visit and discuss with a selected individual approved by your leader (for example, an elected official, judge, attorney, civil servant, principal, or teacher) the constitutional rights and obligations of a U.S. citizen.
  2. Investigate an environmental issue affecting your community. Share what you learned about that issue with your patrol or troop. Tell what, if anything, could be done by you or your community to address the concern.
  3. On a Scouting or family outing, take note of the trash and garbage you produce. Before your next similar outing, decide how you can reduce, recycle, or repurpose what you take on that outing, and then put those plans into action. Compare your results.
  4. Participate in three hours of service through one or more service projects approved by your Scoutmaster. The project(s) must not be the same service project(s) used for Tenderfoot requirement 7b and Second Class requirement 8e. Explain how your service to others relates to the Scout Law.

Requirement 9 Helps and Answers

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.

Constitution Puzzle Word Search

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

Requirement 10: Leadership

Tell someone who is eligible to join Scouts BSA, or an inactive Scout, about your Scouting activities. Invite this person to an outing, activity, service project, or meeting. Provide information on how to join, or encourage the inactive Scout to become active. Share your efforts with your Scoutmaster or other adult leader.

Requirement 10 Helps and Answers

Recruiting Scouts BSA

Recruiting New Scouts

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

Requirement 11: Scout Spirit

Demonstrate Scout spirit by living the Scout Oath and Scout Law. Tell how you have done your duty to God and how you have lived four different points of the Scout Law (different from those points used for previous ranks) in your everyday life.

Requirement 11 Helps and Answers

What Is Scout Spirit

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?

The Scout Law 1

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

While working toward the First Class rank, and after completing Second Class requirement 11, participate in a Scoutmaster conference.

Requirement 12 Helps and Answers

What Is a 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: Board of Review

Successfully complete your board of review for the First Class rank.

Requirement 13 Helps and Answers

what is a board of review

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 1

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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