Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

What is the Boy Scout age range?

Youth can join a Boy Scout troop who have earned the Arrow of Light rank and are at least 10 years old, or have completed the fifth grade and are at least 10, or who are 11, but not yet 18 years old.

What is the responsibility of a parent of a new Boy Scout?

Boy Scout patrol and troop meetings are intended to be an activity for youth. They are not a family activity, and the presence of parents can be a distraction. However, parental involvement is not forbidden. If a parent or guardian would like to be present during a troop meeting, they should consult with the Scoutmaster in advance so a way can be arranged for them to observe. There also might be provision for them to register for a position on the troop committee or as an assistant Scoutmaster. There are always ways for your parent or guardian to be involved.

How do adults get involved?

All troops are chartered to a local organization. The chartered organization serves as a sponsor of Scouting and is essentially the owner/operator of the Scouting unit. In this role, the head of the organization approves all adult volunteer leaders. All leaders are required to take our child safety course called “Youth Protection,” and specific training for their role in Scouting is available either online or in a classroom setting. To help the organization maintain a quality program, there is a person assigned to be a liaison between the unit and the chartered organization. In addition, every unit has a committee (typically made up of Scouting parents) that oversees proper operation and ensures a safe and fun program.

What supplies and equipment does a Boy Scout need?

The single most important piece of equipment a Boy Scout needs is the Boy Scout Handbook. A local Scout shop is the best place to buy a handbook, and the staff there can guide you to get exactly what you need. Find your local Scout shop.

The uniform is also very important as it plays an essential role in creating a sense of belonging, and it’s where a Scout gets to display his awards and rank achievements. Check out the interactive uniform builder at www.bsauniforms.org. Uniforms can be ordered online or in person at the local Scout shop.

Additional supplies and equipment may be needed for certain activities such as camping trips or field days. What equipment is needed, as well as whether it will be provided by the troop, will vary. Unit leaders will provide information about any required supplies at the beginning of each program year.

How much does it cost to be a Boy Scout?

The annual registration fee is $24. However, most units will require additional fees to cover the cost of certain activities and program supplies. The Scoutmaster can explain all the details about the unit’s annual fee and exactly what it includes.

Is Scouting safe?

Yes. Programs are designed to follow a strict set of rules and policies that can be found in the Guide to Safe Scouting. Every registered adult in Scouting is required to complete a Youth Protection training course and a criminal background check. For more information, visit the Youth Protection page.

Who should be contacted if help is needed?

A Scout's patrol leader is the first resource if there are any questions. The senior patrol leader is the next source of information, and then finally the Scoutmaster.

General Questions Regarding Troop Operations

How often does a troop meet?

Boy Scouts meet once each week at their troop meeting. Beyond that, it depends on the patrol and troop. A troop may hold a special activity, such as a service project or outdoor experience, in place of one of the weekly meetings or in addition to the weekly meetings.

What is a patrol?

A Scout patrol is a small team of normally six to eight Scouts where boys learn skills together, share responsibilities and take on leadership roles. For more information, visit the Patrol Leader page.

Who runs the troop?

The senior patrol leader who is elected by the Scouts. For more information, visit TroopLeader.org.

Who plans the meetings and activities?

The Patrol Leaders' Council made up of the senior patrol leader, who presides over the meetings, the assistant senior patrol leader, all patrol leaders, and the troop guide.