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Guide to Advancement

As previously communicated, the Middle Tennessee Council, BSA is closely monitoring the status of COVID-19/ Coronavirus with the health and safety of our Scouts and Leaders always being our top priority.  With regard to Eagle extensions, the Council’s and National’s Advancement committees are aware that this pandemic may cause delays in advancement and in some cases, may leave a Scout with incomplete requirements for the Eagle rank upon turning 18 years of age or the expiration of an existing, already approved extension.  This pandemic is an extraordinary circumstance out of the control of the Scout.  Thus, should it become necessary, the process of requesting an extension of time to earn the Eagle rank remains the same.  The Council’s Advancement Committee will work with the Scout, their families, and Leadership to fully evaluate and process any valid Eagle extension requests due to COVID-19 as quickly as possible.  Please contact your District Advancement Leadership if you have any questions or concerns.  Thank you.

The Aims of Scouting

Every Scouting activity moves boys/girls toward three basic aims: character development, citizenship training, and mental and physical fitness.

Advancement is one of the eight methods used by Scout leaders to help boys/girls fulfill the aims of the BSA.

Policy on Unauthorized Changes to Advancement Program

No council, committee, district, unit, or individual has the authority to add to, or subtract from, advancement requirements. There are limited exceptions relating only to members with special needs. For details see section 10, “Advancement for Members With Special Needs.”

Mandated Procedures and Recommended Practices

This publication clearly identifies mandated procedures with words such as “must” and “shall.” Where such language is used, no council, committee, district, unit, or individual has the authority to deviate from the procedures covered, without the written permission of the National Advancement Program Team.

Recommended best practices are offered using words like “should,” while other options and guidelines are indicated with terms such as “may” or “can.” Refer questions on these to your local district or council advancement chairs or staff advisors. They, in turn, may request interpretations and assistance from the National Advancement Program Team.

The Guide to Safe Scouting Applies

Policies and procedures outlined in the Guide to Safe Scouting apply to all BSA activities, including those related to advancement and Eagle Scout service projects.

What Does "Unit Leader" Mean?

Throughout this publication the term “unit leader” refers only to a Cubmaster, Scoutmaster, Varsity team Coach, Venturing crew Advisor, Sea Scout Skipper, or Lone Scout friend and counselor. “Unit leadership” and “leader” are used as generic references to any registered adult leader in a unit and as such would include the unit leader.

CLICK HERE to download completed Guide to Advancement





Dear Scouters,
We want to take this opportunity to acknowledge your dedication to the advancement of our Scouts. Currently we have seen an increase in the total number of ranks advancements over the past year. Your hard work is being noticed and “Thank you” for a job well done.

In an effort to continually provide a quality program for our Scouts, we reviewed the free rank program available to each unit. For many years if your unit was “100% Boys Life”, then you received free rank advancement for each Scout.  We are changing the criteria for units to receive free rank advancement. The reason for the change is to create a greater focus on youth advancement, trained leaders and unit/council fundraising efforts. These criteria for free rank advancement are in alignment with the Unit’s Journey to Excellence requirements. Listed below are the new criteria for free Rank Advancement. The Middle Tennessee Council continues to believe and support Boy’s Life magazine as an enhancement to a young person’s Scouting Experience.

To receive free rank advancement your unit will need to meet/complete the following:

  • Unit Recharters on time, turned in prior to deadline

  • Achieve 95% of all leaders Youth Protection Trained

  • Achieve 80% of Overall Leaders Trained for their specific position

  • Annually hold Family Friends of Scouting presentation from a Council Representative

  • Sell Popcorn during the Popcorn Sale

  • Sell Camp Cards during the Camp Card Sale


Your unit can elect to adopt the new criteria at your next recharter or remain with “100% Boys Life”. Beginning December 2018 all units will have to adopt the new criteria listed above to receive free rank advancement.

Click HERE to download Free Rank Advancement Criteria and Checklist

Thank you for your continued support to provide safe and quality program to the Scouts of the Middle Tennessee Council

What Are the Nova Awards?

The Boy Scouts of America developed the STEM Nova Awards program to excite and expand a sense of wonder in our Scouts. By working with an adult counselor or mentor, the various modules allow them to explore the basic principles of STEM and discover how fun and fascinating STEM can be.  Discover how the STEM Nova Awards program helps youth be “Prepared. For Life.” 



The SUPERNOVA AWARD are offered for those who enjoy a super challenge.


IMPORTANT – All approval for Nova & SuperNova advancement & awards goes through your District Advancement Committee and then is signed by the Middle Tennessee Council Scout Executive. Please contact your District Executive at for assistance on approval signatures.

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