The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law.
The Boy Scouts of America is the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training. In the future Scouting will continue to;
- Offer young people responsible fun and adventure;
- Instill in young people lifetime values and develop in them ethical character as expressed in the Scout Oath and Law;
- Train young people in citizenship, service, and leadership;
- Serve America’s communities and families with its quality, values-based program.
The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) was incorporated to provide a program for community organizations that offer effective character, citizenship, and personal fitness training for youth. Specifically, the BSA endeavors to develop American citizens who are physically, mentally, and emotionally fit; have a high degree of self-reliance as evidenced in such qualities as initiative, courage, and resourcefulness; have personal values based on religious concepts; have the desire and skills to help others; understand the principles of the American social, economic, and governmental systems; are knowledgeable about and take pride in their American heritage and understand our nation’s role in the world; have a keen respect for the basic rights of all people; and are prepared to participate in and give leadership to American society.
Scouts BSA, one of three membership divisions of the BSA (the others are Cub Scouting and Venturing BSA), is available to youth who have earned the Arrow of Light Award or have completed the fifth grade, or who are 11 through 17 years old, and subscribe to the Scout Oath and Law. The program achieves the BSA’s objectives of developing character, citizenship, and personal fitness qualities among youth by focusing on a vigorous program of outdoor activities.
AIMS AND METHODS OF THE SCOUTING PROGRAM
The Scouts BSA program has four specific objectives, commonly referred to as the “Aims of Scouting.” They are character development, leadership development, citizenship training, and personal fitness. The methods by which the aims are achieved are listed below in random order to emphasize the equal importance of each.
The ideals of Scouting are spelled out in the Scout Oath, the Scout Law, the Scout motto, and the Scout slogan. The Scout measures themself against these ideals and continually tries to improve. The goals are high, and, as they reaches for them, they have some control over what and who they become.
The patrol method gives Scouts an experience in-group living and participating citizenship. It places responsibility on young shoulders and teaches them how to accept it. The patrol method allows Scouts to interact in small groups where they can easily relate to each other. These small groups determine troop activities through their elected representatives.
Scouting is designed to take place outdoors. It is in the outdoor setting that Scouts share responsibilities and learn to live with one another. It is here that the skills and activities practiced at troop meetings come alive with purpose. Being close to nature helps Scouts gain an appreciation for God’s handiwork and humankind’s place in it. The outdoors is the laboratory for Scouts to learn ecology and practice conservation of nature’s resources.