Do you have a special Scout in your life? If so, you’re in the right place to find them the perfect gift for any special occasion! Picking out gifts for BSA Scouts (Boy Scouts) might seem challenging, but not to worry. Through our years of Scouting experience, we’ve put together a complete list of amazing gift ideas for any Scout!
What do you gift a new Scout? Consider gifts that are practical and useful, like a multi-tool or hammock, or ones that encourage creativity and learning, like cameras or guidebooks. Additionally, snacks, gadgets, or better gear can be great gift ideas for Scouts of all ages. With a little thought and creativity, you can find a gift that your favorite Scout will cherish for years to come!
PS. This article is a guest post collaboration between Scouting volunteer Lydia and Cole 🙂
In this article, we’ll be covering some unique gift ideas that every Scout would happily use. From budget-friendly items to more expensive ones, we’ve got every price point covered. So, get ready to learn what Scouting gifts are certain to create an even better experience for any Scout!
Budget Scout Gifts (Under $25)
The yummy, novel camp-food options for Scouts are endless! Why not gift your Scout a unique snack that they can share with some of their troop buddies during their next campout? Or an assortment of snacks! Below are my all-time favorite Scouting snack types…
Snacks & Trail Food: Trail snacks – the fuel of Scouts everywhere! Let’s face it, out of all the great trail food options there’s nothing like a handful of granola, trail mix, jerky, or freeze-dried fruit to keep a Scout fueled up and ready to go. Simple sugars, like those in candy and desserts, only give pseudo energy for a moment – and the sugar crash is never worth it. Healthy, nutrient-filled, protein-packed snacks are the best for a hungry, tired Scout.
Plus, adding some toppings like bacon bits or hot sauce can make a simple dish like ramen noodles or instant mashed potatoes taste like a gourmet meal in the great outdoors! Below are the Amazon links to great and budget-friendly snack and snack-enhancing options I’ve found:
Entrees: Don’t forget to get some MREs (Meals-Ready-To-Eat)! They’re field-ready meals packed full of nutrients and Scouts can eat them as-is, or warm up just by adding water. MREs have tons of variety to choose from, making them a perfect addition to every Scout’s backpack.
MREs can be found at your local REI, or on Amazon although there they’ll be a bit more expensive. The best part of MREs is that there’s a huge variety of options to pick from. So, if you notice a cool MRE type you haven’t heard of before, that might make a perfect gift for the special Scout in your life!
Desserts: Don’t forget the most important part – DESSERT! Freeze-Dried astronaut ice cream is a personal favorite and is certain to send your Scout to the moon, or at least their taste buds. And if you’re feeling extra, why not give your Scout some cheesecake – yep, you read that right. Shelf-stable cheesecake is also a fun, tasty way to satisfy a Scout’s sweet tooth! 😀
A paracord bracelet is a stylish accessory that can also be extremely useful in emergencies. Every Scout should have one! Not only is it a cool accessory that can be worn all the time, but it’s also an essential tool for any outdoor adventure.
Scouts know that being prepared is key, and having a durable and versatile cord on hand can make all the difference in an emergency situation. With modern paracord bracelets like this one, Scouts can even navigate, start fires, whistle for help, and use their length of rope in an emergency!
WATER FILTER STRAWS
Water filter straw kits are another gear item that most Scouts would love to be gifted! Able to purify water from most natural sources, there are tons of personal, portable water filtration systems available. Even having this item as an emergency backup will make any Scout more prepared and confident in their survival skills!
Headlamps are an extremely useful tool for camping, hiking, or even just reading at night. With a great adjustable headlamp, your Scout can light up their path and keep their hands free for whatever adventure comes their way! So don’t let the dark stop your Scout from exploring – give them a reliable headlamp so that they can be safe and have fun on nighttime campouts!
Books can be a great gift for Scouts, offering both entertainment and education. For nature lovers, a field guide to birds or plants can help them identify species. Or for the culinary-inclined, a cookbook filled with campfire recipes can inspire some tasty outdoor meals. Below are my favorite books I’d recommend for Scouts:
- My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George (Fiction/Outdoor Adventure)
- Easy Campfire Cooking: 200+ Recipes by Peg Couch (Cooking)
- Think Like a Warrior by Darrin Donnelly (Mindset/Sports)
- How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie (Leadership)
- The 7 Secrets For Scouting Success (An eBook providing tips + lessons on my Journey to Eagle)
With a good book in hand, a Scout can learn new skills, connect with nature, and explore the world around them. So, consider getting your Scout an awesome book to read on their next campout. It might even inspire them to soar to greater heights in their troop!
BSA Scout Gifts From $25 – $75
PILLOW/BLANKET SLEEPING BAG UPGRADE
This fuzzy blanket that can be folded into a pillow might the perfect gift for most Scouts camping in chillier climates. In colder months, the Scout can use the blanket as a liner to add warmth and comfort to their sleeping bag, and in warmer months they can use it as a pillow.
A camp blanket/pillow is a super unique gift that most Scouts likely don’t already have. Plus, they can use it for normal travel too! Since this item is easily washable and pretty compact, it’ll make the perfect accompaniment to any camp outing, and be a great gift for any Scout or Scoutmaster!
Binoculars are the perfect way to magnify any Scouting experience! 😛 This pair is durable, waterproof, low-light adapted, and perfect for birdwatching, stargazing, and Scouting out an area.
Seeing the world through the magnified lens of binoculars provides a unique and exciting way to experience nature, and can be a great activity to pass the time during a camping trip. Definitely consider gifting a pair, as they’d make a memorable and uncommon gift for any Scout!
A multi-tool is one of the most important tools for Scouting. When I was a Scout, multi-tools far outclassed pocket knives, especially when working with our propane tanks, but most Scouts didn’t own one. If your Scout doesn’t have one yet, this nifty tool might make the perfect present!
When considering what multitool to purchase, look for one with a variety of attachments like pliers, scissors, and a knife. Reknown brands like Gerber or Leatherman are best, as many knockoff brands are less reliable and often break much more quickly. By getting your Scout a reliable multi-tool, they’ll be ready for anything, including unexpected repairs or adjustments.
It’s perfect for Scouts to MacGyver their way through any situation.
CAMPING COOKWARE SET
A trusty backpacking cookware set is a must for any experienced Scout who wants to have great overnight hikes! This one linked has everything a Scout needs to cook in the great outdoors, from a compact pot and pan to utensils, and even a mini stove (fuel can’t be shipped, but can be bought at any local outdoors store). Plus, it’s super lightweight and easy to pack. It’s a practical gift for any Scout!
OUTDOOR APPAREL & ACCESSORIES
Outdoor accessories keep a Scout stay comfortable and protected while adventuring in the elements. Whether it’s hiking, camping, or exploring, an A+ pair of socks, outdoor gloves, and trail-rated sunglasses can make a huge difference.
- A+ Hiking Socks: One or two pairs of these hiking socks will be a godsend for any Scout’s feet. These provide cushioning, reduce the risk of blisters, and keep a Scout’s feet drier and warmer.
- Outdoor Gloves: Outdoor gloves are the type of gear that every Scout doesn’t know they need! These ones provide warmth and protection for their hands, helping to prevent splinters and keep Scouts warm.
- Trail-Rated SunGlasses: Polarized, trail-rated sunglasses are one of the best accessories for a Scout. Providing sun protection and an easier time seeing through glare, these are great for beach days or long hikes, alike. Plus, they’re super stylish!
High-End Boy Scout Gifts (Up To $150)
You could get your favorite Scout a hammock (which is pretty awesome in itself) or you could kick things up a notch by getting them a full-on camping hammock shelter! 😀
A camping hammock is like a cozy, suspended cocoon that sways gently in the breeze, providing the ultimate relaxation experience. Plus this one comes with a mosquito net to keep the pesky critters out. Really though, any hammock would be a great gift for a Scout who loves to chillax in style.
CAMPING GEAR: BACKPACK, SLEEPING BAG, TENT
Camping gear is an essential part of a Scout’s life. Without a trusty backpack, a cozy sleeping bag, and a reliable tent, campouts become much less fun and safe. Having the right equipment helps prepare a Scout for the unexpected. So, if your Scout is needing an upgrade in any of these areas, here are my top gear picks!
- A Frame Hiking/Camping Backpack: A high-quality backpack is essential for any Scout who spends a lot of time hiking and camping. Look for one with great durability, a solid frame, and lots of compartments. Like with multitools, buying from established, reliable brands like Teton is especially important when choosing a Scouting backpack.
- Sleeping Bag: A lightweight but warm sleeping bag is a must-have for any Scout. It guarantees comfort and insulation without weighing them down. Make sure the sleeping bag you choose is rated for the conditions your Scout will be camping in!
- Tent: Great tents don’t need to be too expensive if you know what to look for! This brand of tent is what I personally use, as it’s spacious, easy to set up, and quite durable. Although the bag is a bit big for backpacking, this will make a great gift for Scouts needing a new tent.
A durable pair of hiking boots is a must-have for any Scout. I’d suggest getting your Scout a gift card though and letting them pick out the pair that fits best. Brands like Colombia or Merell are often longer-lasting, and come with waterproof options (example is linked). Whether it’s tackling rocky trails, muddy pathways, or slippery slopes, making an investment in some quality hiking boots is always a good idea.
WATERPROOF CAMERA/GO PRO
A waterproof camera is the perfect gift for a Scout who’s interested in documenting their fun troop adventures! Plus, This might even get your favorite Scout started down the path to earning their Photography merit badge! Having an impact-resistant, waterproof camera is a must for capturing every wild Scouting outing, without worrying about drops or water damage.
Also, if you want to take things up a notch and your Scout is a budding cinemetographer, you can even consider getting them a GoPro! These are quite pricy but well worth the cost, especially if your Scout already has a passion for editing videos, taking photos, and doing awesome outdoor activities.
While the gift ideas I shared with you today will be sure to make any Scout happy and even better prepared for their next outing, remember that the best gifts come from the heart. What would your Scout most enjoy getting (and use the most)? With that, I hope you find your Scout the perfect gift to make their special occasion even more special. 🙂
By the way, if you enjoyed discovering some of the best gifts for Scouts, I’d highly recommend also checking out any of the following articles if they spark your interest:
- Scoutmaster And Troop Leader Thank You Gifts: 21 Unique Ideas
- 99 Extraordinary And Creative Eagle Scout Project Ideas
- The FASTEST Way To Reach Eagle Scout: A 2-Year Timeline
- The 5 Most Difficult Merit Badges In Scouting (And How To Earn Them)
- The Essential Camp Packing List: A Scout’s Trek Gear Checklist
Thanks for reading! In conclusion, there are many great gift options for the Scout in your life. From necessities to camping gear, to tech gadgets, and more – there’s something for every adventurer. Whether you choose a durable backpack, a multi-functional tool, or an impact-resistant camera, your Scout is sure to appreciate a thoughtful and practical gift that will enhance their outdoor experiences!
About Lydia: Lydia is the granddaughter, daughter, and sister of three Eagle Scouts. She uses her personal experience having volunteered with troops to write about topics she is passionate about, including Scouting, outdoor recreation, travel, parenting, and more.