The Boy Scout program works toward three aims. One is growth in moral strength and character. We define this as what the boy is himself: his personal qualities, his values, and his outlook.
A second aim is citizenship. Used broadly, citizenship means the boy’s relationship to others. He comes to learn of his obligations to other people, to the society in which he lives, and to the government that presides over that society.
A third aim of the Boy Scout program 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)
METHODS These methods are designed to accomplish the aims.
Ideals The ideals of Scouting are spelled out in the Scout Oath, Law, Motto, and Slogan. The Scout measures himself against these ideals and continually tries to improve. The goals are high, and as he reaches for them he develops control over what he becomes.
Patrols The patrol method gives Scouts an experience in group living and citizenship. It places a certain amount of responsibility on young shoulders and teaches boys how to accept it. The patrol method allows Scouts to act in small groups where they can easily relate to each other. These small groups determine Troop activities through their elected representatives.
Outdoors The Boy Scout program is designed to take place outdoors. It is in the outdoors that Scouts share responsibilities and learn to live with each other. It is here that skills and activities practiced at Troop meetings come alive with purpose.
Being close to nature helps Scouts gain an appreciation for God’s handiwork and mankind’s place in it. The outdoors is a laboratory for Scouts to learn ecology and practice conservation of nature’s resources.
Advancement Scouting provides a series of surmountable obstacles and the steps to overcome them through the advancement program. The Scout plans his advancement and progresses at his own pace as he overcomes each challenge. The Scout is rewarded for each achievement, which helps him gain self-confidence. The steps in the advancement system help a boy grow in self-reliance and the ability to help others.
Adult Male Association A boy learns from the example of his adult leaders. In his quest for manhood, every boy needs contact with men he can copy. The Scoutmaster and his assistants provide a masculine image of the vitality, the virility, and the sensitivity espoused by the Boy Scout program. Providing good examples of manhood is one of the methods of Scouting.
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. Boys grow as they participate in community service projects and do Good Turns for others. There probably is no device so successful in developing a basis for personal growth as the daily Good Turn.
The religious emblems program is also a large part of the personal growth method. Frequent personal conferences with his Scoutmaster help each Scout to determine his growth toward Scouting’s aims.
Leadership Development The Boy Scout program encourages boys 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 The uniform makes the Scout Troop visible as a force for good and creates a positive youth image in the community. The Boy Scout program 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 an identity with a world brotherhood of youth that believe in the same ideals.
The uniform is also practical attire for Scout activities, and provides a way for Scouts to wear the badges that show what they have accomplished.