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ZoomOut and see more stars with your telescope as you explore the night sky and discover what lies beyond. Thousands of stars, constellations, planets, the moon, satellites, airplanes, and birds are above your head every night. Have a Star Party with your family for this week's challenge and use the worksheet below to identify what you see.


Each week there are three components to completing the weekly challenge - Know, Show, and Go. To complete this week's challenge, do the following: 

  • KNOW: Explore the content below to learn about space exploration, what lies beyond the night sky, and how to prepare for your family's Star Party!

  • SHOW: Plan your adventure! Gather your gear, determine where you are going, who's going with you, and when you're going. Discuss your plan with your family, den, patrol, or unit.  

  • GO: Have a Star Party! Be sure to grab your specific tracking worksheet before you go to record what you complete. 

As soon as you're ready, scroll down to get started. 

Connected Challenges 

Continue this week's challenge by completing additional activities. These activities are optional and just for fun but are connected to this week's theme. 




After completing this week's challenge, head back to The Trail and click on your level of Scouting's Waypoint to unlock connected Scouting adventures and advance along the way.

Connected Advancements


You're earning more than just the Spring BreakOut award this week! Click here to grab this week's tracking worksheet and see this week's list of connected advancements




Calling all adult leaders and parents! Not only can you earn the Spring BreakOut Award with your Scout, you can find connected trainings for you to complete along the way. 


There are so many exciting things to see in the night sky. Thousands of stars, constellations, the Milky Way, planets, the moon, satellites, and airplanes over head every night. We can see old stars dying and exploding. We can see meteor showers, or shooting stars. Sometimes it is rare to see some of these sights. But on any clear night of the year, you usually can see the Moon and a dazzling array of stars. Did you know that the sky changes as the seasons change? The earth rotates and tilts back and forth. This makes the night sky different in each season. 

You can see many constellations and planets in the night sky without a telescope. Pick a night to head outside, find a place that is dark enough to see the night sky. Make sure to pick a clear night when there is no cloud cover! Then create your own constellation and share it with your family!


Know how to protect yourself before you go out to observe the night sky!


When you go stargazing, dress appropriately for the weather - hot or cold. To help protect yourself against bites and stings when you go outside, wear clothes that cover all exposed skin. Wear shoes or boots - not sandals - and socks. Insect repellent sprayed on your body, clothing, and shoes provides added protection. 

Did you know?

It takes about 30 minutes for your eyes to adjust to darkness. To help preserve your night vision, use a red filter with your flashlight. You can do so by securing a piece of red cellophane over any flashlight. 


During the day before a stargazing outing, survey the area will you will be observing. Look for holes, crevices, or other large rocks or tree roots that you might not see at night. Take care to avoid these hazards when you return at night to observe the night sky.


Never stare directly at or near the Sun, even for a few moments and never look at the sun through binoculars or a telescope unless your equipment has the proper solar filters. Looking directly at the sun, even with sunglasses, can cause permanent blindness or other damage to your eyes that might not be immediately noticeable. 


Sun exposure can catch you by surprise when you are outside, preoccupied with setting up your equipment or viewing a solar eclipse. Apply sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 to exposed skin. Don’t forget your ears & the back of your neck. Reapply often.


Heat exhaustion occurs when the body overheats because its cooling methods fail. Watch for these signs: body temperature between 98.6 and 102 degrees; skin pale, clammy, and sweaty; nausea, dizziness, and fainting; pronounced weakness and tiredness; headache; muscle cramps. To treat heat exhaustion, lay down in a cool spot with feet raised, loosen clothing, apply a cool damp cloth to the skin or use a fan, and sip cool water.


Heatstroke is life-threatening because the body's heat control system has been overworked and overwhelmed, resulting in its failure. Signs include body temperature above 102 degrees; red, hot, and dry skin; extremely rapid pulse; confusion or disorientation; fainting or unconsciousness; convulsions. Cool the victim immediately. Place the victim in a cool spot face-up with head and shoulders raised. Remove outer clothing, sponge the bare skin with cold water, and soak underclothing with cool water. Apply cold packs, use a fan, or place the victim in a tub of cold water. Dry the skin after the body temperature drops to 101 degrees and obtain medical help immediately. 


Hypothermia occurs when the body’s core temperature drops so low that it is no longer able to keep warm. The key to preventing hypothermia is to keep warm and stay dry, and—if you will be outside for extended periods—eat plenty of energy foods (nuts, dried fruits, peanut butter). Don’t push yourself to a dangerous point of fatigue.

In cold weather, wear layers to keep in the heat. Bring along a woolen cap, scarf, gloves, extra socks, and a coat. Keep your arms and legs covered. Always carry rain gear.


Dehydration is caused by lack of water in the body. A person who gives off more water than consumed can become dehydrated—in hot or cold weather. Everyone should stay well-hydrated while in the outdoors. Do not wait to drink until you feel thirsty.

You can observe objects in the night sky with your unaided eye.
However, with binoculars or a telescope, the images you see will appear
brighter and larger.




Binoculars are perfect for stargazing. They collect more light than the human eye, so you can see 50 times more stars with 10 x 50 binoculars. They also improve the clarity and intensify the colors of the stars you see. Unlike a telescope, binoculars allow you to use both eyes to view. Binoculars show an image the right way up, whereas telescopes show objects upside down. Binoculars are easy to transport and less expensive than many telescopes.

  • Some giant binoculars have lenses of 70 millimeters or more and magnifications of 15x to 20x. Wider lenses allow you to see more stars, but these giant binoculars are so heavy that they must be mounted on a tripod, like a telescope, for viewing.


Like binoculars, telescopes gather more light than the human eye. The two main types of optical

telescopes— those that collect visible light—are refracting and reflecting, with a third type, the

catadioptric, that combines features of the refractor and the reflector.

  • Refracting telescopes use a system of lenses. At the large end of the telescope, the objective or front lens collects and focuses light. The eyepiece, the smaller lens you look through, is at the other end. Refracting telescopes produce sharp images.

  • In the reflecting telescope, a concave (bowl-shaped) mirror at the base of an open tube collects and reflects light to a second, smaller mirror near the top of the tube. The eyepiece magnifies the image that the mirrors have formed. The reflector is the most common type of telescope and a popular choice for backyard astronomers.

  • The catadioptric telescope, also called a refracting-reflecting telescope, combines a large front lens with two mirrors. It has a short, enclosed tube and is often portable.

Did you know?

Because of their wide field of view, binoculars are perfect for studying the surface of the Moon, scanning the Milky Way, spotting Jupiter’s large moons, and viewing star clusters. An ideal size is 10350, which means the image is magnified 10 times and the main lenses are 50 millimeters in diameter. The 8340 and 7335 are also good choices.

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Catadioptric Telescope


Refracting Telescope

Reflecting Telescope


Before you go stargazing, find out what planets and constellations you can see from your location on Earth! A good place to look for this information is at www.earthsky.org/tonight. Find out which planets and stars are out right now. 


Sailors and travelers have used the stars for hundreds of years to find their way both on land and at sea
because some constellations are visible any time of the year. These constellations are known as
circumpolar because they never set below the horizon. As Earth rotates on its axis, the stars seem to
circle a point called the celestial north pole. The north pole itself points to Polaris, or the North Star.

Because of this, people can figure out which direction they are traveling just from one star! Finding Polaris,
or the North Star, will be a big help in locating the four main circumpolar constellations.

To find this star, first look for the group of stars called Ursa Minor, or the Little Dipper. The Little Dipper looks like a spoon with a long handle. The North Star is located at the end of the handle of the Little Dipper.

Additionally, the Big Dipper is part of Ursa Major (the Great Bear), a constellation that includes a few less-visible stars. The outer stars on the bowl of the Big Dipper always point to Polaris. Every six hours, the Big Dipper appears to have moved a quarter of the way around the North Star.

The other two main circumpolar constellations are Cassiopeia and Draco:

  • Cassiopeia. If you follow the line from the middle star of the Big Dipper’s handle through Polaris, you will find Cassiopeia. Its five main stars form an M when they’re above the North Star and a W when they are below it.

  • Draco. Draco, the dragon, winds around Polaris between the Big and Little Dippers. None of its more than 80 visible stars is very bright; the four stars that form the dragon’s head are easiest to see.

Some constellations are visible in the night sky only at certain times of the year. Twelve seasonal constellations known as zodiacal constellations are centered on the ecliptic, the path that the Sun, the Moon, and the planets all appear to follow through the sky. The zodiacal constellations you can see at night—Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpius, Sagittarius, Capricornus, Aquarius, and Pisces— change as Earth follows its yearly path around the Sun.


Spring Constellations

  • Leo. You can see Leo, the Lion, from January through June. From the two stars of the Big Dipper’s bowl that are not used to point toward Polaris, follow with your eye a line straight down to Leo’s brightest star,Regulus.

  • Virgo. Virgo, the Virgin, is the largest constellation and is visible from April through July. If you look from the handle of the Big Dipper through Arcturus (a bright star in the constellation Boötes), you will see another bright star. This is Spica, the bottom of Virgo’s Y shape.

  • Libra. Libra, the Balance Scale, is a late-spring constellation with four fairly dim stars. It is one of the most difficult zodiacal star patterns to spot. Look between Spica and the southeastern horizon.

  • Cancer. Cancer, the Crab, is visible from January to May, but it is the faintest constellation in the zodiac. To find it, follow a line from Leo’s Regulus to the Gemini constellation (a winter constellation described below). Cancer is between Leo and Gemini.

Summer Constellations

  • Lyra. You can see Lyra, the Lyre, from May through November. In late summer at about 10 p.m., if you look straight up, you may see a very bright blue-white star. This star, Vega, is Lyra’s brightest star.

  • Cygnus. Often called the Northern Cross, Cygnus the Swan is visible from June through November. Follow a line from Vega slightly east to another star, Deneb, that is almost as bright. Deneb is Cygnus’s brightest star.

  • Aquila. The somewhat triangular grouping in the summer sky south of Lyra and Cygnus is Aquila, the Eagle. Its brightest star is Altair, which forms the Summer Triangle with Deneb and Vega.

  • Scorpius. In July and August, you can see Scorpius, the Scorpion, very close to the southern horizon. Its brightest star is Antares, a red supergiant star near the scorpion’s head.

  • Sagittarius. In July and August you can see Sagittarius, the Archer, just east of Scorpius. Its main stars form a pattern that resembles a teapot. When you look at Sagittarius, you’re looking toward the center of the Milky Way galaxy. Scorpius and Sagittarius may be difficult to view if you live in the North.

Autumn Constellations

  • Pegasus. Pegasus, the Flying Horse, is best seen from August through October, southeast of Cygnus. Part of the constellation is known as the Great Square, an easy shape to recognize.

  • Andromeda. Pegasus shares one of its stars with Andromeda, which is visible from September to January. Look eastward from the Great Square of Pegasus. The Andromeda galaxy—the most distant object visible to the naked eye—is visible on clear nights as a faint, misty spot in the Andromeda constellation.

  • Perseus. You can see Perseus in the autumn and winter, east of Andromeda. It lies between the constellations of Auriga (described below) and Cassiopeia. Perseus contains the double star Algol. As the stars of Algol pass in front of each other, Algol appears alternately fainter and brighter.

  • Aries. Three fairly bright stars make up the main part of Aries, the Ram. It appears south of Andromeda from October through March. Pisces. The main part of Pisces, the Fishes, is a string of stars below Andromeda and Pegasus. Pisces appears in the sky from October to December, but it is faint and can be hard to find.

  • Capricornus. Look straight down from the star Altair in Aquila. Capricornus, the Sea Goat, is a faint constellation, but when visibility is good you can see it from August through October.

  • Aquarius. On dark, clear nights from August through October, you may be able to see Aquarius, the Water Bearer, south of Pegasus. One end of Aquarius stretches above Capricornus and the other is below the Circlet of Pisces.

Winter Constellations

  • Orion. Orion, the Hunter, usually is easy to find from October through April. It is large and distinctive with two very bright stars—the reddish-orange giant Betelgeuse and bluish-white Rigel—as well as five other bright stars and several less visible ones. The Orion Nebula, a cloud of dust and gas several lightyears across, is visible to the naked eye as a fuzzy patch just below Orion’s belt.

  • Canis Major. Southeast of Orion is Canis Major, the Great Dog, which you can see from December through April. Sirius, the night sky’s brightest star, is a part of Canis Major. Orion’s three belt stars point downward toward Sirius.

  • Gemini. From December through May you can see Gemini, the Twins, northeast of Orion. Two bright stars, Castor and Pollux, are the heads of the Gemini twins. Auriga. Visible from November through April, Auriga, the Charioteer, is north of Orion. Capella, a double star in Auriga, is one of the brightest lights in the sky.

  • Taurus. Orion’s belt stars point up toward Aldebaran, a bright orange-red star. Aldebaran is the eye of Taurus the Bull, a constellation you can see from November through March.


Planets do not twinkle like stars do. Planets have a constant light. This is a good way to figure out whether you are looking at a star or a planet. Look for these planets:

  • Mercury is hard to see because it is always close to the sun.

  • Venus is white and very bright. When Venus can be seen, it is always right after sunset or right before sunrise, near the horizon. 

  • Mars often looks red in the night sky. 

  • Jupiter is bright yellow.

  • Saturn is also yellow but not as bright as Jupiter. 

Our word for planet comes from the ancient Greek words asteres planetai, which means "wandering stars." The Greeks knew thousands of years ago that the planets slowly moved across the sky over time. If you look at the planets often, you may notice that they change their position in the sky a little bit every day. 


You do not need a telescope to see satellites at night. Satellites look like small dots of lights moving in a steady path across the sky. Airplanes have white lights on top and colored blinking lights underneath so they are easy to spot. 


If you get lucky, you might see a streak across the night sky. The light is caused by bits of rock and dust called meteoroids that fall into Earth's atmosphere and burn up before they would hit Earth. These are also sometimes called falling stars. Every once in a while, a bit of space hits Earth. This is called a meteorite. 

Nine major meteor showers happen every year. They last for several nights. If you go stargazing during a meteor shower, you may be able to see many falling stars in a single night. 



As a family, hold your own star party to observe the night sky!​ By holding your own observation session of the night sky you will complete advancements toward rank and enjoy the night with your family.


If you could make your own constellation, what would it look like? What would your constellation be named? 

Draw a picture of your constellation. Create a story about how your constellation got its name. Share your picture and story with the rest of the members of your family!




You can design and create a constellation of your own using materials you find

around your home. For example, you can make a constellation using a tin can, a

small nail, a bigger nail, and a hammer. Be sure to get help from an adult when

using tools!

Materials Needed: 

  • Tin Can

  • 1 small nail

  • 1 bigger nail

  • A hammer


  1. Mark dots on the bottom of an empty can in the shape of a constellation.

  2. With the help from an adult, use the hammer and  nails to punch holes. Use the smaller nail to make the hole and then the larger nail to make each hole larger.

  3. Insert a flashlight in the top of the can. 

  4. Turn off the lights, turn on the flashlight, and point the bottom of the can towards a wall. The points of the constellation will light up!





Not all cities and towns permit model rocket launches. Check with your local fire department or police to find out about local regulars governing model rocket launches. You may have to travel to a rural area to find a launch site. You can also make a chemical reaction rocket!


Demonstrate Newton's third law of motion. Make a paper rocket propelled by Alka-Seltzer and water or baking soda and vingear. Guaranteed fun for the whole family.

Materials Needed:

  • Paper cut to 5x8 inches or a large index card

  • Empty film canister with lid that snaps inside

  • Markers, crayons or colored pencils

  • Tape

  • Scissors

  • Alka-Seltzer tablets or baking soda (baking soda to use with vinegar)

  • Water or vinegar (vinegar to use with baking soda)

  • Ruler


  1. Decorate the paper — get creative! This will form the body of your rocket.

  2. Roll the paper into an 8-inch-tall tube. Slide the empty film canister into the tube so that the
    canister opens at one end of the tube. Securely tape the paper to the canister. You do not
    want these two parts to separate.

  3. Now, tape closed the 8-inch-long seam of the paper tube.

  4. Cut two triangular paper fins and tape them onto the rocket.

  5. Make a small paper cone and tape it to the top of the rocket if you would like a nose cone.

  6. Hold the rocket upside down and add water to the canister to one-quarter full.

  7. Add half a tablet of Alka-Seltzer or to the film canister and quickly snap on the lid.

  8. Place the rocket on the ground, lid down. Stand back and count down while you are waiting
    for launch.

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Model rocketry is a great way to learn about space exploration. The rocket you build won’t reach space, but the science and technology that goes into your rocket is the same as NASA uses in launching giant rockets. Model rockets are made of paper, balsa wood, plastic, glue, and paint. You build them with simple tools such as a modeling knife, sandpaper, scissors, rulers, and paintbrushes. Model rockets are powered by solid propellant rocket engines. Depending on the size and design of the rocket and the power of the engine, model rockets may fly only 50 feet high or up to a half mile in altitude. They are powerful, and through misuse could harm animals, people, or property. By following the rules below, you can launch your rockets in complete safety over and over.


If you have never built a model rocket before, it is best to start with a simple kit. The kit will consist of a body tube, nose cone, fins, engine mount, and parachute or some other recovery system that will gently lower your rocket to the ground at the end of its flight. Engines must be purchased separately from the rocket. Be sure to buy the recommended engines for your kit. If you use engines that are too powerful, you may lose your rocket on its first flight.



Check every rocket for stability before flying it. Stability checks before launch assure you that your rocket will fly properly. Unstable rockets tumble in the air and may head back toward the launchpad at high speed. Stability checks are simple and require only a long piece of string, a piece of tape, and a few minutes of your time. To check a new model rocket, prepare the rocket for flight and insert a live engine. Tie a slipknot around the body of the rocket and slide it to the point where the rocket is perfectly balanced on the string. Hold the string in one hand over your head, and begin to twirl your rocket as though you were spinning a lasso. As the rocket picks up speed, gradually play out the string until the rocket is about 6 to 8 feet away. If you are not tall, you may want to stand on a chair at this point. If your rocket is stable, it will travel around you without tumbling. The nose cone will point into the air and the tail end will follow. If the tail end goes first or if the rocket tumbles, your rocket may be dangerous to fly. You can correct this situation by putting on larger fins or adding weight to the rocket’s nose with a lump of clay.


When your rocket is ready for its first flight, you must choose a proper launching site. Your launching site should be a large field that is free of power and telephone lines, trees, buildings, or any other structures that might snag a returning rocket. Choose a field away from airports. You will need a launchpad. Perhaps you can borrow a launchpad from a local model-rocket club, or join the members on a day when they are launching rockets (To find a local club, see the National Association of Rocketry listing in the resources section.) If not, you can either buy a launchpad kit or build your own. A simple launchpad can be built from a block of wood, a blast deflector made from a flattened metal can, and a straight rod. Rods made specifically for rocket launchers are best and inexpensive. Buy one where you get your rocket supplies.


While your model rocket will come with instructions, follow these instructions for a safe launch. Not all cities and towns permit model rocket launches. Check with your local fire department or police to find out about local regulations governing model rocket launches. You may have to travel to a rural area to find a launch site. Or you may choose to make an alternative rocket. 


Your launch system should be electric. It must have a switch that closes only when you press it and then opens again automatically. It also should have a master switch, or you should be able to disconnect the batteries while you set up your next flight. The wires from your batteries (about 6 volts) should extend about 15 feet to small “alligator” clips at the ends. These clips will be attached to the wires of the igniter. Never use fuses or matches to ignite your rocket .



After you have made your first launch, make a second launch with a specific objective in mind. You might try to spot-land the rocket within a 50-foot circle. That isn’t as easy as it sounds. You must make allowances for wind drift and aim your rocket accordingly.

Another objective might be to carry a payload aloft and recover it safely. Several rocket kits come with payload sections for carrying hard-boiled eggs or other cargo. Still another objective would be to launch a small camera on your rocket to take a picture of the launch site from high altitude. Specially designed cameras are available for model rockets.

Learn how to build an Estes Gnome Rocket with Scoutmaster Robbie White from Billings, Montana!



Create and fly paper airplanes!

Paper airplanes are light. This helps them fly through the air when you use the power in

your muscles to propel them. But a real airplane is heavy. How does anything that big stay

in the air? 

Airplanes need to have lift to fly. Scientists explain lift with an idea called Bernoulli's

Principle. As planes travel through the air, air travels over the wings. The shape of the

wings makes the air travel faster over the top than beneath them. The difference in the air

speeds create higher pressure beneath the wings than above them. The pressure difference causes the wing to push upward, creating lift. The faster the plane moves through the air, the more air is forced under and over the wings, creating more lift. 


  1. Place a sheet of paper on a table. Fold the paper hot dog style.

  2. Unfold and then fold the corners into the center line.

  3. Fold the top edges to the center.

  4. Fold the plane in half.

  5. Fold the wings down to meet the bottom edge of the planes body.

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Now make a paper airplane catapult!

Have you ever seen pictures of a fighter jet being launched from an aircraft carrier? Because the ship has a short runway, the flight deck crew hooks the jet to a catapult to fling it into the sky. 

Materials Needed:

  • Your favorite paper airplane you made

  • A rubberband

  • A pencil

  • A hole punch


  1. Make a hole near the nose of your favorite airplane design using a single hole punch.

  2. Loop a rubberband into the hole.

  3. Launch your plane using a pencil or your finger with the rubberband.

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Below you will find details on connected advancements for this week's challenge. 

If there is a Trail Waypoint next to the advancement, that means you fully earn this adventure along The Trail! Here you will find connected worksheets, tracking tools, and full details on how to complete the adventure. 




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LIONS - Current Kindergarteners (as of April 2021) 

  • Mountain Lion (Required Adventure) - Get prepared for an outing and show what you need to do to get ready for this adventure.

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TIGERS - Current 1st Graders (as of April 2021) 

  • Sky is the Limit (Elective Adventure) - Explore the night sky with your family or den! Create your own constellation and share your constellation with someone else.

    • *COMING SOON* Cyber Summer Camp Beyond is coming back for another summer! This adventure will be featured this summer to fully earn with a 5-day digitally delivered STEM Camp right here on HomeScouting.org. 


WOLVES - Current 2nd Graders (as of April 2021) 

  • Air of the Wolf (Elective Adventure) - Experiment with air! Try science investigations, make a paper airplane, and more!

  • Motor Away (Elective Adventure) - Learn how things are powered and experiment with creating paper airplanes and model boats.

    • *COMING SOON* Cyber Summer Camp Beyond is coming back for another summer! This adventure will be featured this summer to fully earn with a 5-day digitally delivered STEM Camp right here on HomeScouting.org. 


BEARS - Current 3rd Graders (as of April 2021) 

  • Bear Necessities (Required Adventure) - Go on a backyard campout to look at the stars!


WEBELOS & ARROW OF LIGHTS - Current 4th & 5th Graders (as of April 2021) 

  • Adventures in Science (Elective Adventure) - Explore the world of science by conducting experiments, learn about physics, build and launch a model rocket and more.

    • *COMING SOON* Cyber Summer Camp Beyond is coming back for another summer! This adventure will be featured this summer to fully earn with a 5-day digitally delivered STEM Camp right here on HomeScouting.org. 



While you'll need to work with your troop leadership to fully complete the rank requirements below, you can practice while completing this week's challenge!

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  • Work on the Exploration Merit Badge along The Trail!

  • *COMING SOON* Cyber Summer Camp Beyond is coming back for another summer! This 5-day digitally delivered STEM Camp will right here on HomeScouting.org and features Space Exploration, Robotics, and Astronomy Merit Badge!



  • Work on the Exploration Merit Badge along The Trail!

  • *COMING SOON* Cyber Summer Camp Beyond is coming back for another summer! This 5-day digitally delivered STEM Camp will right here on HomeScouting.org and features Space Exploration, Robotics, and Astronomy Merit Badge!

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  • Work on the Exploration Merit Badge along The Trail!

  • *COMING SOON* Cyber Summer Camp Beyond is coming back for another summer! This 5-day digitally delivered STEM Camp will right here on HomeScouting.org and features Space Exploration, Robotics, and Astronomy Merit Badge!

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  • Work on the Exploration Merit Badge along The Trail!

  • *COMING SOON* Cyber Summer Camp Beyond is coming back for another summer! This 5-day digitally delivered STEM Camp will right here on HomeScouting.org and features Space Exploration, Robotics, and Astronomy Merit Badge!



  • Work on the Exploration Merit Badge along The Trail!

  • *COMING SOON* Cyber Summer Camp Beyond is coming back for another summer! This 5-day digitally delivered STEM Camp will right here on HomeScouting.org and features Space Exploration, Robotics, and Astronomy Merit Badge!





Concern for youth safety has been ingrained in the Boy Scouts of America’s DNA since the beginning. True youth protection can be achieved only through the focused commitment of everyone in Scouting. It is the mission of Youth Protection volunteers and professionals to work within the Boy Scouts of America to maintain a culture of Youth Protection awareness and safety at the national, regional, area, council, district, and unit levels. 

Before any adult can be registered with the Boy Scouts of America, they must fill out an application, take Youth Protection Training, and go through a Background Check. 


The Boy Scouts of America takes great pride in the quality of our adult leadership. Being a leader in the BSA is a privilege, not a right. The quality of the program and the safety of our youth members call for high-quality adult leaders.

The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has a multilayered adult leader selection process that includes criminal background checks administered by a nationally recognized third party and other screening efforts.

STEP 1: Application

All adults who have been selected as potential leaders of youth by a chartered organization must provide references, past addresses, other community affiliations and affirm that they have had no criminal accusations made against them.

STEP 2: Youth Protection Training

No person can become a registered leader in Scouting without first completing the BSA’s Youth Protection Training, and all registered adult volunteers are required to complete the training every two years. The training is available online 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is regularly updated to include the latest strategies for recognizing, responding to and preventing abuse.

STEP 3: References

Every potential volunteer is asked to provide local references from within the community they seek to serve. Chartered organizations (civic groups, schools, etc.), which establish Scouting units and provide local insight and ongoing supervision, are responsible for reviewing each application and determining which potential volunteers to move forward to the next phase of the leader selection process.

STEP 4: Criminal Background Checks

The BSA requires criminal background checks for all Scouting leaders. The background checks are administered by a nationally recognized third party that also provides this service to many local, state and federal governments; educational institutions; and other nonprofits. 

STEP 5: Volunteer Screening Database Check

Before an applicant can join or volunteer with Scouting, the BSA verifies that he or she is not included in our database of individuals who have been prohibited from participation. The Volunteer Screening Database is in place to prevent the registration of individuals who do not meet the BSA’s standards due to known or suspected abuse or misconduct within or outside of the organization.


Taking Youth Protection Training is easy and takes about one hour to complete. Follow the instructions below for how to access Youth Protection Training in the Boy Scouts of America's Learn Center. 

  1. Log on to my.scouting.org or create an account if you don't have one already. 

  2. On the opening page of my.scouting.org, click on the Youth Protection logo for English or Spanish.

  3. Once inside the BSA Learn Center, you have access to hundreds of BSA training modules! Scroll down to find Youth Protection Training under programs, and click on Youth Protection Training

  4. Click on Mandatory - Youth Protection Training.

  5. Now, click on Enroll to add Youth Protection Training to your My Learning Center. 

  6. After clicking enroll, all 4 modules within Youth Protection Training now say "Start" to begin each module. 

  7. After watching each module, take the final quiz for the training. 

  8. You can also find each of these trainings that you add to your My Learning Center by clicking on My Learning Center at the top of the page. 


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Join more than 1,000 other adult volunteers from around the world at www.LEADScouting.org for Baden Powell Institute throughout the spring! BPI is a premiere training event providing courses that spark innovation, imagination, and inspiration. You’ll have immediate access to the entire course catalog of 30+ classes on an interactive virtual campus and receive a package in the mail! We’ve designed this program to meet your needs with all classes digitally delivered and on demand – tune in on your time, and get the training you need.

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