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The New “Scouts BSA” Co-ed Program

     As your Conference Scouting Ministry Coordinator representing the UMM, I thought it would be helpful to articulate the new “co-ed” Scouts BSA program. First let me say that the Boy Scout program has had female leadership since the oldest of us can fondly name our Den Mother in Cub Scouts. We have had women in leadership in both the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts for many years. It has been at least 15 years since the creation of “Venturing” for teenaged boy and girls. The questions and answers that I am providing concerning the new “Scouts BSA” program come directly from “Scouting Magazine” 2/13/19.

  1.   Are all BSA programs now co-ed?

    • Cub Scouts (ages 5-10): Dens are either all boys or all girls. Packs come in three varieties; only all boy dens, only all girl dens, or a mix of all boy dens and all girl dens.

    •  Scouts BSA (ages 11-17): Troops are either all boy or all girl. Linked troops are an option.

    • Venturing (ages 14-20, or 13 and completed eight grade); Crews are co-ed.

    • Sea Scouts (ages 14-20, or 13 and completed eighth grade) Ships are co-ed.

    • Exploring (ages 10-20); Clubs and posts are co-ed.

  2. What is a “linked” troop?
    Linked troops are two troops – one for boys and one for girls-that share the same chartered organization and may share some or all of the troop committee.

  3. What is the organization’s name?
    It is still formally the Boy Scouts of America, but is called “Scouts BSA”. We still call each other Scouts.

  4. The requirements in all programs are the same for boys and girls, and the handbooks will be the same content but there will be a boy and girls version with gender appropriate illustrations and pictures.

  5. The Scout uniforms will be basically the same, while the fit and styling may be different.


I’m sure there are other questions, but I wanted to share the answers for the basic questions that most of us are in need of knowing. The church that I am a part of has a new Scouts BSA girl troop made up primarily of new members to Scouting, and those who are part of both Girl Scouts USA and Scouts BSA. We have been continually blessed with our Girls Scouts USA, Scouts BSA, and the American Heritage Girls. All are faith based and character building organizations that have contributed greatly to the ministry of the United Methodist Church.


Yours in Scouting Ministry,

Rev. Dr. W. Kenneth Lyons, Jr.

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