National Boy Scouts of America
Prominent Americans in diverse walks of life, from filmmaker Steven Spielberg (who helped launch a merit badge in cinematography) to adventurer Steve Fossett to politicians, were BSA members as youths. Over two-thirds of all astronauts have had some type of involvement in Scouting, and eleven of the twelve men to walk on the moon were Scouts, including Eagle Scouts Neil Armstrong and Charlie Duke.
In 1912, Norman Rockwell was hired as a staff artist by Boys' Life, the magazine published by the Boy Scouts of America. He was hired by the Saturday Evening Post in 1916, but resumed work with BSA in 1926 and produced 51 original prints for the BSA. His last work created for BSA was done when he was 82. The work to the left is entitled On My Honor and was on the cover of Boys' Life in 1953.
"I can say without hesitation, because of Scouting principles, I know I was a better athlete, I was a better naval officer, I was a better Congressman, and I was a better prepared President.”
~ President Gerald Ford
"Scouts, especially Eagle Scouts, were disproportionately represented among Hurricane Katrina's volunteer relief workers; just as they are disproportionately represented among members of the United States Senate."
~ Author of Legacy of Honor, Alvin Townley
"Particularly in the very impactful ages of youth 11 to 14 years old, when they can really go astray and you're taking the time to spend with them and focus on cultural core values like reverent, trustworthy, loyal, and helpful —all of those different things ... Scouting has a huge positive impact on boys and their lives, and that in turn positively impacts our communities and society as a whole."
~ Past CEO of Clear Channel Communications, Mark Mays
"The BSA's Scout Law are all the American values ... Americans have quaintly simplistic ways and direct ways of phrasing things ... I think it's one of the great strengths of this country."
~ Past Mayor of New York City and Business Tycoon, Michael Bloomberg
"I feel lucky to have had this unexpected vehicle to share my son's youth, to shape it, and to be shaped by it as well. Scouting's core values ... are wonderful building blocks for a movement and a life. Scouting's genuinely egalitarian goals and instincts are more important now than they've ever been. It's one of the only things that kids do that's genuinely cooperative, not competitive."
~ Past editor of The New York Times, Peter Applebome
The BSA National Executive Board governs the organization. The board is led by the national president, a volunteer elected by the National Council. Board members include regular elected members, regional presidents, and up to five appointed youth members. The Chief Scout Executive is the board secretary and non-voting member. The National Executive Board has a number of standing committees that correspond to the professional staff organization of the National Council.
The BSA partners with community organizations, such as religious congregations, fraternal groups, service clubs, and other community associations, to provide the Scouting program for the particular neighborhood or community in which the particular organization wishes to outreach to youth and families. These organizations hold charters issued by the BSA and are known then as chartered organizations. Each chartered organization provides the meeting place for BSA youth, oversees the volunteer leaders, and agrees to follow the basic BSA safety policies and values-based program, and the organization is considered the "owner" of its local program, much like a franchise.
Within each chartered organization, there may be one or more "units". A unit is a group of youth and adults which are collectively designated as a Cub Scout pack, Boy Scout troop, Varsity Scout team, or Venturing crew, Sea Scout ship, or Exploring post. Units create their own activities (such as monthly camping trips, outings, or service projects), and most meet weekly at the place of the chartered organization for youth to learn basic skill development and practice leadership in small groups known as dens and patrols.
The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) is one of the largest youth organizations in the United States, with 2.7 million youth members and over 1 million adult volunteers. Since its founding in 1910, more than 110 million Americans have been members of the BSA.
The BSA's 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 Scout method is the informal educational system used by Scouts. The aim of Scouting is character training with the goal of helping participants become independent and helpful, and thereby become "healthy, happy, helpful citizens".
The Scout method uses appealing games in the primitive outdoors to generate challenges which a Scout learns to solve by himself. Through the training and the example of the leader, Scouts are taught independence, leadership, the ambition to learn by himself, and a moral code with positive goals. According to founder Robert Baden-Powell, the Scout method works naturally and unconsciously: naturally in the way that it follows the natural impulses of the Scout, and unconsciously because the Scout is not aware of the education.