Scouting provides youth and families a proven program to develop character, citizenship, and fitness. These are called the “Aims of Scouting.”
Research shows that all youth need to be raised in a rich environment of external support to develop positive habits, and internal support to give them the necessary developmental assets to succeed throughout life. Scouting provides these support assets including:
Positive family communication
Young person and family communicate positively, and young person is willing to seek advice and counsel from family.
Community values youth
Young person perceives that adults in the community value youth.
Youth as resources
Young people are given useful roles in the community.
Adult role models
Family and other adults model positive, responsible behavior.
Young person spends three or more hours per week in lessons or practice in music, theater, or other arts.
Planning and decision making
Young person knows how to plan ahead and make choices.
The methods by which the aims are achieved are listed below.
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.
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 members can easily relate to each other. These small groups determine troop activities through elected representatives.
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. In the outdoors the skills and activities practiced at troop meetings come alive with purpose. Being close to nature helps Boy 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.
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.
Associations with adults
Boys 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 boys, encourage them, and take a sincere interest in them can make a profound difference in their lives.
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 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.
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.
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.
Appropriate conduct is essential for our Scouts to obtain significant benefits from the Scouting program. Each Scout is expected to participate in the planned activities. to conduct himself such that he does not cause disturbance or interfere with other Scout’s participation in the activities, and to obey the Scout and adult leaders. The Scout Law provides very specific guidelines of how Scouts are expected to behave.
Troop parents have expressed desire to participate in any corrective actions needed in their sons conduct. Therefore. when a Scout engages in unacceptable behavior. his parents are notified and are expected to ensure that the necessary corrections are made. The Scout will first be counseled by a Scoutmaster. He will be reminded that upon joining, he agreed to live by the Scout Law, Oath, Motto, Slogan, and Outdoor Code. If the behavior is not corrected but instead continues he will be brought before a Board of Review. He will be reminded again to live by the Scout Oath, Scout Law and Scout Promise. He will also be warned that the next time his behavior is a problem, he will phone his parents to either come sit with him for the remainder of the meeting/outing or take him home. If necessary, after the third occurrence of a problem, his parents will be required to accompany the Scout to any future Troop functions, until the Scoutmaster feels the problem is resolved.
As parents, you should understand how Boy Scouting works and help your son to achieve his goals.
Clearly, many active adults are required to ensure that a Troop has the kind of high quality program we desire. All parents are expected to help with tasks which must be done by adults. No matter what his/her interests and aptitudes, every parent can contribute something to make the Scouting experience more beneficial for all our sons.
If you have any questions, you should talk to any adult leader or, better yet, come along to the next meeting or outing. Remember that the biggest cause for scouts not advancing in the organization is the lack of parent interest.
In general, we expect that:
Here are a few ideas on what adults can contribute to the troop:
Periodically, the Troop does service projects to benefit a community organization or Scouting function. Most service projects also fulfill requirements for various rank advancement and Merit Badges. Examples include: Food Drives & Conservation projects on Corps of Engineer properties.