Scouts BSA is a program offered by the Boy Scouts of America for young men and women who are 11 years old (or 10 and earned the Arrow of Light) through 17. Find helps for the Scouts BSA program on this page. Or use the links directly below to find help for a specific rank or topic.
What Is a Scoutmaster Conference?
One thing which sometimes throws new Scouts (and their parents) off guard is the Scoutmaster Conference. What in the world is a Scoutmaster Conference? Am I going to have to tie knots? What if I get nervous and forget how?!!!
What Is a Scouts BSA Troop Committee?
In a troop committee, committee members provide the support and resources which the youth leaders of the troop need to carry out their ideas.
Eagle Palms and Merit Badges Question
Cindy asked if merit badges her son earned before attaining the rank of Eagle can be used toward Eagle palms.
Scouts BSA Trivia Quiz
How well do you know the basics? Answer some questions about the Scout Oath, Law, Slogan, Motto, the meaning of the Scout Badge and more. And then find out if your answers are correct. Use this to help with the requirements for the Scouting Adventure for Arrow of Light or for the Scouts BSA Scout rank.
My Opinion on the BSA’s Decision to Provide a Path to Eagle Scout for Girls
"The Boy Scouts of America Board of Directors unanimously approved to welcome girls into its iconic Cub Scout program and to deliver a Scouting program for older girls that will enable them to advance and earn the highest rank of Eagle Scout. " First, let's get the facts straight.
What Is a Board of Review?
When a Scout has completed all of the requirements for a rank, he must appear before a board of review. A board of review is NOT the same as a Scoutmaster Conference but just with more people.
Introduction to Youth Leadership Skills (ILSC or ILST)
This weekend our Venturing Crew did the Introduction to Youth Leadership Skills for Crews (ILSC). This course teaches Crew members basic leadership skills. There is a corresponding course for Scouts BSA Troops (ILST).
Can Women Be Assistant Scoutmasters?
A reader asks "Are single moms allowed to be assistant scoutmasters and go along on outings and campouts with Scouts BSA Troops?"
Fire Drill Time!
Fire drills are encouraged throughout scouting programs, from the Lions to Scouts BSA. Print out a basic plan for conducting a home fire drill.
BSA Insignia Guide
We often get questions about Cub Scout and Scout uniforms. "Where do I put ....?" Fortunately, BSA provides an online insignia guide. This online resource has all of the information parents and scouts need to figure out where all of the various emblems are worn.
BSA Methods for Scouts BSA vs Venturers
Some people wonder about what the main differences between the Scouts BSA and Venturing programs. Aside from the obvious differences – the age difference and boys only vs. coed – looking at the methods used in the two programs offers some insights into the main differences between the program.
Age Requirements for Merit Badges
A reader asks about how old a Scout should be to work on a merit badge. The Guide to Advancement provides some answers.
Scouts BSA First Class Rank Helps and Documents
First Class is the rank a Scout can earn after Second Class The requirements for First Class continue to teach the youth to the skills needed to advance in Scouts BSA.
Scouts BSA Second Class Rank Helps and Documents
Second Class is the rank a Scout can earn after Tenderfoot. The requirements for Second Class continue to teach the youth to the skills needed to advance in Scouts BSA.
Merit Badge Check Off List
This checkoff list could be used by a scribe to keep track of which Scouts have earned which merit badges or could be used by an individual Scout.
Scout Recognition Certificate – Fill In Your Own Information
A while back John M sent in this Webelos Crossover certificate he had made to share with everyone. However, many readers have asked for an easy way to use this with their own unit, award, etc. Now we have it! I have taken what John sent and turned it into a certificate you can create with your own information. Since the you enter the information, you can use it for ranks, awards, merit badges, or whatever you like.
The Fleur de Lis and Scouting
What does the fleur de lis symbolize in Scouting? A reader asks if it is appropriate to give a fleur de lis plaque to a Cub Scout who has earned his Arrow of Light but is not continuing in Scouts BSA.
Scout Rank: Scouts BSA Helps and Ideas
Scout Rank is the first rank earned by a young man or woman upon joining a Scouts BSA troop. It helps a new Scout learn the basics of Scouting and gets them off on a good start on the path to Eagle Scout. Find some helps and ideas for this rank here.
Age Limits for Merit Badge Classes
A reader asks about age limits for merit badge classes. Are these allowed or is this an "additional requirement"?
What Can Scouts Use as Service Hours?
Reader asks what types of service projects can be used to fulfill service hour requirements.
Scouts BSA Tenderfoot Rank Helps and Documents
Tenderfoot is the first rank a Scout can earn. The requirements for Tenderfoot introduce the youth to the skills he or she needs to get started in Scouts BSA.
Nova Awards Program (STEM Award)
STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The NOVA Awards program combines knowledge of STEM concepts with hands on activities.
Setting Advancement Goals with Scouts BSA
My plan is to get all of the Scouts of the same rank together at one time and give them some encouragement. I'll give each of them an advancement goals sheet to fill out.
Patrol Planner for Campouts
The hope is that after a few months, this will provide some consistency so that our youth leaders will do more planning and delegating without as much adult intervention. I think if we provide them with some help and training and they try it, they will see that the patrol method really does provide a way for everyone to share in the duties and makes planning campouts easier.
Parent Interviews at Eagle Board of Review?
An unusal question: "Hi, my son is up for an eagle BOR very soon, and I was wondering what type of questions they ask parents. I was informed the scout steps out of meeting while the reviewers ask parents questions. "
Program Themes for Scouts BSA (Boy Scouts)
Themes are a way to help your youth leadership plan an month of activities around a central skill or emphasis. This will help youth leaders focus during planning sessions and keep the program interesting. BSA provides a number or program features.
Who Should Wear a Scout Uniform?
A reader asks if she should wear a Scout uniform. She is a committee member and religious emblems counselor.
Earning All of the Merit Badges
Heather's son wants to earn all of the merit badges. She is looking for a list of similar badges to help him along. I know it is difficult, but I recommend that you as a parent try to stay out of this process as much as possible. #BoyScouts #MeritBadges
Scouts BSA Merit Badges
You can learn about sports, crafts, science, trades, business, and future careers as you earn merit badges. There are more than 100 merit badges. Any Scout may earn any merit badge at any time. You don't need to have had rank advancement to be eligible.
Disbanding a Very Small Scouts BSA Troop
A reader reports My son has been in a very small Scouts BSA Troop for 2 years now. Our scoutmaster had a meeting to discuss the fact that the boys scouting experience is very limited because of the troops size and suggested that the scouts transfer to another troop.
What Does the Scoutmaster Do?
Scouts BSA Troops are "youth led", so what is the role of the Scoutmaster?Well, most youth are going to need a little guidance.
Board of Review Questions
Reader Shelley asked "I'm a new Troop Committee Chair and was wondering if anyone has some great questions that they ask their Scouts during their Board of Reviews?" Sometimes committee members struggle to come up with good Board of Review questions.
Scout Family Threatening Leaders
A reader asks a question about a Scout parent threatening a leader. "The father of a scout show up at our door and threaten my husbands safety. "
Merit Badge Counselors List
Tracey sent in this form which can be used to keep track of counselors for merit badges. Space is included for the counselor's name, phone number, and email address. Badges required for the rank of Eagle Scout are highlighted in yellow.
Scoutmaster Conference – Adding Requirements
During a Scoutmaster conference for the rank of Life, a Scoutmaster is requiring a Scout to answer questions from earlier ranks and merit badges, erect a tent, fold a tarp without wrinkles, keep track of paperwork and badges, plus other things. But a Scoutmaster may not add or take away requirements for advancement.
Scouts BSA Star Rank Helps and Documents
Star is the Scouts BSA rank earned after First Class. With Star, the focus shifts from scout skills to leadership, service, and merit badges.
Order of the Arrow to Change Membership Requirements in February 2019
As of February 2019, all registered members of the BSA will be eligible to join the Order of the Arrow, provided they meet the camping and election requirements. This means that the Order of the Arrow will be open to Venturers and Sea Scouts. #ScoutMeIn
Leadership Succession in a Scouts BSA Troop
Jen asks a question about adult leader succession. What do you do when it is not clear? What if issues such as "its always been done that way" and hesitance of new leaders arise?
National Youth Leadership Training
National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT) is an intense week long leadership training class for youth
When you read the Scout Oath as is used by the BSA below, it is clear that the Scout Oath contains the same or parallel thoughts for the concepts in Baden-Powell's original promise.
Losing Interest in Scouts BSA
A reader asks "The fun is gone. I know Scouts BSA is different than Cubs, but is it supposed to be no fun? Is there a suggestion I can take to the Scoutmaster that might help him keep these boys interested?"
Issues While Rechartering
A reader asks "Does the BSA ever deny a charter during recharter, and for what reasons would they deny a recharter?"
Journey To Excellence Service Projects
The Journey to Excellence Service Project initiative encourages Scouting units to carry out meaningful service projects.
Scouts BSA Eagle Scout Rank Helps and Documents
Eagle Scout is the highest advancement rank in Scouts BSA. Eagle is earned after the rank of Life. ”Once an Eagle, always an Eagle”. A young woman or man who finishes his or her Scouting career at 18 years of age as a Life Scout will say “I WAS a Life Scout.” But a young woman or man who attains the rank of Eagle Scout can proudly declare “I AM an Eagle Scout” even after he or she reaches the age of 18.
Scouts BSA and Uniforms
Beth asked, "I realized once again that, as proud as he is to wear the uniform at a Scout function, he still feels uncomfortable wearing it in public. I have seen this with many other boys as well. Has anyone else noticed this trend, and what can be done? These guys are the future of our country and doing great things everyday, and yet the cool factor is just not there."
Scouts BSA Life Rank Helps and Documents
Life is the rank a Scout can earn after Star. A Scout working on Life continues to develop leadership, participates in service projects, and earns merit badges.
The Aims of Scouting
The Boy Scouts of America enumerates four aims of Scouting – Character Development, Citizenship, Leadership Development, and Fitness.
Annual Troop Parent Meeting
Every year we try to get as many parents, whether Committee members or not, together in a room to try to figure out how we can help our youth carry out their ideas.
Scouting Resources and Scout Support Groups
A reader is looking for resources and support groups for parents of Scouts and spouses of Scouters.
Scouting For Food
Our Cub Scouts participate in the local Scouting for Food program every November.
Other Scouts BSA Awards Helps and Documents
n addition to ranks and merit badges, young men and women in Scouts BSA can earn other awards, includingScouts BSA Nova Awards and Supernova Awards, World Conservation Award, Emergency Preparedness BSA Award, and more.
Scouts BSA Eagle Palms Helps and Documents
Eagle palms represent additional recognition for an Eagle Scout who has stayed active in his or her unit. In order to receive this recognition, he or she must also continue to earn merit badges.
Scouting Without a Unit – Lone Scout
A readers asks "Because of her busy schedule, my daughter is going to be a Juliette Scout, an individual scout not affiliated with a troop. Does such a thing exist for Boy Scouts? " Any readers out there with experience with Lone Scouts? Do you recommend it? What are the pros and cons?
Problem – Scouters Too Involved in Meetings
The adults involved are very enthusiastic, which is great, but they tend to talk over the kids and take over the meetings. Some of the adults are keeping the kids form running the meetings successfully.
How Can You Have a Youth Led Troop When the Scouts Are All New?
A reader asks about being youth-led when all of the Scouts have no previous experience. "The girls have tried, but without experienced scouts in leadership positions to model how to plan a scouting year, run troop meetings or plan a trip, and troop trainers to instruct new scouts in camping skills, like established troops have, things have come to a stand still. "
What Can Be Done to Ensure That Unit Finances Are Handled Correctly?
A reader asks about unit finances: "My boys just joined or local pack in our area last August. This pack has like 60 kids. The 1st thing I noticed was that everything was very very unorganized, but I didn't want to be one of those parents that gripes and does nothing. So I took a seat on the committee as the Fundraiser chair. Since doing that I have witnessed some things that are disturbing to me and I know cant be right...."
Bingo Cards for Scouts BSA (Boy Scout Bingo)
These bingo cards for Scouts BSA help familiarize Scouts with the Scout Law, Eagle required merit badges, some of the fun adventures they can look forward to, ranks, and more. Use them with Webelos who are getting ready to cross over to a troop or with new members of your unit.
What Do You Do If You Can’t Find a New Scoutmaster?
A reader asks about what to do if the current leadership is burned out but nobody is willing to step up to take their place.