Boy Scouting is for boys who are at least 11 years old, or have completed the fifth grade, to 17 years old. In Boy Scouting, boys, families, and adult leaders work together to achieve the objectives of character development, citizenship training, and personal fitness. Among other methods, Scouting uses an outdoor program and an advancement program to help achieve these objectives.
Boy Scouts are assigned to patrols, which are groups of five to eight boys. Patrols elect their own leader and typically camp together on outings and do all the planning and preparation for those outings together as well.
All patrols are part of the Troop. Troops usually meet weekly for an hour or two in a facility provided by the church or other organization which sponsors the Troop.
Outdoor Adventure: Troops often go on overnight or weekend camping trips where Scouts engage in a variety of activities: camping, cooking, building fires, enjoying water activities like swimming and canoeing, backpacking, rock climbing, and more. Many Scouts attend a week of summer camp each year, where they camp for an entire week, work on merit badges, and just have fun. Scouts also attend larger events called Camporees and Jamborees which bring together large numbers of Boy Scouts from different parts of the state, country and world.
Leadership: Scouting is a boy-led program. Troops provide a number of leadership positions. Boys can be elected by their fellow Scouts to be Assistant Patrol Leader, Patrol Leader, Senior Patrol Leader, and other positions as well. Leadership training is provided by adult leaders.
Learning New Skills: Scouts learn the skills needed to function in the outdoors - pitching a tent, cooking a meal, identifying plants and animals, including poisonous ones, administering first aid, swimming safely and confidently, and more. Through the merit badge program, Scouts can gain exposure to many different and useful areas, from learning about how to be citizens of their community to leatherwork to shotgun shooting to auto repair.
Service: Service is an integral part of the program. Scouts engage in conservation projects, clear and improve trails, help out at their schools or religious institutions, and can even serve Cub Scouts as Den Chiefs. Many troops participate in the annual Scouting for Food program, which gathers food for those in need in our area.
More information on Boy Scouting is available here, or at the Boy Scouts of America's Web site.
The safety and protection of boys in the Boy Scout program is of utmost importance. Learn more about how Scouting keeps youth members safe.