is available to boys who are 11 years old, or who have completed the fifth grade or earned the Arrow of Light Award and are at least 10 years old, but are not yet 18 years old. The program achieves the BSA’s objectives of developing character, citizenship, and personal fitness.
Boy Scouts Belong to Troop and Patrol
The troop is the fundamental unit of Boy Scouts. This is the group a Scout joins and through which he participates in Scouting activities, such as camping, backpacking, and canoeing.
Each Troop is divided into Patrols of six to ten Scouts. Each patrol has a Patrol Leader (PL) and Assistant Patrol Leader (APL). Some troops mix older and younger Scouts in the same patrols, so that the older Scouts can teach the younger ones more effectively. Other troops group Scouts by age, so that the members of one patrol have more in common.
The Patrol Method
Patrols are the building blocks of a Boy Scout troop. A patrol is a small group of boys who are similar in age, development, and interests. Working together as a team, patrol members share the responsibility for the patrol’s success. They gain confidence by serving in positions of patrol leadership. All patrol members enjoy the friendship, sense of belonging, and achievements of the patrol and of each of its members.
Boy Scouts are Active
Outdoor adventure is the promise made to boys when they join Scouting.
In the outdoors, boys have opportunities to acquire skills that make them more self-reliant. They can explore canoe and hiking trails and complete challenges they first thought were beyond their ability. Attributes of good character become part of a boy as he learns to cooperate to meet outdoor challenges that may include extreme weather, difficult trails and portages, and dealing with nature’s unexpected circumstances.
Boy Scouts Earn Awards
Boy Scouting provides a series of surmountable obstacles and steps in overcoming them through the advancement method. The steps in the advancement system help Boy Scouts to grow in self-reliance and in their ability to help others. This culminates in the highest rank in scouting, Eagle Scout, which includes fullfulling requirements in leadership, service, and outdoor skills.