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Boy Scouts of America Merits in Drone Flying Training

The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) is one of the largest scouting and youth development organizations in the United States.  Keeping pace with 21st century Unmanned Aircraft Systems and the ease of accessibility of drones by novices, BSA is adding drone flying to its programs and activities. 

Eagle Scout Bryan Wendell said, “Flying drones is a fun way Scouts can start learning about robotics, science, technology and engineering.  Many camps already offer drone-flying programs.”

BSA offers its 1.2 million members opportunities to earn merit badges, including an aviation merit badge.  A Scout can become a drone pilot once she/he passes the Federal Aviation Administration’s TRUST exam.  BSA is an FAA-approved test administrator of the TRUST exam (Test Administrator of the Recreational UAS Safety Test).  TRUST is a collaboration between the FAA and industry to provide TRUST and educational safety material to recreational flyers. 

BSA leaders have a wide range of safety training and mentoring tools available to them, including:

  1. A list of drone or UAS safety rules; https://www.scouting.org/health-and-safety/alerts/drone-safety/
  2. The “Sweet 16 of BSA Safety” that applies to all Scout activities; https://www.scouting.org/health-and-safety/gss/sweet16/
  3. The National Camp Accreditation Program-Standards (NCAP), which promotes the health, safety, and well-being of every camper, leader, visitor, and staff member while participating in a BSA-accredited camp;
  4. Specific safety guidelines in the “Boy Scouts Guide to Safe Scouting.” https://www.scouting.org/health-and-safety/gss/