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Scouts BSA Life Rank for 2024

The Life Rank in Scouts BSA is a significant milestone on the path to becoming an Eagle Scout. It comes after the Star rank in the Scouts BSA program, it holds great importance and serves as a stepping stone towards achieving the ultimate goal of becoming an Eagle Scout.

Life Rank Emblem

The Life Rank signifies a Scout’s dedication, commitment, and leadership within their troop. It requires Scouts to demonstrate their ability to live by the Scout Oath and Law, as well as actively participate in troop activities and service projects. By earning the Life Rank, Scouts prove their readiness to take on greater responsibilities and contribute to the betterment of their community.

Attaining the Life Rank also opens up opportunities for Scouts to further develop their skills and interests through the pursuit of merit badges. These badges allow Scouts to explore various subjects and gain valuable knowledge and experience in areas such as first aid, communication, environmental science, and more.

Moreover, the Life Rank serves as a testament to a Scout’s character and dedication to the principles of Scouting. It showcases their growth, perseverance, and ability to lead by example. By achieving the Life Rank, Scouts demonstrate their readiness to take on leadership roles within their troop and serve as mentors to younger Scouts.

Answers and Helps

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 link to useful resources.

Requirement 1: Activity

Be active in your troop for at least six months as a Star Scout.

Requirement 1 Helps and Answers

To earn the Life Rank in Scouts BSA, Scouts must fulfill certain time requirements. As a Star Scout, it is necessary to be actively involved in the troop for at least six months. This requirement ensures that Scouts have had sufficient time to demonstrate their commitment and dedication to Scouting.

According to the Guide to Advancement, a Scout must meet the following criteria to be considered active:

  • Registered: The Scout must be officially registered with the Scouts BSA program. This ensures that they are a recognized member of the troop and have access to the resources and opportunities provided.
  • In good standing: The Scout must maintain a good standing within the troop. This includes adhering to the Scout Oath and Law, following troop rules and guidelines, and participating in troop activities.
  • Meeting the unit’s reasonable expectations: A troop may have specific expectations for their Scouts, such as attending a certain number of meetings or participating in a certain number of activities. Scouts must meet these expectations to be considered active.

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

It is important for Scouts to understand and fulfill these time requirements as they work towards earning the Life Rank. This demonstrates their commitment to Scouting and their ability to consistently contribute to the troop. By meeting these requirements, Scouts lay a strong foundation for their journey towards becoming an Eagle Scout.

Requirement 2: Oath and Law

As a Star Scout, 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 the Scout Oath and Scout Law in your everyday life.

Requirement 2 Helps and Answers

What Is Scout Spirit

What Is Scout Spirit?

Scout Spirit is a fundamental aspect of the Scouts BSA program. It encompasses the values and principles outlined in the Scout Oath and Scout Law, and it emphasizes the importance of living these ideals in daily life.

Scout Spirit goes beyond simply reciting the Scout Oath and Law during meetings and events. It is about embodying these principles in one’s actions, decisions, and interactions with others. It is about being trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent in all aspects of life.

Living the Scout Oath and Scout Law in daily life is crucial for Scouts who aspire to earn the Life Rank. It demonstrates their commitment to the values of Scouting and their dedication to being a positive influence in their communities. By consistently practicing Scout Spirit, Scouts develop character, integrity, and leadership skills that will serve them well throughout their lives.

Scout Spirit is not limited to Scouting activities alone. It extends to school, family, and other areas of a Scout’s life. It is about being a role model, making ethical choices, and actively contributing to the betterment of society. By embracing Scout Spirit, Scouts become ambassadors of the Scouting movement and inspire others to follow in their footsteps.

Read more about Scout Spirit.

Requirement 3: Merit Badges

Earn five more merit badges (so that you have 11 in all), including any three additional badges from the required list for Eagle. You may choose any of the 17 merit badges on the required list for Eagle to fulfill this requirement.

Requirement 3 Helps and Answers

Merit Badges

List of All Scouts BSA Merit Badges

To progress towards the Life Rank in Scouts BSA, Scouts need to earn a total of 11 merit badges, five of which should be new ones. Merit badges are an integral part of the Scouts BSA program, providing opportunities for Scouts to explore various subjects and develop new skills. They offer a chance for Scouts to delve deeper into areas of interest and gain valuable knowledge and experience.

See the full list of merit badges.

When choosing which merit badges to earn, it is important to note that at least three of the five new merit badges must come from the required list for the Eagle Scout rank. These required merit badges are specifically designed to provide Scouts with a well-rounded education and a solid foundation in essential life skills.

The merit badges required for the Eagle Scout rank include:

  1. First Aid: This badge teaches Scouts how to respond to and provide assistance in emergency situations, equipping them with valuable life-saving skills.
  2. Citizenship in Society: This badge is designed to instruct Scouts on important topics such as diversity, equity, and inclusion, while also providing guidelines on ethical leadership.
  3. Citizenship in the Community: This badge explores local government, community organizations, and the importance of being an engaged and responsible citizen.
  4. Citizenship in the Nation: This badge delves into the structure and functions of the federal government, fostering an understanding of national issues and the role of citizens in shaping their country.
  5. Citizenship in the World: This badge broadens Scouts’ perspectives by exploring global issues, international organizations, and the importance of cultural understanding and cooperation.
  6. Communication: This badge emphasizes effective communication skills, including public speaking, writing, and interpersonal communication.
  7. Cooking: This badge teaches Scouts about nutrition, meal planning, and safe food handling, empowering them to prepare meals for themselves and others.
  8. Personal Fitness: This badge promotes physical fitness and healthy lifestyle choices, encouraging Scouts to set goals and develop habits that contribute to their overall well-being.
  9. Emergency Preparedness OR Lifesaving: Scouts can choose between these two badges, both of which focus on preparedness and response in emergency situations.
  10. Environmental Science OR Sustainability: Scouts can choose between these two badges, both of which explore environmental issues and the importance of conservation and sustainability.
  11. Personal Management: This badge teaches Scouts valuable skills in goal setting, time management, and financial responsibility, preparing them for success in their personal and professional lives.
  12. Swimming OR Hiking OR Cycling: Scouts can choose between these three badges, each of which promotes physical fitness and outdoor exploration.
  13. Camping: This badge emphasizes outdoor skills, camping techniques, and Leave No Trace principles, encouraging Scouts to appreciate and protect the natural world.
  14. Family Life: This badge focuses on the importance of family relationships, communication, and responsibilities, helping Scouts develop strong bonds with their loved ones.

By earning these merit badges, Scouts not only gain knowledge and skills in various areas but also demonstrate their commitment to personal growth and development. Merit badges provide opportunities for Scouts to challenge themselves, explore their interests, and expand their horizons, all while having fun and making lasting memories.

Requirement 4: Service

While a Star Scout, participate in six hours of service through one or more service projects approved by your Scoutmaster. At least three hours of this service must be conservation-related.

Requirement 4 Helps and Answers

Service Project Ideas

Service Project Ideas for Scouts

Service projects play a crucial role in the Scouts BSA program, providing Scouts with opportunities to give back to their communities and make a positive impact on the world around them. To progress towards the Life Rank, Scouts are required to complete a total of six hours of service through approved projects.

What Can Scouts Use as Service Hours?

It is important to note that at least three of these hours must be conservation-related. Conservation projects focus on preserving and protecting the environment, promoting sustainability, and raising awareness about the importance of environmental stewardship. Here are some ideas for conservation-related service projects that Scouts can consider:

  • Tree Planting: Organize a tree planting event in collaboration with local parks or environmental organizations. Planting trees helps combat climate change, improves air quality, and provides habitat for wildlife.
  • Clean-up Campaign: Organize a clean-up campaign in a local park, beach, or riverbank. Remove litter and debris to help maintain the cleanliness and beauty of natural areas.
  • Recycling Drive: Set up a recycling drive in your community to encourage proper waste management and reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills. Collect recyclable materials such as paper, plastic, glass, and aluminum.
  • Wildlife Habitat Restoration: Work with local conservation organizations to restore and enhance wildlife habitats. This can involve removing invasive species, planting native plants, or creating nesting boxes for birds.
  • Community Garden: Establish a community garden where Scouts can grow fruits, vegetables, and herbs. This promotes sustainable agriculture, provides fresh produce for the community, and educates others about the benefits of growing their own food.
  • Environmental Education: Organize workshops or presentations to educate others about environmental issues and sustainable practices. Topics can include water conservation, energy efficiency, or the importance of biodiversity.

By engaging in conservation-related service projects, Scouts not only fulfill the requirements for the Life Rank but also develop a deeper understanding of environmental issues and become advocates for a sustainable future.

Requirement 5: Leadership

While a Star Scout, serve actively in your troop for six months in one or more of the following troop positions of responsibility
(or carry out a Scoutmaster-approved leadership project to help the troop).

  • Scout troop. Patrol leader, assistant senior patrol leader, senior patrol leader, troop guide, Order of the Arrow troop representative, den chief, scribe, librarian, historian, quartermaster, bugler, junior assistant Scoutmaster, chaplain aide, instructor, webmaster, or outdoor ethics guide.
  • Venturing crew. President, vice president, secretary, treasurer, den chief, historian, guide, quartermaster, chaplain aide, or outdoor ethics guide.
  • Sea Scout ship. Boatswain, boatswain’s mate, purser, yeoman, storekeeper, crew leader, media specialist, specialist, den chief, or chaplain aide.
  • Lone Scout. Leadership responsibility in your school, religious organization, club, or elsewhere in your community

Requirement 5 Helps and Answers

scouts bsa youth leadership positions

Scouts BSA Youth Leadership Positions

Within Scouts BSA, there are various positions of responsibility that Scouts can take on to further their leadership development. These positions are available within the troop, Venturing crew, and Sea Scout ship. It is important to note that while there are many positions to choose from, the assistant patrol leader is not an approved position.

Taking on a leadership role within the troop allows Scouts to develop important skills such as communication, teamwork, and problem-solving. It also provides them with the opportunity to make a positive impact on their fellow Scouts and contribute to the overall success of the troop.

By actively participating in troop leadership positions, Scouts not only fulfill a requirement for the Life Rank but also gain valuable experience that will benefit them throughout their lives. These positions provide opportunities for personal growth, mentorship, and the development of essential leadership skills that will serve Scouts well in their future endeavors.

Requirement 6: EDGE Method

While a Star Scout, use the Teaching EDGE method to teach another Scout (preferably younger than you) the skills from ONE of the following choices, so that the Scout is prepared to pass those requirements to their Scoutmaster’s satisfaction.

  1. Tenderfoot 4a and 4b (first aid)
  2. Second Class 2b, 2c, and 2d (cooking/tools)
  3. Second Class 3a and 3d (navigation)
  4. First Class 3a, 3b, 3c, and 3d (tools)
  5. First Class 4a and 4b (navigation)
  6. Second Class 6a and 6b (first aid)
  7. First Class 7a and 7b (first aid)
  8. Three requirements from one of the required Eagle merit badges, as approved by your Scoutmaster.

Requirement 6 Helps and Answers


Scouting’s Teaching EDGE (BSA Edge Method)

To advance to the Life Rank in Scouts BSA, one of the requirements is to teach another Scout using the Teaching EDGE method. This method is a valuable tool for Scouts to develop their leadership and teaching skills while helping their fellow Scouts learn and grow.

The Teaching EDGE method stands for Explain, Demonstrate, Guide, and Enable. It provides a structured approach to teaching that ensures effective communication and understanding between the instructor and the learner. By following this method, Scouts can effectively convey knowledge and skills to their peers, fostering a supportive and collaborative learning environment within the troop.

Learn more about the EDGE method.

Now, let’s discuss some options for fulfilling this requirement. There are several specific tasks that Scouts can choose from to teach another Scout using the Teaching EDGE method. These tasks include:

By selecting one of these options, Scouts can demonstrate their knowledge and proficiency in a specific area while also honing their teaching abilities. It is important to note that the choice of task should align with the Scout’s interests and strengths, as well as the needs of the troop.

Teaching another Scout using the Teaching EDGE method not only fulfills a requirement for the Life Rank but also provides an opportunity for personal growth and development. By taking on the role of an instructor, Scouts learn how to effectively communicate, demonstrate, guide, and enable others to acquire new skills and knowledge. These teaching experiences foster leadership, empathy, and a sense of responsibility within the Scout, preparing them for future leadership roles both within Scouting and in their everyday lives.

Requirement 7: Scoutmaster Conference

While a Star Scout, participate in a Scoutmaster conference.

Requirement 7 Helps and Answers

What Is a Scoutmaster Conference

What Is a Scoutmaster Conference?

A Scoutmaster conference is a crucial step in the advancement process for Scouts aiming to achieve the Life Rank in Scouts BSA. This conference is a one-on-one meeting between the Scout and their Scoutmaster, where they discuss the Scout’s progress, goals, and experiences in Scouting.

The Scoutmaster conference serves multiple purposes. Firstly, it provides an opportunity for the Scoutmaster to assess the Scout’s readiness for advancement to the Life Rank. The Scoutmaster evaluates the Scout’s understanding of Scouting principles, their commitment to the Scout Oath and Law, and their overall growth and development as a Scout.

Additionally, the Scoutmaster conference allows the Scout to reflect on their Scouting journey and share their experiences, challenges, and achievements. It is a chance for the Scout to discuss their goals, aspirations, and any concerns they may have. The Scoutmaster can provide guidance, support, and mentorship to help the Scout navigate their Scouting path and overcome obstacles.

The Scoutmaster conference also reinforces the importance of the Scout Oath and Law in a Scout’s life. It provides an opportunity for the Scout to demonstrate their understanding and application of these principles in their daily life, both within and outside of Scouting.

Overall, the Scoutmaster conference is a vital component of the advancement process as it ensures that Scouts are progressing in their Scouting journey and embodying the values and ideals of Scouting. It promotes personal growth, self-reflection, and accountability, preparing Scouts for the responsibilities and challenges they will encounter as they continue their Scouting journey.

Requirement 8: Board of Review

Successfully complete your board of review for the Life rank.

Requirement 8 Helps and Answers

what is a board of review

What Is a Board of Review?

The Board of Review is the final step in the advancement process for Scouts aiming to achieve the Life Rank in Scouts BSA. This review is conducted by a group of adult volunteers who are not directly involved in the Scout’s troop leadership. The purpose of the Board of Review is to ensure that the Scout has met all the requirements for the Life Rank and to evaluate their overall growth and development as a Scout.

During the Board of Review, the Scout will have the opportunity to discuss their Scouting journey, experiences, and accomplishments with the review board. The board will ask questions to assess the Scout’s understanding of Scouting principles, their commitment to the Scout Oath and Law, and their involvement in service projects and leadership positions within their troop.

To help adult volunteers prepare for a Board of Review, there are sample Board of Review questions available on this website. These questions cover a range of topics, including the Scout’s experiences in Scouting, their understanding of the Scout Oath and Law, their leadership roles, and their participation in service projects.

The Board of Review is an important opportunity for Scouts to demonstrate their knowledge, skills, and growth as they progress towards the Life Rank. It provides a chance for Scouts to showcase their commitment to Scouting values and principles and receive feedback and encouragement from experienced adult volunteers. By successfully completing the Board of Review, Scouts will be one step closer to achieving the Life Rank and continuing their journey towards Eagle Scout.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Life Rank Requirements

What is the Life Rank in Scouts BSA?

The Life Rank, which is the rank preceding Eagle, is a significant milestone in a Scout’s journey. It represents their dedication, commitment, and growth within the organization.

What are the requirements for the Life Rank?

To achieve the Life Rank, Scouts must meet specific requirements, including time commitments, demonstrating Scout Spirit, earning merit badges, completing service projects, holding troop positions, practicing the EDGE method, participating in a Scoutmaster conference, and successfully completing a Board of Review.

How much time does it take to achieve the Life Rank?

The time requirement for the Life Rank is a minimum of six months of active participation in Scouts BSA after achieving the rank of Star Scout.

How many merit badges are required for the Life Rank?

To achieve the Life Rank, Scouts must earn a five additional merit badges, for a total of 11 in all, including three more form the list required for Eagle.

Can Scouts earn more than the required number of merit badges for the Life Rank?

Yes, Scouts can earn additional merit badges beyond the required number for the Life Rank. This allows them to explore their interests, develop new skills, and have badges to apply toward Eagle.

How many service hours are required for the Life Rank?

Scouts must complete a minimum of six hours of service in their community, including three hours related to conservation, to fulfill the service project requirement for the Life Rank.

Can service hours from previous ranks count towards the Life Rank?

No, service hours completed for previous ranks cannot be counted towards the service project requirement for the Life Rank.

What happens after achieving the Life Rank?

After achieving the Life Rank, Scouts can continue their journey toward Eagle by working towards earning additional merit badges, taking on more leadership roles within their troop, and participating in service projects that make a positive impact on their community.

What is the ultimate goal after achieving the Life Rank?

The ultimate goal after achieving the Life Rank is to work towards becoming an Eagle Scout, the highest rank in Scouts BSA.


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