Scouts BSA Life Rank Helps and Documents

A scout participating in a parade and a Scouts BSA Life rank emblem.

Life is the rank a Scout can earn after Star. A Scout working on Life continues to develop leadership, participates in service projects, and earns merit badges. After achieving the Life rank, a Scout begins work on the prestigious rank of Eagle Scout.

Find helps for specific Life requirements below.

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Help with Answers for Life Rank Requirements

Find specific helps for some of the Life 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: Activity

What Is Active Participation?

According to the Guide to Advancement, a Scout must be

  1. Registered
  2. In good standing
  3. Meeting the unit’s reasonable expectations

See section 4.2.3.1 of the Guide to Advancement for details of each of these points.

Attendance Expectations for Scouts BSA

You might notice that these troop leadership position descriptions have attendance expectations on them. These are not meant to be demands or requirements in the troop to deny advancement. But they can be used to indicate to the youth what sort of time requirements are typical for a position.

Requirement 2: Oath and Law

Requirement 2 Helps and Answers

What Is Scout Spirit?

What is Scout spirit and how does a Scout go about demonstrating it?

Scout Law

See the 12 points of the Scout Law and an extended explanation of what they mean.

Requirement 3: Merit Badges

Requirement 4: Service

Service Project Ideas for Scouts

Scouts are required to participate service projects for rank advancement. But it is good to encourage all Scouts to participate in service projects whether they need the hours or not.

What Can Scouts Use as Service Hours?

A reader asks what types of service projects can be used as service hours to fulfill requirements. See some comments and add your own ideas.

Requirement 5: Leadership

Scouts BSA Youth Leadership Positions

A Scouts BSA Troop is run by its youth leaders. See the list of Scouts BSA youth leadership positions.

National Youth Leadership Training

National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT) is an intense week long leadership training class for youth.

Assistant Patrol Leader and Rank Advancement

If you look at the list of positions which can be used to meet the position of responsibility requirement for Star and Life, you will see that assistant patrol leader is not listed there.

Requirement 6: EDGE Method

Requirement 6 Helps and Answers

Scouting’s Teaching EDGE (BSA Edge Method)

This is a four step method for teaching a skill.

  • E – Explain
  • D – Demonstrate
  • G – Guide
  • E – Enable

See more details and some suggestions for how to teach a skill using the EDGE method.

Requirement 7: Scoutmaster Conference

What Is a Scoutmaster Conference?

By time Scouts reach this rank, they will have had several Scoutmaster Conferences, so this should be a familiar process.

Scoutmaster Conference – Adding Requirements

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

Requirement 8: Life 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

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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