The first edition is suitable for the youngest members of Boy Scouting, the 6-8 year-old Tiger Cubs and Wolf Scouts. The second edition is targeted at 9-10 year-old Bear Scouts and 1st-year Webelos. The third edition is appropriate for 11-18 year old boys, which includes 2nd-year Webelos through 18-year old Boy Scouts, Varsity Scouts and Venturers. If the subscription is obtained through registration in the Boy Scouts of America program, the publisher will select the appropriate edition based on the boy's age.
In June 2007, Boys' Life garnered four Distinguished Achievement Awards conferred by the Association of Educational Publishers (AEP), including Periodical of the Year.
The magazine's mascot is "Pedro the Mailburro," who signs his letters with the signature "UU" (meant to represent the hoofprints of a burro kicking out with both hind legs.)
In 1911, George S. Barton, of Somerville, Massachusetts, 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. Five thousand 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.
Noteworthy writers contributing over the years are Alex Haley, Arthur C. Clarke, Ray Bradbury, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Van Wyck Brooks, Ernest Thompson Seton, Bobby Fischer, Catherine Drinker Bowen, Robert A. Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, Arthur B. Reeve and John Knowles.
Often, the version of Boys' Life geared towards older boys features buying guide for products such as cars, MP3 players, digital cameras, sunglasses, and more.
Boys' Life had in 2005 a monthly feature called "BL's Get Fit Guide". Each month highlights a different aspect of physical health, such as diet, exercise, and drugs. Each month the magazine also features a unique Boy Scout trip that most Scouts do not normally do. The unique trips range from a Philmont adventure to a white water rafting trip.
In both versions, Boys' Life features a video game section, which, in addition to new video game reviews, contains cheats for a video game monthly. They also contain technology updates, as well as book reviews.
Content includes Special Features, Adventure Stories, Bank Street Classics, Entertainment, Environmental Issues, History, Sports, and Codemaster.
Feature columns include Electronics, Entertainment, Fast Facts, History, Hitchin' Rack With Pedro the Mailburro, Think and Grin (jokes page), Science, Scouting Around, and Sports.
Boys' life maintains its commitment to print: why one publisher is resisting the tablet's siren call.(Theswipefile)
Feb 24, 2012; WARREN YOUNG, the publisher of Boys Life magazine, called me to talk about the possibility--in fact, the lack thereof--of getting...
Boys' Life Magazine Promotes Environmental Leadership With Sustainable Forestry Initiative Forest Certification.
May 08, 2009; Boys' Life magazine, the youth monthly published by the Boy Scouts of America, has become certified by the Sustainable Forestry...