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ScouterPaul

Minimum Age for a boy to become a Boy Scout

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At our District's Roundtable this past Tuesday our DE handed out our recharter packages and stated that National had made the following change regarding the joining requirements: He said that 10 year olds can join a Troop regardless of their school grage or AOL status. Has anyone else heard this?

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he has it wrong, 10 is the minimum with AOL. So even if a youth earns AOL before 10 he can not join until he is 10 now.

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I would venture a guess in that he would continue in cubscouting until 10. After AOL there is still plenty of activity badges. After AOL is not the end of cub scouting just like earning Eagle is not the finish of Boy Scouts.

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This question is akin to what is a boy scout to do once he has earned the eagle. Granted there isn't a Plam system for cubs but... Has the young man earned all of the belt loops, pins and activity badges?

 

Unfortunately the # one thing this scout can do might be to serve as a warning to his leaders. Even if he was eager & competent his adult leaders should have worked to avoid the potential let down that will accompany a period of inacty / lack of advancement or recognition.

 

Bob

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This is taken directly from the information provided by our Council:

 

"In May of 2004, the National Executive Board made the following change: To comply with the 2004 National Bylaw changes, boys younger than 10 years old my NOT be registered in the Boy Scout program. But, if they are 10 years old they may join a Troop."

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Sorry for the typos Plam should be Palms and inacty becomes inactivity.

Scouter Paul did you cut & paste?

 

A question, okay two...

 

Is this in a section referring to Webelos/Arrow of Light recipients or Boy Scout reg. in general? If Arrow of Light then the "they" in the last sentence could make sense.

 

Is it really "my"? (My quotes in the following section,) I would be disappointed if that got by our council's secretary.

 

 

"In May of 2004, the National Executive Board made the following change: To comply with the 2004 National Bylaw changes, boys younger than 10 years old "my" NOT be registered in the Boy Scout program. But, if they are 10 years old they may join a Troop."

Webelos to Scout Transition ,

 

Bob

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ScouterPaul, the information provided by your council is incomplete, and any interpretation of the new joining requirements that would permit all boys to join at age 10, is incorrect. The joining requirements for being a Boy Scout were changed (or "clarified") effective May 15, 2004 and now read as follows

 

"Meet age requirements: Be a boy who has completed the fifth grade and be at least 10 years old, or be 11 years old, or have earned the Arrow of Light Award and be at least 10 years old, and be under 18 years old."

 

Source: http://usscouts.org/advance/boyscout/bsrank1.html

 

This is an unofficial site, but when they say something is taken verbatim from official BSA sources, I've never seen them be wrong. The BSA's official web site does not have a verbatim statement of the joining requirements, but I did find the following on the web site for the BSA Direct Service (which I suppose amounts to an official BSA web site):

 

"The Boy Scouts of America's National Executive Board has amended the rules and regulations to clarify that no boy may join Boy Scouting until he reaches the age of 10. This does not lower the age requirements. The requirement previously said a boy must have completed the fifth grade or be age 11 or have earned the Arrow of Light Award to be a Boy Scout. The new requirement says he must have completed the fifth grade and be at least 10 years old or be age 11 or have earned the Arrow of Light Award and be at least 10 years old. This clarification will become effective May 15, 2004"

 

http://www.directservicebsa.org/news.html

 

The interpretation on the BSA Direct Service web site confirms what has been discussed in previous threads on this subject (I believe I started the first one about it.) That is, the purpose of the change/clarification is to provide an absolute minimum age (10) for boys who qualify to join a troop by either earning the Arrow of Light, or completing the fifth grade. This is the first time I have seen it suggested that the BSA meant to reduce the joining age to 10. Clearly that is the opposite of what they intended. They intended only to deal with the very rare case in which a boy younger than 10 would qualify for troop membership by earning the Arrow of Light or completing the fifth grade. I say "very rare" because, given the usual minimum age for starting kindergarten of age 5 (or almost 5), a boy will only be less than 10 years when completing fifth grade if he has started a year early, or skipped a grade, whether in "home school" or regular school. The same is true for a boy earning Arrow of Light (because the Arrow of Light requirements include having been active in the Webelos den for at least six months since completing fourth grade or turning 10.) I am pretty sure I have typed out all the mathematical calculations for this in the past, but I don't have time to do it again right now.

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I'm only a Webelos den leader but I can tell you that the FIRST requirement for the AOL says: "Be active in your Webelos den for at least six months since completing the fourth grade (or for at least six months since becoming 10 years old), and earn the Webelos badge." Reading that the boy must be 10 at the VERY minumum to earn his AOL. So if he must be 10 there is no way he should have gotten his AOL before turning 10. Also, the VERY minumum Activity Badges the boy could earn would be 8. So, to answer the question, "what is a boy to do..." Earn the other 11 Activity Badges! In our pack our boys are always either halfway through the 5th grade or just completed 5th grade to become a Boy Scout. I also do not believe that a boy younger than 10 yrs old is "ready" for Boy Scouts.

 

Just my two cents.

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ScoutMomAng, not to quibble, but if the grade-level option is used, a boy could earn the Arrow of Light before reaching 10-and-a-half, and that is without skipping any grades or anything like that. I'll use the relevant dates in my school district as an example. The cutoff date for kindergarten is October 1, so say a boy's birthday is October 1, meaning he starts kindergarten almost a month before his fifth birthday. Let's also say, to make life easier on myself, that school ends June 30 the year he finishes fourth grade. He has completed fourth grade at the age of nine years, nine months. He can earn the Arrow of Light six months later, at which point he is ten years, three months old. In most school districts school does not run that late into June, or even into June at all, so now we are down to ten years two months and change, or even less than two months. Now figure a district with a cutoff of December 31 instead of October 1, and in fact the boy could earn the Arrow of Light before reaching age 10 (but not by much.)

 

Where I am, as a practical matter, even the "youngest" of boys will be much closer to ten-and-a-half when joining a troop, because crossover occurs either in late February or in March. That is not to say a boy couldn't choose to cross over when he is eligible, rather than with his den, but I have never seen this happen. In fact, in my son's case, the March crossover meant that he was a few weeks shy of ELEVEN-and-a-half when he became a Boy Scout, since he was born in October and just missed the cutoff for school. (Which I personally think is a good thing for a child, so obviously the BSA did not have me in mind when it changed the rule earlier this year.)

 

I do agree with the rest of your post, ScoutMomAng. There is plenty to do in Webelos for a boy who could otherwise join the Boy Scouts before age ten, but must now wait. In fact, Webelos is where the age-appropriate activities for that boy are to be found, not in the Boy Scouts.

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And if a boy genius somehow completes the 4th grade at age 8 or 9 ...?

 

He has to wait. I don't see what the big deal is. When I joined the Boy Scouts (in the dark ages of the 1960's) you had to be 11, period, it didn't matter what grade you were in. (This was changed a few years later, I believe to allow boys to join once they finished fifth grade, if they were 10-and-a-half.) In fact, I am fairly sure that even today, if you are joining a troop chartered to the organization that has the most units in the country, you must be 11 regardless of what grade you are in or when you earn the Arrow of Light. Any LDS members may correct me if I am wrong on that, but I believe I am correct.

 

Don't get me wrong, I don't disagree with the other options that the BSA has provided for joining, but I am pleased with the new change they have made to provide an absolute floor of age 10. I might have gone a bit further than that if I were making the rules, but I understand why they haven't.

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I understand the new regulations for joining the Boy Scouts. To me nothing changed except that they added a new hard minimum age requirement of 10. No more 9 year olds who happened to finish the fifth grade or have earned the AOL are allowed anymore. Just to be argumentative - what if the religious right (are you out there Rooster?) demand that age begins at the date of conception - not the date of birth? ;)

 

Seriously, I have heard others state a hard age requirement for AOL. There was a soft age requirement before, 10.5 years old, but that could be superseded by completing the fourth grade early. Has anything changed for AOL? Does a hard age requirement exist for earning the AOL?

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BSA could have amended the AoL requirement by setting a minimum age and accomplished the same result for boys entering Boy Scouts. Apparently they have less of a problem with young AoL recipents than with young Boy Scouts.

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