One of the perks for joining our Boy Scout troop was a year's subscription to Boy's Life. Of course since my son has been a scout for six years, it seems like we have always had a few dozen copies of this magazine laying around the house.
My son loves reading his new magazine each month. They are filled with great information, games and jokes, safety tips, and true stories of boys his own age battling life in one way or another.
I know this may be a strange thing to like about the magazine, but I would have to include the advertisements. There are ads for candy, shoes, clothing, cereal, kid related websites, and the Air Force.
There are also projects they can do toward merit badges, and in the August 2000 issue there was a section on Jewish Religious Emblems that scouts can earn. These change every month, and the kids get to learn about emblems and badges they may not be able to earn, but their friends might.
I like the "Scouts in Action" comic. They take a true story of a scout and turn them into a comic. For young scouts just learning to read more, the comic adds to their desire to learn, the pictures help demonstrate what happened in the story, and just think what it does for the featured scout. Bet they think it's pretty cool too.
And if you scout loves camping and treking all over the earth, there are sections in Boy's Life that tell about adventures in some of those great places.
One last thing that my son really likes is the features on the professional sports players or other respected members of the community. They tell how they worked hard to get where they are. An inspiration to any young boy.
I will admit, I really like this magazine. It gets my son to read. He learns new things with each month. And it helps him put his scouting experiences into a real world perspective.
Oh, and by the way, both of my girls love to read it too.
Boys' Life is the one magazine that everyone in my house reads - even my 9 year old daughter. It is the unofficial Boy Scout magazine but there are features for everyone in a family that enjoys the outdoors. We have even started cataloging them in the computer because we found ourselves flipping through stacks of them before a camping trip to decide on some activities to plan at camp.
Boys' Life has several features in every issue:
Hitchin Rack- Hitchin Rack is a question and answer section where kids can send in questions to Pedro the Mailburro.
Think & Grin- Think & Grin is a section of jokes, riddles and brain twisters that kids send in.
Outdoor Adventure- In every issue there is a story and pictures from an outdoor adventure. Some past adventures are reef diving, sea camp (on a submarine) and a trip to McMurdo Station in Antarctica.
Fictional Story- Each issue has a fictional story that has an outdoor theme. This months story is titled The Midnight Man and is about two boys who are brave enough to camp in the woods where an 8 foot monster lurks.
Sports- Every month there is a different story about an athlete that deserves to be a role model. I am particularly grateful for this section because these usually aren't the players that are in the news or on tv all the time. They are the ones who should be looked up to not only for their talent but also for their acts as community leaders. Since my kids all enjoy sports, I'm happy that they get to hear about players that I would actually like them to aspire to.
Codemaster- This page is dedicated to secret codes. Each month there is a new code to try out with friends and families. We have lots of fun leaving each other secret messages all over the house. We have also adapted these to use on camping trips as a treasure hunt of sorts. We pair up a child and an adult and each pair is given a hint in the code to go somewhere. When they get there they will find another clue written in the code, etc. The pair that finds the treasure first, wins it. The treasure is usually something that can be used on the trip, like an exceptionally cool water bottle.
Outdoor Tips or Activity- This includes either an activity you can do on an outdoor trip or tips for a specific kind of trip and it is correlated to the time of year. This month's activity was making snowshoes. We made these planning to use them on our next ski trip but got lucky and it actually snowed a decent amount here a few weeks ago and we were able to try them out. They actually worked great! Past things in this section include making trail mix, fishing tips and survival techniques if you get lost.
Comics- Five to ten pages of each issue are dedicated to a variety of comics. There is always a Pedro page but the others really vary. Last July there was one about the founding fathers and at Christmas there was one about Scrooge.
Gear Advice- Each issue picks a piece of gear and gives advice about it. They cover things that range from price to which type should be used in a certain situation. I like this section because it is from the angle of buying gear for kids or trips that involve kids. Most outdoor magazines don't offer much about use by children in their gear reviews so this is a great feature for parents.
Each issue also has unique things ranging from crafts to history to game reviews to homework advice to cool websites. As an example - this month's issue has a story about how the slaves using the Underground Railroad used songs, stars and other secret ways to guide each other to freedom, a short biography about Satchel Paige, a large section on cold weather camping, how to be a ventriloquist and a review of the NeoGear pocket game system.
I highly recommend Boys' Life to any family who spends time in the outdoors, even if you don't have any scouts in the home. If you have a Boy Scout this magazine is a must since it tends to go along with many of the principles taught in the BSA program. If you have a scout and your troop doesn't offer Boys' Life, talk to your Scout/Cub Master or Committee Chairperson because the troop/pack can get a discount on subscriptions.
The Boys' Life magazine had been around longer that I have. It's great reading for any boy no matter how old. I'm 50 and I still read it. I'm a Scout Leader and have been one for almost 30 years. Every Scout in our Troop gets Boys' Life and so does every leader. We should read the same information as the boys read so we're consistent in what we say and what they read.
The magazine is filled with useful and fun information. There are stories about other Scouts, hints on crafts, stamp collecting, model building, cooking, hiking, map and compass, and much much more. These articles do lean to the Boy Scout but they can be of informative nature to anyone who loves crafts, or the outdoors experience. There is also a page dedicated to Scouts in Action. These are tru stories about scouts saving lives. There are also Bible stories. (Remember a Scout is reverent)
There are plenty of jokes and cartoons. There's Pee Wee Harris, The Wacky Adventures of Pedro, and of course there's the Think & Grin pages in each issue (cute jokes).
In line with the 90's there are articles of Cyber Cops, the Internet, Computers, Sports Stars, Animals, etc.... Each issue has something different for everyone, you never know what's you're getting when you open an copy.
Boys' Life is just full of useful information written so anyone 5 years older can get something from it in an enjoyable way. If you don't want to subscribe go to your local library and borrow a copy.
Boy's Life Magazine is the best out there for boys, (and girls, too). It offers good, clean entertainment, along with informative articles about everything from aviation to skateboarding. And you never have to worry what they are reading in Boy's Life. They instill good values in both their fiction and nonfiction. They also include, in every issue, the story of a "Famous Scout." Children love to read about people who started out just like them and went on to do great things in life. If your boys don't want to be, or can't be, in the Boy Scouts, this is the next best thing.
This magazine is a great one. My son (age 7) looks for it in the mailbox and when it arrives he reads it cover to cover. He particularly likes the section about scouts saving their leaders or scouts helping scouts. It is an interesting book. It has badges you can earn at times and hints and helps and advice for a variety of scouting type activities and events.
Well worth the money.
I was surprised at the low reveiws for this magazine and had to write to say that my three boys (ages 10 to 14) fight over who is going to read it first when an issue arrives. We've not subscribed to any other magazine that my boys are as enthusiastic about.
Well, I can tell you something. First of all, a little background information. I myself am an Eagle Scout; so, every year of my boy scout life I got a monthly subscription to this magazine. Now being a boy scout, one would think I myself would enjoy it the most. The truth couldn't be farther. I found myself getting them in the mail, and throwing them in a pile in the back of my room. Inside there are sometimes neat stories of sports heroes etc., if that is your sort of thing. Personally, I am not one for big articles in magazines unless they are some sort of fortelling or news. I myself was never one to enjoy articles that were short stories, but if you are then you may like the magazine. It does have an outdoors feeling to it, which I do enjoy, but does not give me reason to buy it other then the fact that I am a boy scout, or was I should say. Bottom line is this, if I wasn't a boy scout I wouldn't ever buy this magazine. The main reason I got it was because it came with membership in the BSA and my troop paid for it. If you like short stories about the wilderness, however, you may actually like this magazine. For me, I have found better uses for starting fires...although it does give off a strange green flame, that can't be good.
My son is a Boy Scout and really enjoys this magazine. Jokes and puzzles are probably more appropriate for Cub age than the big boys but my son still thinks they are funny. A lot like the scout skits.
Not sure I would pay the money to subscribe on my own - he gets it from his scout troop. It is a healthy, wholesome magazine though and there are VERY few of those out there for boys this age.
I haven't touched this magazine in over a decade. I used to read it every time I got an issue in my parents' mailbox. Of course, by read, I mean I would skip through the articles that taught me nothing and head over to the comics. Dink and Duff were my favorite, although not laugh-out-loud funny. I recently skimmed through Webelos Woody, The Tracy Twins, Peewee Harris, and the sometimes hilarious Pedro. When I was even younger, I used to spend a *lot* of time perusing the junk pages, where you could order 8 pranks for the price of a dollar or something.
Now, as an alternative, I highly recommend going through the Boy Scout Handbooks with your kids. The Cub Scout handbooks are just as interesting as the Boy Scout ones, and they actually teach you about health, staying fit, learning knots, Fire safety, backpacking/camping tips, etc.
I don't know how the modern Boys' Life compares to the old issues, but it seems like it's fallen for the same virus as every other magazine I've stopped ordering: advertisements.
I was really disappointed with this magazine because it is so full of advertisements and blatant "product placement." It seems to promote "pop culture" and related attitudes rather than truly exploring nature and values. Sadly, aside from Boys Quest (which is too young for my son), I haven't found another magazine aimed at the 10-14 year-old boy. For those who have really open-minded, secure boys, or progressive girls, I recommend New Moon Magazine -- it's an outstanding ad-free pub.