Orange County Council


Rank Advancement FAQ

Education and fun are functions of the Scouting movement—as is the growth of our youth members—and make up the basis of the rank advancement program. As the Scouts meet certain requirements, they may advance in rank. The Scouting program is designed to help young people have an exciting and meaningful experience. A quality Scouting program strives for the following:

  • Every young person achieves personal growth.
  • Each individual learns by doing.
  • Youth members progress at their own rate.
  • All young people receive recognition for their individual accomplishments.
  • Youth participants are encouraged to embrace Scouting ideals.

Scout spirit applies to how a Scout lives and conducts their daily life. A Scout shows Scout spirit by being a role model to their peers, living by the Scout Oath and Law. The concept of Scout spirit is not based on how many Scouting events or outings a Scout attends, but rather by how the Scout helps bring out the best in others as a reflection of the Scoiut’s own character and attitude in the Scout’s daily life. (See “Guide To Advancement” para.

Scouting has an ongoing commitment to encourage moral, ethical, and spiritual growth. While the Boy Scouts of America remains a nonsectarian organization, in the Scout Oath, “duty to God” reminds everyone that a Scout is reverent, and Scout leaders are expected to be a positive religious influence. The BSA believes that, to be the best kind of citizen as possible, a Scout must recognize their obligation to God. However, religious instruction is the responsibility of the Scout’s family and their religious institution.

The Boy Scouts of America has a comprehensive religious recognition program, and Scouts are encouraged to earn the religious emblem of their faith. (See “Guide To Advancement” para.

A Scout is considered to be active in their unit if:

  1. They are registered in their unit (registration fees are current).
  2. They have not been dismissed from their unit for disciplinary reasons.
  3. They meet the units reasonable expectations, or if not, a lesser level of activity is explained (other positive endeavors).  (See “Guide To Advancement” para.

Serving actively in a position of responsibility is covered in “Guide To Advancement” para.

The troop committee conducts a Board of Review to periodically review each Scout’s progress, from Tenderfoot through Life ranks (or Palms), to encourage them, to learn whether they are enjoying their Scouting experience, and to evaluate the unit’s effectiveness in conducting the Scouting program to benefit them. The review presents a good opportunity to monitor the Scout’s advancement and keep them on track. It also gives unit leaders a chance to measure the effectiveness of their leadership. The troop committee appoints three to six adults (21 years of age or older) to conduct the Board of Review. (See “Guide To Advancement” para. &

When a Scout believes that all the requirements for a rank have been completed, including a Scoutmaster Conference, a Board of Review must be granted. Scoutmasters – or Councils or Districts in the case of the Eagle Scout Rank – for example, do not have authority to expect a Scout to request or organize one, or to defer the Scout, or to ask the Scout to perform beyond the requirements in order to be granted one.. Neither can a Board of Review be denied or postponed due to issues such as uniforming, payment of dues, participation in fundraising activities, etc. (See “Guide To Advancement” para.

The Eagle Board of Review is a bit different from other boards of review because it is the last major step for an Eagle Scout candidate. All their efforts peak at the Eagle Board of Review. It’s akin to a job interview, but it allows the panel to determine whether the candidate is worthy of the recognition. The interview focuses on the Eagle candidate’s attitude and their acceptance of Scouting’s ideals. The Eagle Board of Review is not a test; nor is it used to review the Scout’s rank or Scouting skills.  (See “Guide To Advancement” para.

Once an Eagle candidate has fulfilled all requirements of tenure, Scout spirit, merit badges, positions of responsibility, the leadership service project, and the Scoutmaster Conference, arrangements must be made for the Eagle Board of Review to take place within the following 90 days. With the exception of the Eagle Board of Review, all requirements for Eagle must be completed before the Scout’s 18th birthday.

The Board of Review can be conducted up to 24 months after the Scout’s 18th birthday. A Board of Review that falls after the 24 months have passed must be pre-approved by the BSA National Council (Eagle Scout Service). When submitting the Eagle Scout Rank Application to the Eagle Scout Service, the candidate must include a statement by an adult explaining the reason for the delay.

Without this last important step, the candidate cannot advance to the Eagle Scout rank. To make this happen, it is important for unit leaders and others to get involved with this process and have a clear idea of what is required of the Scout to pass the Eagle Board of Review.  (See “Guide To Advancement” para.

Exceptions (alternate rank requirements) are permitted in certain cases of Scouts with disabilities.

(See “Guide To Advancement” para.

Each local Council decides at which level the Eagle Board of Review will be conducted (unit, District, Council). Then the unit committee or the District or Council committee responsible for the Eagle Board of Review decides how reviews will be conducted. The Board of Review for an Eagle candidate must have at least three members and no more than six members, all of whom must be at least 21 years of age. These members do not have to be registered in Scouting, but they must have an understanding of the importance and purpose of the Eagle Board of Review. However, the board must have at least one District or Council advancement representative when conducted at the unit level. At the unit’s request, this individual may serve as chair. Unit leaders, assistant unit leaders, relatives, and guardians may not serve as members of a Scout’s Board of Review. (See “Guide To Advancement” para.

The unit committee reviews and approves the Eagle candidate’s record before their application is submitted to the local Council. If a unit leader or unit committee member does not sign or approve their application, the Eagle candidate may is granted a Board of Review Under Disputed Circumstances. (See “Guide To Advancement” para.

The references on the candidate’s Eagle Scout Rank Application are contacted by the Council advancement committee or a designated representative either by letter, form (the local Council may have one for this purpose), or telephone. The Council determines the method(s) to be used. The Scout is not responsible for collecting or returning any completed reference responses to be used by the Board of Review.

Before listing references on the Eagle Scout Rank Application, the candidate should secure the approval of those individuals the Scout wants to include. (See “Guide To Advancement” para.

While a regular Board of Review will take about 15 minutes, an Eagle Scout Board of Review may last 30 minutes or more. At the review, each board member should have an opportunity to share a meaningful discussion with the Scout about important matters such as the Scout’s goals, personal growth, and living up to the Scout Oath and Law in the Scout’s everyday life. (See “Guide To Advancement” para.

Yes. The Scout’s unit leader introduces them to the members of the Board of Review and may remain in the room, but they may not participate in the Board of Review. The Board of Review members may call on the unit leader to clarify a point in question. However, in no case should a relative or guardian of the Eagle candidate be allowed to attend the review, even as a unit leader.  (See “Guide To Advancement” para.

Because of the importance of the Eagle Scout Award, a vote to approve must be a unanimous decision. (See “Guide To Advancement” para.

If the Eagle Board of Review does not recommend the candidate for advancement to Eagle, the board members tell the candidate why he has not met the requirements and explain why the candidate does not qualify. They discuss with the candidate how the candidate might meet the requirements within a given period. If the Scout disagrees, they explain the appeal procedures to the Scout. A follow-up letter is sent to the Scout confirming the agreements reached on the actions necessary for the Scout’s advancement. If the Scout chooses to appeal, the Scout is provided with the name and address of whom to contact. The Scout’s unit leader, parents, or guardian also may appeal the decision on the Scout’s behalf. (All appeals to the National Boy Scout Committee must be processed through the Scout’s local Council. A copy of his Eagle Scout Rank Application must be included when the appeal reaches the national level.) (See “Guide To Advancement” para.

In ascending order, appeals are made at the unit, District, and local Council levels. The final decision rests with the National Boy Scout Committee. Upon receipt of an appeal, the District or Council advancement committee promptly reviews the request to determine the facts. This is done by interviewing all parties either individually or as a group. Any confrontation should be avoided. A written report containing all details must be prepared for the committee responsible for a decision or for forwarding to the National Boy Scout Committee, if necessary. (See “Guide To Advancement” para.

A number of helpful items are available to anyone who wants to more fully understand the Boy Scouts of America advancement process. Here are the most practical ones.

  1. Every aspect of rank advancement procedures is discussed in the “Guide To Advancement” (No. 33088), which is updated and reprinted periodically.
  2. The Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook (No. 512-927) is required for completion of the Eagle Scout leadership service project. This workbook can be downloaded from the Internet.
  3. The Eagle Scout Rank Application (No. 512-728) is available online.
  4. The Application for Alternate Eagle Scout Rank Merit Badges (No. 512-730) is available online.

The Scouts parents, relatives, or guardians should not be in attendance in any capacity – not as members of the Board of Review, as observers, or even as the unit leader. Their presence can change the discussion dynamics.  In cases where the parents or guardians insist on attending a Board of Review, they should be counseled that their presence can change how their child addresses questions and that the opportunity to further self-reliance and courage may be lessened. However, if parents or guardians still insist on being present, they must be permitted to attend as observers. (See “Guide To Advancement” para.


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Adventure Passes

The following is a sample Adventure Pass schedule.  Number of passes available per adventure will vary.  Our goal is to have as many youth experience an Adventure at Scout-O-Rama as possible, and spend less time in lines.  Each adventure is approximately 60 minutes and includes training time.

AdventurePasses OpenActivity Time
Archery7:30 am8:30 am
Archery8:00 am9:00 am
Archery8:30 am9:30 am
Archery9:00 am10:00 am
Archery9:30 am10:30 am
Archery10:00 am11:00 am
Archery10:30 am12:00 pm
Archery11:00 am12:30 pm
Archery12:00 pm1:00 pm
Archery12:30 pm1:30 pm
Archery1:00 pm2:00 pm
Archery1:30 pm2:30 pm
Archery2:00 pm3:00 pm

This copy of the waiver is for reference and easier reading.  You will agree to the waiver electronically, as part of event registration. 

Informed Consent, Release Agreement, and Authorization

I understand that, if any information I/we have provided is found to be inaccurate, it may limit and/or eliminate the opportunity for participation in any event or activity. The participant has permission to engage in adventure activities described, except as specifically noted by me or the health-care provider.

I understand that participation in Orange County Council, Boy Scouts of America (OCBSA) activities involves the risk of personal injury, including death, due to the physical, mental, and emotional challenges in the activities offered. Information about those activities may be obtained from the venue, activity coordinators, or your local council. I also understand that participation in these activities is entirely voluntary and requires participants to follow instructions and abide by all applicable rules and the standards of conduct.

In case of an emergency involving me or my child, I understand that efforts will be made to contact the individual listed as the emergency contact person by the medical provider and/or adult leader. In the event that this person cannot be reached, permission is hereby given to the medical provider selected by the adult leader in charge to secure proper treatment, including hospitalization, anesthesia, surgery, or injections of medication for me or my child. Medical providers are authorized to disclose protected health information to the adult in charge, camp medical staff, camp management, and/or any physician or health-care provider involved in providing medical care to the participant. Protected Health Information/Confidential Health Information (PHI/CHI) under the Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information, 45 C.F.R. §§160.103, 164.501, etc. seq., as amended from time to time, includes examination findings, test results, and treatment provided for purposes of medical evaluation of the participant, follow-up and communication with the participant’s parents or guardian, and/or determination of the participant’s ability to continue in the program activities.

(If applicable) I have carefully considered the risk involved and hereby give my informed consent for my child to participate in all activities offered in the program. I further authorize the sharing of the information on this registration with any OCBSA volunteers or professionals who need to know of medical conditions that may require special consideration in conducting Scouting activities.

Assumption of Risk
With appreciation of the dangers and risks associated with programs and activities, on my own behalf and/or on behalf of my child, I hereby fully and completely release and waive any and all claims for personal injury, death, or loss that may arise against the Boy Scouts of America, the local council, the activity coordinators, and all employees, volunteers, related parties, or other organizations associated with any program or activity.

I also hereby assign and grant to the local council and the Boy Scouts of America, as well as their authorized representatives, the right and permission to use and publish the photographs/film/ videotapes/electronic representations and/or sound recordings made of me or my child at all Scouting activities, and I hereby release the Boy Scouts of America, the local council, the activity coordinators, and all employees, volunteers, related parties, or other organizations associated with the activity from any and all liability from such use and publication. I further authorize the reproduction, sale, copyright, exhibit, broadcast, electronic storage, and/or distribution of said photographs/film/videotapes/electronic representations and/or sound recordings without limitation at the discretion of the OCBSA, and I specifically waive any right to any compensation I may have for any of the foregoing.

Shooting Sports (Archery, BB Gun, Wrist Rocket, Tomahawk)
Injuries and accidents can be near eliminated when safety rules are followed. Participants will show clear knowledge of the
safety rules and procedures prior to using any equipment. Participants will be taught proper form, safety rules and general
knowledge of the equipment. Participants will be expected to adhere to all safety rules and follow guidelines on the care
of equipment. Anyone ignoring or not the following expectations maybe sidelined from the activity until sufficient
retraining has occurred to ensure everyone’s safety. Participants under 8 must be always accompanied by an adult one-on-one. No personal or outside equipment is permitted.
* California Penal Code Section 12552: Every person who furnishes any BB device to any minor, without the express or implied permission of the parent or legal guardian of the minor, is guilty of a misdemeanor.

Adventure Hill (Zip Line, High Ropes, Low Ropes, & Climbing)
Adventure Hill activities offered at the Irvine Ranch Outdoor Education Center involve a certain degree of risk that could result in
injury or fatality. All participants shall be provided with and instructed in the proper use of helmet, harnesses, belay equipment and
other items required to complete each specific challenge area safely. Participants will be taught proper form, safety rules and general knowledge of the equipment. All participants will be expected to adhere to all safety rules and follow guidelines for proper care of equipment. Participants MUST always follow the instruction of the of IROEC staff. Anyone not adhering or following activity
expectation may be sidelined from the activity until sufficient retraining has occurred to ensure safety. No personal or outside
equipment is permitted.
Weight Restrictions: Zip Line and High Ropes Course- Participants must weigh between 50 lbs. and 275 lbs. Climbing Tower-
Participants must weigh between 30 lbs. and 275 lbs.
Age Restrictions: Zip-Line & Climbing- Minimum 5 years of age. Low Ropes- Minimum 8 years of age. High Ropes- Minimum 11 years of age. Participants must fit into all required safety equipment properly regardless of weight or age.

Aquatics (Swimming, Water Sports, Water Slide)
All participants will be expected to adhere to all safety rules and follow instructions of the IROEC Aquatic Staff and Lifeguards.
Anyone not following expectation may be sidelined from the activity until sufficient retraining have occurred to ensure everyone’s
safety. An adult must accompany children 5 years and under, one-on-one in the water at all times.

Other Activities
Other available activities at the IROEC include but are not limited to: Mine Immersion, Wacky Science Immersion, Lawn Games, Team Building Games, Breakout Box, Ranch Immersion.

All Activities
All activities and programs at the IROEC follow the standards of the Boy Scouts of America, American Camp Association (ACA), American Red Cross, or Association of Challenge Course Technologies (ACCT).


NOTE: Due to the nature of programs and activities, the Boy Scouts of America and local councils cannot continually monitor compliance of program participants or any limitations imposed upon them by parents or medical providers. However, so that leaders can be as familiar as possible with any limitations, list any restrictions imposed on a child participant in connection with programs or activities in this registration.

In consideration of the benefits to be derived and after carefully considering the risk involved and in view of the fact that the Boy Scouts of America is an organization in which participation is voluntary, and having full confidence that precautions will be taken to ensure the safety and well-being of myself (and any minor children for whom I have the capacity to contract), I have carefully considered the risk involved and have given the participant identified below, my consent to participate in the Recreational Activities available at The Irvine Ranch Outdoor Education Center* (IROEC).
In consideration of accepting this registration, and to the extent permitted by law, I hereby agree to release, indemnify, defend and hold harmless on behalf of myself (and any minor children for whom I have the capacity to contract), the IROEC, the Boy Scouts of America, Orange County Council, event staff, activity coordinators, all employees, volunteers, or other organizations associated with IROEC from and against any and all liabilities, claims, penalties, losses, or expenses (including attorneys’ fees), of any kind or nature whatsoever, whether related to bodily injury, property damage or any other form of injury or loss to myself (and to any minor children for whom I have the capacity to contract), caused by any negligent act or omission of the IROEC or its officers, clients, agents or employees, arising out of or in any way related to participation in the activity for which I (and any minor children for whom I have the capacity to contract) am registering.
I give permission to the IROEC to take photographs of me, my children, and any minor children for whom I have the capacity to contract while participating in this activity for use in future publicity and understand that I will not receive any compensation for such use.
In case of emergency, I hereby give my permission to the physician selected by the IROEC, to secure proper treatment, including hospitalization, anesthesia, surgery, or injections of medication for myself or any minor children for whom I have the capacity to contract.

I acknowledge that the activities to which this release applies can be dangerous and as a result of signing below, I am accepting those risks for myself and for any minor participants for whom I can contract.