Welcome to the BSA!
The BSA makes Scouting available to our nation’s youth by chartering community organizations to operate Cub Scout packs, Scouts BSA troops, Venturing crews, and Sea Scout ships.
The chartered organization provides an adequate and safe meeting place as well as capable adult leadership, and requires adherence to the principles and policies of the BSA. The BSA local and national council provide training, program, outdoor facilities, literature, professional guidance, and liability insurance protection.
Parent/Legal Guardian Role in Scouting
Scouting uses a fun program to promote character development, citizenship training, leadership, and mental and physical fitness. You can help by encouraging attendance, assisting with your child’s advancement, attending meetings for parents, and assisting the unit when called upon to help. The unit cannot provide a quality program without your help.
Parent Agreement. I have read the Scout Oath and Scout Law, and I want my child to join Scouting. I will assist them in abiding by the policies of the BSA and the chartered organization. I will:
Serve as an adult partner while my child is a Lion or Tiger.
Help my Scout grow through completion of advancements.
Help the unit with activities and assist as needed.
Health Information. You should inform your unit leader of any condition that might limit your child’s participation. Please fill out the Annual Health and Medical Record, No. 680-001, found on www.scouting.org/forms and give it to the unit leader.
Youth Protection Begins With You™. Child abuse is a serious problem in our society, and unfortunately, it can occur anywhere, even in Scouting. Youth safety is of paramount importance to Scouting. For that reason, the BSA continues to create and consistently improve its barriers to abuse.
The BSA is committed to providing a safe environment for young people. To maintain a safe environment, the BSA provides parents and adult leaders with numerous online and printed resources and adult leaders must complete Youth Protection Training (YPT) and renew their training as required. Parents who participate in Scouting activities are highly recommended to complete YPT. To learn more about the BSA’s Youth Protection resources, go to www.scouting.org/training/youth-protection/.
All persons involved in Scouting must immediately report to local authorities any good-faith suspicion or belief that any child is or has been physically or sexually abused; physically or emotionally neglected; exposed to any form of violence or threat; or exposed to any form of sexual exploitation including the possession, manufacture, or distribution of child pornography, online solicitation, enticement, or showing of obscene material. No person may abdicate this reporting responsibility to any other person.
Additionally, any known or suspected abuse or behavior that might put a youth at risk must also be reported to the local Scout executive or the Scouts First Helpline (1-844-SCOUTS1 or 1-844-726-8871) if your Scout executive or local council cannot be reached.
All parents must review the How to Protect Your Children From Child Abuse: A Parent’s Guide booklet in the Cub Scout or Scouts BSA handbooks or at www.scouting.org/training/youth-protection/.
Youth Protection Policies
Two registered adult leaders 21 years of age or over are required at all Scouting activities, including meetings. There must be a registered female adult leader over 21 in every unit serving females. A registered female adult leader over 21 must be present for any activity involving female youth.
One-on-one contact between adult leaders and youth members is prohibited both inside and outside of Scouting.
These and other key Youth Protection policies are addressed in the training and at www.scouting.org/training/ youth-protection/.
To learn about the BSA’s other health and safety policies, please review the online version of the Guide to Safe Scouting, the Scouter Code of Conduct, and the Sweet Sixteen of BSA Safety, which are available at www.scouting. org/health-and-safety.
Scout Life Magazine
For a subscription to a magazine that will help your child grow in the Scouting program, just fill in the Scout Life circle on the application and pay the subscription price.
The J. Warren Young Literacy Fund
You can give a Scout the opportunity to enjoy a free subscription to Scout Life for one to five years. Go to go.boyslife.org/donate to donate. The local council will identify Scouts who do not have the funds to subscribe. Do a Good Turn today. Today’s readers are tomorrow’s leaders.
Who Can Join?
It is the philosophy of Scouting to welcome all eligible youth, regardless of gender, race, ethnic background, sexual orientation, or gender identification, who are willing to accept Scouting’s values and meet any other requirements of membership.
Cub Scout Pack
Pack membership is open to youth in kindergarten through fifth grade.
*Lion—Kindergarten (year before first grade)
Webelos Scout—Fourth and fifth grade
*Lions and Tigers must have an adult partner. If the parent is not serving as the adult partner, the parental signature on the application indicates their approval of the adult partner. In addition, if the adult partner does not live at the same address as the Lion or Tiger, an adult application is required.
Scouts BSA Troop
Youth can be Scouts if they have completed the fifth grade and are at least 10 years old, OR have earned the Arrow of Light Award and are at least 10 years old, OR are age 11 but have not reached age 18.
Venturing Crew/Sea Scout Ship
Venturing and Sea Scouting are for young men and women at least 13 years old who have completed the eighth grade, or are age 14 and not yet 21. Applicants age 18 and older must complete a BSA adult application.
Excerpt From the Declaration of Religious Principle
The BSA maintains that no member can grow into the best kind of citizen without recognizing an obligation to God and, therefore, recognizes the religious element in the training of the member, but is absolutely nonsectarian in its attitude toward that religious training. Its policy is that the home and the organization or group with which the member is connected shall give definite attention to religious life. Only persons willing to subscribe to this Declaration of Religious Principle and to the Bylaws of the Boy Scouts of America shall be entitled to certificates of membership.
The annual national registration fee is nonrefundable.
For general questions, contact your BSA local council.