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Boy interested in Scouts - 10 years old

A local mom reached out to me and would like her son to join our Troop. He is not in Cubs. He is 10 and won’t turn 11 until July. Does he have to wait until July to join?

Yes he has to wait until july unless he earns Arrow of Light. If he has arrow of light he can join at 10 1/2 years. Also he can join if he has completed 5th grade and is at least 10 years old.

He would have to join a pack and earn his AOL, then he could cross over.

Yeah, that’s what I thought. Really not achievable at this point.

The thing is, if he joins a pack he can then “Check out troops” and is encouraged to camp with them. Some kids require multiple visits and multiple campouts to be convinced that this is the troop for them. They may need to visit weekly until july, and may need to camp monthly until july to make up their minds. Until july the only rank requirements he can earn are for Weblos but the fun can be huge.


@JackCrevalle He does not have to wait until July. He can join as soon as he completed the 5th grade (because he is currently 10 years old) in May / June.

He can join a troop as soon as he:

  • has completed the fifth grade and is at least 10 years old OR
  • has earned the Arrow of Light rank and is at least 10 years old OR
  • is age 11 but has not reached age 18.

Jennifer, your list is correct. But the BSA wording is a bit misleading. At face value, it seems a scout may work quickly to finish AoL and then join a troop at barely 10 years old.

This is written from the Scouts BSA perspective. From the Cub Scout perspective it would be:

  • has earned the Arrow of Light with 6 months active tenure after 4th grade and is 10 years old OR
  • has earned Arrow of Light with 6 months active tenure after their 10th birthday

Almost all scouts turn 10 during their 4th grade year. Applying the AoL tenure requirement means almost all scouts will be at least 10.5 when they become eligible to join a troop.

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@DougWright Right, and if the youth is currently in the 4th grade, they would need to earn the Webelos rank, first. I was assuming that this particular youth is currently in the 5th grade.

@JenniferOlinger - you had to use that word…

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@DougWright - You’re correct to say almost all. I currently have a Scout in my pack who is registered as a Tiger. She skipped kindergarten and is a very young little Tiger. Looking into the future, six months after her last day of school in fourth grade, she will still be nine years old. It will be about a month before her 10th birthday. So, if she gets AoL done in six months, she’ll have AoL and actually have to wait a month to turn 10 before moving on to Scouts BSA.

As a youth, I earned AoL at 9, and crossed over to Boy Scouts. I had about 10 merit badges and had been to summer camp for a week before my 10th birthday. I made First Class before turning 11, and I was 11 years and 10 months old at my Life Scout board of review. There was no lower age limit at the time for joining Boy Scouts, if the Scout had earned the Arrow of Light.

A wonderful approach … principle-centered while creatively managing within boundaries.

I agree with what @PeterHopkins wrote about Doug Wright’s almost qualifier. My son turns 11 in June, but crossed over a couple of weeks ago. He earned his AOL and crossed over the day that he met the 6 month requirement.

Conveniently there was a Pack and Troop meeting that day. He attended the Pack meeting and was given all of the Cub awards that he had finished up in the last month. When the Pack meeting finished he went outside and was introduced to the Troop.

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Find a friendly nearby cub scout pack and register him as a cub scout, coordinating w/them. invite him to “Check out” your meetings regularly until he hits the eligibility requirement(s). then put in new registration for him as a scouts bsa member. that way insurance covers.

BSA insurance covers registered members and guests.

that’s great, and that would include events and outings?

Yes, it covers all unit, district and council meetings, events, activities, etc.

that’s great. so the interested scout could shadow as a guest fully participating until he ages into the program.

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It is a little more complicated than that. Yes, they are covered, but there is no additional premium being paid. If premium paid doesn’t match losses, the insurer will raise the rates in the future. In that case, the amount that the BSA charges registered scouts will have to go up (even more). So, unless you want your registered scouts to have to subsidize a non-registered long term guest, I’d suggest getting them registered.

thanks jacob. i was being a bit of a devil’s advocate here, hoping that someone would state why its important to register the person as a scout. i had this situation come up a few years back. a scout, who had been in a cub scout pack, but the pack folded, wanted to join our troop, but was younger than 11. his brother was in our troop. so we registered him in a nearby cub pack and he participated with us until he was 11 and we then registered him as a boy scout. everyone was happy. insurance was there.

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Yes, it is always best for them to register. My scenario is nuanced and a long-term view. Obviously, you wouldn’t really notice a difference for a single scout. But if you have 1% of scouts who don’t register, it starts to make a difference.

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