BSA at a Glance
The purpose of the Boy Scouts of Americaincorporated on February 8,
1910, and chartered by Congress in 1916is to provide an educational
program for boys and young adults to build character, to train in the
responsibilities of participating citizenship, and to develop personal
Community-based organizations receive national charters to use the
Scouting program as a part of their own youth work. These groups, which
have goals compatible with those of the BSA, include religious, educational,
civic, fraternal, business, and labor organizations; governmental bodies;
corporations; professional associations; and citizens' groups.
Tiger Cubs is a family- and home-centered program
that encourages the ethical decision-making skills for first-grade (or 7-year old)
boys. These boys participate in the program with their adult partners. The
program emphasizes shared leadership, learning about the community, and family
Cub Scouts is a family- and home-centered program
that develops ethical decision-making skills for boys in the second through
fifth grade (or who are 8, 9, and 10 years old). Activities emphasize character
development, citizenship training, and personal fitness.
Webelos Scouts is a family- and home-centered
program that develops ethical decision-making skills for fourth and fifth grade
(or 10-year old) boys. Webelos scouts participate in more advanced activities
that begin to prepare them to become Boy Scouts.
Boy Scouting. A program for boys 11 through 17
designed to achieve the aims of Scouting through a vigorous outdoor program
and peer group leadership with the counsel of an adult Scoutmaster. (Boys
also may become Boy Scouts if they have earned the Arrow of Light Award or
have completed the fifth grade.)
Varsity Scouting. An active, exciting program for
young men 14 through 17 built around five program fields of emphasis: advancement,
high adventure, personal development, service, and special programs and events.
Venturing. A program for young men and
women who are 14 (and have completed the eighth grade) through 20 years of age
to provide positive experiences through exciting and meaningful activities that
help youth pursue their special interests, grow, develop leadership skills, and
become good citizens.
Volunteer adult leaders serve at all levels of Scouting in more than 300
local councils, 28 areas, and four regions, and nationally with volunteer
executive boards and committees providing guidance.
Each autonomous local council is chartered by the BSA, which provides program
and training aids along the guidelines established by the National Executive Board
and the national charter from Congress.
Cub Scouting continues to strengthen the family and encourage physical
fitness and education through its programs.
Boy Scouts and Varsity Scouts have many special activities available to them,
such as camporees, summer camps, Scouting shows, and national jamborees.
The Order of the Arrow, Scouting's national honor
society, recognizes those Scout campers who best exemplify the Scout Oath and
Law in their daily lives. The order has local lodge, section, and national
meetings. Scouts who have become Eagle Scouts, the highest advancement award
in Scouting, may join the National Eagle Scout
All Scout camps are inspected and accredited annually by teams of trained
volunteers to ensure the health, safety, and quality of program for campers.
Scouting Anniversary celebrations, during February, include observance of
the BSA's February 8 birthday, Scout Sabbath, and Scout Sunday. Unit activities
feature blue and gold banquets, courts of honor, and open house meetings.
National High-Adventure Bases
The BSA has three national high-adventure areas, and all three are unique.
The Northern Tier National High Adventure Program offers wilderness canoe
expeditions and cold-weather camping; the Florida National High Adventure Sea
Base offers aquatics programs in the Florida Keys; and Philmont Scout Ranch
offers backpacking treks in the rugged high country of northern New Mexico.
Volunteer leaders may attend the Philmont Training Center each summer for a
week-long training conference.
The Boy Scouts of America publishes two magazines: 90-year-old
Boys' Life, produced monthly
for 1.3 million subscribers in three demographic editions (Tiger Cub,
Cub Scout, and Boy Scout); and 89-year-old Scouting, produced six
times a year for all adults registered in Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting,
Varsity Scouting, and Venturing. Additionally, unit leaders and
commissioners receive special program inserts in Scouting.
In addition, the BSA publishes handbooks for all phases of the Scouting
program, more than 100 merit badge pamphlets for Boy Scouts, leader books,
training pamphlets, program helps booklets for unit leaders, and other
literature for use by youth members, adult leaders, and parents.
The National Council is supported largely through annual registration fees
paid by all members, charter and service fees paid by local councils, an Annual
Giving Campaign among national employees and selected volunteers, income from
the sales of Boys' Life and Scouting magazines, and Scouting
equipment, bequests, and special gifts. Local councils are supported by
communities through an annual Friends of Scouting campaign, the United Way,
special events, foundation grants, investment income, bequests, endowment gifts,
and special contributions.
On the unit level, chartered organizations that use the Scouting program
provide meeting places and often furnish program materials and other facilities.
Youth members help to pay their own way by paying dues to their pack, troop,
team, ship, or crew treasuries, and through approved money-earning projects,
they can earn additional income for their units.
Membership and Units
Membership since 1910 totals more than 110 million. As of December 31,
2000, membership was:
|Cub Scout leaders
|Boy Scout leaders
|Varsity Scout leaders
|Cub Scout packs
|Boy Scout troops
|Varsity Scout teams