First Class Badge

First Class is a rank attainable by a Scout in the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), and ranks above Second Class and below Star Scout. A Scout can work on the requirements for the Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class ranks at the same time, but must earn them in sequence. The badge is awarded when the Scout completes requirements in the areas of Scoutcraft, physical fitness, citizenship, personal growth and Scout Spirit.[4]

Originally, First Class was the all around Scout and the final and highest rank. Later ranks were originally recognitions of earning merit badges beyond First Class, and not properly ranks. Now these additional ranks form a second tier where Scouts can further develop leadership skills and explore potential vocations and avocations through the merit badge program.

Although Eagle is the highest rank and one all Scouts should strive for, the number of Scouts achieving First Class within one year of joining is still one of the key measures of unit effectiveness. Studies have shown that if a Scout achieves First Class within a year of joining, he typically stays in the Scout program for at least three years. Scouts who do so are more likely to retain Scout values as an adult and achieve the BSA primary mission of "producing useful citizens".[10]

Until 1990, the First Aid merit badge was required for First Class rank. After 1990, this was replaced with a series of requirements to demonstrate awareness of advanced first aid techniques, including CPR. A tenth merit badge was added to the requirement for Eagle Scout rank at that time to maintain its overall requirement of 21 merit badges, and First Aid is still one of the merit badges that is mandatory for the rank.

In order to receive this rank you must complete:

  1. Demonstrate how to find directions during the day and at night without using a compass.
  2. Using a compass, complete an orienteering course that covers at least one mile and requires measuring the height and width of designated items (tree, tower, canyon, ditch, ect.)
  3. Since joining, have participated in 10 separate troop/patrol activities (other than troop/patrol meetings), three of which included camping overnight.
  4. Help plan a patrol menu for one campout that includes at least one breakfast, one lunch, and one dinner, and that requires cooking at two of the meals. Tell how the menu includes the foods from the food pyramid and meets nutritional needs.
  5. Using the menu planned in requirement 4a, make a list showing the cost and foods amounts needed to feed three or more boys and secure the ingredients.
  6. Tell which pans, utensils, and other gear will be needed to cook and serve these meals.
  7. Explain the procedures to follow in the safe handling and storage of fresh meats, diary products, eggs, vegetables, and other perishable foods products. Tell how to properly dispose of camp garbage, cans, plastic containers, and other rubbish.
  8. On one campout, serve as your patrol's cook. Supervise your assistant(s) in using a stove or building a cooking fire. Prepare the breakfast, lunch, and dinner planned in requirement 4a. Lead your patrol in saying grace at the meals and supervise cleanup.
  9. Visit and discuss with a selected individual approved by your leader (elect official, judge, attorney, civil servant, principal, teacher) your constitutional rights and obligations as a U.S. citizen.
  10. Identify or show evidence of at least 10 kinds of native plants found in your community.
  11. Discuss when you should and should not use lashings.
  12. Demonstrate tying the timber hitch and clove hitch and their use in square, shear, and diagonal lashings by joining two or more poles together.
  13. Use lashing to make a useful camp gadget.
  14.  Demonstrate tying the bowline knot and describe several ways it can be used.
  15. Demonstrate bandages for a sprained ankle and for injuries on the head, the upper arm, and the collarbone.
  16. Show how to transport by yourself, and with one other person, a person
    -From a smoke filled room
    -With a sprained ankle, for at least 25 yards
  17.  Tell the most common signs of a heart attack. Explain the steps (procedures) in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
  18. Tell what precautions must be taken for a safe trip afloat.
  19.  Successfully complete the BSA swimmer test.
  20. With a helper and a practice victim, show a line rescue both as tender and as rescuer. (The practice victim should be approximately 30 feet form shore in deep water.)
  21. Demonstrate he Scout spirit by living the Scout Oath and Law in your everyday life.
  22. Tell someone who is eligible to join Boy Scouts, or an inactive Boy Scout, about your troop's activities. Invite him to a troop outing, activity, service project, or meeting. Tell him how to join, or encourage the inactive Boy Scout to become active.
  23. Participate in a Scoutmaster conference.
  24. Complete a board of review.