Scouts BSA Resources for a Great Program
Youth may join Scouts BSA as a continuation of their scout trail from cub scouts - this is where the majority of Scouts come from. But, the age of 11 is a great time for a youth to begin scouting! The Scouts BSA program is a big change from cub scouting, the biggest change being that it is scout-led instead of adult-led. If you have youth crossing over from Webelos and joining a scout troop, challenge them to invite at least one non-scouting friend to join them. Since 3/4 of Scouting is 'outing', youth that didn't care for the crafts and projects of cub scouts may be interested in camping, hiking, and the outdoors that Scouts offers.
Scouts is for youth aged 11 through 17. When the 18th birthday is reached, they can no longer be a scout, but they can continue to support a troop in an adult leader role, or continue in a Venture Crew. As scouts grow in skill, they take on responsibility and move from being learners to being leaders.
How to Join:
- Go to BeAScout.org
- Click the 'Scouts BSA' tab.
- Enter your zipcode and click the arrow button.
- Click on a Troop near you to see its contact info so you can call the Troop or your local Council about joining.
- Complete a BSA Youth Application and Health Record and give them to the Scoutmaster of the Troop you choose.
The Scouts BSA program has a Boy Scouts of America Organizational Structure that puts scouts into groups called Patrols with recommended size of from 6 to 8 scouts. Patrols of scouts in a community form a Troop which is part of a District. Districts combine to make a Council - see this page for organization details.
A new scout first earns the Scout badge showing that the youth has joined and is participating in the program. As the youth enjoys outings with a patrol and demonstrates an expanding skill base, the youth naturally gains the Tenderfoot rank, followed by Second Class and First Class ranks. At this point, a scout has learned skills enough to handle the outdoors and begin teaching new scouts. Once a First Class rank is reached, the scout continues up the trail by performing service deeds and earning merit badges in topics of interest or that the scout has decided to explore to reach a higher rank.
Summer Camp is the highlight of the year for many scouts. Our troop has attended Many Point Scout Camp every year since the troop was formed. Each year, scouts receive a camp patch and you can see them on my Many Point Scout Camp page.
These pages contain information for each specific rank:
Scout Info - basic scout knowledge
Tenderfoot Info - safety
Second Class Info - camping
First Class Info - self-sufficiency
Star Info - service
Life Info - leadership
Eagle Info - ultimate scouting
More Scouting Information to Use:
Merit Badges - requirements and aids
Scout Activities - great scout activity ideas
Scout Awards - see what awards are available to scouts
Scout Ceremonies - some ceremony ideas
Scout Games - patrol or troop games
Scout Graces - fun meal graces
Scout Jokes - funny, gross, and silly jokes for scouts
Scout Projects - community projects for Scouts BSA patrols or troops
Scout Recipes - tasty food recipes for scout camping
Scout Skits - skits that scouts like to do
Scout Songs - songs for scouts
Scout Stories - stories that scouts will enjoy and understand
Scout Uniform - make sure you put all those badges and patches in the right spots
Scout Tests - online tests for scouts to test their knowledge
Scout Schedule - sample schedule to reach First Class rank in 12-18 months
Eagle Scout Schedule - sample schedule to reach Eagle Scout
Feb 26, 2014 - Julia Murray
Feb 26, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@Julia - Sure, there should be some at your local scout shop. See ScoutStuff.org page
Dec 09, 2014 - Peter Larsen
Dec 09, 2014 - Ian Stuart
Dec 10, 2014 - Peter Larsen
Dec 10, 2014 - John
Dec 10, 2014 - Peter Larsen
Dec 10, 2014 - Scouter Paul
Dec 10, 2014 - Peter Larsen
Dec 10, 2014 - Joe
Dec 11, 2014 - Peter Larsen
Dec 28, 2014 - Peter Larsen
Jan 03, 2015 - Kira Oregon
Jan 05, 2015 - Scouter Paul
@Kira - A scoutmaster should be talking with individual scouts often enough to recognize when advancement is not happening. A Scoutmaster Conference can be held specifically to discuss a scout's advancement goals - see this page. A Board of Review can be held to chat with scouts that are not advancing. See this page. I do hope the Scoutmaster is aware of, and supportive of, your plan. A Board of Review might be more useful since no scoutmaster staff would be present and scouts may open to discussing barriers in that area. It doesn't seem to me that a special form is needed since each scout conversation should be unique to that scout. If you have a list of canned questions, that sounds more like a survey you could just hand out to everyone.
May 17, 2015 - Jason Puckett
May 17, 2015 - Scouter Paul
@Jason - Your concern is common and is covered in most Troop Policy documents. See google results. Or, read this article. I've been very fortunate with scouts in my charge. I've discussed their behavior privately with them, and then asked them what should be expected from them. Every one has recognized his misbehavior and changed it. The scoutmaster's job is to train and support the youth leaders, not throw them out in the wild. When "working it out" isn't working, assistance from caring adults helps youth learn how to lead.
May 23, 2015 - Matthew Tyler
Aug 11, 2016 - Acemom
Aug 11, 2016 - Scouter Paul
If you want to ensure your son receives his medication correctly, then you should talk directly to his Scoutmaster about that. Or, your son can be responsible for his own medications. Or, you can be present at troop outings.
If you want to complain to someone about your son's Scoutmaster, then you could contact your son's troop's Chartered Organization Representative, or the BSA District Executive, or the Council Scout Executive.
If your son is only 5 merit badges away from earning his Eagle Rank, then it sounds like he has had some successful years in Boy Scouts and fulfilled the positions of responsibility required for the rank. And, it's way past time to change the reference from "WE are 5 merit badges from eagle" to "HE is 5 merit badges from eagle".
Sep 12, 2016 - SM Arnold
Sep 13, 2016 - Scouter Paul
@Arnold - It sounds like you have a plan to get the troop back
on the right track. Not knowing what that plan is, I hope it
The only way to get anyone to do anything is to make it worth their effort. I convinced some older scouts to get involved again by making a deal with them. One troop meeting, they did whatever was needed to help the younger scouts. The next meeting, an 'older scout' activity was held just for them. Back and forth for a few months. The activities were like rides in parent's sports cars, RC drones, laser lights, and other stuff that would be new and interesting.
There are lots of activities and games here that can help with teamwork and fun.
Sep 13, 2016 - SM Arnold
Jan 08, 2017 - David Jeffery
Jan 17, 2017 - Hitchhiker
Jul 01, 2017 - Household6
Reading @Acemom's request for help, I wonder if you missed the part wherein she mentions her son has some delays. Many things can be missed via internet postings, so perhaps you did not intend for your response to seem condescending?
There is help for Scouts with "special needs." Having a son with such needs (but likely less cumbersome than mentioned here) I am aware of it, but thankfully my son is in a Troop that's supportive. Perhaps a link to such resources would have been more helpful? I can offer nothing more than googling "special needs Scouting."
Please know that some children, as well as adults, sometimes do not have the ABILITY to be counted on to take their medication on time.
Could Mom entice the help of another Scout to ensure the medication is given on time? Perhaps offer a "reward" of some type? Is there an award for such in Scouts that Mom could put him in for?
I understand the comment Paul made about "we versus he." It's a hard thing to understand from the perspective of a parenting a neurotypical child. It's likely these parents are doing ALL they can to help their son achieve in life. This means more involvement by them - I'm willing to bet they pray every night their son can make it in the "real world" and allowing him to go away to camp was a big step for the Scout AND the parents.
Please, put yourself in the position of a parent whose child struggles EVERY.SINGLE.DAY, and consider being a bit less critical.
YIS, my best to you.
Jul 01, 2017 - Scouter Paul
I gave Acemom all the options I could think of to ensure her son receive his medications. Putting the burden of that need on another scout is not an option.
I also gave ways to seek help if she felt the scoutmaster was the problem.
Those were my best guesses about what might be helpful since no real question was asked.
Sep 12, 2017 - Scouter Loyd
So if follow the trail we took and do the same for your son he will have plenty of time to get HIS Eagle but let him do it he will really feel like he accomplished a life goal.
Good luck and happy scouting.
Sep 12, 2017 - Scouter Loyd
I hope this will help.
Oct 16, 2017 - Ronald Ewald
Oct 16, 2017 - Scouter Paul
Jun 26, 2020 - Lewis
I am trying to find information on my old scout troop. back in 1979 we met at the LDS church at 228 W 19th Ave Mesa, Az and I thought my troop number was 57. Today, troop 253 shows up as being there.
How can I find information on whether I am confused or if my old troop was not actually 57, but instead 253??
Dec 16, 2020 - insert_username
Do you still have your old uniform? If so and if I'm correct, there should be your Troop number on the sleeve that would be to your left while wearing it. This should help you figure out your old troop number.
Jul 23, 2021 - Kristi Shafer
Or any local troop….date needed Aug 21st event is 6-10pm at Charles Wright Academy in Tacoma.
Please help me get in contact! Thank you!
Aug 05, 2021 - Jane
Put in the zip code for the Charles Wright Academy in Tacoma, click on Scouts BSA then click on "Find and Apply". This should give you contact information for troops close to the school.
I believe Troop 577 is located in Buckley.
Dec 07, 2022 - Sam
Dec 07, 2022 - Scouter Paul
@Sam - Best place to start is by contacting the Registrar of your local council. A few years ago, I was able to get a list of all members of our troop since its founding in the 1970s. If they don't have records, ask them where to try next. It looks like you are in the Greater Colorado Council.
Jun 13, 2023 - Caroline Culbertson
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Just for Fun: Socializing merit badge
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