The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law.
Behind the numbers and statistics measuring our success in delivering the Scouting program, you will find a nation of young men and women learning leadership, developing character, and serving their communities with the caring guidance of volunteers.
Cub Scouting. Cub Scouting, for boys in the first through fifth grades, was serving 1,745,324 Tiger Cubs, Cub Scouts, and Webelos Scouts at December 31, 2005. Continued emphasis on providing increased opportunities for outdoor activities resulted in over 605,630 Cub Scouts participating in a day camp, resident camp, or family camp during the year.
Boy Scouting. Membership in Boy Scouting, for 11- to 17-year-olds, was 943,426 at December 31, 2005. The Eagle Scout Award, the highest rank a Scout can achieve, was earned by 49,895 young men. The promise of outdoor adventure continues to attract young men to the Scouting program. In 2005, 62 percent of all Boy Scouts and Varsity Scouts participated in a long-term camping trip.
Venturing. This high-adventure program for young men and women ages 14 to 20 was serving 249,948 members at December 31, 2005. Venturing introduced the TRUST Award, encouraging Venturers to learn more about themselves, their communities, their religion, and their culture, as well as those of others.
High-Adventure Bases. Whether canoeing the boundary waters of Minnesota at the Charles L. Sommers High Adventure Base, exploring the Florida Keys at the Florida National High Adventure Sea Base, hiking the mountains of northern New Mexico at Philmont Scout Ranch, or route finding across the Double H Ranch in central New Mexico, the BSA's high-adventure bases provide young people with the opportunity to put the values of the Scout Oath and Law into practice. Our high-adventure programs enjoyed strong attendance in 2005. Over 45,000 Scouts and Scouters participated in programs at these facilities.
The National Court of Honor presented the prestigious Silver Buffalo Award to 11 distinguished citizens for their exemplary national service to youth. In 2005, recipients of Scouting's highest commendation included Stephen D. Bechtel Jr., Robert A. Bedingfield, Donald D. Belcher, Dr. David Lloyd Briscoe, Harriss A. "Hab" Butler III, Joseph Csatari, Gerald A. Gettelfinger, Coleen Kent Menlove, Dr. Richards M. Miller, Roger M. Schrimp, and James W. Shepherd.
The Honor Medal With Crossed Palms was awarded to eight Scouts and Scouters who demonstrated unusual heroism and extraordinary skill or resourcefulness in saving or attempting to save a life at extreme risk to self. Other awards for lifesaving and meritorious action were presented to 349 Scouts and Scouters.
The BSA's Young American Awards recognize exceptional achievements of young people ages 15 to 25. The 2005 recipients were Robert Kyle Alderson, Aubyn Cathleen Burnside, Christopher Alan Kerzich, Melanie Alise Perry, and Michael David Sekora.
Addressing the Needs of the 21st Century
The Boy Scouts of America was founded on the premise that to be a good citizen you must do for others. For nearly 100 years, Scouts and volunteers have committed to serving others at all times with sincerity and conviction. Scouts from all over the country helped in the relief efforts for hurricanes Rita, Wilma, and Katrina. Many Scout families in the Gulf Coast region lost their homes and livelihoods, yet many of those Scouts were still out helping others.
In 2005, the Boy Scouts of America built upon the foundation of 2004 by continuing to specifically address the issues of hunger, inadequate housing, and poor health through the Good Turn for America initiative. From January 2005 to December 2005, 6,899 units (through 19,338 service projects) contributed 1,524,867 service hours.
Celebrating the Past— Preparing for the Future
In 2006, we launch the first year of our new National Strategic Plan, titled "2010: When Tradition Meets Tomorrow."
This plan will guide us in support of our organizational vision to "prepare every youth in America to become responsible, participating citizens and leaders who are guided by the Scout Oath and Law."
By continuing to recruit quality leadership, adequately funding our programs, inviting youth from all backgrounds to join, and by offering a fun and exciting program, we seek to help ordinary young people become extraordinary adults.