First and foremost, while Cub Scouts has adult leaders that set up the schedule, prepare activities, and train the boys...in Boy Scouts, the older Boys are the Leaders! The Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmasters are there for safety monitors and enable the older boys to LEAD.
There are 7 ranks in Boy Scouts, and unlike Cub Scouts that rank up with each age group, each boy scout achieves the next rank when all requirements in the handbook are complete on an individual basis. It is common to have boys of the same age group be different ranks. With Troop 55, most boys learn the skills necessary while going on the weekend camping and other trips.
The first set of ranks (Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class) really teach the boys the foundation skills in main categories like outdoor cooking, first aid, nature identification, camping skills, etc. This process of learning the basic skills is referred as the "First Class Path". In some troops, there are boys that help to mentor those in attaining the First Class Rank called "Troop Guides".
The second set of ranks (Star, Life, and Eagle) focus more on attaining specific skill sets via Merit Badges and focus on Leadership of the younger boys.
As each boy finishes up the requirements for the next rank, he then sees the Scoutmaster for a Scoutmaster Conference. This is the final opportunity to ensure the scout has all the skill sets and knowledge for the next rank. After the successfully completing the conference, he then asks for a Board of Review (BOR) from the Troop Adult Committee Members, usually 3 or more adults that are not a Scoutmaster or Assistant Scoutmaster. This provides an opportunity to present their knowledge to the other adults. After passing the BOR, the scout is officially the next rank.
Awards ceremony....is held twice a year, normally in November and May and called the Court of Honor. Ranks, Merit Badges, and any special achievements are awarded.