Each Scout is responsible for self-leadership of his own advancement path. However, along the way, Scouts can take advantage of a number of resources that are available to them:
Scouts who are new to the troop are led through the early stages of advancement by their Patrol Leaders. PLs help to explain the advancement process and advise Scouts about how to complete advancements requirements; PLs keep track of many of the achievements of the Scouts in their Patrols and bring that information to the Patrol Leaders' Council to plan the skills instruction activities for meetings and outings; and PLs encourage the Scouts in their Patrols to complete requirements that are needed to progress.
Other Youth Leaders
Scouts who are working their way towards the First Class rank can rely on any Scout that has the rank of First Class or higher to help them learn and understand skills and also to help them get achievements signed off. In Troop 72 the only people who can sign off on requirements leading up to the First Class rank are scouts who have achieved First Class.
Troop 72 Advancement Coordinator
The Troop 72 Advancement Coordinator oversees all of the advancement within the Troop. While it is not this individual's role to review and approve a Scout's achievements, the Advancement Coordinator can be a great source of information about how to proceed through the advancement process. He or she will also have records about the status of as Scout's advancement.
Troop 72 Merit Badge Counselors
A Merit Badge Counselor is an adult who has specific knowledge about the topics covered in an individual merit badge. He or she is someone who can help to teach or share information about the subject matter of merit badge, and who can also review and approve a Scout's work towards a particular merit badge. Troop 72 has a number of adult leaders and parents who have volunteered to be merit badge counselors for particular merit badges.
Council Merit Badge Counselors
Hundreds of adults throughout the district and the council have also volunteered to be merit badge counselors.
Troop 72 Merit Badge Clinics
From time to time, members of Troop 72 will offer clinics for Scouts to work on merit badges. These clinics may be during or after meetings, or at special times associated with a certain type of outing.
Council Merit Badge Fairs
Individual districts often host events where one or a number of different merit badges can be completed. These events can be great opportunities to start or complete a merit badge but, because it is a challenge to complete a merit badge in a single day, it is recommended that Scouts complete all of the merit badge work before attending such an event and arrive prepared to get the merit badge signed off.
Summer camp is an excellent place to work on advancement. Summer camps are able to offer a wide variety of different types of activities, especially those related to the outdoor experience that the summer camp is apt to provide.
There are a number of great resources online for help with advancement. MeritBadge.org is an excellent resource for everything related to rank advancement as well as merit badge requirements.