View a chart showing age-appropriate guidelines for Scouting activities by selecting the link below.
- PDF – to print on 11″ x 17″ paper (or click the “save” icon in Adobe Acrobat to save a copy on your computer)
Criteria for Assessing Whether an Activity Is Age-Appropriate
These criteria are designed to assist unit leaders in determining what activities are age-appropriate. Activities that do not appear on the chart should be reviewed using these criteria.
- The group-based activity matches the training and experience of participants. The group has the ability to successfully complete the activity.
- The activity complies with the policies and procedures in the Guide to Safe Scouting – No. 34416C.
- The activity supports or is in harmony with Scouting values.
- The activity adds to the life experiences, knowledge, or abilities of participants.
- The unit or group receives training appropriate to the activity.
In addition to the general criteria, the following program-specific criteria apply.
- The activity is parent/youth- or family-oriented.
- The activity is conducted with adult supervision.
- Cub Scouts are asked to do their best.
- The activity is discovery-based.
- Activities are led by youth and approved and supervised by adults.
- Activities are patrol- or troop-oriented.
- Activities meet standards and advancement requirements.
- Activities are experience-based.
- Activities are led by youth and supported by adults.
- Youth participants develop and plan activities and set and meet their own challenges.
- Activities are socially based with coed participation.
Why have these guidelines been developed?
- To provide national consistency for what is offered for BSA youth programs and activities
- To match the degree of difficulty of activities to the age and rank of participants, thereby helping to avoid accidents and injuries
- To help retain youth membership in BSA programs by offering activities with a progression of challenge, duration, and intensity
- To help strike a balance among parent, leader, and youth expectations
- To provide some protection for unit leaders by establishing parameters for programs and activities
All participation in activities must comply with federal, state, and local regulations.