Program Themes for Scouts BSA (Boy Scouts)

Program Themes for Scouts BSA

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 of ideas.

These program features cover topics related to outdoor skills, adventure, emergency preparedness, hobbies, leadership, and more. Each program feature provides ideas for meetings which provide basic instruction for younger Scouts and more challenging activities for older Scouts.

Each of these themes also includes plans for a “big event”. This can be a day trip, a one night campout, or a weekend away. Scouts BSA troops can decide which activities fit their program the best. Or your younger patrols might do a simpler program while patrols with more experienced Scouts uses one of the more challenging plans.

So check out the list of Scouts BSA program themes below and pick one which interests your unit.

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COPE (Challenging Outdoor Personal Experience) Program Feature for Scouts BSA

The COPE feature teaches Scouts to go beyond their comfort zones They develop self esteem by facing challenges individually and as a member of a team.

Hiking Troop Program Feature for Scouts BSA

The Hiking feature teaches Scouts how to prepare for a successful and safe exploration of locations near and far. Scouts learn to appreciate everything they see and experience around them as they hike trails in parks, the back-country, and urban…

Project Planning Program Feature for Scouts BSA Troops

The Project Planning feature helps youth leaders learn how to accomplish their goals, whether that be a service project or a troop campout or planning other activities together. The troop does a group exercise of planning and carrying out a…

Wilderness Survival Troop Program Feature for Scouts BSA

The Wilderness Survival program feature helps Scouts learn how to stay safe, warm, and dry when the unexpected happens during an outdoor adventure.

Special Needs Awareness Program Feature for Scouts BSA

The Special Needs feature teaches Scouts to understand and appreciate the unique qualities and abilities of each person. Scouts learn to appreciate the challenges faced by people with special needs.

Science Program Feature for Scouts BSA

The Science troop program feature encourages Scouts to ask and investigate questions about the world. They learn how to form a hypothesis and test it.

Soccer Troop Program Feature for Scouts BSA

The Soccer program feature helps Scouts learn how to enjoy the world’s most popular sport. While doing this, they learn about fitness, teamwork, and fun.

Program Themes

Program themes let you add a focus to your Pack, Troop, or Crew program. You don’t have to do everything according to a theme, but adding a few theme based activities to your program will help tie things together.

Wildlife Management Troop Program Feature for Scouts BSA

The Wildlife Management program feature materials point out that keeping the natural balance needed to promote the well being of wildlife involves more than biology. A wide range of STEM disciplines are involved. The program feature includes some general information…

Winter Camping Troop Program Feature for Scouts BSA

The Winter Camping feature teaches Scouts to prepare for a fun and safe campout in cold weather. With the right skills, Scouts can be comfortable.

Emergency Preparedness Troop Program Feature for Scouts BSA

The Emergency Preparedness feature teaches Scouts how to develop the first aid and leadership skills needed to deal with an emergency. Scouts learn to be prepared for accidents and natural disasters and to make informed decisions.

First Aid Program Feature for Scouts BSA Troops

The focus of the First Aid troop program feature is learning to assess an emergency and practical first aid skills.

Citizenship Troop Program Feature for Scouts BSA

The Citizenship feature teaches Scouts understand their rights as US citizens. It also demonstrates how these rights are balanced by duties like paying taxes and voting.

Fishing Troop Program Feature for Scouts BSA

The Fishing feature teaches Scouts helps Scouts appreciate the ups and downs of the sport of fishing. The program feature includes some general information and some more specific ideas for meetings

Engineering Troop Program Feature for Scouts BSA

The Engineering program feature teaches Scouts helps Scouts understand how problem solving and design can be used to help meet the challenges found in our society.

Camping Troop Program Feature for Scouts BSA

The Camping program feature teaches Scouts helps Scouts experience the fun and adventure of camp life. Theses camping program ideas include some general information and some more specific ideas for meetings

Safety Programs Feature for Scouts BSA

The Safety feature teaches Scouts to “Be Prepared” for hazardous situations in their homes, on the street, and while out in the woods with their troop.

Multimedia Troop Program Feature for Scouts BSA

The Multimedia feature lets Scouts explore their creative side using cameras, and other technology. They can shoot, edit and share a short film.

Communication Program Feature for Scouts BSA Troops

BSA has a set of troop programs which can help PLCs plan activities around a theme. This communication program feature offers the opportunity to plan a month’s worth of troop activities which focus on giving and receiving information.

Swimming Troop Program Feature for Scouts BSA

The Swimming program feature helps Scouts learn how to safely enjoy fun and physical activity in the water. Scouts also need to know how to swim to enjoy other aquatics activities such as boating and paddling.

Nature and Environment Troop Program Feature for Scouts BSA Troops

The Nature and Environment theme focuses on plants, wildlife, and how we interact with nature. The program feature includes some general information and some more specific ideas for meetings:

Even more resources for Boy Scout Program Features

Paddle Sports Troop Program Feature for Scouts BSA

The Paddle Sports program feature helps Scouts learn how to safely enjoy non-motorized trips on the water. Scouts learn about canoeing, kayaking, or stand up paddleboarding.

Orienteering Troop Program Feature for Scouts BSA

The Orienteering program feature teaches Scouts to navigate unfamiliar territory using a map and compass. It also introduces them to the sport of orienteering, where participants race to find markers called controls.

Fitness and Nutrition Program Feature for Scouts BSA Troops

The Fitness and Nutrition program feature is listed in the Sports program features category, but fitness and nutrition are important for everyone, whether involved in sports or not. Topics include the Get FITT principle, the My Plate Way, Body Mass…

Living History Program Feature for Scouts BSA

The Living History program feature lets Scouts experience different cultures, times, and places in an interactive and hands on manner. They witness reenactments and learn about historical events and different ways of life.

Cooking Troop Program Feature for Scouts BSA

The Cooking program feature teaches Scouts how to make their favorite food and discover new recipes for use at home and at camp. Scouts learn the satisfaction of preparing their own meals.

Pioneering Troop Program Feature for Scouts BSA

The Pioneering program feature teaches Scouts how to build structures and gadgets using rope, spars, creativity, and knot skills.


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