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Boy Scouts of America facts for kids

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Boy Scouts of America
Boy Scouts of America corporate trademark.svg
Age range
  • Learning for Life: Pre-K through 12th grade
  • Cub Scouts: 5–10
  • Scouts BSA: 10–18
  • Venturing: 14–21
  • Exploring Club (LFL): 10–15
  • Sea Scouts: 14–21
  • Exploring Post (LFL): 16–20
  • Scout Leader: 18+ for Cub Scouts and Scouts BSA; 21+ for Venturing and Sea Scouting
Headquarters Irving, Texas
Location United States, Europe, Japan and South Korea
Country United States
Founded February 8, 1910; 114 years ago (1910-02-08)
Membership 1,063,338 youth (2023)
42,822 units (2023)
Chief Scout Executive Roger Krone
Chair Brad Tilden
National Commissioner Scott Sorrels
Honorary Chair Joe Biden
Affiliation World Organization of the Scout Movement
Governing body National Executive Board

The Boy Scouts of America or BSA is an organization for children and teens with over 5 million members across the United States. They try to give young people life values.

The BSA was founded in 1910; about 130 million Americans have participated in its programs. Served by 477,000 adult volunteers. BSA became a founding member organization of the World Organization of the Scout Movement in 1922.

The main Scouting divisions are Cub Scouting for ages 5 to 11 years, Scouts BSA for ages 10 to 18, Venturing for ages 14 through 21, and Sea Scouts for ages 14 through 21. The BSA operates Scouting by chartering local organizations, such as churches, clubs, civic associations, or educational organizations, to implement the Scouting program for youth within their communities. Units are led by volunteers appointed by the chartering organization, who are supported by local councils using both paid professional Scouters and volunteers. Additionally, Learning for Life is an affiliate that provides in-school and career education.

On May 7, 2024, BSA announced that the organization will change its name to Scouting America. The change will go into effect on February 8, 2025.


The Boy Scouts of America were founded by American writer W. D. Boyce, in 1910, but were similar to Scouting groups in Great Britain and other early scout movements. James E. West helped out the BSA in its early years, but also made the BSA more religious than scouts were in Europe. Scouting grew in the 1910s and 20s due to the rise of “boy’s books” devoted to Scouting and the First World War. Scouting had many members during the 1960s, but has declined since the 1970s, despite an attempt to make scouting modern by changing requirements and adding more merit badges.


National Council

BSA National Office in Irving, Texas
BSA National Office in Irving, Texas

The National Council is the corporate membership of the Boy Scouts of America and consists of volunteer Scouters who meet annually. The day-to-day operations of the National Council are administered by the Chief Scout Executive and other national professional staff. National Council members include volunteers who are elected national officers and executive board members, regional presidents, the local council representatives, members at large, and honorary members. The national headquarters has been in Irving, Texas since 1979.

Since the founding of the BSA in 1910, the President of the United States has served as the organization's honorary president during his term in office, former presidents serve as honorary vice presidents for their lifetimes.

Governance and the National Executive Board

The BSA National Executive Board governs the organization. The 2015 National Executive Board consisted of 79 members.

The board is led by the national president, a volunteer elected by the National Council. Board members included regular elected members, regional presidents, and up to five appointed youth members. The Chief Scout Executive is the board secretary and non-voting member. The National Executive Board has a number of standing committees that correspond to the professional staff organization of the National Council.

Present and past members of the National Executive Board include Utah Senator Mitt Romney, Ernst & Young CEO Jim Turley and AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson. Other members included Latter-day Saint Church President Thomas S. Monson.

Groups and divisions

Boy Scouts canoeing on the Blackwater River, Virginia
Rohwer Relocation Center, McGehee, Arkansas. A 5-day Boy Scout Camp on the bank of the Mississippi . . . - NARA - 539537
Little Rock scouts 1920

The Program Impact Division is responsible for developing the Scouting program and includes the volunteer committees and staff working on volunteer training, youth development, and other program impact needs. The All Markets membership emphasis includes focus groups and special committees working to improve outreach to youth and families in various underserved ethnic populations, with literature and marketing materials targeting Hispanic/Latino families, Asian-American families, and African-American families. The BSA also participates in the American Indian Scouting Association in partnership with the Girl Scouts.

The Outdoor Adventure Division oversees four high adventure bases: Northern Tier (Minnesota, Manitoba, and Ontario), Philmont Scout Ranch (New Mexico), Sea Base (Florida, US Virgin Islands, and Bahamas), and Summit Bechtel Reserve (West Virginia), over one hundred separate camps and reservations specifically dedicated to scouts, and other special programs such as the Order of the Arrow.

Other divisions provides support for the world and national jamborees and International Scouting relations. The Membership Impact Division works to sustain marketing efforts and relationships with the national organizations that make up the predominant number of chartered organizations, such as Lions International, Rotary International, Kiwanis International, American Legion, Elks, VFW, and all religious denominations chartering BSA units.

The National Supply Group is responsible for developing and selling uniforms, apparel, insignia, literature, and equipment. It sells equipment and supplies through National Scout Shops, local council trading posts, authorized independent resellers, and online at Supply Group also licenses trademarks for use by other commercial vendors. The Administrative Group provides internal administration service and support. It includes the Marketing and Communications Division responsible for marketing the BSA program, administering the national websites, and publishing Scouting for adult leaders and Scout Life (formerly Boys' Life) for youth.

The National Scouting Museum is located at Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico. Exhibits include high adventure sections, hands-on learning experiences, interactive exhibits, and a historical collection tracing uniforms, themes, and documents from the beginning of the Scouting movement in America. Among the museum's artifacts are the Eagle Scout medal of Arthur Rose Eldred, the first Eagle Scout.

The National Court of Honor certifies the BSA's highest awards: lifesaving and meritorious action awards, distinguished service awards, Eagle Scout and the Quartermaster Award.

Scout Oath

These are the words of the Scout Oath:

"On my honor I will do my best, to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; to help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight".

Scout Law

A scout is:

  1. trustworthy,
  2. loyal,
  3. helpful,
  4. friendly,
  5. courteous,
  6. kind,
  7. obedient,
  8. cheerful,
  9. thrifty,
  10. brave,
  11. clean, and
  12. reverent.

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See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Boy Scouts de América para niños

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