@swilliams, Welcome to the forums, and congratulations to having such an active and engaged child ... good luck keeping up with him! (If your kids are like mine were, you're in for a very busy couple of decades!)
The first step (actually a bunch of little steps) is for a boy to work on becoming a first class scout. All of the skills needed to do that are described in his handbook, and the some of the older boys in his troop should have become good enough instructors to teach him. In a perfect troop older boys (usually patrol leaders) teach, test, and sign off on new scout's mastery of skills. Not every troop is perfect.
The challenge that very active boys have is setting priorities. My Son #1, in 7th grade, after an exhausting trip with the band, said "That's it, Scouts first, Soccer second, band third." After he settled on that, we could support him accordingly. (I myself put scouts, science, youth group, and music first. Sports was just not my thing.) Your son should soon lay out his priorities, and that should help with that process. Sometimes, one priority will push rank advancement to the bottom. (E.g., the best scout I ever knew aged out at 2nd class rank.) In a boy scout troop, that's okay. (Although most of us really try to encourage at least slow and steady advancement over 5-7 years.)
The second challenge with very active boys is that scouting -- even if rank advancement is not a priority to the boy -- takes time to get the most out of it. A fifty mile backpacking trip in rugged terrain starts years before by committing weekends camping, hiking, mastering skills, procuring and modifying equipment. Even the seeming simple process of hiking and camping independently with your mates (what I've come to call the pinnacle scouting experience) takes time learning who your real friends are, who is a good citizen and will respect the property they hike on or camp in, and who has the right equipment and skills to make the day or night out truly fun.
Sometimes, those people will also be your band and sports buddies, but often times you need to accept a different set of friends (maybe even reach out to strangers outside of your troop) to do that activity. If your son makes First Class rank, and is still scouting 3 years from know, lots of such opportunities will open up to him. So, the next practical step that I tell 11 year old active boys is to make themselves useful to their parents to the tune of about $100 a month (above the usual things he may spend money on). That way, by the time he's old enough, he will have saved what he needs to enjoy some big-ticket scouting. (And things around your house or business might look better than you would have expected. )
Or, if he decides that scouting isn't for him, he will have the resources to participate in other activities ... or even help his family in a pinch.
So, focus on your boy being a First Class scout. Then, once he has that patch, ask him what his plan is. By then he would have had 3 conferences with his scoutmaster, and 3 boards of review with your troop committee who will have asked roughly the same question. Help him with that answer!
Edited by qwazse, 24 April 2017 - 10:08 AM.