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Here are the basics about the Boy Scouts of America:

The BSA offers four traditional Scouting programs based on grade or age (Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, Venturing, Sea Scouts), a new STEM Scouts program, plus two non-traditional subsidiaries (Learning for Life and Exploring). Membership numbers are from the 2016 BSA Annual Report to Congress.

Cub Scouting (boys and girls, Kindergarten through grade 5)

Boy Scouting (boys *, age about 10-1/2 until 18)

Boy Scouting

Varsity Scouting

Venturing (young men and young women, age about 14 until 21)

Sea Scouts (young men and young women, age about 14 until 21)

STEM Scouts (coed, for grades 3-12)

Learning for Life (LFL) (coed, for grades K-12)

Exploring (coed, for ages 10-20)

Multicultural Markets (formerly Scoutreach Division)

Names and Numbers

While the Girl Scouts of the USA call all their units troops, the BSA identifies its units by the program they conduct:

Unit identification (pack, troop, etc) is more confusing in the US than in many countries. Outside the US, units often are part of a Scouting "group". Each group would include one or more program "sections" such as a pack, a troop, and a crew. The group would have a number associated with its town or area (such as the 2nd Brixton Scout Group), and often all group members wear a common neckerchief. In the US, which doesn't use the "group" approach, each pack, troop, etc, is separately numbered, and there is no link to the unit's location. For example, in our town, there is a Pack 97 and a Troop 97, which are unrelated and meet at separate locations. And, since unit numbers are repeated in each of the 300+ local Scout Councils, there could be 300 (or more) Troop 97's in the US. Actually, due to the many Scout Council mergers over the past 25 years (there used to be over 500 Councils), some Councils (like ours) could have two Troop 97's.


Age Requirements/Advancement/Highest Awards—

For more information on BSA-related topics, see:

For information about US Girl Scouting (Guiding), see Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA).

For information about girls in the BSA, see Women and Girls in the Boy Scouts of America (BSA).

For information on Camp Fire and other alternatives to Scouting, see our Scout-like Organizations page.

For names and pictures of the highest rank/achievement/advancement in other countries, see our Highest Rank in Scouting page.