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The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) is one of the largest youth organizations in the United States, with over four million youth members in its age-related divisions. Since its founding in 1910 as part of the international Scout Movement, more than 110 million Americans have been members of the BSA.

The BSA seeks to train youth in responsible citizenship, character development, and self-reliance through participation in a wide range of outdoor activities, educational programs, and, at older age levels, career-oriented programs in partnership with community organizations. For younger members, the Scout method is used to inculcate typical Scouting values such as honesty, good citizenship, and outdoors skills, through a variety of activities such as camping, aquatics, and hiking.



Scouting Basics

The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) is the largest youth organization in the U.S. with nearly 3 million youth members and 1.1 million registered adult leaders. These members make up the 122,582 local Scout units that in 2005 logged more than 34 million hours of community service.


The progressive movement in the United States was at its height during the early twentieth century. With the migration of families from farms to cities, there were concerns among some people that young men were no longer learning patriotism and individualism. The YMCA was an early promoter of reforms for young men with a focus on social welfare and programs of mental, physical, social and religious development.

Scouting had two notable predecessors in the United States: the Woodcraft Indians started by Ernest Thompson Seton in 1902 and the Sons of Daniel Boone founded by Daniel Carter Beard in 1905. In 1907, British General Robert Baden-Powell founded the Scouting movement in England using elements of Seton's works. Several small local Scouting programs for boys started independently in the U.S. soon after— most of these later merged with the BSA.

In 1909, Chicago publisher W. D. Boyce was visiting London, where he encountered the Unknown Scout and learned of the Scouting movement. Soon after his return to the U.S., Boyce incorporated the Boy Scouts of America on February 8, 1910. Edgar M. Robinson and Lee F. Hanmer became interested in the nascent BSA movement and convinced Boyce to turn the program over to the YMCA for development in April 1910. Robinson enlisted Seton, Beard, Charles A. Eastman and other prominent leaders in the early youth movements. In January 1911, Robinson turned the movement over to James E. West who became the first Chief Scout Executive and Scouting began to expand in the U.S.

The BSA's stated purpose at its incorporation in 1910 was "to teach [boys] patriotism, courage, self-reliance, and kindred values." Later, in 1937, Deputy Chief Scout Executive George J. Fisher expressed the BSA's mission; "Each generation as it comes to maturity has no more important duty than that of teaching high ideals and proper behavior to the generation which follows." The current mission statement of the BSA 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."


Traditional membership

In the BSA, Scouting is considered to be one movement with three main programs:

Cub Scouting is the largest of the three programs, available to boys from first–grade through fifth–grade or seven through ten years old. The program is designed to pursue the aims of character development, citizenship training, and personal fitness. Cub Scouting is divided into age-based levels of Tiger Cubs, Wolf Cubs, Bear Cubs, and Webelos Scouts.

Boy Scouting is the flagship program of the BSA for boys ages 10 to 18. It uses outdoor activities such as camping, aquatics and hiking to achieve the aims of character, citizenship and personal fitness training. Varsity Scouting is a sub-division of Boy Scouting available to boys from 14 to 17; it adds a program of high adventure and sporting activities. Order of the Arrow is the Boy Scouting national honor society for experienced campers, based on American Indian traditions and is dedicated to the ideal of cheerful service and brotherhood.

Venturing is the program for young men and women ages 14 through 21. Its purpose is to provide positive experiences to help youth mature and to prepare them to become responsible adults. Sea Scouting is one of five focus areas in Venturing.

There are about 100,000 physically or mentally disabled Scouts throughout the United States. Anyone certified as disabled "may enroll in Scouting and remain in its program beyond the regulation age limits. This provision allows all members to advance in Scouting as far as they wish." Advancement is measured by the achievement to the best of the Scout's abilities.

*Information on this page imported from Wikipedia

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