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.
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.
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…
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…
The Wilderness Survival program feature helps Scouts learn how to stay safe, warm, and dry when the unexpected happens during an outdoor adventure.
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.
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.
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 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.
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…
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.
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.
The focus of the First Aid troop program feature is learning to assess an emergency and practical first aid skills.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
The Multimedia feature lets Scouts explore their creative side using cameras, and other technology. They can shoot, edit and share a short film.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
The Pioneering program feature teaches Scouts how to build structures and gadgets using rope, spars, creativity, and knot skills.