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Scouts BSA: The Basics

This four minute video answers four questions new Scouts BSA families commonly ask:

  1. Who is charge of the Scout Troop?
  2. What types of skills do Scouts learn?
  3. How do Scouts advance through the ranks to become Eagle Scouts?
  4. What is the patrol method?

Still not clear enough? Here’s a little more information:


Yes, girls can join Scouts BSA


Boys and girls ages 11-18 can join Scouts BSA. The group you join is called a troop and may be boy-only or girl-only; there are no co-ed troops.

How does that work with boys and girls if there are no co-ed troops?


This video explains in less than a minute:

How do we pick a troop? Are they all the same?


Every Scouts BSA Troop follows the same rules for earning awards and wears the same uniform, but that doesn’t mean they are all identical. Some troops have a history of going to certain camps or other traditions. Leaders are people just like you, so their personalities can and will be different from their colleagues. But they all want what’s best for your son or daughter. Most importantly: if you don’t feel like the troop you first joined isn’t really a fit, that doesn’t mean you have to or should quit Scouting. You can learn more about this on this page of our website.

Why is becoming an Eagle Scout such a big deal?


Fewer than 2.6 million people have become Eagle Scouts in American history. That’s roughly only four percent of all of the people who have ever started in Scouting. Eagle Scouts have excelled in science (Nobel Prize recipients, first human on the Moon), government/law (President of the United States, U.S. Supreme Court Justice, FBI Director,  Governors), athletics (Olympic gold medalists, American and World Record holders, NFL, NBA, MLB), business (CEOs, venture capitalists), entertainment (novelists, actors, directors) and other areas.



The Scouts BSA uniform displays all of your child’s accomplishments in Scouting. But maybe more importantly, it gives them a sense of belonging to a group. You can see all the Scouts BSA uniform on this page of the Boy Scouts of America website. All of these items may be purchased locally from our Scout Shop, either in person or online (though we’d suggest coming in so our staff can help you with getting the right fit). You can learn more about our Shop on this page.



Let’s break this into two parts: the required cost to join the Boy Scouts of America organization and the possible costs of future camps/trips/activities.

  • Everyone who joins Scouting has to pay an annual national membership fee; you’ll pay that every year on the date you joined to renew your membership. There is also a national “new member fee,” but you only pay that once. Here is the latest membership fee amount.
  • There are separate fees each Scout pays to attend summer camp, winter camp, or high adventure trips. Prices vary depending on where the camp or trip takes place (some troops may choose to attend a camp out of state).


There are two notes to keep in mind:


  • A Scout can pay for his own membership fee and/or camps and trips by participating in our annual fall popcorn sale fundraiser.
  • Assistance is available to families who need help with membership fees, uniform costs, and/or our council’s summer and winter camp. Learn more on this page.


Ready to join? Great! Click the button below and you’ll be taken to, the Boy Scouts of America’s online registration system. There, you’ll be able to find the Scouts BSA Troop(s) closest to you and sign up. You may need to change the zip code selected to find a troop closer to you.