There are over 2.4 mil­lion youth par­tic­i­pants, mak­ing Boy Scouts of Amer­i­ca one of the largest youth orga­ni­za­tions in the coun­try. One key to our ongo­ing suc­cess with youth is that we rec­og­nize that a boy’s per­cep­tion of fun is con­stant­ly chang­ing and fun is why kids join Scouts.

They want fun, excite­ment and the mys­tery asso­ci­at­ed with out­door adven­ture. While we accom­plish those things, the actu­al results are much more impact­ing. 

In fact, our mis­sion cen­ters on help­ing youth make eth­i­cal choic­es based on the Scout Oath and Law dur­ing their Scout­ing days and long after. 

The fun stuff we do in week­ly meet­ings, on camp outs and hikes helps us achieve our mis­sion. Each pro­gram uses a unique set of meth­ods, that when bal­anced into a unit’s pro­gram not only pro­vide fun but growth in three gen­er­al areas called the Aims of Scout­ing. These include the fol­low­ing:

  • Char­ac­ter can be defined as the col­lec­tion of core val­ues held by an indi­vid­ual that leads to moral com­mit­ment and action. Char­ac­ter encom­pass­es a boy’s per­son­al qual­i­ties, val­ues, and out­looks.
  • Cit­i­zen­ship, our sec­ond aim, is civic par­tic­i­pa­tion. Used broad­ly, cit­i­zen­ship means the boy’s rela­tion­ship to oth­ers. He comes to learn of his oblig­a­tions to oth­er peo­ple, to the soci­ety he lives in, and to the gov­ern­ment that pre­sides over that soci­ety.
  • Fit­ness, the third aim of Scout­ing is devel­op­ment of phys­i­cal, men­tal, and emo­tion­al health. 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).

Once again, youth don’t join Scout­ing for those three things, but it’s how they grow. To accom­plish these aims,  we have cre­at­ed age-appro­pri­ate meth­ods for each pro­gram. When imple­ment­ed, these meth­ods will help max­i­mize a youth’s devel­op­ment.

Ven­tur­ing Var­si­ty Scout­ing Boy Scout­ing Cub Scout­ing
    • Adult Asso­ci­a­tion
    • Lead­er­ship and Men­tor­ing
    • Recog­ni­tion
    • Ideals (oath, law)
    • Group Activ­i­ties and Adven­ture
    • Group Iden­ti­ty
    • Ser­vice
  • Team/Squad
  • Adult Asso­ci­a­tion
  • Uni­form
  • Lead­er­ship Devel­op­ment
  • Scout­ing Ideals 
  • Out­door Adven­ture
  • Advance­ment
  • Per­son­al Growth 
  • Patrols
  • Adult Asso­ci­a­tion
  • Uni­form
  • Lead­er­ship Devel­op­ment
  • Scout­ing Ideals 
  • Out­doors
  • Advance­ment
  • Per­son­al Growth
  • Den
  • Activ­i­ties
  • Neigh­bor­hood and Home Cen­tered
  • Advance­ment
  • The Ideals
  • Uni­form
  • Fam­i­ly Involve­ment


For now, let’s just explore the meth­ods of Boy Scout­ing. There are eight. An easy way to remem­ber the meth­ods is to look at the first let­ter of each one, which spells PAUL SOAP.


patrolThe patrol method gives Boy Scouts expe­ri­ence in group liv­ing and 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 elect­ed rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

Asso­ci­a­tion with Adults

Scoutmaster ConferenceBoys 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.


BSAScout UNFORMThe 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.

Lead­er­ship Devel­op­ment

patrol-leaderThe 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.

Scout Ideals

scoutsignThe 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.


NESOut­door Pro­grams

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.


sashBoy 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.

Per­son­al Growth

community-serviceAs Boy Scouts plan their activ­i­ties and progress toward their goals, they expe­ri­ence per­son­al growth. The  con­cept of doing a good turn dai­ly 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. It’s pos­si­ble that no device is as 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 deter­mine his growth toward Scouting’s aims.

When you work all eight meth­ods into your pro­gram, you will help cre­ate boys with char­ac­ter, cit­i­zen­ship, and fit­ness. It’s a guar­an­tee.


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