Scouts BSA Program Updates

This page includes the latest information concerning resources and developments affecting the Scouts BSA program.  Bookmark this page to get the latest program updates from the National Scouts BSA Committee.

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Scouts BSA Office Hours session February 6, 2020

Updated February 18, 2020

The Scouts BSA Office Hours session was live streamed on February 6, 2020. Scouters and Senior Patrol Leaders had an opportunity to have their questions answered by subject matter experts from the National Scouts BSA Committee, topics included:

  • Advancement
  • Leadership Development
  • Program
  • Patrols

Advancement Requirements

Updated May 14, 2019

The 14th edition of the Scouts BSA Handbook includes changes to advancement requirements. For example, the number of overnight camping activities required for the First-Class rank was reduced from six to three, and for the Scout Rank, members are no longer required to demonstrate, but must discuss, pocketknife safety to satisfy the requirement. The text in the corresponding chapters of the handbook was not properly edited to reflect these changes and reflects the old requirements. It is important that troops utilize the requirements listed in the Rank Requirements section of the handbook (pages 441–454).

The correct requirements are as follows:

  • First Class (Requirement 1a)

1a. Since joining Scouts BSA, participate in 10 separate troop/patrol activities, at least six of which must be held outdoors. Of the outdoor activities, at least three must include overnight camping. These activities do not include troop or patrol meetings. On campouts, spend the night in a tent that you pitch or other structure that you help erect, such as a lean-to, snow cave, or tepee. (page 447)

  • Scout Rank (Requirement 5)

5. Tell what you need to know about pocketknife safety. (page 441)

The 2019 Scouts BSA Requirements book is available for purchase at your local Scout shop. Requirements for BSA Lifeguard were omitted from this publication. Information regarding BSA Lifeguard, including requirements, may be found here.

First Scouts BSA Office Hours Available Now

Updated May 10, 2019

The inaugural Scouts BSA Office Hours session was live-streamed on April 18, 2019.  Scouters had an opportunity to have their questions answered by subject matter experts from the National Scouts BSA Committee.  Topics included: helping new Scouts advance in rank; reinforcing the patrol method, preparing for weekend overnight outdoor experiences, and growing your new Scouts BSA Troop. 

Positions of Responsibility for the Eagle Scout Award

Updated March 12, 2019

In the latest printing of the Scouts BSA Handbook, the items highlighted in bold underline below were inadvertently left off the list of qualifying positions of responsibility for the Eagle Scout Award. The requirement should read as follows:

EAGLE Rank Requirements

  1. While a Life Scout, serve actively in your troop for six months in one or more of the following positions of responsibility:

    Scout troop. Patrol leader, assistant senior patrol leader, senior patrol leader, troop guide, Order of the Arrow troop representative, den chief, scribe, librarian, historian, quartermaster, junior assistant Scoutmaster, chaplain aide, instructor, webmaster, or outdoor ethics guide.

    Venturing crew President, vice president, secretary, treasurer, den chief, historian, guide, quartermaster, chaplain aide, or outdoor ethics guide.

    Sea Scout ship. Boatswain, boatswain’s mate, purser, yeoman, storekeeper, crew leader, media specialist, specialist, den chief, or chaplain aide.

    Lone Scout. Leadership responsibility in your school, religious organization, club, or elsewhere in your community.

For the most up-to-date Scouts BSA advancement requirements please refer to 2019 Scouts BSA Requirements No. 33216.

The New Troop's First Month

Updated March 12, 2019

Based on themes contained in Program Features, Volume I, samples of an initial meeting plan, as well as four regular troop meetings, have been developed. The sample meetings lead to a main event. These resources can be found at