Lone Scout

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Lone Scout emblem worn on left sleeve, position 2 (in place of unit number).(SKU: 621122)
Lone Scout emblem worn on left sleeve, position 2 (in place of unit number).
(SKU: 621122)
Lone Scouting
Lone Cub Scout
Lone Boy Scout
Lone Scout neckerchief(SKU: 611209)
Lone Scout neckerchief
(SKU: 611209)

Lone Scouts is limited to Cub Scouting and Boy Scouting. Varsity Scouting,[Note 1] Venturing and Sea Scouts do not offer equivalent experiences.
Guide To Advancement § Lone Scouting.


There are many boys of Cub Scout and Boy Scout age who, because they live in isolated areas or because of disabilities, do not have the opportunity to be a member of a traditional Cub Scout pack or Boy Scout troop. These boys can apply to the local council service center to become a Lone Cub Scout or a Lone Boy Scout.

A Lone Scout works with a designated Lone Scout Friend and Counselor. This friend is responsible for the Scout’s learning, testing, and reviewing, and for awarding his badges.

Lone Scouts may meet monthly (or less frequently) with others in the area. These meetings may provide the opportunity to give additional instruction and counseling so that the boy has a better chance to advance. This also is an excellent time to award him his rank and recognize his achievements.

Lone Scouts are not registered with a Cub Scout pack or a Boy Scout troop, and must rely on their Lone Scout Friend and Counselor for leadership and guidance. They are not expected to meet the specific advancement requirements in the same way a member of a regular pack or troop does.

The Boy Scouts of America allows the Lone Scout Friend and Counselor to suggest alternative requirements. This is important, since the boy cannot meet all the advancement requirements because he is not in a unit.

All such alternative requirements should be equal to the replaced requirement. Alternative requirements must be approved by the local council advancement committee. Any unequal or dissimilar requirement should be allowed only in extreme circumstances, or when such like requirements could not be met without extreme hazard or hardship to the boy. See the Lone Scout Friend and Counselor Guidebook, No. 511-420 Adobe Acrobat PDF, for more details.

Lone Scouting

From Guide to Advancement, § Lone Scouting:

Boys who do not have access to traditional Scouting units can become Lone Cub Scouts and Lone Boy Scouts. In the following or similar circumstances, they may find this an appropriate option:

  1. Home-schooled where parents do not want them in a youth group
  2. U.S. citizens living abroad
  3. Exchange students away from the United States
  4. Disability or communicable illness that prevents meeting attendance
  5. Rural communities far from a unit
  6. Conflicts with a job, night school, or boarding school
  7. Families who frequently travel or live on a boat, etc.
  8. Living arrangements with parents in different communities
  9. Environments where getting to meetings may put the Scout in danger

Each Lone Cub Scout or Lone Boy Scout must work with a Lone Scout friend and counselor—preferably his parent, but the counselor might also be a religious leader, teacher, neighbor, or Scouting volunteer. Regardless, even if a parent, he or she must complete Youth Protection training, be at least 21 years of age, registered with the Boy Scouts of America, and meet its adult membership requirements. More details can be found in the Lone Scout Friend and Counselor Guidebook, No. 511-420 Adobe Acrobat PDF, an essential tool in carrying out this program.

Lone Scout Topics Covered in Guide to Advancement:

Section Lone Scouting Lone Scout Advancement Procedures Lone Scouts and Merit Badges Eagle Scout Applications for Lone Scouts


  1. Editor's note: effective December 31, 2017, the Boy Scouts of America ended the Varsity Scouting program.

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