What Is Scouting
What is the purpose of boy scouts?
How old are scouts?
What kinds of activities are common to scouting?
What are troops and patrols?
How is the leadership organized?
What are the benefits of scouting?
What are the scout advancement ranks?
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 Scouts is for boys aged 11 through 17. When the 18th birthday is reached, he can no longer be a boy scout, but he can continue to support a troop in an adult leader role. As a scout grows in skill, he takes on responsibility and moves from being a learner to being a leader.
The troop program and activities are determined by the senior patrol leader and the patrol leaders council under the oversight of the Scoutmaster. Troops generally hold meetings weekly. Troop meeting activities may vary from training in Scout skills to planning camping trips or playing games.
Troops may plan outings and activities outside the troop meeting. These may involve camping, backpacking, hiking, canoeing, rafting, climbing and other activities. These outings are an important place for Scouts to work on skills and rank advancement, have fun, and engage in productive outdoor activities.
The summer camp program provides a week-long session for troops that includes merit badge advancement and adventure activities. Facilities may include ranges for shooting sports — archery, rifle, and shotgun — and for climbing and rappelling.
The troop is the fundamental unit of Boy Scouting. The troop size can vary from a minimum of five Scouts to several dozen. Each troop is sponsored by a community organization such as a business, service organization, private school, labor group or religious institution. The chartered organization is responsible for providing a meeting place and promoting a good program. A chartered organization representative manages the relationship between the troop, the chartered organization, and the BSA.
Each troop is divided into patrols of eight or so Scouts led by a patrol leader elected from within the patrol. Patrol meetings are generally held during the weekly troop meeting. The patrol's independence from the troop varies among troops and between activities. Patrols' autonomy becomes more visible at campouts, where each patrol may set up its own camping and cooking area. Divisions between patrols may disappear during an event which only a small part of the troop attends. Patrols may hold meetings and even excursions separately from the rest of the troop.
Every troop has two separate leadership structures: one consisting of Scouts and another consisting of adults. The adult leadership manages the logistics of troop activities, administers rank advancement and awards, maintains troop records and finance, and recruits new Scouts and adult leaders. The youth leadership keeps order and coordinates at activities. Scouts and adults cooperate to plan agendas for troop meetings, as well as the troop's schedule of outings.
The troop committee is made up of responsible adults who are approved by the local council and the chartered organization. The committee chairman leads the committee and appoints its members to specific tasks such as treasurer, secretary, advancement, activities, equipment and membership. The committee and the chartered organization representative are responsible for the selection of the Scoutmaster and assistant Scoutmasters. The Scoutmaster must be at least twenty-one and is directly responsible for training and guiding the boy leaders, working with other adults to bring Scouting to boys, and for using the methods of Scouting to achieve the aims of Scouting.
The youth leader of the troop is the senior patrol leader (SPL), elected by the Scouts in the troop. He is responsible for the overall performance of the troop, runs troop meetings and ensures that the program for troop meetings and other activities is carried out. He is advised by the Scoutmaster. There may also be one or more assistant senior patrol leaders. In addition, each patrol elects a patrol leader who then appoints an assistant patrol leader and other positions within the patrol. Together, the senior patrol leader, assistant senior patrol leader and patrol leaders make up the patrol leaders council (PLC), the group of Scouts that is responsible for developing the troop's program with the advice of the Scoutmaster.
Boy Scouts is an organization of young men that strives to give its members the knowledge, skills, and life lessons to help them mature and succeed as they become adults. Boy Scouts offers boys a variety of benefits, including friendship, learning, leadership opportunities, and the opportunity to grow and thrive in a healthy, rewarding environment.
A boy who participates in Boy Scouts can expect to have a lot of fun, work hard, learn a lot, and grow both physically and mentally. Boy Scouts emphasizes both leadership and cooperation. While the whole Boy Scout troop works together, each patrol works as a team, sometimes competing against other patrols and sometimes working together with them. These basic leadership and cooperation lessons prove useful later in life and translate directly to working with neighbors and dealing with business associates.
Boy Scouts also offers its members a wealth of useful knowledge and skills. Ranging from wilderness survival skills, camping, fishing and gun safety to photography, graphic arts, and nuclear science. Boy Scouts have the opportunity to learn fascinating and useful information and to build skills and the confidence that goes with them, which will serve them throughout their lives.
Time spent in Boy Scouts benefits a boy in many ways. The friends he makes, the work ethic and morality he develops, the community service he practices and the knowledge and skills he gains will help him throughout the course of his life. Even long after the days in Boy Scouts are over, the man still remembers that he should be courteous and kind and do a good turn daily.
Boy Scouts has seven ranks, grouped into two phases. The first phase of Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class is designed to teach the boy Scoutcraft skills, teamwork, and self-reliance. Scout is the first rank, awarded when a boy first joins the Scouts, and requires just a rudimentary knowledge of Scouting's ideals. Further ranks have progressive requirements in the areas of Scoutcraft, physical fitness, citizenship, personal growth, and Scout Spirit. Scouts with a permanent mental or physical disability may use alternate requirements, based on their abilities and approved by the council.
The second phase of Star, Life, and Eagle is designed to develop leadership skills and encourage the Scout to explore potential vocations and avocations through the merit badge program. These ranks require that the boy serve in a position of responsibility and perform community service.
The Eagle Scout requires, in addition to merit badges and a position of responsibility, a community service project planned and led entirely by the Eagle Scout candidate. After attaining the rank of Eagle, a Scout may earn Eagle Palms for additional tenure and merit badges.
- A Scout tells the truth. He keeps his promises. Honesty is part of his code of conduct. People can depend on him.
- A Scout is true to his family, Scout leaders, friends, school, and nation.
- A Scout is concerned about other people. He does things willingly for others without pay or reward.
- A Scout is a friend to all. He is a brother to other Scouts. He seeks to understand others. He respects those with ideas and customs other than his own.
- A Scout is polite to everyone regardless of age or position. He knows good manners make it easier for people to get along together.
- A Scout understands there is strength in being gentle. He treats others as he wants to be treated. He does not hurt or kill harmless things without reason.
- A Scout follows the rules of his family, school, and troop. He obeys the laws of his community and country. If he thinks these rules and laws are unfair, he tries to have them changed in an orderly manner rather than disobey them.
- A Scout looks for the bright side of things. He cheerfully does tasks that come his way. He tries to make others happy.
- A Scout works to pay his way and to help others. He saves for unforeseen needs. He protects and conserves natural resources. He carefully uses time and property.
- A Scout can face danger even if he is afraid. He has the courage to stand for what he thinks is right even if others laugh at or threaten him.
- A Scout keeps his body and mind fit and clean. He goes around with those who believe in living by these same ideals. He helps keep his home and community clean.
- A Scout is reverent toward God. He is faithful in his religious duties. He respects the beliefs of others.
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- On my honor I will do my best
- To do my duty to God and my country
- and to obey the Scout Law;
- To help other people at all times;
- To keep myself physically strong,
- mentally awake, and morally straight.
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- Be Prepared
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- Do a Good Turn Daily