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The Mission, Aims, and Methods of the Boy Scout Program (BSA)

Scouting isn't just a fun outdoor program. As Baden-Powell said, it's a game with a purpose. The Boy Scouts of America expresses that purpose via its mission statement, its three general aims, and its eight specific methods. The combination of those eight methods is what makes Scouting unique.

The information and explanations below are taken from the BSA's Troop Leader Guidebook (copyright 2015).

BSA Mission Statement

"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"

Aims of Boy Scouting

Methods of Boy Scouting

The Troop Leader Guidebook compares the eight methods to an eight-cylinder engine: "When all eight pistons are firing, the car moves powerfully yet smoothly toward its destination. When a few pistons get fouled, the car lurches haltingly along. When only one or two pistons are firing, you might as well get out and walk." The methods are listed in alphabetical order, "but they could be listed in any order because they are all equally important."