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CherokeeScouter

Could a 9-year-old join Scouts?

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I think he can if he has completed fifth grade. Read the wording carefully from Scouting.org and take note of the "or."

 

Meet the age requirements. Be a boy who is 11 years old, or one who has completed the fifth grade or earned the Arrow of Light Award and is at least 10 years old, but is not yet 18 years old.

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We have a child who completed fifth grade while he was 9. He was home-schooled, but he passed the state of Florida home-school testing exams and has the paperwork. 

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I don't think so.

It's either:

A.  11 years old; or

B.  10 years old and (completed 5th grade or earned AOL).

 

If you want to parse it, there's no comma after "completed 5th grade".  There's two clauses here, not three.

 

Or, just have his parents fill out the application indicating his birthday and desire to join Boy Scouts.  See what the council says about it.

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Chisos is correct; there are two clauses, not three.  The minimum age is 10, and then in addition the boy must have completed fifth grade or earned AOL.

 

Commas, or the lack thereof, matter.  

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I read it as 10 and completed AOL or 5th grade. Like Chisos said, fil out the app and let the council decide. However, I think the question becomes SHOULD.

 

Should a 9 year old join Boy Scouts? From my experience even most 10 year olds are not quite ready for Boy Scouts. They end up needing more handholding than there should be. So I would say that even though you could get by on a technicality, you wouldn't be doing the kid any favors. 

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BSA needs to clean up that wording.  I've seen this discussed repeatedly online and in-person.  Commas are lost when the sentence is read.  Writing classes today even advise just less punctuation if you don't know how to use properly.  

 

It needs to be re-written when a sentence is confusing to the average reader.  The joining requirements are confusing to the average reader. 

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Boolean Logic = 5th grade or AOL is first then the age is added in.

 

So the three choices are

 

1) 11 years old

2) 10 years old and 5th grade

3) 10 years old and AOL

 

Sorry, but I think Doogie Howser his going to have to wait.

Edited by Stosh
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Interestingly, the youth application (http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/524-406A.pdf) states the joining requirements a little differently:

 

Your son can be a Scout if he has completed the fifth grade and is at least 10 years old or is age 11 or has earned the Arrow of Light Award and is at least 10 years old, but has not reached age 18.

Stated that way, it is clear that a youth must have completed fifth grade AND be 10 years old to meet the eligibility requirement under that option.

 

I agree it should be clarified. It should be stated exactly the same way in every official publication and web site, and it should use bullet points (or numbers as Stosh has in his post) to make clearer that there are three options, all of which have a specific age (either 10 or 11.)

Edited by NJCubScouter
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His age would not stop reading the BSHB and learning/doing the things in it with some friends.

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Not a fan of 9 - year old Scouts, btw. 

Agreed. He should work on AoL in his Webelos den.

Help get everyone up to speed while he enjoys 6th grade.

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His age would not stop reading the BSHB and learning/doing the things in it with some friends.

 

As a homeschooled boy, I am sure he can handle getting ahead of the game this way.  There's nothing wrong with mastering the S->FC skills and simply coming in and demonstrating it to the SM when he comes on-site.  I would love to have boys do their homework prior to the lesson. 

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BSA needs to clean up that wording.  

 

This from the organization who couldn't state yes or no if tour plans were going away? @@Fred johnon, you will turn blue if you hold your breath waiting for that to happen. ;)

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