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Joining requirements in the new Handbook

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The boy is 11. He can join a Boy Scout unit.


The Boy is 10 and completed 5th grade. He can join a Boy Scout unit


The boy is 10 and earned AOL. He can join a Boy Scout Troop.


A boy is 9 and earned AOL. He can't join a Boy Scout unit.(This message has been edited by evmori)

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I agree with evmori.


However, I can not remember when the 10.5 part was changed either.


I do know that a lot of the past problems came about when it changed from 10 1/2 and finished the fifth grade.


Most of the problems came from homeschooling. When the "and" was changed, it opened it up to many 10 year old Boy Scouts, even younger. Still looks like they are allowing a little leeway with the 10 age.



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Buffalo Skipper, I may be wrong but I think this change dates back at least to 2003 when I was a Webelos DL (2003 is also the last revision date for the Webelos handbook, I think). When my son's den crossed over, there were several boys, including my son, who were 10 and had their AoL, but they weren't 10.5 and they weren't done with 5th grade. They joined troops, no problems or questions asked.


A quick look on USScouts.org shows that the Boy Scout joining requirements (Scout badge) were last revised in May 2004, and at that time, the wording about age/rank/grade was 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."


I know USSCouts isn't "official" but it is rarely wrong about things like this. Unfortunately it doesn't seem to show what the pre-2004 requirements were.


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One of the things you have to look at here is the AOL requirements.


1. 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.


So if a boy has not entered the 5th grade he must be 10.5 before he can earn the AOL and can cross. If his has been in the 5th grade for 6 months then age goes out the window. Fo most kids you are looking at the Novemer or December timeframe of their 5th grade year.

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The age thing is in there because some units go by age, rather than grade. However, most units, other than LDS units and maybe home school units, typically are arranged by grade. So in theory a boy could be any age, in 5th grade (maybe he skipped some grades), and earn AoL. He does not have to be 10.5 to get his AoL. He does have to be at least 10 to join a troop.







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