Varsity Scouting is a program for young men who are at least 14 years of age but not yet 18. It provides options for young men who are looking for rugged high adventure or challenging sporting activities and still want to be a part of a Scouting program that offers the advancement opportunities and values of the Boy Scouts of America.
Varsity Scouts are members of a Varsity Scout team chartered to a community organization, such as a church or service club. It is led by a youth Varsity Scout team captain and an adult leader called a Varsity team coach. The coach is supported by an adult committee, made up of parents and members of the chartered organization. It is a stand-alone unit, chartered independently of a Scout troop, but the chartering procedure is essentially the same.
The team may be divided into squads, and each squad elects a youth squad leader.
Varsity Scouting has five fields of emphasis. A youth member, called a program manager, is responsible for each of the five fields of emphasis and works with an adult member called a program adviser from the team committee to coordinate each phase of the program. The five fields of emphasis are:
Advancement. Varsity Scouts use the same advancement program as Boy Scouts. They can also receive the recognitions offered through such programs as the Fifty-Miler Award; Mile Swim, BSA; etc.
High Adventure/Sports. This program field of emphasis includes high adventure and sports and is supported by 27 program features.
Personal Development. Varsity Scouting promotes growth through spirituality, leadership abilities, citizenship, social and cultural attributes, and physical fitness.
Service. The emphasis is on service, with the intent that it become integral to one’s daily experience. Projects are conceived, planned, managed, and carried out by individual Varsity Scouts and/or the Varsity Scout team.
Special Programs and Events. Varsity Scouts take an active part in special programs and events at district, council, regional, and national levels.
Varsity Scout Letter
The Varsity letter may be earned by youth and adult members. The youth requirements are:
- Be a registered Varsity Scout team member.
- While a team member, actively participate in or accomplish at least one high-adventure program or sports program to the satisfaction of your Varsity Scout coach.
- Have an attendance record at team meetings and practice sessions of at least 75 percent for three consecutive months.
- Satisfy the Varsity Scout coach that you know and live by the Scout Oath and Law.
At the completion of each sports season or ultimate adventure, each participating Varsity Scout will receive a medallion to wear on the letter.
The Denali Award is available only to a Varsity Scout team’s youth members who have already earned the Varsity Scout letter. Denali is the name American Indians gave Mount McKinley, in central Alaska. The requirements for the award are:
- Be a registered Varsity Scout team member.
- Advance one rank toward Eagle. If you are already an Eagle Scout, earn a Palm.
- Hold leadership positions in a Varsity Scout team for at least six months.
- a) While serving as team captain or a program manager, act as primary leader on at least two activities. Program managers should choose activities in their field of emphasis. Team captains may be primary leaders of activities in any of the five fields of emphasis.
b) While serving as a program manager or team captain, demonstrate shared leadership skills by participating in supportive roles in activities in each of the three remaining fields of emphasis.
- Satisfy the team captain that you know and live by the Varsity Scout Pledge.
- Complete a progress review.
The traditional Boy Scout uniform with a “Varsity” identification strip above the right pocket and with blaze orange shoulder loops is worn for formal occasions. Many teams design their own T-shirt for outdoor activities.
Varsity Scouts will use the Scout Oath.
Program Features. Three volumes of program features support the high-adventure/sports program field of emphasis.
Each program feature contains resource materials that will prepare a team for an ultimate adventure or sports season. The high-adventure areas are backpacking, canoe camping, caving, cycling, discover America, fishing, freestyle biking, frontiersman, mechanics, orienteering, rock climbing and rappelling, snow camping, survival, and whitewater canoeing. Each feature contains approximately three months of program.
The sports program features contain basic rules, techniques, and strategies for basketball, bowling, cross-country skiing, roller hockey, shooting sports, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, triathlon, volleyball, and waterskiing.
Varsity Scout Guidebook. The Varsity Scout Guidebook is used by adult leaders and youth in Varsity Scouting.
Boy Scout Handbook. The Boy Scout Handbook contains information devoted to Varsity Scouts and supporting the Varsity Scout program.
Troop/Team Record Book. The Troop/Team Record Book is used to record member information, rank advancement, and financial record keeping.
Varsity Scout Leader Fast Start. The Varsity Scout Leader Fast Start video supports the orientation of new Varsity Scout leaders.
Varsity Scout Leader Fundamentals. This is a three-part training program for training adult Varsity Scout leaders.