Boy Scout Troops

Boy Scout Resources for a Great Program

Boy Scout Resources for a Great Program

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Boys may join Boy Scouts of America as a continuation of their boy scout trail from cub scouts - this is where the majority of boy scouts come from. But, the age of 11 is a great time for a new boy to begin scouting! The Boy Scout program is a big change from cub scouting, the biggest change being that it is scout-led instead of adult led. If you have boys crossing over from Webelos and joining a boy scout troop, challenge them to invite at least one non-scouting friend to join them. Since 3/4 of Scouting is 'outing', boys that didn't care for the crafts and projects of cub scouts may be interested in camping, hiking, and the outdoors that Boy Scouts offers.

Boy Scouts is for boys aged 11 through 17. When the 18th birthday is reached, he can no longer be a boy scout, but he can continue to support a troop in an adult leader role, or continue in a Venture Crew. As a scout grows in skill, he takes on responsibility and moves from being a learner to being a leader.

How to Join:

  1. Go to
  2. Click the 'Boy Scouts' tab.
  3. Enter your zipcode and click the arrow button.
  4. Click on a Troop near you to see its contact info so you can call the Troop or your local Council about joining.
  5. Complete a BSA Youth Application and Health Record and give them to the Scoutmaster of the Troop you choose.

The Boy Scout program has a Boy Scouts of America Organizational Structure that puts scouts into groups called Patrols with recommended size of from 6 to 8 scouts. Patrols of scouts in a community form a Troop which is part of a District. Districts combine to make a Council - see this page for organization details.

A new boy first earns the Scout badge showing that he has joined and is participating in the program. As he enjoys outings with his patrol and demonstrates his expanding skill base, he naturally gains the Tenderfoot rank, followed by Second Class and First Class ranks. At this point, a scout has learned skills enough to handle himself in the outdoors and begin teaching new scouts. Once a First Class rank is reached, the scout continues his trail by performing service deeds and earning merit badges in topics that interest him or that he has decided to explore to reach a higher rank.

Summer Camp is the highlight of the year for many scouts. Our troop has attended Many Point Scout Camp every year since the troop was formed. Each year, scouts receive a camp patch and you can see them on my Many Point Scout Camp page.

These pages contain information for each specific rank:
Scout Info - basic scout knowledge
Tenderfoot Info - safety
Second Class Info - camping
First Class Info - self-sufficiency
Star Info - service
Life Info - leadership
Eagle Info - ultimate scouting

More Boy Scout Information to Use:
  Merit Badges - requirements and aids
  Boy Scout Activities - great scout activity ideas
  Boy Scout Awards - see what awards are available to Boy Scouts
  Boy Scout Ceremonies - a few ceremony ideas
  Boy Scout Games - patrol or troop games
  Boy Scout Graces - fun meal graces
  Boy Scout Jokes - funny, gross, and silly jokes for scouts
  Boy Scout Projects - community projects for Boy Scout patrols or troops
  Boy Scout Recipes - tasty food recipes for scout camping
  Boy Scout Skits - skits that Boy Scouts like to do
  Boy Scout Songs - songs for scouts
  Boy Scout Stories - stories that Boy Scouts will enjoy and understand
  Boy Scout Uniform - make sure you put all those badges and patches in the right spots
  Boy Scout Tests - online tests for Boy Scouts to test their knowledge
  Boy Scout Schedule - sample schedule to reach First Class rank in 12-18 months
  Eagle Scout Schedule - sample schedule to reach Eagle Scout
  Boy Scout Monthly Themes

 Feb 26, 2014 - Julia Murray
Any leads on church bulletins w/the scout theme on the cover, to be used on Scout Sunday? Ours is March 9.
Feb 26, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@Julia - Sure, there should be some at your local scout shop.  See page
Dec 09, 2014 - Peter Larsen
I have a real problem. After 4 years of Cub Scouts, my son is now in a Boy Scout Troop. The Scoutmaster does not have any active patrols. He gets defensive and angry when the subject of patrols is brought up. He has publicly invited anyone who wants changes with which he is uncomfortable to leave the troop. My son took an oath to help other people. I was a boy scout. I can't just walk away. What are my options?
Dec 09, 2014 - Ian Stuart
@Peter Why would he not want patrols? Patrols are a key part of scouting, Troops are made of patrols. What are his reasons for not wanting patrols?
Dec 10, 2014 - Peter Larsen
Hey Ian. Scoutmaster's rationale is that different kids appear at any given Troop meeting, making Patrol cohesion hard to achieve. The weird thing is that most parents and scouts don't notice or mind.
Dec 10, 2014 - John
Some people like to do things the hard way and NOT use the patrol method, doing everything themselves.

If you're not using the patrol method in Scouting, you're doing it wrong. Simple as that.
Dec 10, 2014 - Peter Larsen
Hey John, so what are my options? I have debated the Scoutmaster at length about having patrols in a recent parents' meeting. The Troop Committee Chair acknowledges the problem, but won't confront the Scoutmaster head-on. Any parent of a Life scout is walking on eggshells in this Troop.
Dec 10, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@Peter - Every document and publication from the BSA shows this scoutmaster is doing things wrong - scoutmaster handbook, scout handbook, scoutmaster training, ...
It's hard to believe someone would choose this path if they have been through training.  No one in scouting should be "walking on eggshells".

You could contact the district executive or district commissioner to explain the situation, and ask if they could have the assigned unit commissioner help out.  You could talk with your charter organization rep.

You recognize that your son and the other scouts are not experiencing the Boy Scout program.  They deserve better, but they won't get it without adult volunteers able to follow the program.  Someone that acknowledges a problem and lets it remain is not living up to the Scout Oath and Law.
Dec 10, 2014 - Peter Larsen
Thanks for your help. It seems there has been a pattern of complaints, then complainer withdraws, then peace for a time in this Troop. I feel these boys are going to be cross when they find out later on what Scouting can be.

"A Scout is brave" ...right?
Dec 10, 2014 - Joe
i agree with Paul, try every avenue you can. Be direct but make sure he knows you're doing out of love and want the unit to be better.

If all else fails, as a last resort, you can always have him removed from his position. Not that it's ideal, though if someone has been a SM for years, there needs to be a change. However then you also face who will replace him.

Good luck with your efforts! There are many resources around you though as Paul pointed out, both district and council. Though it sounds like he's just been in his position far too long and hasn't had the proper training that's required.
Dec 11, 2014 - Peter Larsen
Paul et al.
Thank you all for the encouragement. I have initiated contact with the District Commissioner. I am sure he will say to "work it out" with the Scoutmaster and Troop Committee. This has happened with other parents who have done the same thing. Troop Committee in this Troop does not meet, ever.
Dec 28, 2014 - Peter Larsen
Hey All,

Updating here. I have been in contact with the District Commissioner and the Unit Commissioner in my Council. They suggested I contact the chartering organization's contact person. I do not think that this issue would interest him. The Council has been very helpful to those among us who want to form a whole new troop. They will do a great job, but it's sad to break up one troop in two.
Jan 03, 2015 - Kira Oregon
I am the Advancement Chair for our troop and we are planning on meeting with Scouts that have not advanced in the past year.  One of the Assistant Scoutmasters will also be in attendance.  The purpose of this meeting is to find out what barriers the Scout is facing and help him create a plan for success.  Has anyone done something like this before and/or have a form we can document the meeting on.  I am planning on creating something but don't want to reinvent the wheel if I don't have to.
Jan 05, 2015 - Scouter Paul
@Kira - A scoutmaster should be talking with individual scouts often enough to recognize when advancement is not happening.  A Scoutmaster Conference can be held specifically to discuss a scout's advancement goals - see this page.

A Board of Review can be held to chat with scouts that are not advancing.  See this page.

I do hope the Scoutmaster is aware of, and supportive of, your plan.  A Board of Review might be more useful since no scoutmaster staff would be present and scouts may open to discussing barriers in that area.

It doesn't seem to me that a special form is needed since each scout conversation should be unique to that scout.  If you have a list of canned questions, that sounds more like a survey you could just hand out to everyone.

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