Boy Scout leaders will start a recruiting drive next week aimed at first- and second-graders, who are now eligible to join as a result of the organization's first change in age limits in 36 years.
Orange County will be one of 12 areas in the nation to join in this year's test of the new age limit, which allows any second-grade student to join the Cub Scout program, spokesman George Trosko said at a press conference Thursday. Cubs are a junior version of the Boy Scouts and membership had been limited to 8-year-olds.
The changes also allow first-graders to join a Tiger Cubs program, the first rung in the scouting ladder.
Representatives will begin evening meetings at area schools next week to sign up interested youths, Trosko said. The requirements for Boy Scouts, a minimum age of 11 and completion of the fifth grade, will remain the same.
The last time the organization changed its age rules was in 1949 when the minimum age for Boy Scouts was lowered from 12 to 11.. After Cubs, boys move on to Bear Cubs by the third grade and then to the Webelos Scouts in the fourth and fifth grades.