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Scouting Forums

2021 Scouts BSA Requirements

Various threads here have said that the Scouts BSA Requirements book has not been published since 2020. However, that would seem not to be the case. Merit Badges | Boy Scouts of America shows that there is indeed a "2021 Scouts BSA Requirements,” publication number 33216. Now, the question is, how do we get ahold of this document?

I suspect the MB page was not updated after the decision to discontinue the Requirements book was made.

@RonaldBlaisdell can you pass this on to your contacts?

@JSyler - Here is the information that I have.


Boy Scouts of America. 2021. Scouts BSA Rank Requirements. PDF. Irving, Tex.: Boy Scouts of America Inc. https://www.scouting.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/3321621-Scouts-BSA-Rank-Requirements_FPO1v2.pdf (accessed 2022-01-05).

Volume: 33216
Version: 2
Number of Pages: 21
Edition: 2021 Printing
Date Accessed: 2022-01-05
Type of Medium: PDF
ISBN: 978-0-8395-3215-6


The rank requirements are official as of Jan. 1, 2021. If a Scout has started work toward a rank before that date using requirements that were current before Jan. 1, 2021, except as noted below, the Scout may complete that rank using the old requirements. Any progress toward a rank that is begun after Jan. 1, 2021, must use the requirements as they are presented on this webpage, https://www.scouting.org/programs/scouts-bsa/advancement-and-awards/merit-badges/

Notes: ISBN is from 2019 printing. ©2019 Boy Scouts of America.


Interesting. That’s obviously an extract of the full document, though, since the Merit Badge page says that its list of updates comes from that book.

I think the information maintenance is or has been moved online. Here is the 2019 book contents:

2019 Book contained the following (with blank pages)

Front cover
Inside front cover

  • Abstract (untitled)
  • Changes and updates summary\

Title page, p. 1
Description, ISBN, copyright statement, p. 2

Table of Contents, p. 3

  • Blank page, p. 4

  • Age Requirement Eligibility, p. 5

  • Scout Rank Requirements, pp. 6-26

    • Scout Rank Requirements
    • Tenderfoot Rank Requirements
    • Second Class Rank Requirments
    • First Class Rank Requirements
    • Alternative Requirements
    • Star Rank Requirements
    • Life Rank Requirements
    • Eagle Rank Requirements
    • Eagle Scout Rank Alternative Requirements
    • Eagle Palms
  • Introduction to Merit Badges, pp. 27-28

  • Merit Badge Requirements, pp. 29-259

  • Special Opportunities, pp. 260-293

  • Blank “Notes” pages, pp. 294-304

  • Merit Badge Library. Inside Back Cover

Back Cover

©2019 Boy Scouts of America


On February 1, 2019, BSA changed the name of their program for youth between the ages of 11 and 18 from Boy Scouts to Scouts BSA, opened the program to young girls, and issued two editions of the Scouts BSA handbooks which replaced the Boy Scout Handbook . In conjunction with that change, BSA Publication 33216, which had been titled " Boy Scout Requirements for many years, was renamed " Scouts BSA Requirements ".**

On January 10, 2021, the following notice was posted on the Scouting Forums:

The BSA will no longer be printing the Scouts BSA Requirements Book. The resources found in the requirements book can be located on Scouting.org(http://scouting.org/) at the Scouts BSA program page****By having the materials online it will allow the BSA to make updates quickly and efficiently. The resources (previously found) in the requirements book can be found in the following locations:
Merit Badges
Documentation detailing the requirements and resources for all Boy Scouts of America merit badges! Awards Central ](Awards Central | Boy Scouts of America)
Find the most up-to-date information on all Boy Scouts of America related awards, including applications and nomination forms.
Advancement and Awards Learn about how advancement and awards work in the Boy Scouts of America, including the requirements for each rank.
This web page shows the revisions made to requirements for rank advancements and merit badges posted on Scouting.org and which would have been included in the 2021 edition of Scouts BSA Requirements if that publication had been published.

The above was posted to the US Scouting Service Project website, While not a official website of the BSA this person that updates this is in contact with the Advancement team and I trust this completely as the only correct answer.

@BenjaminWard , @JSyler - This topic is not yet fully solved.

Internet links updates

Boy Scouts of America® Home

The secure link is for Scouting .org is https://www.scouting.org/

Scouts BSA program

Link not listed. The Scouts BSA program page is https://www.scouting.org/programs/scouts-bsa/

Merit Badges

As of Jan. 8th, 2022, the quoted link, https://www.scouting.org/programs/scouts-bsa/advancement-and-awards/merit-badges/, page is not yet updated. It still states:

The requirements listed below are the current and official requirements of the Boy Scouts of America. Occasionally, the requirements will not match those in the printed Scout Handbook , the annual Scouts BSA Requirements book, or some merit badge pamphlets because of the timing of their printing schedules.

©2019 Boy Scouts of America

Prehaps “the annual Scouts BSA Requirements book” needs to be changed to “the discontinued annual Scouts BSA Requirements book”.

BSA Awards Central

The link hidden in the post, https://www.scouting.org/awards/awards-central/, is correct. This web page is not just for the Scouts BSA program.

Scouts BSA

Advancement and Awards Learn about how advancement and awards work in the Boy Scouts of America, including the requirements for each rank.

The link, https://www.scouting.org/programs/scouts-bsa/advancement-and-awards/, appears to be correct.

2019 to 2021 transition items still to be reviewed

  • Age Requirement Eligibility
  • Table of Contents
    • Scout Rank Requirements
      • Alternative Requirements
      • Eagle Scout Rank Alternative Requirements
    • Special Opportunities

2022-01-08-G DRAFT

Correct they are in the process of updating for 2022. The information will be released asap.


Age Requirement Eligibility

In July 2019 guide for council registrars

Boy Scouts of America. Registration Guidebook of the Boy Scouts of America. July, 2019 ed. Irving, Tex.: Boy Scouts of America Inc., ©2019. PDF. https://www.scouting.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Registration-Guidebook.pdf, p. 10 (file p. 12)


Youth Membership Requirements

  • Age—11 to 17
  • Grade—Completed the fifth grade and be at least 10 years old, or be age 11, or have earned the Arrow of Light Award and be at least 10 years old, but have not reached age 18
  • Gender—Male and female
  • Transfers allowed?—Yes
  • Multiple registrations allowed?—Yes
  • Registration fee for 12 months—$33 per year
  • Boys’ Life subscription for 12 months—$12

Arrow of Light Award: The requirements for the Arrow of Light Award state that a youth must be active in a Webelos den for at least six months since completing the fourth grade (or for at least six months since becoming 10 years old) and earn the Webelos badge. The requirement means that a Webelos Scout may not earn the Arrow of Light Award as a fourth-grader unless that youth is at least 10½ years old


2022-01-10-E DRAFT

Special Opportunities

Under construction.

Special Opportunity HB 2019 p. RB 2019 p.
50-Miler Award 260
Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity 438 n.a.
Aquatics, National Outdoor Award 273
Boardsailing BSA 261
Camping, National Outdoor Award 272
Complete Angler 263
Conservation, National Outdoor Award 273
Cyber Chip, grades 6-8 264
Cyber Chip, grades 9-12 264
Den Chief Service Award 265
Dr. Bernard Harris Supernova Award 277
Duke of Edinburgh n.l. n.l.
Firem,n Chip 266
Heroism Medal, BSA National 270
Hiking, National Outdoor Award 272
Histroric Trails Award 266
Honor Medal with Crossed Palms, BSA National 270
Honor Medal, BSA National 270
Interpreter Strip (sign or spoken) 267
Interpreter Strip, Morse Code 267
Kayaking BSA 268
Let It Grow! Nova Award 277
Merit, BSA National Certificate 270
Merit, BSA National Medal of 270
Messengers of Peace 427 n.l
Mile Swim BSA 270
National Engle Scout Association 438
Outdoor Achievement, National Medal 271
Outdoor Awareness Award 279
Outoor Ethics Action Award 278
Paul Bunyan Woodman 280
Religious Emblems 281
Resource Stewardhip Scout Ranger, National Park Service 276
Riding, National Outdoor Award 274
Shoot!, Nova Award 277
Splash! Nova Award 277
Stand-up Paddkeboarding, BSA 262
Start Your Engines! Nova Award 277
Thomas Edison Supernova Award 277
Totin’ Chip 289
Whitewater Rafting BSA 290
Whoosh! Nova Award 277
William T. Hornaday Badge 292
William T. Hornaday Bronze Medal 292
William T. Hornaday Silver Medal 292
World Conservation Award 426 293


  • 2019 HANDBOOK (HB):
    • Boy Scouts of America. Scouts BSA Handbook for Boys. 14 ed. Vol. 34622, Irving, Tex.: Boy Scouts of America Inc., ©2019. Book.
    • Boy Scouts of America. Scouts BSA Handbook for Girls. 14 ed. Vol. 39006, Irving, Tex.: Boy Scouts of America Inc., ©2019. Book.
    • Except for gender related images and language the 2019 HBs are believed to contain the same content.
  • 2019 REQUIREMENTS BOOK (RB): Boy Scouts of America. Scouts BSA Rank Requirements. 2019 Printing ed. Vol. 33216, Irving, Tex.: Boy Scouts of America Inc., ©2019. Book.


©2019 Boy Scouts of America


Created January 10, 2022; v. 2022-01-10-A DRAFT

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