Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can girls join the Boy Scouts of America?
Beginning August 1, 2018, girls in grades k-5 can join Cub Scouts. Beginning February 2019, girls ages 11-17 can join Scouts BSA. (The Boy Scout program will be changing its name to Scouts BSA in Feb. 2019.) Learn more about girls in Scouting here.
The BSA’s Venturing, Sea Scouting and Exploring programs have always been open to girls and boys.
Q: What is the Boy Scouts of America?
Founded in 1910, the Boy Scouts of America has a century of experience delivering the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training. Scouting is a safe environment where kids can learn about the world around them through unique experiences and activities they can’t get anywhere else.
Every person in Scouting learns the motto “Be Prepared.” And while that can mean a lot of things to a lot of people, ultimately the Boy Scouts of America prepares young people for life. We prepare them for life by creating opportunities for learning and growth that foster and strengthen self-confidence, ethics, respect for others, academic skills, and leadership abilities that stay with them their entire lives.
Q: How is Scouting organized?
—Beginning August 2018, girls in grades k-5 can join Cub Scouts! In February 2019, girls ages 11-17 can join Scouts BSA—
Scouting is organized by grade level or age.
Cub Scouts is designed for girls and boys in grades k-5. When you’re a kid, fun comes first. Final exams, driver’s ed and summer jobs will arrive soon enough. Cub Scouts lets kids have fun while teaching them skills that will help them later on.
Young men ages 11-17 can join the Boy Scouts. (In February 2019, the Boy Scout program will changes its name to Scouts BSA and begin accepting girls ages 11-17.) Boy Scouts has a lot to offer, but don’t let the 130+ merit badges scare you away. With the exposure to a uniquely hands-on learning experience through earning merit badges that reflect each child’s budding interests, they unlock a world of discovery around them, and forge their path for the future. By culminating the Boy Scouting experience by earning the rank of Eagle and accomplishing a service project imagined and executed by the Scout himself, they can prove their leadership skills and gain the confidence needed to excel in life and in the world at large.
Venturing is a coed program for young adults ages 13 (and have completed the 8th grade) through 20. All teens have one—a moment that opens their eyes to a world that’s bigger than they ever imagined. It might happen while paddling a quiet lake, bonding with new friends around a beach bonfire, or rising to the challenge of leading an exhausted crew to the edges of adventure. Venturing gives young men and women access to a range of programs and empowers them to create their own experiences. It brings Scouting values to life through both high adventure outdoor activities and challenging real-world projects.
Exploring provides exciting activities and one-on-one mentorship for young men and women ages 13 (and have completed 8th grade) through 20 looking to discover their future. Youth develop valuable networking contacts with professionals working in selected career fields. Exploring can be the first step in identifying career possibilities while gaining real-life, hands-on experiences in various career fields.
Cub Scouts are broken into a small group called a pack, Boy Scouts are grouped into troops, and Venturing gathers as a crew. The pack, troop, or crew you join is up to you. You can look for a group chartered by an organization you support, like your church or school, or simply choose the one closest to your neighborhood.
Meetings typically take place at your chartered organization (such as school or church) but sometimes meetings are held at camp, local parks or businesses as part of a special activity.
Q: When do Scouts meet?
Scout meeting days and times vary from unit to unit. Some groups meet once a week, others twice a month. Families can choose a unit with meeting times that best meet their schedule.
Q: How is Scouting delivered?
In Cub Scouting, each pack has dedicated leaders and volunteers who are tasked with teaching Cub Scouts both fun and valuable lessons that will help them progress in the program and in life. But what makes Cub Scouts truly unique is the opportunity it gives the entire family to be involved in each child’s development. From volunteering with the pack to leading activities at home, parents can take full advantage of the extra time they’ll have participating in their Cub Scout’s life.
In Boy Scouts and Venturing, the youth are responsible for running meetings and planning events. However, each unit also has adult volunteers to help provide leadership and support.
Q: How much does Scouting cost?
Scouting does charge fees for membership, events, and activities. Fundraising opportunities are offered to families throughout the year to help cover those costs. Camperships are also available to help pay for a Scout’s summer camp experience.
The annual membership for the Boy Scouts of America is $33. Some units charge additional fees for field trips and activity supplies. This amount varies by unit.
Families also have the option to purchase a uniform, handbook, Boys’ Life Scouting magazine subscription, and camping equipment.
Q: How is Scouting different from other youth activities?
Scouting is goal-oriented without the pressure of winning and losing. It is physical and strenuous but less likely to cause the injuries that can occur with sports. Out here, it’s about making friends without the need to compete with them.
Q: What do Scouts believe?
The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Scout Law.
On my honor I will do my best
to do my duty to God and my country
and to obey the Scout Law;
to help other people at all times;
to keep myself physically strong,
mentally awake, and morally straight.
A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.