Well, whilie I was typing this, four more posts were added... So, let me preface my comments with this... "Here is my perspective, my opinion." There's no doubt whatsoever there are, even to this day, misconceptions and even contradictory statements within the written BSA policies, hankbooks, guides, etc. So, again, although it is one of my duties as a Counselor on this board to help educate others and altough I beleive my position to be correct on this matter, I must, in this post, issue this disclaimer... I'm not trying to interpret official BSA policy in this post.
Two very good posts... However, here's my perspective... In this PC age, we sometimes forgetful that Scouting's roots are in the military.
WordNet 2.0 defines a recruit as: an enlistee; any new member or supporter (as in the armed forces) -or- a newcomer, fledgling, starter, neophyte, freshman, newbie, entrant; any new participant in some activity.A Scout is a recruit. And technically, he has no "standing" other than the fact that he is now a member and his advancement consisted of little more than (meeting the joining requirements) going from non-member to new member with the given rank, per se, of recruit (Scout). The rank of Scout is listed, documented (rank card), shaped, awarded and worn exactly like all other ranks, Tenderfoot through Eagle. And for good reasons. All braches of military service do the exact same thing with thier recruits. Also for good reasons... not only is he a bona fide member of the group, even a one-day old recruit is taught that, although he is a servant of the civilian, he olso outranks all civilians (except those within his chain of command) in times of crisis. Although the rank of Scout has nothing to do with "advancement within the ranks," it is a designation of rank for recruits and thus, nontheless a rank, not otherwise different from the rest.
The folks at National aren't confused on this; they just don't bother to explain the history and relavance behind it these days, cuz it ain't PC.
For those who are over-educated ( i.e., officers
), here's another perspective: a freshman in high school or college is a member of the "class" but, like all other freshmen, can carry no "standing" whatsoever.