Greatest hits: The 10 most-read blog posts of 2023

Last year saw the BSA say goodbye to one Chief Scout Executive and hello to a new president and CEO.

We got a new Sea Scouts boatswain, awarded more than $500,000 in NESA scholarships and recognized another outstanding class of Silver Buffalo and Silver Antelope winners.

As we turn the page to 2024, we’re going to take one last look back on 2023. Here are the top 10 most-read posts of last year.

10. Let’s discuss the BSA’s rule on registering all adults who participate in overnight activities

Effective Sept. 1, 2023, all adults staying overnight in connection with a Scouting activity must be registered as an adult volunteer or an adult program participant. Click here to read the post.

9. BSA introduces high-tech alternative to strenuous 50-Miler requirements

Illustration by Getty Images

Some readers were amused by last year’s April Fools’ Day post. Others … not so much! Click here to read the post.

8. 2023 Eagle Scout Project of the Year: He transformed a school bus into a mobile food pantry

A local food pantry wanted a bus to transport food to those in need, but that wish had stayed just that: a wish — until this Scouts BSA member decided to devote his Eagle Scout project to making it a reality. Click here to read the post.

7. U.S. House of Representatives passes resolution supporting the BSA

For the second year in a row, the Boy Scouts of America was recognized on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. Click here to read the post.

6. New Philmont overnight accommodation option makes the property more available than ever

Photo of Philmont's Tooth of Time
Photo by Dominic Baima

Philmont Scout Ranch has been a flagship destination for Scouts ever since it was donated to the BSA back in 1938. Starting last summer, a new way to visit the property opened it up to even more families. Click here to read the post.

5. Country music superstar buys popcorn from local Cub Scouts

A photo of Reba McEntire and a group of Cub Scouts
Photo courtesy of Pack 311

Reba McEntire, one of the most successful recording artists of all time, just happened to be shopping when she noticed the Cub Scouts selling popcorn and walked over to say hello. Click here to read the post.

4. A Scout in Action! Jenna Bush Hager’s husband, an Eagle Scout, saves woman from choking

Jenna Bush Hager and her husband, Henry Hager
Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC Newswire/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

The co-host of Today with Hoda & Jenna morning news program revealed that her husband, Eagle Scout Henry Hager, recently saved a woman from choking by using the abdominal thrusts technique he learned in Scouting. Click here to read the post.

3. 2022 merit badge rankings: A new chart-topper emerges

In our annual roundup of the most-earned and rarest merit badges, we took a look at what changed, what stayed the same and what took the prize as our most highly earned merit badge of last year. Click here to read the post.

Scouts wearing merit badge sashes

2. Ashton Kutcher confirms that he’s a Cub Scout den leader

Photo by BACKGRID, Inc.

Why does actor Ashton Kutcher keep walking around the streets of Los Angeles in a BSA uniform for all the paparazzi to see? Sometimes the most obvious answer is the correct one: He’s a registered leader in the BSA. Click here to read the post.

1. Before entering hospice, Jimmy Carter joined his grandson’s Scout troop on a walk

Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter with Troop 101
Rosalynn Carter (turquoise sweater), former President Jimmy Carter (in wheelchair) and Errol Carter Kelly (in Scout uniform behind his grandfather), along with various Scouts and parents, set off for a walk on the grounds near the Carter home late last year. Photo courtesy of Troop 101

Before former U.S. President Jimmy Carter made the decision to enter hospice care, he and his wife, Rosalynn, were joined on their daily walk by the Scouts of Troop 101 in Atlanta — their grandson’s troop. Click here to read the post.

Honorable mentions

Some posts were published before 2023 but still racked up a lot of views. Here are the top 5:

  1. The Cub Scout Six Essentials: A half-dozen items to pack on every campout or hike
  2. Meet 113 Scouts who became famous
  3. Everything you need to know about merit badge sashes
  4. In the loop: A guide to square knots, and how to wear them
  5. Here are 18 of the best Scouts BSA patrol names so far

My favorite post of the year

Meet Darrell White, a 65-year-old brand-new Eagle Scout

Darrell White stands between his Scoutmaster and a youth member of Troop 77
Darrell White, middle, flanked by Troop 77 Scoutmaster Darrin Hill on one side and a fellow Scout on the other. Photo courtesy of Troop 77

This post barely missed cracking the top 10, but it’s still my favorite.

I was truly and deeply inspired by the story of Darrell White and the adult leaders from Troop 77 in Edmond, Oklahoma, who have helped make his Scouting journey special for many years.

“There’s times that, you know, for all of us, maybe we have a week where we have to say we were not the best Scout we could be, and we can recognize that,” says Troop 77 Scoutmaster Darrin Hill. “But, you know, Darrell’s Scout spirit is always 1,000%.”

Click here to read the post.

About Aaron Derr 467 Articles
Aaron Derr is the senior editor of Scout Life and Scouting magazines, and also a former Cubmaster and Scouts BSA volunteer.