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Table of Contents
  • Purpose
  • Aims of Scouting
  • Scouting Ideals
  • Patrol Method
  • Outdoor Activities
  • Advancement
  • Personal Growth
  • Leadership
  • Uniform
  • National Activities

  • Purpose  The Boy Scouts of America was incorporated to provide a program for community organizations that offers 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. Boy Scouting, one of four membership divisions of the BSA (the others are Cub Scouting, Exploring, and Learning for Life), is available to boys 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 of Scouting 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 in random order to emphasize the equal importance of each: Scouting Ideals; the Patrol Method; Outdoor Activities; Advancement; Personal Growth; Leadership; and the Uniform.

    Scouting Ideals The ideals of Boy Scouting are spelled out in the Scout Oath, the Scout Law, the Scout motto, and the Scout slogan. The Boy Scout measures himself against these ideals and continually tries to improve. The goals are high, and, as he reaches for them, he has some control over what and who he becomes. 

    Patrol Method The patrol method gives Boy Scouts an experience in group living and participating citizenship. It places responsibility on young shoulders and teaches boys 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. 

    Outdoor Activities Boy 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 Boy Scouts gain an appreciation for God's handiwork and humankind's place in it. The outdoors is the laboratory for Boy Scouts to learn ecology and practice conservation of nature's resources. 

    Advancement Boy Scouting provides a series of surmountable obstacles and steps in overcoming them through the advancement method. The Boy Scout plans his advancement and progresses at his own pace as he meets each challenge. The Boy Scout is rewarded for each achievement, which helps him gain self-confidence. The steps in the advancement system help a Boy Scout grow in self-reliance and in the ability to help others. 

    Personal Growth  As Boy 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 Boy Scouting. Boys 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 his Scoutmaster help each Boy Scout to determine his growth toward Scouting's aims. 

    Leadership The Boy Scout program encourages boys to learn and practice leadership skills. Every Boy Scout has the opportunity to participate in both shared and total leadership situations. Understanding the concepts of leadership helps a boy accept the leadership role of others and guides him toward the citizenship aim of Scouting. 

    Uniform The uniform makes the Boy Scout troop visible as a force for good and creates a positive youth image in the community. Boy Scouting is an action program, and wearing the uniform is an action that shows each Boy Scout's commitment to the aims and purposes of Scouting. The uniform gives the Boy Scout identity in a world brotherhood of youth who believe in the same ideals. The uniform is practical attire for Boy Scout activities and provides a way for Boy Scouts to wear the badges that show what they have accomplished. 

    National Activities Boy Scouts have many special activities available to them, such as camporees, summer camps, Scouting shows, and national jamborees. The Order of the Arrow, the national brotherhood of honor campers, recognizes those Scout campers who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives, and it has local lodge, section, and national meetings. Those who have become Eagle Scouts, the highest advancement award in Scouting, may join the National Eagle Scout Association. Scouting Anniversary celebrations, during February, include observance of the BSA's February 8 birthday, Scout Sabbath, and Scout Sunday. Unit activities feature blue and gold banquets, courts of honor, and open house meetings. Older Boy Scouts have a wide variety of exciting outdoor experiences available at the three national high-adventure areas, located in Minnesota, Florida, and New Mexico. 

    Scouting Fact Sheets
    Yours in Scouting Spirit,
    John M. Papp
    "Nendawen" ~The Torch Carrier "He who shows the Way."
    Eagle Scout Class of 1977
    Scoutmaster of Troop 357 Rotterdam-Schenectady, New York
    2001 National Jamboree "Jambo TODAY" Newspaper Photo Editor
    Schenectady District Email Administrator
    Web Sites at:        &

    "Since 9-11, America is coming back to the values that scouting has never left!"

    ~J.M. Papp

    "Troop 357, Where MEMORIES are Made, and TRADITION is Lived."