Learning new things is an integral part of growing up. Whether your child has a talent for outdoor adventures or leading the team, joining boy scouts or girl scouts can be an unforgettable experience! Find out the differences between Boy Scouts of America and Girl Scouts of the USA, their activities, and organization, here!
From biking and swimming to learning to cook, there are plenty of activities out there for kids. But there can be more to new activities than all the fun involved – that’s where scouting comes in! Most people have heard of boys and girls scouts and all the fun things they get to do. However, scouting can offer all kinds of learning experiences that will hone talent and build life skills. For the young men and women interested, girl scouts and boy scouts provide an inspiring experience!
What Do Girl Scouts Do Besides Selling Cookies?
One of the large scouting organizations is Girl Scouts of the USA. They're primarily known for selling cookies to raise money. Besides that, girl scouts aim to empower young women and girls to explore their authentic selves along with skills based on the four pillars of the Girl Scouts:
- Science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM)
- Life Skills
Different girl scout groups correspond with specific grade levels.
- Daisies for grades K-1
- Brownies for grades 2-3
- Juniors for grades 4-5
- Cadettes for grades 6-8
- Seniors for grades 9-10
- Ambassadors 11-12
A girl scout's activities depend on her age and grade level. Whereas selling cookies is a big part of the scouts' life of Daisies and Brownies, older girls and young women will focus on exploring and developing their skills. Field trips, science projects, and traveling or mentoring the younger ones are appealing to the older girl scouts. It might even help them with their college application.
How Many Types of Scouts Groups Are There?
In addition to Girl Scouts of the USA, there is another and maybe even more established scouting group: The Boy Scouts of America. The organization changed its 109-year tradition in early 2019 when it opened the door for girls and young women to enter. Boy Scouts of America unites various youth programs under its roof. Learn more about the wide range of scouting and how to choose the right one for your children here!
- Cub Scouting – It's called 'cub' for a reason, and that's because this type of scouting is perfect for the little ones! This scouting program is ideal for children from kindergarten up to 10 years old. While it provides plenty of great learning experiences like shooting arrows or camping and other outdoor activities, Cub Scouting will also offer great fun.
- Scouts BSA – Being known as Boy Scouts before, this type of scouting is where your 11 to 17-year-old child will get to develop their talents – independent from their gender. In this year-round program, children and teens can earn merit badges for everything from art to survival and train their soft skills, too!
- Venturing – If your child's ready to test their skills in the world, nothing will prep them for the challenge like venturing. Whether they're skilled in the wilderness or at leading the charge, this scout style can build the confidence they need. Venturing is appropriate for youth between 14 and 20 years of age.
- Sea Scouting – When kids near their teenage years, getting out on the open water can be great for nurturing their leadership skills. By practicing boat and water safety, sea scouts from ages 14 to 20 learn a host of real-world skills.
- Exploring – If your child excels one on one, exploring can provide various scouts activities. By following the counsel of a seasoned mentor, they'll learn more a lot about the world around them! This program is open for tweens and teenagers between 10 and 20 years old.
How Are Merit Badges Earned?
One of the best parts of Scout's badges is celebrating talent. Fortunately, there are more than 135 merit badges within the Scouts BSA, which means kids can excel in all ways! Whether they're interested in sports or crafts, they can choose an interest and pick a badge to earn. After a kid chooses a specific skill, they can work with a counselor to complete the badge requirements. When they're ready to show their stuff, they can go through it with the counselor to earn a badge. Share your scout merit badge stories with others on your favorite family app!
What Are the Ranks of the Scouts?
Being a scout is all about learning that will last you a lifetime. Luckily, there are merit badges and different ranks that go along with achievement! A scout automatically earns a Bobcat badge upon entry to the program. It is followed in accordance with the scout's age or completion of school grade for Tiger, Wolf, Bear badge, Webelos, and Arrow of Light. These rankings go up to 4th grade.
At this point, the scout enters the BSA troop where they can further distinguish themselves. They will earn Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class within approximately 12 to 18 months. When a scout becomes Star, they will have been First Class for four months and served in a responsible position. Followed by Life, they will have been a Star scout for six months and served in a responsible position. The final rank, Eagle Scout, signifies a high level of life skills, citizenship, and service.
Most people have heard about boy scouts and girl scouts from the life skills learned or the cookies! But, being a scout can be an essential part of youth for many kids. Whether they're learning how to be a leader or simply make a campfire, scouting can provide a confidence boost. Do you have any experience with scouts? Share your tales with others in our comments! Whatever your child's interests or hobbies, there's a merit badge out there waiting for you!