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Advancement Info - Star & Life

(Updated October 2020)

Please download and review the documents linked below for Star and Life Advancement for additional detail (Scout Study Guides at Bottom).

Note to Scout Leaders: The ASM Guide for Star and Life SMCs and Skill Assessments is available by request to the Scoutmaster(s) or Advancement Chair.

Board of Review (BOR)

Similar to other ranks, the Board of Review (BOR) is the final step of rank advancement. A detailed description of the BOR process and expectations is documented in the Star and Life Board of Review Process document linked at the bottom of this page. In order for a Scout to progress to a BOR, every advancement requirement for that rank must be complete including the Scoutmaster Conference (SMC).

Scoutmaster Conference (SMC) and Skills Assessment

The Scoutmaster Conference (SMC) is usually one of the last two advancement requirements a Scout completes before the BOR. The other remaining requirement is the “Scout Spirit” requirement which is tested by the SMC reviewers as part of the SMC. The SMC is an opportunity for discussion and mentorship between a Scout and the Scout’s Adult Leaders.

The Troop 57/4057 Skills Assessment is a major review of all of the Scout skills and knowledge a Scout has learned from Scout through First Class Ranks. Star Scouts are expected to have greater mastery of these Skills than 1st Class Scouts and to be able to apply these skills in simple scenarios. Life Scouts are expected to be able to apply their skills in a wider variety of more complex scenarios than Star Scouts.

The SMC and Skills Assessment are generally scheduled to occur as part of the same meeting, with the SMC immediately following the Skills Assessment.  The Skills Assessment is expected to take around 90 minutes with the SMC taking 20 to 30 minutes -- so that the total session is scheduled for 2 hours. 

Detailed Scout Study Guides are linked at the bottom of this page.  These Scout Study Guides should be reviewed carefully by each Scout so that they are confident in their skills before scheduling a Skills Assessment and SMC. Depending on the outcome of the Skills Assessment, a follow up Skill Assessment session or other skill improvement activities may be arranged with the Scout. 

An ASM Guide for Star and Life SMCs and Skill Assessments is available by request to the Scoutmaster(s) or Advancement Chair.

Scheduling a Skills Assessment and SMC

When a Scout is ready for advancement, the Scout should schedule a Skills Assessment and SMC by requesting a meeting from his/her Lead ASM in his/her Patrol. The Lead ASM will assign appropriate Adult Reviewers.

In preparation for the SMC, Scouts should have a copy of their BSA History Report (a report available in Scoutbook) with all requirements shown as complete (except for the Scout Spirit, SMC and BOR requirements). Scouts should also bring their completed Individual Advancement Plan (IAP, template at bottom of this page). The IAP is a task tracking document to help the Scout efficiently plan out and schedule their Scouting activities and Merit Badges to advance to their next rank up to Eagle.

Unrecorded requirements should be resolved with the Lead ASM of your patrol and/or the Advancement Recorder (email: AdvancementRecorder.troop57@troopmaster.email).  

Unrecorded activities, such as unrecorded camping nights or service hours, should be resolved with the help of the Activities Recorder (email: ActivitiesRecorder.troop57@troopmaster.email).

Once the SMC is complete, the ASM that led the SMC should notify the BOR Coordinator (BORcoordinator.Troop57@troopmaster.email) and Advancement Recorder (AdvancementRecorder.Troop57@troopmaster.email) so that the Scout can schedule for the next available BOR.

Upcoming SMC and BOR Schedule


Deadlines for Fall 2020 Star/Life SMCs

Oct-18 ..... SMC completion deadline for October BOR

Oct-20 ..... Virtual BOR (Board of Review)

Nov-15 ..... SMC completion deadline for November BOR

Nov-17 ..... Virtual BOR

Dec-06 ..... Fall COH


Deadlines for Winter 2020 Star/Life SMCs

Jan-24 ..... SMC completion deadline for January BOR

Jan-26 ..... Virtual BOR

Feb-21 ..... SMC completion deadline for February BOR

Feb-23 ..... Virtual BOR

Mar-14 (pending) ..... SMC completion deadline for March BOR

Mar-16 (pending) ..... BOR

Mar-28 ..... Winter COH


Deadlines for Spring 2020 Star/Life SMCs

Apr-26 (pending) ..... SMC completion deadline

Apr-28 (pending) ..... BOR

May-9 (pending) ..... SMC completion deadline

May-11 (pending) ..... BOR

May-21 (pending) ..... Spring COH


Any SMCs not complete by the applicable deadlines will move to the next BOR

Den Chief PoR needs verification of completion from the Den Chief Coordinator.

Links to Study Guides, IAR Template, detailed BOR information and Other References

Scout SMC and Skills Assessment Study Guides 

Scout Star Study Guide

Scout Life Study Guide

Scout Individual Advancement Plan (Excel File) (PDF File)

Star and Life Board of Review Process

* ASMs should contact the Scoutmaster(s) or Advancement Chair for a copy of the ASM Guide

Scout Advancement Requirements (excerpt from Scout Handbook)

Star Requirements

Life Requirements

Note: Service requirement can only be completed through approved Troop 57/4057 service activities.