Varsity Scout advancement
Advancement is a key part of the Varsity program. Varsity Scouts can earn any award or recognition that is available to Boy Scouts, including merit badges, ranks advancements, and other awards. There are also several awards that are only available to Varsity Scouts, and sometimes their leaders.
The Varsity Letter may be earned by participating in or accomplishing at least one high adventure or sports program, according to guidelines determined by the Varsity Coach, meeting attendance requirements and showing Scout Spirit.
The Varsity Letter is cloth patch that can be worn either on the front bottom of a merit badge sash or on the right breast of the Varsity Scout or Boy Scout jacket. This award can be earned every three months by an actively participating Varsity Scout. Subsequent awards are represented by gold bars pinned on the letter. Activity pins can also be pinned on the Varsity Letter.
Varsity Scouts can also earn activity pins in several areas of high adventure and sports. Program resources and official pins are available for backpacking, basketball, bowling, canoe camping, caving, cross-country skiing, cycling, discovering America, fishing, freestyle biking, frontiersman, mechanics, Operation On-Target, orienteering, rock climbing and rappelling, roller hockey, shooting sports, snow camping, soccer, survival, swimming, tennis, triathlon, volleyball, waterskiing, and whitewater canoeing. The requirements for earning an activity pin are determined locally by the team captain and are usually awarded at the conclusion of each ultimate adventure or sports season.
The Denali Award is the highest award in Varsity Scouting. The award is named after Denali, also known as Mount McKinley in Alaska. Requirements include advancing at least one rank in the Boy Scout program (or earning a palm for those who are already Eagle Scouts), serving in a leadership position for six months, taking primary and supportive leadership roles for activities in all five areas of emphasis, living the Varsity Scout Pledge, and completing a progress review.