The Aims and Methods of Boy 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.
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 they can easily relate to each
other. These small groups determine troop activities through their
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.
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.
Association with Adults
learn a great deal by watching how adults conduct themselves. Scout
leaders can be positive role models for the members of their troops. 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 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.
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.