Scouts BSA is a national program that attracts boys and girls* who are usually aged 11 thru 17, but they may also be younger than 11 if they have "crossed-over" from a Webelos Den in Cub Scouts during 5th grade. Scouts BSA units are known as Troops; Troops are organized into Patrols. Scouts BSA is generally a youth-led program, with guidance from Adult Leaders. Note: Troops are either all-boy Troops or all-girl Troops; mixed gender youth in a Troop is not currently allowed.
The Boy Scouts of America provides the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training, which helps young people "Be Prepared" (the Scout Motto). The emphasis in Scouts BSA* is to learn skills that are useful in life — often using methodologies that teach outdoor skills, leadership, and citizenship. After a Scout earns the rank of First Class, he may investigate many interest areas by selecting activities from over 100 Merit Badges. The goal is to teach Scouts to make the ethical and moral decisions required of good citizens in the modern world, but it is usually the lure of FUN that attracts youth to Scouts BSA* — and it is FUN that keeps them involved!
Adult Leaders are men and women who are age 18 or older who have completed a BSA Adult Leader Application, have passed a strict background check, have passed a course in Youth Protection Training, and (depending on the Adult Leader's position) undergone additional training courses to learn how to perform the duties for which they are responsible.
*Note: The program formerly known as Boy Scouts was renamed to Scouts BSA and now admits girls to all-girl Troops, effective February 1, 2019.