MPAA ratings — G, PG, PG-13, R — take the guesswork out of deciding which movies are appropriate for your son or daughter.
Fortunately, deciding which Scouting activities are age-appropriate is just as easy, thanks to this Age-Appropriate Guidelines for Scouting Activities PDF.
The BSA’s Health and Safety team developed the age- and rank-appropriate guidelines based on the mental, physical, emotional and social maturity of Boy Scouts of America youth members. The guidelines apply to Cub Scout packs, Boy Scout troops, Varsity Scout teams and Venturing crews.
Should Bear Cub Scouts build campfires? Can Webelos Scouts use bow saws? Can Boy Scouts go scuba diving? Can Venturers ride all-terrain vehicles (ATVs)?
The answers: No. Yes. Yes. And yes, but only through their approved local council.
The guide covers outdoor skills, sports, tools, trekking, aircraft, vehicles, shooting sports, climbing, aquatics and camping.
It’s a great resource for answering questions from parents or from youth leaders planning future trips.
More specific guidelines on tools
Service projects are an iconic Scouting tradition, and you may be wondering whether certain tools are OK for 13-, 14- or 15-year-old boys and girls. Wonder no more.
This PDF gives a tool-by-tool breakdown.
Can Scouts use zip lines?
Zip-lining is considered age-appropriate for Venturing-age youth and older Boy Scouts. If the youth are participating in a commercial zip-line activity that is not located on a BSA-owned property, then we suggest you make sure that organization follows the Association for Challenge Course Technology (ACCT) standards for installation, maintenance, and operation.
That and more Frequently Asked Questions are answered at this Scouting Safely page, maintained by Richard Bourlon and the BSA’s Health and Safety team.