Scouts BSA

Portrait photo of female-presenting individual with long dark hair. They are wearing a tan scouting uniform with several badges and a hat. They are standing and speaking at a podium.

Youth Ages 10 - 18

Why choose Scouts BSA?

Because youth can choose their own adventure! Scouts BSA is a year-round program for all youth ages 10-18 that develops ethical leaders through fun and adventure. Youth are “prepared for life” by planning, learning, revising, discovering, challenging and serving. Scouts BSA has a proven record of instilling the values of the Scout Oath and Law and developing effective leaders through a series of games and outdoor adventures like camping, water sports, shooting sports and community service. In Scouts BSA, youth go places, test themselves, and have one-of-a-kind adventures they choose and lead. Since 2019, Scouts BSA serves males and females; so, all youth are eligible to earn the rank of Eagle Scout.

Do youth really grow into ethical leaders?

We see results!  Scouts BSA is a youth leadership development program designed to teach life skills through unique, hands-on fun. Scouting develops character, citizenship, leadership, healthy living and servant leadership. Youth develop a sense of self-worth as well as an appreciation for their community and environment. Through activities, youth learn to work together, plan and develop into leaders. Scouts BSA is designed to impart life skills, leadership skills and instill in our future leaders the importance of the Scout Law. A Scout is: Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean and Reverent.

What kind of adventures?

In Scouts BSA, youth take responsibility for the fun activities of the Troop. By planning and organizing activities, they develop transferable life skills like responsibility, communication, management, teamwork and service, along with many others like cooking, first aid, citizenship and finance. There are over 138 merit badges covering various academic interests, hobbies and careers for youth to experience.  

Youth will have the opportunity to camp at Rainbow Scout Reservation in Morris, IL where there are many opportunities like boating, shooting sports and climbing.  Youth seeking  further adventure may book a trek at one of four BSA National High Adventure Bases. 

Does Scouts BSA really work?

Yes! Scouts BSA is the leading youth leadership program which cultivates an interest in learning, better citizenship, new friends and a sense of adventure. Scouts BSA youth do better in school and learn leadership skills that last a lifetime. Scouts learn to become ethical leaders through adventure but also by serving their community as part of a Patrol, Troop or Eagle Scout service project.

A group photo of female presenting individuals, one with brunette hair, two with blonde hair, of various heights, standing in front of a memorial statue. All three are wearing tan scout uniforms, with several badges and kerchiefs.

Is Scouts BSA safe?

We designed Scouts BSA to follow the guidelines of S.A.F.E. programming. We require adult volunteers to undergo extensive background checks, be Youth Protection certified every two years, follow program guidelines and be position trained. This ensures our youth are in the hands of competent, caring adults who are prepared to guide them on this journey. Volunteers are also equipped with resources to offer fun, guided learning opportunities in a safe, accessible and age-appropriate manner.

More Frequently Asked Questions

How is Scouts BSA organized?

Scouts BSA is for all youth ages 10-18 who come together and form a Troop. Each Troop is divided into patrols of 6-8 scouts, and each patrol is empowered to organize and plan activities, events and adventures as members of the Patrol Leaders’ Council. In this way, youth take charge of all aspects of planning and learn valuable leadership skills like research, logistics, time management, delegation, communication and much more. Youth hold leadership positions within the Troop and those youth leaders are guided by adults. Each Troop has at least one Senior Patrol Leader and one Scoutmaster but there are many other leadership positions held by youth and adults.
Led by the youth, the Troop will participate in many different adventures like climbing, camping, fishing, shooting sports, STEAM, and water sports depending on the interests of the members. All Troops are single gender which means all members identify as either male or female. Some Troops are “linked” under the same Charter. Linked Troops each serve males and females. Each linked Troop may choose to meet on the same night at the same location and may share a Committee which oversees and supports all youth from both Troops.

What is Scouting’s commitment to safety?

Keeping our youth safe is our #1 priority.
Scouting America developed an extensive training program called Youth Protection Training, and every adult volunteer is required to complete the training and recertify every two years. Youth Protection Training was designed by industry experts in the field of child protection and has been adopted as a leading industry standard by which to keep kids safe. All adult volunteers are background checked, mandatory reporters and are required to be in the presence of another adult during any youth interaction.

Is there a Troop located near me?

Yes! Troops are chartered through local schools, religious affiliates, community service agencies and veterans’ groups so they are located close to youth in the community. To find a Troop nearby, visit, enter a zip code, choose “Scouts BSA”, and a list of Troops near you, along with contact information, will be listed. Or, give us a call at (815) 942-4450.  Additionally, you can complete this Contact Us Form with some quick information, and we’ll contact you!

Who forms the Troop leadership?

Youth take the primary role in leading the Troop, but adults serve as their guides and mentors.  All Troops are led by volunteers who serve in various roles.  Some volunteers, like Scoutmasters and Assistant Scoutmasters, work directly with the youth while other volunteers, like the Troop Committee, work to support the Troop in areas like equipment, rank advancement, finance or activities.  You can take an active role in the leadership development of our youth based on your time and skill set. Scouting is a family experience where adults and youth experience personal growth and personal memories fostered through fun, exciting opportunities.  Everyone has talents and skills to share with youth. We encourage all to apply so we can develop the young people of today into the ethical leaders of tomorrow. 

All adult volunteers must first pass a background check and Youth Protection Training to ensure your child can have a safe and exciting experience. Rainbow Council provides training and resources for adult leaders so they may safely and confidently deliver the Scouts BSA program to our youth.

What about other activities like band or sports?

We recognize Scouting is just one of many options for our youth today.  With flexible scheduling, Scouts BSA is a program that works into the family’s lifestyle, and there is no penalty for not attending a meeting or event.  Scouts BSA is youth-led and structured to fit into a busy lifestyle because each youth advances at their own pace. Time invested in Scouts BSA will be rewarded with life skills, and memories of  fun, exciting experiences unlike any other youth activity available.

How can my child join a Troop?

Joining Scouts BSA is convenient and available 24 hours a day. To find a Troop near you,  visit, enter your zip code, select “Scouts BSA” and get immediate information about Troops near you. You can also call us at (815) 942-4450.  Additionally, you can fill out our Contact Us Form with general information, and we’ll be in touch!