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Top 10 Reasons to Subscribe to Scout Life Magazine

Formerly known as Boys' Life magazine, Scout Life magazine is a great resource for Cub Scouts. Find out the top 10 reasons why every child should have a Scout Life subscription.

Does your child have a subscription to Scout Life magazine? First published in 1911, it's the official magazine of the Boy Scouts of America. Each issue is full of entertainment for our kids.

Note: If you're an adult, be sure you download the Scouting Magazine app, the official publication of the Boy Scouts of America for adults!

I think every Cub Scout should have his or her own copy of the magazine. Read on to discover the top 10 reasons why.

reasons for scout life magazine subscription

Top 10 Reasons to Subscribe to Scout Life Magazine (formerly Boys' Life magazine)

  1. Encourages Reading
  2. Use Jokes at Pack Meetings
  3. Their Own “Snail” Mail
  4. Gets Kids off of Electronics
  5. Variety of Topics
  6. Readers Contributions
  7. Gear Guy Recommendations
  8. Pedro the Mailburro
  9. Scouts in Action
  10. Free Digital Version of Scout Life Magazine

1. Encourages Reading

The number one reason that your Cub Scout needs a subscription to Scout Life magazine is that it encourages kids to read for fun!

Since a lot of the articles in Scout 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 graphic features. 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.” 

boy reading boys' life magazine
Love this old picture of my son reading!

The comic strips like Tales from the Campfire and Pee Wee Harris and the How To step-by-step instructions for building a summertime sprinkler system or making soap carvings are two examples of content that's presented in a different way than simple text.

And those How Tos are such fun activities for the kiddos to do!  

2. Use Jokes at Pack Meetings

The Think & Grin section of every Scout Life issue is full of reader-submitted jokes. A Cubmaster unit leader I met encourages his Cub Scouts to only tell Scout Life jokes at their pack meetings.

He said that if it's a Boys' Life joke (now Scout 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.

scout life magazines

Seeing their own name on the mailing label of Scout 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

Scout 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.

Your kids will probably discover some fun outdoor adventures they can do, so Scout Life can get them outside too!

5. Variety of Topics

Regardless of what your kid is into these days, Scout Life will have something for them. I flipped through the last few issues of the magazine and found articles about everything from composting to animals with unusual eye pupils to how New Year's is celebrated around the world.

scout life magazine

 Some other topics that I saw were: 

  • Thunder
  • How Animals Use Mucus
  • Do It Yourself Fitness Equipment
  • How to Avoid Bugs
  • How to Make an Origami Star Wars X-Wing Starfighter
  • Great Hiawassee River Raft Race
  • Rainbows
  • Soap Carving
  • Black History Month
  • Snakes

Your Scouts are sure to find a topic that resonates with their interests.

6. Readers' Contributions

Scout Life readers contribute to the magazine. Tell them about an adventure you've had, things you collect, or tips and tricks about your hobbies, and if it's published, you'll receive an Official Scout Life Contributor patch which is a temporary patch.

scout life contributor patch
Official BSA Scout Life Contributor Patch

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 the contributor patch too. 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. Scout Life publishes a funny photo online and invites Scouts to submit their funny caption. You can read the captions online, and a select few of those are published in each issue of the magazine.

Because Cub Scouts are under the age of 13, they will need to submit their contributions via mail.

7. Gear Guy Recommendations

The Gear Guy makes recommendations each month to help Scout families pick the right equipment for their needs. In the past, he's covered the best quality multitools, 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 Scout Life magazine mascot. He has “worked” at Scout 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 Scout Life.

9. Scouts in Action

The Scout Life Scouts in Action section tells true stories of acts of heroism by Scouts. It shows the kids that they can use the safety and first aid skills they learn in Scouts to literally save lives.

bear scout act of heroism

You'll read about Scouts who have helped in situations such as these:

  • People who are choking
  • People who have fallen overboard from a boat
  • People in burning houses
  • People who are drowning

10. Free Digital Version of Scout Life Magazine

When your child has a subscription to Scout Life magazine, they get the digital version free through the Scout Life app. It's available for both iOS and Android.

This is great for those times when you're stuck waiting for an appointment and need to keep the kiddos occupied. Let them read their Cub Scout magazine!

I realize that this benefit of subscribing to Scout Life magazine conflicts with getting our kids off electronics, but we can take advantage of both! Just head over to your device's app store to download it.

Some of your packs may include a subscription to Scout Life as part of your pack dues. But if your Cub Scout doesn't have one, head on over and subscribe today! Make Scout Life part of your Scout's life.

Or let Nana or your favorite Aunt know that a Scout Life subscription makes an awesome gift!

I would love to hear what your Cub Scout's favorite part of Scout Life is! Leave a comment, and let me know. 

Make Scout Life part of your Scout's life.


Saturday 13th of January 2024


Chris Kuehl

Sunday 22nd of August 2021

I used my sons scouts life magazine to get ideas for my pack. Can I subscribe to the magazine as a leader.

Chris Kuehl

Sunday 22nd of August 2021

My son graduated this year and is taking a year off. Can I as a assistant cubmaster subscribe for ideas with the pack?


Saturday 13th of January 2024


Sherry Smothermon-Short

Monday 23rd of August 2021

Yes, you can! :)

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