BSA Mission Statement
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.
The Aims of Scouting
Every Scouting activity moves young people toward the basic aims of: character development, citizenship training, leadership, and mental and physical fitness.
Advancement is one of the eight methods used by Scout leaders to help youth fulfill the aims of the BSA.
Policy on Unauthorized Changes to Advancement Program
No council, committee, district, unit, or individual has the authority to add to, or subtract from, advancement requirements. There are limited exceptions relating only to members with special needs. For details see section 10, “Advancement for Members With Special Needs.”
Mandated Procedures and Recommended Practices
This publication clearly identifies mandated procedures with words such as “must” and “shall.” Where such language is used, no council, committee, district, unit, or individual has the authority to deviate from the procedures covered, without the written permission of the National Advancement Program Team.
Recommended best practices are offered using words like “should,” while other options and guidelines are indicated with terms such as “may” or “can.” Refer questions on these to your local district or council advancement chairs or staff advisors. They, in turn, may request interpretations and assistance from the National Advancement Program Team.
The Guide to Safe Scouting Applies
Policies and procedures outlined in the Guide to Safe Scouting apply to all BSA activities, including those related to advancement and Eagle Scout, Quartermaster, and Summit Award service projects.
What Does “Unit Leader” Mean?
Throughout this publication the term “unit leader” refers only to a Cubmaster, Scoutmaster, Venturing crew Advisor, Sea Scout Skipper, or Lone Scout friend and counselor. “Unit leadership” and “leader” are used as generic references to any registered adult leader in a unit and as such would include the unit leader.
What Does “Scouts BSA Handbook” Mean?
Throughout this publication, the term Scouts BSA Handbook refers to both the Scouts BSA Handbook for Boys and the Scouts BSA Handbook for Girls.