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These criteria are designed to assist unit leaders in determining what activities are age-appropriate. Activities that do not appear on the chart should be reviewed using these criteria.
In addition to the general criteria, the following program-specific criteria apply.
The BSA recognizes that youth in various parts of the country develop at different rates. These guidelines are designed to demonstrate the mainstream of youth capabilities.
For instance, Cub Scouts may be involved in winter camping in Alaska, where cold-weather activities are part of the culture. On the West Coast and Gulf Coast, surfing may be appropriate for Boy Scouts. In the Northeast, youth begin playing street and ice hockey at an early age.
Because of the varying development rates among youth, these activity guidelines are flexible and should not be perceived as requirements or rules. They address the mainstream of youth abilities while allowing for exceptions for Scouting units and groups based on the consideration and judgment of unit, district, and council committees and boards. Older Boy Scouts should be at least 13 years of age by January 1 of the year they participate.
All participation in activities must comply with federal, state, and local regulations.