Trail to First Class
The Trail to First Class program is where the Scout learns the fundamentals of scouting by completing the requirements for Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class ranks. These skills are needed during a Scout's time in scouting and are designed to help the Scout grow into a self-sufficient, confident, and able person. A Scout can master a skill by practicing. A Scout's progress is recorded as a 'signoff' in the Scout's handbook. Only the Scoutmaster or Assistant Scoutmasters can sign off on a requirement.
When all requirements for a rank are completed, the Scout is ready for a Scoutmaster Conference. A Scoutmaster conference is a quick meeting where the Scoutmaster can get to know the Scout a little better and gain an understanding of how his time in Scouting has been up to that point. A Scout must wear his complete and correct Class A uniform when having a Scoutmaster Conference and be prepared with his Scout Handbook and ready to engage in a short conversation. During the Scoutmaster Conference is when the Scout Spirit requirement is signed off on. The Scoutmaster will sign off on the Scout Spirit requirement if he believes the Scout has demonstrated Scout Spirit by living the Scout Oath and Scout Law, having a positive attitude, trying and completing each requirement, getting along with other Scouts, having good sportsmanship, and participating cheerfully.
The final step before being awarded a Scout Rank is a Board of Review. A Board of Review is a formal meeting with a group of three or four adults (Scout leaders and/or parents), not including the Scoutmaster. A Scout's Board of Review is an opportunity to discuss his advancement progress, plans and goals, issues he may have with the Troop or its members, and any suggestions he may have for improvements. Upon the conclusion of the Board of Review, the board will declare the consensus opinion of whether or not they believe the Scout is worthy of advancement. If so, the Scout is congratulated and has officially advanced in rank.