Perhaps your pack shines in the North Star or Polaris district. Or maybe your troop makes waves in a district known as Three Rivers, Two Rivers or even Twin Rivers.

A look at the nationwide list of Boy Scouts of America districts reveals a fascinating find: a number of districts share their names with districts in other councils.

The BSA’s most popular district name is Thunderbird. It’s used in 17 different councils across the country, such as the Cascade Pacific Council (Oregon), Three Fires Council (Illinois) and Capitol Area Council (Texas).

Seventeen other district names are used in at least five councils. Check out the complete rankings below, and shout out in the comments if your district is included.

But first, a quick refresher: The structure of the BSA is pretty straightforward: units (Cub Scout packs, Scouts BSA troops, Venturing crews and Sea Scout ships) are part of geographically defined districts. Several districts make up one council. Those 270 councils are part of the Boy Scouts of America.

You asked us; We asked the expert

The idea for this post comes from a volunteer named John Shotwell. He contacted us with the following question:

“What is the most popular name for a district in the BSA?” he wrote. “I was wondering if there were any district names that are used across councils that are the same.”

For the answer, I checked with Christopher Macpherson, an analyst with the BSA’s Research and Strategy department. (Thanks, Christopher!)

Most popular BSA district names

The list includes any district name used in at least five BSA local councils.

RankDistrict nameNumber of districts with that name
2Three Rivers15
3 (tie)Arrowhead12
3 (tie)North Star12
5 (tie)Cherokee8
5 (tie)Frontier8
5 (tie)Iron Horse8
8 (tie)Seneca7
8 (tie)Twin Rivers7
10 (tie)Foothills6
10 (tie)Pathfinder6
10 (tie)Pioneer6
10 (tie)Polaris6
10 (tie)Shawnee6
10 (tie)Two Rivers6
16 (tie)Golden Eagle5
16 (tie)Sequoyah5
16 (tie)Trailblazer5

Units, united

Knowing that districts share names across council lines underlines one of my favorite truths about the BSA: Scouts are part of something larger than their own pack, troop, crew or ship.

In districts, units share ideas with nearby units and join together in districtwide camporees.

In councils, members of different districts unite at summer camp and during councilwide events.

National events like the quadrennial National Jamboree bring together Scouts from every council in the country.

And at this summer’s 2019 World Scout Jamboree, Scouts from more than 150 different countries will gather for a global celebration of Scouting friendship.

Scouts may wear different unit numerals or council shoulder strips, but they’re united in the Scouting spirit.

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