Boy Scout Joining Requirements

Scout Joining

Scout Joining

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The first badge of Boy Scouting can be earned as soon as a boy joins a troop, especially if he has earned his Arrow of Light as a Webelos scout. This first recognition is earned by applying and memorizing some important scouting basics.

Some troops have Webelos scouts bridge over from the pack to the troop in February at their Cub Scout pack Blue and Gold dinner and then have a court of honor in March or April where they are presented with their Scout badge. It is certainly not necessary to wait for a court of honor to present the badge, though. A short, meaningful presentation at the earliest opportunity is best - see a sample New Scout ceremony.

Scout Rank

How to Join:

  1. Go to
  2. Click the 'Boy Scouts' tab.
  3. Enter your zipcode and click the arrow button.
  4. Click on a Troop near you to see its contact info so you can call the Troop or your local Council about joining.
  5. Complete a BSA Youth Application and Health Record and give them to the Scoutmaster of the Troop you choose.

Scout Joining Requirements:
  1. Meet age requirements. Be a boy who has completed the fifth grade or is 11 years old, or has earned the Arrow of Light Award but is under 18 years old.
  2. Complete a Boy Scout application and health history signed by your parent or guardian.
  3. Find a Scout troop near your home.
  4. Repeat the Pledge of Allegiance.
  5. Demonstrate the Scout sign, salute, and handshake.
  6. Demonstrate tying the square knot (a joining knot).
  7. Understand and agree to live by the Scout Oath, Scout Law, motto, and slogan, and the Outdoor Code.
  8. Describe the Scout badge.
  9. Complete the pamphlet exercises. With your parent or guardian, complete the exercises in the pamphlet How to Protect Your Children from Child Abuse: A Parent's Guide.
  10. Participate in a Scoutmaster conference. Turn in your Boy Scout application and health history form signed by your parent or guardian, then participate in a Scoutmaster conference.

Use this Scout Requirements Study Guide to help you learn.

More Boy Scout Information to Use:
  Merit Badges - requirements and aids
  Boy Scout Activities - great scout activity ideas
  Boy Scout Awards - see what awards are available to Boy Scouts
  Boy Scout Ceremonies - a few ceremony ideas
  Boy Scout Games - patrol or troop games
  Boy Scout Graces - fun meal graces
  Boy Scout Jokes - funny, gross, and silly jokes for scouts
  Boy Scout Projects - community projects for Boy Scout patrols or troops
  Boy Scout Recipes - tasty food recipes for scout camping
  Boy Scout Skits - skits that Boy Scouts like to do
  Boy Scout Songs - songs for scouts
  Boy Scout Stories - stories that Boy Scouts will enjoy and understand
  Boy Scout Uniform - make sure you put all those badges and patches in the right spots
  Boy Scout Tests - online tests for Boy Scouts to test their knowledge
  Boy Scout Schedule - sample schedule to reach First Class rank in 12-18 months
  Eagle Scout Schedule - sample schedule to reach Eagle Scout
  Boy Scout Monthly Themes

 Nov 14, 2012 - Mike
I have a boy getting ready to cross over but we have also been thinking about the Sea Scouts we live in the Seattle area and as a family are heavily involved in sailing.  Can a boy be part of both a Boy Scout Troup and simultaneously be a part of a Sea Scout Ship?
Nov 14, 2012 - Scouter Paul
Mike - sure, that's ok to be dual registered.
Mar 21, 2014 - Trace
Do we know if the Scout level is officially a rank *currently* or is there a date this will start?  I saw your posting on the changes to BSA (this being one of them) but I couldn't figure out when it officially starts.  Thanks!
Apr 07, 2014 - Justin
Trace, the changes for Boy Scouts go into effect January 2016.  that starts the transition period.  the new requirements, including when the Scout badge becomes an official Rank, becomes effective January of 2017.  please see the following link describing all changes and dates:

Apr 24, 2014 - Mike
If a boy earns his AoL, does he automatically receive his scout award after crossing over or does he need another SM conference and/or to demonstrate that he has met the "joining" requirements?
Apr 25, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@Mike - As a Scoutmaster, I have the new scouts demonstrate the requirements to me when we meet for requirement #10.  I have no idea what the Webelos den leader required of the scout to receive the Arrow of Light award.  If the scout knows his stuff, it should take less than 5 minutes to do requirements 4 through 8.
Nov 29, 2014 - Gracie
If a boy gets his AOL but does not get awarded until Blue and Gold. Can he be in boys scouts and cub scouts simultaneously?  He wants move on to Boy Scouts but also wants to finish and cross over with his group.
Dec 01, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@Gracie - A boy is not a member of a Cub Scout Pack and a Boy Scout Troop at the same time.
Mar 17, 2015 - Sandra Martens
The above says "Scout Joining Requirements"

As far as I know, a boy doesn't have to know how to tie knots, repeat the law, pledge, etc to JOIN.  It should say Scout requirements, and leave the word Joining out of it.

If I was looking at having my son join Boy Scouts and saw this page (yes, I have recommended this website to non-Scout people) I'd stop thinking about joining

What a shame.
Mar 17, 2015 - Scouter Paul
@Sandra - I can understand how you could be concerned with the wording, even though it is correct.
To become a member of the Boy Scouts of America, a youth needs to turn in a completed youth application, health record, and payment.
To become a member of a Boy Scout Troop and wear the Scout badge, he needs to complete the Joining requirements described above.
These Joining requirements are listed in the beginning of the Boy Scout Handbook as well as other BSA documentation, and are referred to as "Joining requirements".
Mar 17, 2015 - James Dance
My son just crossed over and will be attending  first Boy Scout meeting tonight.He made arrow of light (hurrah! )we made good use of this web siteand as a scout will be using it more. I find it more "scout friendly" can'tsay thanks enough for a very helpful site
Mar 17, 2015 - Scouter Paul
@James - Congrats to your son!  I expect you and he just learned tonight that Boy Scout troop meetings can seem chaotic and haphazard at times.  
If you are welcome to observe these meetings, watching the Senior Patrol Leader and other scouts running things is enlightening.  Comparing the meetings run by a new SPL to those he runs near the end of his term can really demonstrate how opportunities to lead in Scouts help to grow good young men and leaders.

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