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How old (or young) can a youth be to join Scouting?

How old (or young) can a youth be to join Scouting?

On the following Scouting.org page - How old (or young) can a youth be to join Scouting? | Boy Scouts of America here is what is stated:
Cub Scouting is for youth in kindergarten through fifth grade. Youth can join Scouts BSA if they have completed the fifth grade and are at least 10 years old, OR have earned the Arrow of Light Award and are at least 10 years old, OR are age 11 but have not reached age 18.

On the Arrow of Light Requirement page - The Advancement Trail | Boy Scouts of America it says that in order to get your AOL:
Be an active member of your Webelos den for at least six months since completing the fourth grade or for at least six months since becoming 10 years old.

So do you need to be 10 or 10 1/2 to join Scouts BSA if you have earned your AOL?

It depends. What grade is the Webelos Scout in?

4th grade turns 10 in March. The confusing thing to me is “have earned the Arrow of Light Award and are at least 10 years old”. Can you earn AOL in 4th grade? In essence join Scouts BSA in April?

In order to earn the AOL rank, requirement 1 says:

  1. Be an active member of your Webelos den:
    for at least six months since completing the fourth grade OR
    for at least six months since becoming 10 years old.

If the Scout is currently in the 4th grade, then the earliest the Scout could earn the AOL rank is at age 10.5. If the Scout is currently in the 5th grade and young compared to others in the same grade, then the answer could be as young as age 10.

The youngest possible I’ve come up with is 10 years and 3 months old

Missouri rules is age 5 by August 1st of the year you start Kindergarten.
Let’s say a kid’s birthday is August 2nd

They start 4th grade (~June 1st) at 9 years 10 months old.
They can finish the Webelos Badge at 10 years, 1 month old
They can finish Arrow of Light at 10 years, 7 months old. In the 4th grade
This would be February

On the opposite end, Kansas has a Sep 1 age 5 deadline. If they were born Aug 31 they start the 5th grade at age 9 years and 9 months old. That’s almost 13 months younger than our kid in Missouri

They finished Webelos the year before. Their six months is thus over at the end of November. They turn 10 three months into the Arrow of Light six months

The weirdness of the bridge over rules has a kid who is one month older unable to bridge over for three months longer just because of the state they were born in

In the most extreme hypothetical these two kids could be cousins and live 5 minutes apart, such as in Kansas City.

A troop could thus have both as members, and one new second year who hasn’t yet completed the 5th grade on the most extreme end of the joining requirements

The end to end joining + advancement rules really need to be rethought to be dramatically simpler.
I don’t see how the rules ever intended a 4th grader to join the older program

One small correction - the AOL time requirement is not tied to earning the Webelos rank. It starts at the earliest of either the end of 4th grade or the scout’s 10th birthday. If they turn 10 in the 4th grade, then 10.5 is the soonest they can finish. If not 10 in the 4th grade, then 6 months after 4th grade, so Dec 01 if school ends on Jun 01.

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