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2010 Advancement System Changes

Merits represent the fundamental building blocks of the Discovery, Adventure, and Expedition Rangers advancement systems.  Boys earn awards and advance through the system based on the number of merits earned in each category.  Merits are categorized by the color of the border on the merit patch and the type of material covered, such as leadership, skills, or Bible.  Significant changes to the Discovery, Adventure, and Expedition Rangers advancement systems were announced in March of 2010.  The following information describes the changes made and the transition plan from the old system to the new.

NOTE:  The Ranger Kids advancement system did not change in 2010.  Therefore, the system released in 2002 remains in effect for Ranger Kids.

2002 Advancement System

In 2002 the following merit categories were established as a framework for advancement in Discovery, Adventure, and Expedition Rangers:

Discovery Rangers Core Skill Merits
Supplemental Skill Merits
Bible Merits

Red
Blue
Orange

Adventure Rangers Core Skill Merits
Supplemental Skill Merits
Bible Merits
Gold
Green
Brown
Expedition Rangers Skill Merits
Spirit Challenges
Silver
-

2010 Advancement System

In 2010 the advancement system was revised to place increased emphasis on spiritual growth and progress toward Christlike manhood.  A full-scale re-write of the Bible merits was initiated and leadership merits were created.  In order to accommodate leadership merits as a new category while maintaining the same color categories already in use, all Discovery Ranger skill merits were moved to the BLUE category and all Adventure Ranger skill merits were moved to the GREEN category.  This allowed for all Discovery Ranger leadership merits to become RED and all Adventure Ranger leadership merits to become GOLD.  The following table represents the new merit categories under the 2010 system:

Discovery Rangers Leadership Merits           
Skill Merits
Bible Merits

Red
Blue
Orange

Adventure Rangers Leadership Merits
Skill Merits
Bible Merits
Gold
Green
Brown
Expedition Rangers

Leadership Merits
Skill Merits
Spirit Challenges

Sky Blue
Silver
-

Transition Plan

In order to facilitate the transition from the 2002 advancement systems and the 2010 system, the following standards have been defined:

  • Groups and individuals may choose to continue using the 2002 advancement system through December 2012 (or May 2013 for Expedition Rangers).  After that date, the 2002 system will be discontinued and may no longer be used for Royal Rangers advancement.
  • Individuals may transition to the new advancement system at any time and will retain all awards and merits earned under the old system.  However, once the transition is made, all future advancement awards must be earned under the new system.
  • Outpost groups may have some individuals following the old advancement system while others follow the new system.  It is not necessary that all individuals in the group follow the same system.
  • Boys who continue to advance under the old advancement system may earn any of the new merits used in the new advancement system, including Leadership Merits, and count them as additional/optional skill merits toward their old system advancements.  However, once the boy transitions to the new system, all merits must be counted as belonging to the merit category they were written for (i.e. Leadership Merits must be counted as Leadership Merits) and any resulting shortages in skill merits must be made up before further advancement can be made under the new system.
  • Once a boy transitions to the new system, he will begin the new system at the same advancement step he last completed under the old system. In order to obtain the next step, he must only complete the incremental differences between the last step he obtained under the old system and the first step he seeks to attain under the new system.  He is not required to go back and re-earn any requirements relating to steps already obtained (other than in the possible instance noted above where he may have previously counted a leadership merit as a skill merit under the old system).
  • RECOMMENDED TRANSITION POINT:  It is recommended that all boys who have earned the 2nd annual medal in Discovery Rangers (Gold Hawk) or Adventure Rangers (Silver Medal) under the old system continue using the old system until they graduate to the next age group.  Boys who have not yet earned the 1st medal in their age group (Gold Falcon for Discovery Rangers or Bronze Medal for Adventure Rangers) should immediately transition to the the new system.  Boys who have earned the 1st annual medal but have not yet earned the 2nd may choose which system they prefer to complete.  Regardless of the system chosen, all work under the old system must be completed by December 2012 as stated above, and all boys must follow the new system once they graduate to the next age group.
  • For EXPEDITION RANGERS Only - Due to the complete restructuring of the Expedition Rangers advancement system, advancement medals earned under the old system MAY NOT be mixed or worn with medals earned under the new system.  If an individual who has earned Expedition Rangers medals under the old system chooses to transition to the new system, he must remove all medals from the old system from his uniform and replace them with medals earned under the new system.  However, it should be noted that the new Expedition Rangers advancement medals are NOT direct equivalents to the old medals and all requirements for the new medals must be met before the individual may wear the appropriate new medal.  Requirements met and merits earned under the old system MAY be used to satisfy award requirements under the new system.  (See also the Expedition Air-Sea-Trail-High Action Rangers Transition Plan.)
  • All program materials unique to the 2002 advancement system will continue to be available only while supplies last.  Once current supplies are depleted, these items will no longer be available.

For More Information

For additional information on the 2002 advancement systems for each age group please refer to the 2002 edition of the boy’s handbooks.  For information on the 2010 advancement system please refer to the 2012 editions of the boys handbooks or the advancement pages of this web site:

For information concerning other program changes made in 2010 visit our 2010 Program Updates page.