Ask Us Anything! We answer some of your most frequently asked questions

When? Where? What? Who? How? Why? Ask Us Anything!
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Have questions about the BSA? We’ve got answers.

And if we don’t have the answers, we’ll find someone who does.

Below are a handful of questions we’ve recently gotten from readers (some of them, multiple times), along with the best answers we can provide.

Leave your question in the comments below, or send us an email, and we’ll answer in a future post.

Q: Are there any patches that belong on the pocket flaps of a Scout’s shirt?

A: Yes. Most commonly, you’ll see Order of the Arrow lodge pocket flap emblems there. They’re designed to fit the exact size and shape of the standard BSA uniform pocket flap and should be worn on the Scout’s right side. Also, female Venturers and Sea Scouts who have earned the Girl Scout Gold Award may wear the pin on their Venturing uniform shirt’s left pocket flap. The Cub Scout Outdoor Activity Award is worn on the right pocket flap, as is the National Summertime Pack Award. Venturing’s Ranger bar goes on the left pocket flap. Also, temporary insignia may be attached to the button under the pocket flap. For more guidance on patch placement, go to the BSA’s Guide to Awards and Insignia page.

Q: One of my goals in the next couple years is to take a training course at the Philmont Training Center. I wanted to ask about the process for how to do that.

A: Great idea! Everybody should attend a training session at Philmont. They’re awesome! I would start here to get an idea of what the PTC has to offer. You can get more details on the classes offered by clicking here. And, before you head out, you’ll want to take a look at the PTC Orientation Guide for even more details on what to expect from your trip. Have fun!

Q: Can a Venturer over the age of 18 still earn the National Outdoor Activity Award and its segments? And the way I interpreted it was that the award was for youth which would be Scouts under the age of 18?

A: Yes! Though Venturers ages 18-20 are considered “adult program participants,” they are still eligible to earn the same awards as any younger Venturer.

Q: What is the proper way to put troop number patches on the adult uniform to represent two different troops? I have a son in one troop and a daughter in another. I am committee chair this year for one and a voting committee member for the other.

A: First of all, thank you for your service to both of your kids’ troops. While the BSA does not have a way for an adult to wear unit number patches for more than one unit simultaneously, there are some crafty ideas out there for making your service in two units known. Technically speaking, if you’re a member of multiple troops, you might have multiple shirts. Or, you could do something like switch out your unit numbers using fabric fasteners.

Q: Does a Star or Life Scout have to be in charge of a work project? Is there any writeup on what projects a Star or Life Scout has to do?

A: Requirement 5 for both the Star and Life ranks are to serve actively in your troop for four months (for Star) or six months (for Life) in one or more positions of responsibility — or to carry out a Scoutmaster-approved leadership project to help the troop. If the Scout opts for the service project option, they should discuss it with their Scoutmaster in advance, as one requirement of the project is that it help the troop. This might disqualify some traditional Scout service projects.


About Aaron Derr 468 Articles
Aaron Derr is the senior editor of Scout Life and Scouting magazines, and also a former Cubmaster and Scouts BSA volunteer.