About Scouting

What is the Boy Scouts of America?

The Boy Scouts of America is one of the nation’s largest and most prominent values-based youth development organizations. The BSA provides a program for young people that builds character, trains them in the responsibilities of participating citizenship, and develops personal fitness.

For over a century, the BSA has helped build the future leaders of this country by combining educational activities and lifelong values with fun. The Boy Scouts of America believes — and, through over a century of experience, knows — that helping youth is a key to building a more conscientious, responsible, and productive society.

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 Scout Law.

Scout Oath

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.

Scout Law

A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.

Facts About Scouting


What are the different programs the Boy Scouts of America offer?

BSA (Boy Scouts of America) is comprise of many different programs based on the age and gender of the youth.

Cub Scouts

  • Motto: Do Your Best
  • For boys in first grade through fifth grade (or seven through 10 years of age)

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.

Varsity Scouting

  • For young men 14 through 17 years of age
  • Built on five program fields of emphasis:
    • Advancement
    • High adventure
    • Personal development
    • Service
    • Special programs and events


  • For young men and women 14 years of age, or 13 years of age and have completed the eighth grade through 20 years of age

Order of the Arrow -Scouting’s National Honor Society

  • The purpose of the Order of the Arrow is to recognize those who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Scout Law in their daily lives and promote camping and responsible outdoor adventure, leadership development, and cheerful service to others.
  • Order of the Arrow includes more than 170,000 youth and adult members in nearly 300 local councils through the United States and its territories.

Lone Scouts

  • The Lone Scouts of America was organized in 1915 by William D. Boyce, who also helped organize the Boy Scouts of America in 1910.
  • Lone Scouts include: children of American citizens who live abroad, exchange students away from the United States for a year or more, boys with disabilities that might prevent them from attending regular meetings of packs or troops, boys in rural communities who live far from a Scouting unit, boys who alternate living arrangements with parents who live in different communities


High Adventure

The Boy Scouts of America currently have 4 high adventure bases:

  • Philmont Scout Ranch

    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.

  • Northern Tier National High Adventure Program

    This adventure base, located in Minnesota and Canada, offers wilderness canoe expeditions and cold-weather camping.

  • Florida National High Adventure Sea Base

    Sea Base offers aquatics programs in the Florida Keys.

  • The Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve (Opening 2013)

    Located in New River Gorge, West Virginia, the Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve is the newest high-adventure base in Scouting. It will be the permanent home of the national Scout jamboree and the site of the 2019 World Scout Jamboree. The Summit property is on 10,600 acres adjacent to the New River Gorge National River area. This area provides access to incredible outdoor terrain in the Appalachian Mountains, which includes some of the world’s best whitewater rafting, rock climbing, and mountain biking.


What is Scouting like in other countries?

Scouting began in England in 1907, based on the ideas of founder Sir Robert S. S. Baden-Powell and his book Scouting for Boys. The book and program proved to have universal appeal for boys and quickly spread worldwide. The Scouting program spread around the world until it became what it is now—the largest voluntary youth movement in the world, with a membership of more than 25 million.

A member of the World Organization of the Scout Movement, the Boy Scouts of America was incorporated on February 8, 1910, by W.D. Boyce. Through the BSA’s International Department, American Scouts and international Scouts are provided a common resource of programs, funding, and training that increases and enhances their experience in the brotherhood of Scouting.

The World Organization of the Scout Movement  is a federation of more than 160 recognized national Scout organizations.




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