Boys' Life (soon to be Scout Life) magazine is a great resource for Cub Scouts. Find out the top 10 reasons why every child should have a Boys' Life subscription.
Does your child have a subscription to Boys' Life magazine? First published in 1911, it's the youth publication of the Boy Scouts of America. Each issue is full of entertainment for our kids.
I think every Cub Scout should have his or her own copy of the magazine. Read on to discover the top 10 reasons why.
Note: Boys' Life will be changing its name to Scout Life. I'm not sure when that will happen, but
Top 10 Reasons to Subscribe to Boys' Life Magazine
1. Encourages Reading
The number one reason that your Cub Scout needs a subscription to Boys' Life magazine is that it encourages kids to read for fun! Since a lot of the articles in Boys' Life are nonfiction, this is a great way to introduce young readers to that genre.
Reading Rockets had this to say about the benefit of kids reading magazines.
“High interest, nonfiction articles found in magazines are great resources for teaching text and
graphicfeatures. These features include captions, headings, bolded words, content vocabulary, sidebars, charts, and graphs. Visual aids help students connect with text and make topics come to life.”
The comic strips like Tales from the Campfire and Pee Wee Harris and the How To step-by-step instructions for building a bat house or solving a Rubik's Cube are two examples of content that's presented in a different way that simple text.
2. Use Jokes at Pack Meetings
The Think & Grin section of every Boys' Life issue is full of reader-submitted jokes. A Cubmaster I met encourages his Cub Scouts to only tell Boys' Life jokes at their pack meetings.
He said that if it's a Boys' Life joke, he can be assured that it's appropriate. Given how many inappropriate jokes there are, this is a good practice to have.
Speaking in public is one of the greatest fears that many people have. Your Cub Scout can start to overcome that fear by sharing jokes in front of their fellow Scouts.
3. Their Own “Snail” Mail
Getting something in the mail is pretty cool! I know I love getting mail–at least the non-bill kind of mail. ?
Seeing their own name on the mailing label of Boys' Life gives our Scouts a sense of ownership. Because it's theirs, they're more likely to read it without our prompting them to do so.
4. Gets Kids off of Electronics
Boys' Life will get your kids off of their electronics for a while. There's something about flipping through the pages of a physical magazine that can be mesmerizing. If you're like us, we don't buy many magazines anymore, so having one is almost a novelty for many kids.
5. Variety of Topics
Regardless of what your kid is into these days, Boys' Life will have something for them. I flipped through the last few issues of the magazine and found articles about everything from roller coasters to the grossest birds to the Harry Potter Broadway play.
Some other topics that I saw were:
- Nature's rarest events
- 2018 cars
- Interview with a Navy SEAL
- Next-level camping
- Animal myths debunked
- Weird weather
- Most impressive manmade holes
- Facts about bones
- Explorers volunteering at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, the world's largest annual gathering of aviation enthusiasts
Your Scouts are sure to find a topic that resonates with their interests.
6. Readers Contributions
Boys' Life readers contribute to the magazine. With their parents' permission and an up-to-date Cyber Chip, Scouts can go to the Boys' Life website and respond to polls about topics such as the best Star Wars character, the coolest national park, and their favorite Marvel Hero. Results are published in the Reader Favorites section of the magazine.
Here are the Cyber Chip requirements.
Almost all of the jokes in the Think & Grin section are reader-submitted via postcard or electronically. If your Scout's joke is published, they will receive an Official Boys' Life Contributor patch which is a temporary patch. More importantly, they can see their first name and city in print!
If their joke is Pedro's Pick for the month, they'll receive $10.
Scouts can even a submit a Funny Photo Caption. Boys' Life publishes a funny photo online and invites Scouts to submit their caption. You can read the captions online, and a select few of those are published in each issue of the magazine.
7. Gear Guy Recommendations
The Gear Guy makes recommendations each month to help Scout families pick the right equipment for their needs. In the last few Boys' Life issues, he's covered backpacking tents, trail food, and hiking boots and shoes.
You can also ask him questions like how big should a handmade hiking stick be or what's the best way to store camp kitchen gear.
8. Pedro the Mailburro
Pedro the Mailburro is the Boys' Life magazine mascot. He has “worked” at Boys' Life since 1947! Scouts love reading “The Wacky Adventures of Pedro” every month.
They can write to him with questions, and he responds in the Hitchin' Rack section.
Both of my sons told me that Pedro is one of their favorite parts of Boys' Life.
9. Game Section
The Boys' Life Game Section highlights video games and apps that Scouts may want to try out. You might find an announcement about a new game, a fun fact, or a “Gamer Glossary” definition.
10. Free Digital Version
I love that the app also has games. The kids can play Pedro’s Nitro Derby or the Philmont Mini-Bear Dash. These are perfect for riding in the car or waiting at their sibling's sports practice.
I realize that this benefit of subscribing to Boys' Life magazine conflicts with getting our kids off electronics, but we can take advantage of both!
Some of your packs may include a subscription to Boys' Life as part of your pack dues. But if your Cub Scout doesn't have one, head on over and
Or let Nana or Aunt Lisa know that a Boys' Life subscription makes an awesome gift!
I would love to hear what your Cub Scout's favorite part of Boys' Life is! Leave a comment, and let me know.
P.S. Don't forget to sign up below for more great Cub Scout information!