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What is a Scout “Unit”?

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What is a Scout unit? Learn about that plus the way the Boy Scouts of America is organized from the National Council down to your local group.

cub scout pack unit

Scouting, like most activities, has its own jargon.  Until you learn the “talk,” you're probably going to feel overwhelmed.

As a new Cub Scout parent, the thing that confused me the most at first was when I was asked for my Scout unit number. I knew we were members of a den and that our den was part of a pack, but a “unit”?

What is a Scout Unit?

A unit is simply a generic term used in Scouting to describe an organized group of Scouts. For Cub Scouts, a pack is the unit. For Boy Scouts, the troop is the unit. For Venturing, it’s a crew.

Your den (and the other dens in your area) will be part of a pack and will have a pack number. That pack number is your Scout unit number.

At first, I had to look at my son's uniform shirt to remember what our pack number was!  The pack number is worn on the left sleeve below the council patch.  In this picture, the unit number would be 297.

cub scout unit number on uniform

So, when I call my council office, they’ll ask for my unit number rather than my pack number because I may not have told them I’m calling about Cub Scouts.

This makes it so much easier than asking for your “pack, troop or crew number”.  Just remember, all they want is your pack number!

Read on to learn more about how the Boy Scouts of America is organized.

How is Scouting Organized?

Units are just the first tier in the Boy Scouts of America's organizational structure. All units in a set geographical area are part of a district.

Scouting districts all belong to a Boy Scout council. BSA has approximately 270 councils.

Councils that are geographically close are organized into areas. The number of councils per area varies.

Areas are grouped into one of four regions across the country. Those regions are all part of the National Council which is headquartered in Texas.

I'll use my pack as an example. We're in Pack 297 which is part of the Natchez Trace district.

We're part of the Middle Tennessee Council which is one of ten councils in the Southern Region's Area VI. There are a total of nine areas in our region.

If you're new to Scouting, that's all a bit overwhelming, I know. But hopefully, it helps you understand how the Boy Scouts of America is organized.

Yours in Scouting,

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