Overview of the Boy Scouts of America
The mission of the Boy Scouts of America 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.
On my honor I will do my best
to do my duty to God and my country
and to obey the Scout Law;
to help other people at all times;
to keep myself physically strong,
mentally awake, and morally straight.
A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.
Scouting Anniversary Celebrations
Cub Scout blue and gold banquets, troop red and white dinners, and community window displays are held throughout the month of February as a part of the yearly observance of:
- The BSA’s birthday, celebrating the incorporation of the Boy Scouts of America on February 8, 1910
- Scout Sabbath, observed the Saturday after February 8
- Scout Sunday, observed the Sunday before February 8
for information on Cub Scouts.)
- Motto: Do Your Best
- For boys in first grade through fifth grade (or seven through 10 years of age)
- 2008 membership, packs, and leaders:
- 231,471 Tiger Cubs (first grade)
- 798,060 Cub Scouts (second and third grades)
- 636,104 Webelos Scouts (fourth and fifth grades)
- 1,665,635 total Cub Scouts
- 50,213 Cub Scout packs
- 470,400 Cub Scout leaders
for information on Boy Scouts.)
- Motto: Be Prepared
- Slogan: Do a Good Turn Daily
- For boys who are 11 through 17 years of age, or have earned the Cub Scouting Arrow of Light award and are at least 10 years old, or have completed the fifth grade and are at least 10 years old
- Ninety-five percent of all Boy Scouts participated in Cub Scouting at some time.
- 2008 membership, troops, and leaders:
- 844,939 Boy Scouts
- 41,628 Boy Scout troops
- 528,534 Boy Scout leaders
- For young men 14 through 17 years of age
- Built on five program fields of emphasis:
- High adventure
- Personal development
- Special programs and events
- 2008 membership, teams, and leaders:
- 60,940 Varsity Scouts
- 8,423 Varsity Scout teams
- 23,392 Varsity Scout leaders
for information on Venturing.)
- For young men and women 14 (and have completed the eighth grade) through 20 years of age
- 2008 membership was 261,075 Venturers:
- 32 percent of 2008 membership was female.
- 19,998 Venturing crews
- 65,621 Venturing leaders
Order of the Arrow
for information on the Order of the Arrow.)
- Scouting’s national honor society recognizing Boy Scouts who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives
- More than 180,000 members in lodges affiliated with more than 300 BSA local councils
- Day camps: one- to five-day program with daylight and early evening activities, with no overnight activities
- Resident camps: at least two nights of camping with a developed theme of adventure and excitement held at a council facility under the direction of trained leadership
- Council-organized family camps: overnight camping involving more than one pack; held at a council-approved facility; with the council or district providing staffing, food service, housing, and program
- Pack camping: overnight camping involving more than one family from a single pack, focused on age-appropriate Cub Scout activities, conducted at council-approved locations, and under the direction of BALOO-trained adults
- Cub World: venues using make-believe themes, such as castles, frontier forts, pirate ships, and more; usually part of a Cub Scout resident or family camp
Boy Scouting, Varsity Scouting, and Venturing
- Camporees: camping with other troops, involving competition using Scouting skills and knowledge
- Summer camps: weeklong camps with troops learning outdoor skills
- Scouting shows: gala events demonstrating to the public how Scouting serves youth in the community
- National and world jamborees: camping events held at four-year intervals where Scouts and leaders from the BSA or the World Scouting Association come together
National High-Adventure Bases
Northern Tier National High Adventure Program
for information on Northern Tier.)
This adventure base, located in Minnesota and Canada, offers wilderness canoe expeditions and cold-weather camping.
Florida National High Adventure Sea Base
for information on the Sea Base.)
Sea Base offers aquatics programs in the Florida Keys.
Philmont Scout Ranch
for information on Philmont.)
Located in northern New Mexico, this high-adventure base offers a variety of rugged activities, including backpacking treks, horseback cavalcades, and training and service programs. Volunteer leaders may attend the Philmont Training Center each summer for a weeklong conference.
Boys' Life Magazine
Produced monthly for 1.1 million subscribers in three demographic editions:
- For all Tiger Cubs and Cub Scout subscribers through age 8
- For Cub Scouts and Webelos Scouts 9 years and older
- For all Boy Scout-age subscribers and all other subscribers
Produced six times a year for adults registered in Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, Varsity Scouting, and Venturing
The BSA publishes handbooks for all phases of the Scouting program for use by youth members, adult leaders, and parents.
Merit Badge Pamphlets
More than 120 merit badge pamphlets for Boy Scouts have been produced.