Cub Scouting | Boy Scouting | Senior Scout 

Divisions

Boy Scouting 

Boy Scouting was the original program founded in 1910. In the early days a boy could be a Scout from12 years old to 18. Age adjustments have been made over the years allowing a boy to join if he has completed the fifth grade or has earned the Arrow of Light and is at least 10 years old. The earliest Scouts could earn only three ranks: Tenderfoot, Second Class and First Class. Three additional ranks were added: Life, Star and Eagle. The advancement program remained relatively stable for many years with only slight adjustments. In 1972, the list of basic skills for the primary ranks was reorganized into 12 “skill awards”. This system did not work well and in 1989 the BSA dropped the skill awards and returned to the system used before 1972.  



Before 1959, the BSA restricted Scouts from earning merit badges while working on the basic ranks. They could earn only a few badges until they completed First Class. In comparison, in 1972, a certain number of merit badges had to be earned while working on Tenderfoot, Second Class and First Class. This also did not work out well and in 1989 the merit badge requirements for these ranks were eliminated. The Eagle rank was established in 1911 as Scouting’s highest award. At first, the Eagle badge only recognized the earning of 21 merit badges. Today the badge recognizes earning merit badges along with leadership and service. 


The BSA has provided special older-boy programs in an attempt to keep the older boy within the troop structure. Prior to 1950, this was the Explorer or Sea Scout Crew. From 1972 to 1989, it was the Leadership Corps. Presently Venture Crews can be organized within the troop to serve the needs of the older boys.