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Scouts, BSA


Starting in February of 2019, girls and boys will both be able to participate in Scouting’s most iconic program, now known as Scouts BSA, and work towards its most prestigious award, the rank of  Eagle Scout.


How will it Work?

Scouts, BSA will be single gender – either all-girl troops or all-boy troops. This unique approach allows the organization to maintain the integrity of the single-gender model while also meeting the needs of today’s families. Chartering organizations may choose to have separate troops for boys and girls or linked troops.

  • Separate Troops for Boys and Girls have separate committees. Separate troops may share the same chartering organization, but remain separate troops with separate committees.
  • Linked Troops share the same chartering organization and the same committee between both girl and boy troops. Linked troops will share the same troop number.


Adult Leadership Requirements

  • Two registered adult leaders 21 years of age or over are required at all Scouting activities, including meetings and overnight activities – for every program (Cub Scouting, Scouts BSA, and Venturing).
  • There must be a registered female adult leader over 21 in every unit serving females.
  • A registered female adult leader over 21 must be present for any activity involving female youth.
  • Eligible volunteers would need to be:
    • 21 and over
    • Registered as volunteers with the BSA
    • Have gone through a background check, and
    • Be up to date on Youth Protection training

This is a change from the previous policy where one volunteer could be 21 years of age or older with a second volunteer who could be 18 years of age or older.


Youth Protection

Youth protection guidelines clearly delineate the standards of appropriate behavior for all youth and adult members participating in Scouting activities. Questions regarding male and female interaction as a result of the program expansion to invite girls to join Scouts, BSA troops are answered within the recently updated Youth Protection Training. At this time, there’s no new or additional training to specifically address behavioral topics.



The advancement program will stay the same – all members of the Scouts, BSA program can earn the same merit badges and rank awards. The requirements to earn merit badges and ranks will remain the same.

  • Girls registered in a Scouts, BSA troop may start earning advancements on February 1, 2019.
  • All first-time joining youth, boys or girls, who join a Scouts, BSA troop in 2019 will have an opportunity to earn their Eagle Scout rank should they diligently and promptly complete all requirements. Any youth who join Scouts, BSA on February 1, 2019 who is over the age of 16, but not yet 18 has been approved by the National Executive Committee to complete the requirements for the Eagle Scout award.


Advancement Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Will girls have to meet the same requirement to achieve Eagle Scout?

A:  Yes. Young women will have the opportunity to earn the Eagle Scout rank by meeting the same criteria and achievements as young men.


Q: Will girls be able to be members of the Order of the Arrow?

A:  Yes. Beginning February 1, 2019, unit elections will be permitted in Scouts BSA, Venturing and Sea Scout units.


Q: Can I be elected into the OA if I am over the age of 18?

A:  Yes! As long as you are under the age of 21 at the time the election is held. If you are over 21, you will need to go through the adult selection process.



In the summer of 2019, girl troops will be invited to attend summer camp at Seven Ranges Scout Reservation.

  • Girl troops are permitted to camp in any available campsite at Seven Ranges, there will not be a specific section of camp dedicated to girl troops.
  • Linked Troops may, if needed, or if they choose, camp in the same campsite at Seven Ranges.


Camping Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the policy for restroom and showering facilities?

A:  Separate shower and latrine facilities should be provided for male and female adults as well as for male and female youth. If separate facilities are not available, separate times should be scheduled and posted. This is not a change.


Q: What are the policies for sleeping accommodations?

A:  Separate accommodations for adult males and females and youth males and females are required. Separate tenting arrangements must be provided for male and female adults as well as for male and female youth.

  • Youth sharing tents must be no more than two years apart in age.
  • In Cub Scouting, parents and guardians may share a tent with their family.
  • In all other programs, youth and adults tent separately.
  • Spouses may share tents.

Other Frequently Asked Questions

Q:  Can linked troops share troop numbers? If so, how do we tell them apart?

A:  Yes, they can share troop numbers. They will be identified uniquely in the Scouting unit database.


Q:  May an adult male lead a girl troop?

A:  Yes, an adult male can lead a girl troop, just as we already have adult females leading all-boy programs. Youth protection requirements still apply to both male and female participants.


Q:  Can a boy troop and a girl troop share the same Scoutmaster?

A:  No. Chartered organizations should have separate Scoutmasters for their boy troop and girl troop.


Q: Why did the BSA not keep the Boy Scout program name and introduce a separate name for the program for girls?

A:  Since all single-gender troops will run the same Scouting program, earn the same merit badges and achieve the same ranks, it became clear that there should be one program name.


Q:  Will the Boy Scout Handbook be updated to reflect the new name?

A:  Yes.


Q:  Will all current Boy Scout troops be required to offer a program for girls?

A:  Chartered organizations can decide which programs best serve the needs of their community, which means that the chartered organization can continue to offer Scouting for boys, or they may choose to add a unit for older girls.


Q:  Will there be new curriculum for girl participants? Will you change the program to accommodate girls?

A:  No. The existing programs are relevant for young men and women. After all, the values of Scouting as outlined in the Scout Law – trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent – are relevant and important values for both young men and women.



Other Resources:

Scouts, BSA One Pager

Family Scouting Infographic

Frequently Asked Questions

Branding Do's and Dont's


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