Overview of Boy Scouts of America

Printer-Friendly Version

Mission

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 Scout Law.

Scout Oath

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.

Scout Law

A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful,
friendly, courteous, kind, obedient,
cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.

Scouting Anniversary Celebrations

Cub Scout blue and gold banquets, troop red and white dinners, and community window displays are held throughout the month of February as a part of the yearly observance of:

  • The BSA’s birthday, celebrating the incorporation of the Boy Scouts of America on February 8, 1910
  • Scout Sabbath, observed the Saturday after February 8
  • Scout Sunday, observed the Sunday before February 8

Programs

Cub Scouts

  • Motto: Do Your Best
  • For boys in first grade through fifth grade (or seven through 10 years of age)
  • 2013 membership, packs, and leaders:
    • 184,424 Tiger Cubs (first grade)
    • 665,091 Cub Scouts (second and third grades)
    • 567,519 Webelos Scouts (fourth and fifth grades)
    • 1,417,034 total Cub Scouts
    • 43,110 Cub Scout packs
    • 395,445 Cub Scout leaders

Boy Scouts

  • Motto: Be Prepared
  • Slogan: Do a Good Turn Daily
  • For boys who are 11 through 17 years of age, or have earned the Cub Scouting Arrow of Light award and are at least 10 years old, or have completed the fifth grade and are at least 10 years old
  • Ninety-five percent of all Boy Scouts participated in Cub Scouting at some time.
  • 2013 membership, troops, and leaders:
    • 826,045 Boy Scouts
    • 37,739 Boy Scout troops
    • 485,315 Boy Scout leaders

Varsity Scouting

  • For young men 14 through 17 years of age
  • Built on five program fields of emphasis:
    • Advancement
    • High adventure
    • Personal development
    • Service
    • Special programs and events
  • 2013 membership, teams, and leaders:
    • 62,902 Varsity Scouts
    • 8,299 Varsity Scout teams
    • 22,915 Varsity Scout leaders

Venturing

  • For young men and women 14 years of age, or 13 years of age and have completed the eighth grade through 20 years of age
  • 2013 membership was 192,080 Venturers, 31.2 percent of whom were female:
    • 16,013 Venturing crews
    • 56,174 Venturing leaders

Order of the Arrow-Scouting's National Honor Society

  • The purpose of the Order of the Arrow is to recognize those who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Scout Law in their daily lives and promote camping and responsible outdoor adventure, leadership development, and cheerful service to others.
  • Order of the Arrow includes more than 170,000 youth and adult members in nearly 300 local councils throughout the United States and its territories.

Outdoor Activities

Cub Scouting

  • Day camps: one- to five-day programs with daylight and early evening activities, with no overnight activities
  • Resident camps: at least two nights of camping with a developed theme of adventure and excitement held at a council facility under the direction of trained leadership
  • Council-organized family camps: overnight camping involving more than one pack; held at a council-approved facility; with the council or district providing staffing, food service, housing, and program
  • Pack camping: overnight camping involving more than one family from a single pack, focused on age-appropriate Cub Scout activities, conducted at council-approved locations, and under the direction of BALOO-trained adults
  • Cub World: venues using make-believe themes, such as castles, frontier forts, pirate ships, and more; usually part of a Cub Scout resident or family camp

Boy Scouting, Varsity Scouting, and Venturing

  • Camporees: camping with other troops, involving competition using Scouting skills and knowledge
  • Summer camps: weeklong camps with troops learning outdoor skills
  • Scouting shows: gala events demonstrating to the public how Scouting serves youth in the community
  • National and world jamborees: camping events held at four-year intervals where Scouts and leaders from the BSA or the World Scouting Association come together

National High-Adventure Bases

Philmont Scout Ranch

Located in northern New Mexico, this high-adventure base offers a variety of rugged activities, including backpacking treks, horseback cavalcades, and training and service programs. Volunteer leaders may attend the Philmont Training Center each summer for a weeklong conference.

  • 35,054 Scouts, Venturers, and leaders attended in 2013.

Northern Tier National High Adventure Program

This adventure base, located in Minnesota and Canada, offers wilderness canoe expeditions and cold-weather camping.

  • 5,686 Scouts, Venturers, and leaders attended in 2013.

Florida National High Adventure Sea Base

Sea Base offers aquatics programs in the Florida Keys.

  • 13,922 Scouts, Venturers, and leaders attended in 2013.

The Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve 

Located in New River Gorge, West Virginia, the Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve is the newest high-adventure base in Scouting. It is the permanent home of the national Scout jamboree and the site of the 2019 World Scout Jamboree. The Summit property is on 10,600 acres adjacent to the New River Gorge National River area. This area provides access to incredible outdoor terrain in the Appalachian Mountains, which provides some of the world’s best whitewater rafting, rock climbing, and mountain biking.

Publications

Boys' Life Magazine

Produced monthly for 1.1 million subscribers in three demographic editions:

  • For all Tiger Cubs and Cub Scout subscribers through age 8
  • For Cub Scouts and Webelos Scouts 9 years and older
  • For all Boy Scout-age subscribers and all other subscribers

Scouting Magazine

Produced six times a year for adults registered in Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, Varsity Scouting, and Venturing.

Handbooks

The BSA publishes handbooks for all phases of the Scouting program for use by youth members, adult leaders, and parents.

Merit Badge Pamphlets

There are currently 130 merit badge pamphlets produced by the Boy Scouts of America to assist Scouts in earning merit badges.

Updated April 2014

 

Follow

  RSS Feed Podcast Facebook Twitter YouTube

 

Scouts in the News

More...