BSA Logo


Be Prepared

It's more than a motto; it's a way of life. Being prepared means having the ability to deal with the many tough challenges life presents-that's what Scouting is all about. Through its time-tested program, Scouting provides young people with opportunities to mentor to their peers, build character, and enrich their faith. These activities build stronger family bonds and help youth reach their full potential by instilling values that last a lifetime.

One of the strengths of the Scouting program is the unique relationship between religious and community organizations, parents and leaders. Working together, they are able to focus the necessary resources and leadership on the single task of serving youth. The result is children, families and communities that are stronger and better prepared for the future.

Cub Scouts, for youth ages 6 to 10

Cub Scouting is a year-round program uniquely designed to meet the needs of young scouts and their parents. The program offers fun and challenging activities that promote character development and physical fitness.

Service projects, ceremonies, games and other activities guide youth through the core values and give them a sense of personal achievement. Through positive peer group interaction and parental guidance, youth also learn honesty, bravery, and respect.

Family involvement is an essential part of Cub Scouting, and parents are encouraged to play an active role in the program. Through interaction between parents, leaders, and friends, youth learn citizenship, compassion and courage. This family and community centered approach to learning means that Cub Scouting is truly time well spent.

Q. When can boys join Cub Scouts?

A. They begin in Kindergarten (for those packs that are participating in the Lion Scout Program) otherwise first grade as a Tiger Cub (or age 7), move to Cub Scouts in second and third grade (or age 8 or 9), and are Webelos Scouts in fourth and fifth grade (or age 10).

Q. What does Cub Scouting offer my child?

A. Cub Scouting uses proven methods to achieve Scouting's aims of helping youth build character, learn the responsibility of citizenship, and develop personal fitness.

Q. How does Cub Scouting develop character and values?

A. Character is part of everything a Cub Scout does. The 12 core values of Cub Scouting are integrated throughout the youth's handbooks and advancement program. The core values are citizenship, compassion, cooperation, courage, faith, health and fitness, honesty, perseverance, positive attitude, resourcefulness, respect, and responsibility.

Q. What roles do parents play?

A. They provide help and support for the den and pack. They also work with their child on advancement projects and activities, and assist with den and pack meetings.

Q. Do Cub Scouts go camping?

A. Yes, but they ease into it, beginning with what we call "soft camping." They may go camping with a parent, or their entire family. An introduction to camping through Cub Scouting helps your boy transition into the Scouts BSA Program.

Q. How much is it going to cost?

A. The annual registration fee for Cub Scouting is $24 and the official magazine, Boys' Life, is $ 12 per year. Other costs include uniforms, insignia and handbooks. Many of our units sell Trails' End popcorn to defray the program costs of Scouting.

Scouts BSA for youth ages 11 to 18

Most people associate Scouts BSA with outdoor adventure - and with good reason. Scouting is an outdoor program designed to develop character, citizenship, and fitness. With the Scout Oath and Law as a guide, Scouting helps a youth develop into a well-rounded young individual.

Through the advancement program, a Scout can progress in rank through achievements, gaining additional knowledge and responsibilities. Earning merit badges provides opportunities for Scouts to be introduced to a lifetime hobby or a rewarding career.

In Scouts BSA, youth take responsibility for the activities of the troop. By planning and organizing activities, they develop teamwork and learn to lead as well as follow. Through the support of parents and religious and neighborhood organizations, Scouts develop an awareness and appreciation of their role in their community.

Q. What makes Scouts BSA different from other youth organizations?

A. The Scouting program has many unique features; the most unique is that Scout troops are youth-led and youth-run. Adults train youth members to assume leadership positions, and youth are allowed to plan the program and carry it out.

Q. Can a youth be a Scout and still be active in sports and other activities?

A. Yes! Scouts are encouraged to be active in their community, and many are. Athletic programs are seasonal, but Scouting is year-round. The values youth learn in Scouting may help them excel in other activities. The involvement in sports and other activities might also help them earn a merit badge or two!

Q. Why would a parent want their child in Scouts BSA?

A. Most parents want their child to be in an organization that teaches values. The Boy Scouts of America is a values-based organization that has its own code of conduct: the Scout Oath, Law, motto and slogan.

Q. Do you have to have been a Cub Scout to become involved in Scouts BSA?

A. No. Youth between the ages of 11 and 17 may be eligible to join Scouts BSA.

Q. Isn't Scouting just about tying knots and camping?

A. Scouting was chartered by Congress as an educational organization. Every year, Scouts earn more than 1 million merit badges, and each one is a unique educational experience.

Venturing for youth ages 13 to 21

Venturing is one of the fastest growing programs of the Boy Scouts of America.

The purpose of Venturing is to provide experiences to help young people mature and become responsible and caring adults. Young people in Venturing learn leadership skills and participate in challenging outdoor activities.

Venturing directs resources that help a community organization provide wholesome, flexible, well-rounded, challenging activities, tailor made for teenage youth. Those resources include access to Boy Scout camping properties, a recognition program, youth protection training, and specific program helps for a variety of outdoor disciplines.

Q. Does joining Venturing require previous Scouting involvement?

A. No. Venturing is open to young people between the ages of 13 and 21.

Q. Is a uniform required?

A. No. In fact many Venturing crews create their own t-shirt or other way of identifying themselves as a group.

Q. Can crews be all male, female, or coed?

A. Yes, it is up to the chartered organization. One popular aspect of the program is that it is coed!

Q. How does Venturing influence young people?

A. A recent survey concluded that 96% of Venturers made new friends, 93% had opportunities to go places and do things they had never experienced, 91% were encouraged to share ideas and opinions, and 89% said Venturing activities helped them develop more self-confidence.

Chartered Organizations

The Boy Scouts of America is an educational resource. It charters churches, schools, community organizations and other groups to use Scouting as a program for their own members, as well as the community at large. Every pack, troop, or crew belongs to an organization with interests similar to those of the BSA.

By making a commitment to operate a Scouting unit, organizations enrich the lives of youth and make a difference in the kind of adult they will become. With Scouting your organization will provide an opportunity for youth to adopt and live by meaningful personal standards, and have them as a cornerstone for success in life. Youth in Scouting develop into leaders who have integrity, are responsible, and show reverence to God and respect for their country.

© Boy Scouts of America - All Rights Reserved - Great Rivers Council, BSA, 1203 Fay Street, Columbia, MO 65201

© Boy Scouts of America - All Rights Reserved - Great Rivers Council, BSA, 1203 Fay Street, Columbia, MO 65201