What is Boy Scouts?

The mission of the Boy Scouts is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Scout Law. Boy Scouts form Troops. Troops are led by a Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmasters and some time Troop Leaders which are Boy Scouts of a higher rank. A boy works his way up through the Troop earning merit badges. Merit Badges earns the scout various ranks along the way (Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Start Life and Eagle). Eagle Scout is the highest rank that can be achieved as a Boy Scout and only 4% of all Scouts have attained the award since its inception in 1912. A boy scout can branch off into other division of Boy Scouts, such as Varsity Scouting and Venture.
  • For boys who are 11 through 17 years of age, or have earned the Cub Scouting Arrow of Light award and are at least 10 years old, or have completed the fifth grade and are at least 10 years old
  • Ninety-five percent of all Boy Scouts participated in Cub Scouting at some time.
  • 2011 membership, troops, and leaders:
    • 848,291 Boy Scouts
    • 39,392 Boy Scout troops
    • 496,398 Boy Scout leaders

Scout Oath

On my honor I will do my best
to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law;
to help other people at all times;
to keep myself physically strong,
mentally awake, and morally straight.

Scout Law

A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.

Be Prepared

Do A Good Turn Daily

Do A Good Turn Daily
The Scout Slogan does not mean you are to do one "Good Turn" during the day and then stop. It means looking for chances to help throughout each day, then helping quietly, without boasting. Doing "Good Turns" should become an automatic, normal part of your life. Remember always that a "Good Turn" is an extra act of kindness. It is not just something you do because it is good manners. 
Adapted from the 1979 Official Boy Scout Handbook
Boy Scouting, Varsity Scouting, and Venture
  • Camporees: camping with other troops, involving competition using Scouting skills and knowledge
  • Summer camps: weeklong camps with troops learning outdoor skills
  • Scouting shows: gala events demonstrating to the public how Scouting serves youth in the community
  • National and world jamborees: camping events held at four-year intervals where Scouts and leaders from the BSA or the World Scouting Association come together
Merit Badges
As of October 2012 there are 130 merit badges offered. This is an unusually high number as they historically have sought to keep the number around 100, retiring some when introducing new ones. Download "How to Use a Blue Card to Earn a Merit Badge" at the bottom of this page.
Click here for a list of merit badges and their worksheets.
Source: US Scouting Service Project
Source: MeritBadge.org

Boy Scout Ranks
There are 6 Ranks to Boy Scouts with the highest rank being an Eagle Scout.
6 Ranks
Scout is a joining badge, earned by completing the requirements to join Boy Scouting. The scout badge is not considered a rank The badge is awarded when the boy demonstrates a rudimentary knowledge of the Scouting ideals such as tying a square knot and knowing the Scout oath, law, and slogan.[1]

Tenderfoot is the first rank. A Scout can work on the requirements for the Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class ranks at the same time, but each rank must be earned in sequence.

Second Class is the rank above Tenderfoot and below First Class. A Scout can work on the requirements for the Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class ranks at the same time, but must be earned in sequence.

First Class is the rank above Second Class and below Star Scout. A Scout can work on the requirements for Tenderfoot, Second Class and First Class ranks at the same time, but must earn them in sequence.

Although Eagle is the highest rank and one all Scouts should strive for, the number of Scouts achieving First Class within one year of joining is still one of the key measures of unit effectiveness. Studies have shown that if a Scout achieves First Class within a year of joining, he typically stays in the Scout program for at least three years. Scouts who do so are more likely to retain Scout values as an adult and achieve the BSA primary mission of "producing useful citizens".[10]

Star is the rank above First Class and below Life Scout. Star is awarded when the Scout serves actively in the troop, team or crew in a position of responsibility for at least 4 months; performs at least six hours of community service; and earns six merit badges (four of which must be required for Eagle Scout rank).

Life is second-highest rank attainable and ranks above Star Scout and below Eagle. Life is awarded when the Scout serves actively in the troop, team or crew, serves in a position of responsibility for six months, and performs six hours of community service.[6] Another thing a scout must do in order to achieve Life is earn an additional five merit badges (three of which are required for the rank of Eagle), to make a minimum total of eleven merit badges (including the six previously required for Star). Finally, the scout must pass a scoutmaster conference, and board of review.

Eagle Scout is the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouting division. Since its introduction in 1911, the Eagle Scout rank has been earned by more than 2 million young men.[12]

Requirements include earning a number of merit badges and demonstration of Scout Spirit, service and leadership. This includes an extensive service project that the Scout plans, organizes, leads, and manages. Eagle Scouts are presented with amedal and a badge that visibly recognizes the accomplishments of the Scout. Additional recognition can be earned through Eagle Palms, awarded for completing additional tenure, leadership and merit badge requirements.

Sources: Scouting.org, MeritBadge.org, USScouts.org