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Aims and Methods of Scouting

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BSA Mission Statement

“The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical choices over their lifetime by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law.”

The Aims of Scouting

All levels of the Scouting program share three specific objectives: Character development, Citizenship training, and Personal fitness.

Character

One is growth in moral strength and character. We may define this as what the boy is himself; his personal qualities, his values, his outlook.

Citizenship

A second is participating citizenship. Used broadly, citizenship means the boy's relationship to others. He comes to learn obligations to other people, to the society he lives in, and to the government that presides over that society.

Fitness

A third aim of Boy Scouting is development of physical, mental, and emotional fitness. Fitness includes the body (well-tuned and healthy), the mind (able to think and solve problems), and the emotions (self-control, courage, and self-respect).

The Methods of Cub Scouting

Main article: Methods of Cub Scouting

  • Living the Ideals
  • Belonging to a Den
  • Using Advancement
  • Involving Family and Home
  • Participating in Activities
  • Serving Neighborhood and Community
  • Wearing the Uniform
  • The Aims and Methods of Boy Scouting


Methods 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 below in random order to emphasize the equal importance of each.

Patrols

Main article: Patrol Patrols. The patrol method gives Scouts an experience in group living and participating citizenship. It places responsibility on young shoulders and teaches youth 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.

Ideals

Main article: Scouting Ideals Ideals. The ideals of Scouting are spelled out in the Scout Oath, the Scout Law, the Scout motto, and the Scout slogan. The 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.

Outdoor Programs

Outdoor Programs. 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 Boy Scouts learn ecology and practice conservation of nature's resources.

Advancement

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

Associations With Adults

Associations With Adults. Youth learn a great deal by watching how adults conduct themselves. Scout leaders can be positive role models for the members of the troop. In many cases a Scoutmaster who is willing to listen to youth, encourage them, and take a sincere interest in them can make a profound difference in their lives.

Personal Growth

Personal Growth. 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. Youth grow as they participate in community service projects and do Good Turns for others. Probably no device is as 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 Development

Leadership Development. 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 a boy accept the leadership role of others and guides him toward the citizenship aim of Scouting.

Uniform

Main article: Uniform The uniform makes the 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 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 Boy Scout activities and provides a way for Boy Scouts to wear the badges that show what they have accomplished.


References