Boys' Life

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It has been suggested that this article be merged with Boys' Life Magazine.

Boys' Life is a general-interest magazine published monthly in three demographic editions for boys from first grade through high school. Boys' Life is the flagship youth publication of the Boy Scouts of America—many stories and articles in Boys' Life reflect the program themes of Cub Scouting and program features of Boy Scouting.

Norman Rockwell's first Boys' Life cover, 1913
Norman Rockwell's first Boys' Life cover, 1913



The mission of Boys' Life is to entertain and educate America's youth and to open their eyes to the joyous world of reading. This is accomplished through a proven mix of news, nature, sports, history, fiction, science, comics, and Scouting.


Boys' Life magazine reaches 1.1 million Scout subscribers and 200,000 non-Scout subscribers. Pass-along readership means that over 6 million people read Boys' Life each month.

Demographic editions

Boys' Life publishes three demographic editions to meet the reading-level needs of subscribers from first grade through high school. The covers are the same, but each edition has its own 16 to 20 age-specific pages.

  • Ages 6 Through 8 - This edition goes to all Tiger Cubs and Cub Scout subscribers through age 8.
  • Ages 9 and 10 - This edition goes to all Cub Scouts and Webelos Scouts 9 and older and to all Cub Scout leaders who subscribe.
  • Ages 11 and Up - This edition goes to all Boy Scout-age subscribers and to all other Boys' Life subscribers.


In 1911, George S. Barton founded, edited, and published the first edition of Boys' Life magazine. He called it Boys' and Boy Scouts' Magazine. At that time there were three major competing Scouting organizations: the American Boy Scouts, New England Boy Scouts, and Boy Scouts of America (BSA).

The first issue of Barton's Boys' Life was published on January 1, 1911. 5000 copies were printed of that first issue. Very few of those copies actually reached the public. The widely accepted first edition was published on March 1, 1911. With this issue, the magazine was expanded from eight to 48 pages, the page size was reduced, and a two-color cover was added. In 1912, the Boy Scouts of America purchased the magazine, making it an official BSA magazine. Boys' Life circulation has grown from 6,000 in 1912 to 1.3 million today.

In September 1995, Boys' Life began publication of a "demographic" edition for Cub Scout-age subscribers. In September 1999, Boys' Life began a third demographic edition--this one for Tiger Cubs--by adding an eight-page poster pullout insert to the Cub Scout demographic.

How to Subscribe

Scouts should see their Scout leader or call their BSA local council (find "Boy Scouts of America" in the white pages of the telephone book). Persons not members of the Boy Scouts of America should call 972-580-2088. Subscription cost is $24 per year ($12 per year for BSA members).

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