First Class Requirements
These requirements are effective as of February, 2019. See previous requirements.
When the First Class rank is attained, a scout has learned all the basic camping and outdoors skills of a scout. First Class scouts can fend for themselves in the wild, lead others on a hike or campout, set up a camp site, plan and properly prepare meals, and provide first aid for most situations that may be encountered. A First Class scout is prepared.
Individual requirement items for Scout, Tenderfoot, 2nd Class, and 1st Class ranks may be worked on simultaneously depending on your program offerings but the ranks must be earned in the proper sequence.
How to Join:
- Go to BeAScout.org
- Click the 'Scouts BSA' tab.
- Enter your zipcode and click the arrow button.
- Click on a Troop near you to see its contact info so you can call the Troop or your local Council about joining.
- Complete a BSA Youth Application and Health Record and give them to the Scoutmaster of the Troop you choose.
- Since joining Scouts BSA, participate in 10 separate troop/patrol activities, at least six of which must be held outdoors. Of the outdoor activities, at least three must include overnight camping. These activities do not include troop or patrol meetings. On campouts, spend the night in a tent that you pitch or other structure that you help erect, such as a lean-to, snow cave, or tepee.
- Explain each of the principles of Tread Lightly! and tell how you practiced them on a campout or outing. This outing must be different from the ones used for Tenderfoot requirement 1c and Second Class requirement 1b.
- Help plan a menu for one of the above campouts that includes at least one breakfast, one lunch, and one dinner, and that requires cooking at least two of the meals. Tell how the menu includes the foods from MyPlate or the current USDA nutritional model and how it meets nutritional needs for the planned activity or campout.
- Using the menu planned in First Class requirement 2a, make a list showing a budget and the food amounts needed to feed three or more youth. Secure the ingredients.
- Show which pans, utensils, and other gear will be needed to cook and serve these meals.
- Demonstrate the procedures to follow in the safe handling and storage of fresh meats, dairy products, eggs, vegetables, and other perishable food products. Show how to properly dispose of camp garbage, cans, plastic containers, and other rubbish.
- On one campout, serve as cook. Supervise your assistant(s) in using a stove or building a cooking fire. Prepare the breakfast, lunch, and dinner planned in First Class requirement 2a. Supervise the cleanup.
- Discuss when you should and should not use lashings.
- Demonstrate tying the timber hitch and clove hitch.
- Demonstrate tying the square, shear, and diagonal lashings by joining two or more poles or staves together
- Use lashings to make a useful camp gadget or structure.
- Using a map and compass, complete an orienteering course that covers at least one mile and requires measuring the height and/or width of designated items (tree, tower, canyon, ditch, etc.).
- Demonstrate how to use a handheld GPS unit, GPS app on a smartphone, or other electronic navigation system. Use GPS to find your current location, a destination of your choice, and the route you will take to get there. Follow that route to arrive at your destination.
- Identify or show evidence of at least 10 kinds of native plants found in your local area or campsite location. You may show evidence by identifying fallen leaves or fallen fruit that you find in the field, or as part of a collection you have made, or by photographs you have taken.
- Identify two ways to obtain a weather forecast for an upcoming activity. Explain why weather forecasts are important when planning for an event.
- Describe at least three natural indicators of impending hazardous weather, the potential dangerous events that might result from such weather conditions, and the appropriate actions to take.
- Describe extreme weather conditions you might encounter in the outdoors in your local geographic area. Discuss how you would determine ahead of time the potential risk of these types of weather dangers, alternative planning considerations to avoid such risks, and how you would prepare for and respond to those weather conditions.
- Successfully complete the BSA swimmer test.
- Tell what precautions must be taken for a safe trip afloat.
- Identify the basic parts of a canoe, kayak, or other boat. Identify the parts of a paddle or an oar.
- Describe proper body positioning in a watercraft, depending on the type and size of the vessel. Explain the importance of proper body position in the boat.
- 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 from shore in deep water.)
- Demonstrate bandages for a sprained ankle and for injuries on the head, the upper arm, and the collarbone.
- By yourself and with a partner, show how to:
- Transport a person from a smoke-filled room.
- Transport for at least 25 yards a person with a sprained ankle.
- Tell the five most common signals of a heart attack. Explain the steps (procedures) in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
- Tell what utility services exist in your home or meeting place. Describe potential hazards associated with these utilities and tell how to respond in emergency situations.
- Develop an emergency action plan for your home that includes what to do in case of fire, storm, power outage, and water outage.
- Explain how to obtain potable water in an emergency.
- After completing Second Class requirement 7a, be physically active at least 30 minutes each day for five days a week for four weeks. Keep track of your activities.
- Share your challenges and successes in completing First Class requirement 8a. Set a goal for continuing to include physical activity as part of your daily life.
- Visit and discuss with a selected individual approved by your leader (for example, an elected official, judge, attorney, civil servant, principal, or teacher) the constitutional rights and obligations of a U.S. citizen.
- Investigate an environmental issue affecting your community. Share what you learned about that issue with your patrol or troop. Tell what, if anything, could be done by you or your community to address the concern.
- On a Scouting or family outing, take note of the trash and garbage you produce. Before your next similar outing, decide how you can reduce, recycle, or repurpose what you take on that outing, and then put those plans into action. Compare your results.
- Participate in three hours of service through one or more service projects approved by your Scoutmaster. The project(s) must not be the same service project(s) used for Tenderfoot requirement 7b and Second Class requirement 8e. Explain how your service to others relates to the Scout Law.
- Tell someone who is eligible to join Scouts BSA, or an inactive Scout, about your Scouting activities. Invite this person to an outing, activity, service project, or meeting. Provide information on how to join, or encourage the inactive Scout to become active. Share your efforts with your Scoutmaster or other adult leader.
- Demonstrate Scout spirit by living the Scout Oath and Scout Law. Tell how you have done your duty to God and how you have lived four different points of the Scout Law (different from those points used for previous ranks) in your everyday life.
- While working toward the First Class rank, and after completing Second Class requirement 11, participate in a Scoutmaster conference.
- Successfully complete your board of review for the First Class rank.
Alternate requirements for First Class Rank are available for Scouts with physical or mental disabilities if they meet the criteria listed in Alternate Requirements for Ranks
More Scouting Information to Use:
Merit Badges - requirements and aids
Scout Activities - great scout activity ideas
Scout Awards - see what awards are available to scouts
Scout Ceremonies - some ceremony ideas
Scout Games - patrol or troop games
Scout Graces - fun meal graces
Scout Jokes - funny, gross, and silly jokes for scouts
Scout Projects - community projects for Scouts BSA patrols or troops
Scout Recipes - tasty food recipes for scout camping
Scout Skits - skits that scouts like to do
Scout Songs - songs for scouts
Scout Stories - stories that scouts will enjoy and understand
Scout Uniform - make sure you put all those badges and patches in the right spots
Scout Tests - online tests for scouts to test their knowledge
Scout Schedule - sample schedule to reach First Class rank in 12-18 months
Eagle Scout Schedule - sample schedule to reach Eagle Scout
Nov 12, 2015 - Hilli
Camping trips is obvious, as are service days, help with Eagle projects, Eagle CoH, Scout Sunday, Merit Badge days/week ends, jamborees, camporees.
How about a troop CoH? Some troops count 2 or more for Summer camp. Is this really at the discretion of the Scout Master?
My son went with some senior scouts from his troop to a Cub meeting to present out troop to the Webelos there - The SM would not count it, though I would think that is very much a non- meeting outing and in the spirit of engaged scouting.
Nov 12, 2015 - Scouter Paul
These outings might be hikes, camping, fishing trips, skiing, biking, pretty much anything that gets the scouts out as a patrol.
And, in January, the number of outings that include camping overnight jumps from 3 to 6 - further emphasizing the "getting outdoors" goal of this requirement.
Nov 12, 2015 - frances gonzalez
Feb 19, 2016 - FL Scouter863
Feb 19, 2016 - Scouter Paul
@frances - I wouldn't count them. They are not troop or patrol
outings - they are cub scout outings which are run by adults,
@Scouter863 - The lifeguard staff will fulfill the lifeguarding role of SSDefense. You still need at least one SSD-trained adult to do any water activities. See G2SS doc - especially section 4 on page 8. You need one SSD adult as supervisor, one person as lookout, and anyone the scoutmaster chooses checking for requirement completion. You would still be 'legal' if the SSD adult did supervisor and lookout role, but I wouldn't.
May 31, 2016 - Nic
For Tenderfoot, the boys need 1 overnight camping, then for Second Class they need 3 overnights camping. Does the 1 night for Tenderfoot also count towards Second Class? Or do the boys need a total of 4 nights by the time they earn both Ranks? (ignoring that they could also be working towards First Class, for the time being).
Jun 01, 2016 - Scouter Paul
Aug 31, 2016 - Sandi
Aug 31, 2016 - Scouter Paul
Dec 20, 2016 - Scoutmom
Dec 21, 2016 - Scouter Paul
@Scoutmom - It depends on the local council's policy. Please see Unit Swim Classification Record for details. Wherever it is done, it needs to be administered by an approved person as listed in that document.
Aug 31, 2018 - Shannon
Aug 31, 2018 - Scouter Paul
Mar 05, 2021 - Joe Pray
Mar 05, 2021 - Scouter Paul
This is one of the few requirements that a Scoutmaster might 'highly recommend' scouts accomplish during summer months because it is much more manageable. During meetings with my SPL, I let him know of things like this requirement that he and his advanced scouts might want to help the newer scouts with on outings.
Jul 26, 2021 - C.Whiteham
Our patrol, with a dozen members or so, is interpreting this as that each camping trip can only have one cook and thus one scout completing this requirement, even for the over-2-nights trips. This means that each scout has to jockey for position to sign up to be the cook. But it seems to me that, when there are two nights, it would be okay for two scouts to take turns being the cook (three meals each) and still fulfill the requirements. What is the collective wisdom on this issue?
Even if the trip only has room for one cook (if there are only 5 meals during the camping trip, then I guess there's not enough room for 2 scouts to each cook 3 meals), can there be more than one person signing off for requirement 2a? (The requirement is: "Help plan a menu for one of the above campouts that includes at least one breakfast, one lunch, and one dinner, and that requires cooking at least two of the meals...") Our patrol is interpreting this as that only the designated cook can do this, whereas it seems to me that "Help plan" means that there can be more than one participant doing this.
How do other patrols usually do it? Is it really only one person per camping trip can get this signed off?
Aug 06, 2021 - Scouter Paul
We've used 2b to help with this, where it says "three or more youth". If you have a patrol of 12 scouts, that could be divided into up to 4 groups of 3 scouts, each with a separate menu being prepared, cooked, and cleaned up for each group.
"Help Plan" means that the scout should work with their patrolmates in deciding the menu rather than just coming up with something on their own that no one else wants to eat - the same way a patrol should always make a menu for a campout.
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