Purpose of the BSA
The Boy Scouts of America was incorporated to provide a program for community organizations that offers the effective character, citizenship, and personal fitness training for youth.
Specifically, Scouts 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.
Boy Scout Program Membership
Scouts BSA, one of the traditional membership divisions of the 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. 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.
Thousands of volunteer leaders are involved in the Scouts BSA program. They serve in a variety of jobs-everything from unit leaders, committee chairs, committee members, merit badge counselors, and chartered organization representatives.
Who Pays for It?
Several groups are responsible for supporting Scouts: the Scout and their parents, the troop, the chartered organization, and the community. Youth are encouraged to earn money whenever possible to pay their own expenses, and they also contribute dues to their troop treasuries to pay for budgeted items. Troops obtain additional income by working on approved money-earning projects. The community, including parents, supports Scouting through the United Way, Friends of Scouting campaigns, bequests, and special contributions to the BSA local council. This income provides leadership training, outdoor programs, council service centers and other facilities, and professional service for units.
Aims and Methods of the Scouting Program
The Scouting program has three specific objectives, commonly referred to as the “Aims of Scouting.” They are character 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 he/she reaches for them, he/she has 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 Scouts how to accept it. The patrol method allows Scouts to interact in small groups where members can easily relate to each other. These small groups determine troop activities through 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. In the outdoors, the skills and activities practiced at troop meetings come alive with purpose. Being close to nature helps Scouts gain an appreciation for the beauty of the world around us. The outdoors is the laboratory in which Scouts learn ecology and practice conservation of nature’s resources.
Scouting provides a series of surmountable obstacles and steps in overcoming them through the advancement method. The Scout plans their advancement and progresses at their own pace as they meet each challenge. The Scout is rewarded for each achievement, which helps gain self-confidence. The steps in the advancement system help a Scout grow in self-reliance and in the ability to help others.
As Scouts plan their activities and progress toward their goals, they experience personal growth. The Good Turn concept is a major part of the personal growth method of Scouting. Scouts grow as they participate in community service projects and do Good Turns for others. Probably no device is so successful in developing a basis for personal growth as the daily Good Turn. The religious emblems program also is a large part of the personal growth method. Frequent personal conferences with their Scoutmaster help each Scout to determine their growth toward Scouting’s aims.
The Scout program encourages youth to learn and practice leadership skills. Every Scout has the opportunity to participate in both shared and total leadership situations. Understanding the concepts of leadership helps youth accept the leadership role of others and guides them toward the citizenship aim of Scouting.
The uniform makes the Scout troop visible as a force for good and creates a positive youth image in the community. Scouting is an action program, and wearing the uniform is an action that shows each Scout’s commitment to the aims and purposes of Scouting. The uniform gives the Scout identity in a world brotherhood of youth who believe in the same ideals. The uniform is practical attire for Scout activities and provides a way for Scouts to wear the badges that show what they have accomplished.
Local councils operate and maintain Scout camps. The National Council operates high-adventure programs at Philmont Scout Ranch, New Mexico; Northern Tier National High Adventure Programs, Minnesota and Canada; and Florida National High Adventure Sea Base. The BSA conducts a national Scout jamboree every four years and participates in world Scout jamborees (also held at four-year intervals). Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia, was the site of the 1993 National Scout Jamboree.
New Family Forms
|Membership Application||Adult Leader Application|
|2020 Healthforms A,B & C||Additional Disclosures & Background Check Authorization|
|Firearms Authorization Forms||Merit Badge Counselor Information|
|New Parent Resource Survey|