Boys' Life

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Norman Rockwell's first Boys' Life cover, 1913
Norman Rockwell's first Boys' Life cover, 1913

Boys' Life is the monthly magazine of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). Its targeted readership is young American males between the ages of 6 and 18. Boys' Life is published in three editions. The low edition is for Tiger Cubs and Cub Scouts through age eight; the middle edition is for Cub Scouts and Webelos Scouts above age nine; the high edition is for Boy Scouts and all other subscribers.[1] If the subscription is obtained through registration in the Boy Scouts of America program, the publisher will select the appropriate edition based on the boy's age.

In June, 2007, Boys' Life garnered four Distinguished Achievement Awards conferred by the Association of Educational Publishers (AEP), including Periodical of the Year.[2]


In 1911, George S. Barton founded, edited, and published the first edition of Boys' Life magazine. He called it Boys' and Boy Scouts' Magazine. At that time there were three major competing Scouting organizations: the American Boy Scouts, New England Boy Scouts, and Boy Scouts of America (BSA).

The first issue of Barton's Boys' Life was published on January 1, 1911. 5000 copies were printed of that first issue. Very few of those copies actually reached the public. The widely accepted first edition was published on March 1, 1911. With this issue, the magazine was expanded from eight to 48 pages, the page size was reduced, and a two-color cover was added. In 1912, the Boy Scouts of America purchased the magazine, making it an official BSA magazine.

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