New Boy Scout Handbook, other Boy Scout program tweaks due in 2016

boy-scout-logoThe saying “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” could be used to describe some tweaks coming to the Boy Scouts program in 2016.

The merit badge program has been getting stronger with the release of each new merit badge, and the trail to Eagle Scout continues to produce terrific young men. Neither will change.

We are getting a new Boy Scout Handbook, but the 13th edition, due out in January 2016, will keep most of its content from the 12th edition (released in 2010). The design and images inside will be updated, but much of the text will be unchanged.

I already previewed changes to Cub Scouting coming in 2015 and Venturing coming this year. Compared to the makeovers for those two programs, what’s happening in Boy Scouting is more of a slight modification than a complete overhaul.

Find out what’s changing (and what isn’t) and when after the jump.

What isn’t changing
  • Current ranks and approach (Tenderfoot to First Class earned concurrently; Star to Eagle Scout earned sequentially)
  • Use of merit badge program
What is changing
  • Scout will become a rank
  • Additions:
    • Service at all ranks (conservation-related at Life)
    • Healthy eating/habits requirements
    • Some reordering in Tenderfoot to First Class
    • Physical fitness at each rank, Tenderfoot to First Class
    • Outdoor ethics — Leave No Trace and Tread Lightly
    • Weather safety, risk assessment and mitigation
    • Duty to God incorporated in requirement to show Scout Spirit.
Transition details

Boy Scout 2016 transition

Many more details to come as I get them. Thanks to Bob Scott for sharing the news with me (and you) as soon as he could.

About Bryan Wendell 3282 Articles
Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is the founder of Bryan on Scouting and a contributing writer.