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Boy Scout Troop 503
(San Leandro, California)
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The Mission of the Boy Scouts of America

The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) is one of the largest youth organizations in the United States, with over 4.5 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'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."

The BSA goal is 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 part of the program to inculcate typical Scouting values such as trustworthiness, good citizenship, and outdoors skills, through a variety of activities such as camping, aquatics, and hiking. The BSA operates traditional Scouting units locally through Troops sponsored and operated by churches, clubs, civic associations, educational organizations and the like. Units are led entirely by volunteers who are supported by local councils using both paid professionals and volunteers.

Scouting Movement is Formed 

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 BSA 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 Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1907, British General Robert Baden-Powell founded the Scouting movement in England using elements of Seton's works among other influences. Two years later in 1909, Chicago publisher W. D. Boyce was visiting London, where he encountered a boy who came to be known as the Unknown Scout. Boyce was lost on a foggy street when an unknown Scout came to his aid and helped guide him to his destination. The boy then refused Boyce's monetary tip, explaining that he was a Boy Scout and was merely doing his daily good turn. Soon thereafter, Boyce met with General Baden-Powell, to discuss the Scouting movement. After his return to the United States, Boyce incorporated the Boy Scouts of America on February 8, 1910. In January 1911 James E. West became the first Chief Scout Executive and Scouting began to expand throughout the U.S. at a dramatic pace.

What the Scouts Do

The Scouts learn practical skills and patriotism through various means. These skills are learned through a variety of methods such as merit badges, campouts, service projects, community events and the learning-by-doing method.

What do the Parents Get out of It

The ability to have fun as a kid again as they help their son’s grow to their own potential.