| ||What is Boy Scouting? |
Boy Scouting is the program established by the Boy Scouts of America for boys who are at least 11 years old, or have completed the fifth grade, to 17 years old. In Boy Scouting, boys, families, and adult leaders work together to achieve three specific objectives, commonly referred to as the "Aims of Scouting." They are character development, citizenship training, and personal fitness. In order to do this, Scouting employs eight methods:
- Ideals. The ideals of Boy Scouting are spelled out in the Scout Oath, the Scout Law, the Scout motto, and the Scout slogan. The Boy Scout measures himself against these ideals and continually tries to improve. The goals are high, and as he reaches for them, he has some control over what and who he becomes.
- Patrols. The patrol method gives Boy Scouts an experience in group living and participating citizenship. It places responsibility on young shoulders and teaches boys how to accept it. The patrol method allows Scouts to interact in small groups where members can easily relate to each other. These small groups determine troop activities through elected representatives.
- Outdoor Programs. Boy Scouting is designed to take place outdoors. It is in the outdoor setting that Scouts share responsibilities and learn to live with one another. In the outdoors the skills and activities practiced at troop meetings come alive with purpose. Being close to nature helps Boy Scouts gain an appreciation for the beauty of the world around us. The outdoors is the laboratory in which Boy Scouts learn ecology and practice conservation of nature's resources.
- Advancement. Boy Scouting provides a series of surmountable obstacles and steps in overcoming them through the advancement method. The Boy Scout plans his advancement and progresses at his own pace as he meets each challenge. The Boy Scout is rewarded for each achievement, which helps him gain self-confidence. The steps in the advancement system help a Boy Scout grow in self-reliance and in the ability to help others.
- Associations With Adults. Boys learn a great deal by watching how adults conduct themselves. Scout leaders can be positive role models for the members of the troop. In many cases a Scoutmaster who is willing to listen to boys, encourage them, and take a sincere interest in them can make a profound difference in their lives.
- Personal Growth. As Boy Scouts plan their activities and progress toward their goals, they experience personal growth. The Good Turn concept is a major part of the personal growth method of Boy Scouting. Boys grow as they participate in community service projects and do Good Turns for others. Probably no device is as successful in developing a basis for personal growth as the daily Good Turn. The religious emblems program also is a large part of the personal growth method. Frequent personal conferences with his Scoutmaster help each Boy Scout to determine his growth toward Scouting's aims.
- Leadership Development. The Boy Scout program encourages boys to learn and practice leadership skills. Every Boy Scout has the opportunity to participate in both shared and total leadership situations. Understanding the concepts of leadership helps a boy accept the leadership role of others and guides him toward the citizenship aim of Scouting.
- Uniform. The uniform makes the Boy Scout troop visible as a force for good and creates a positive youth image in the community. Boy Scouting is an action program, and wearing the uniform is an action that shows each Boy Scout's commitment to the aims and purposes of Scouting. The uniform gives the Boy Scout identity in a world brotherhood of youth who believe in the same ideals. The uniform is practical attire for Boy Scout activities and provides a way for Boy Scouts to wear the badges that show what they have accomplished.
More information on Boy Scouting is available at the Boy Scouts of America's Web site.
| ||What are the ideals of Boy Scouting? |
These ideals are expressed in the oath, law and motto which all Boy Scouts learn:
|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 ||A Scout tells the truth. He keeps his promises. Honesty is part of his code of conduct. People can depend on him. |
|LOYAL ||A Scout is true to his family, Scout leaders, friends, school, and nation. |
|HELPFUL ||A Scout is concerned about other people. He does things willingly for others without pay or reward. |
|FRIENDLY ||A Scout is a friend to all. He is a brother to other Scouts. He seeks to understand others. He respects those with ideas and customs other than his own. |
|COURTEOUS ||A Scout is polite to everyone regardless of age or position. He knows good manners make it easier for people to get along together. |
|KIND ||A Scout understands there is strength in being gentle. He treats others as he wants to be treated. He does not hurt or kill harmless things without reason. |
|OBEDIENT ||A Scout follows the rules of his family, school, and troop. He obeys the laws of his community and country. If he thinks these rules and laws are unfair, he tries to have them changed in an orderly manner rather than disobey them. |
|CHEERFUL ||A Scout looks for the bright side of things. He cheerfully does tasks that come his way. He tries to make others happy. |
|THRIFTY ||A Scout works to pay his way and to help others. He saves for unforeseen needs. He protects and conserves natural resources. He carefully uses time and property. |
|BRAVE ||A Scout can face danger even if he is afraid. He has the courage to stand for what he thinks is right even if others laugh at or threaten him. |
|CLEAN ||A Scout keeps his body and mind fit and clean. He goes around with those who believe in living by these same ideals. He helps keep his home and community clean. |
|REVERENT ||A Scout is reverent toward God. He is faithful in his religious duties. He respects the beliefs of others. |
|Scout Motto: ||Be Prepared. |
| ||How is Boy Scouting organized? |
The Patrol . . .
Boy Scouts are assigned to patrols, which are groups of five to eight boys. Patrols elect their own leader, the Patrol Leader and Assistant Patrol Leader, and typically camp together on outings and do all the planning and preparation for those outings together as well.
The Troop . . .
All patrols are part of the "Troop". Troops are sponsored by a "chartering organization," usually a church, and generally meet in a fellowship hall or other facility which is part of that church. The adult leader of the troop is called the "Scoutmaster." Troop meetings are often led by older Scouts, with supervision from adult leaders. The meetings include instruction on Scout skills, planning of upcoming events, and presentation of awards earned by individual Scouts. There's also plenty of time for activities, games and fun.
The District and the Council . . .
Boy Scout Troops in Durham County are part of Mawat District. Mawat District and other districts in central North Carolina are part of Occoneechee Council. Both the District and the Council occasionally sponsor special, larger events for Boy Scouts to attend.
| ||What activities do Boy Scouts do? |
The Boy Scouting program includes activities that involve outdoor adventure, learning new skills through outdoor activities and the merit badge program, leadership opportunities, and service to others.
- Outdoor Adventure: Troops often go on overnight or weekend camping trips where Scouts engage in a variety of activities: camping, cooking, building fires, enjoying water activities like swimming and canoeing, backpacking, rock climbing, and more. Many Scouts attend a week of summer camp each year, where they camp for an entire week, work on merit badges, and just have fun. Scouts also attend larger events called Camporees and Jamborees which bring together large numbers of Boy Scouts from different parts of the state, country and world.
- Learning New Skills: Scouts learn the skills needed to function in the outdoors - pitching a tent, cooking a meal, identifying plants and animals, including poisonous ones, administering first aid, swimming safely and confidently, and more. Through the merit badge program, Scouts can gain exposure to many different and useful areas, from learning about how to be citizens of their community to leatherwork to shotgun shooting to auto repair.
- Leadership: Scouting is a boy-led program. Troops provide a number of leadership positions. Boys can be elected by their fellow Scouts to be Assistant Patrol Leader, Patrol Leader, Senior Patrol Leader, and other positions as well. Leadership training is provided by adult leaders.
- Service: Service is an integral part of the program. Scouts engage in conservation projects, clear and improve trails, help out at their schools or religious institutions, and can even serve Cub Scouts as Den Chiefs. Many troops participate in the annual Scouting for Food program, which gathers food for those in need in our area.
| ||Frequently Asked Questions |
How do I find a Boy Scout Troop to join?
You can look at this list of Boy Scout Troops, which has meeting places and contact information, or this map of Troops, which shows the meeting places on a map of Durham County. You can also request information online.
When and where does the Troop meet?
The Troop usually meets weekly for an hour or two. Meetings are normally held at a facility provided by the chartering organization.
How much does it cost?
Annual dues for Boy Scouts of America are $11.00. Subscriptions to Boy's Life, Scouting's magazine for youth members, costs $11.00 per year. Individual Troops also often charge dues in addition to those paid to BSA. Some need-based financial assistance is available from the Occoneechee Council's Scoutreach program.
What do we need to do to join?
- Complete an application for each boy, and submit it to a Troop volunteer with appropriate payment.
- Purchase a uniform from the Occoneechee Council Scout Shop at 3231 Atlantic Ave in Raleigh (map) or online at www.scoutstuff.org. Check with adult leaders first to see which parts of the uniform are required.
- Purchase the Boy Scout handbook from the Scout Shop, or online, at the same time.
How can adults help?
We're glad you asked! There are a number of ways adults can help Scouting be successful:
- First and foremost, support your son in his Scouting activities. Make sure he has his uniform and his book. Keep up with the calendar of Scout activities, and make sure that he attends his troop meetings and outings. Work with him on advancement activities throughout the Scouting year, so that he can earn his badges of rank and merit badges.
- Volunteer some of your time and talents. As in any volunteer-run organization, there are a number of positions with varying time commitments and levels of responsibility. Let the current Troop volunteers know that you're willing to help, and they'll help you find a job that you're comfortable with. If you're new to Scouting, don't let that stand in your way; no experience is necessary! You can help with driving to campouts, and stay and help on those campouts. You can teach merit badge classes. You can serve on the Troop Committee and help plan the overall Troop program and administer the unit.
How are youth members kept safe?
The safety and protection of Boy Scouts is of utmost importance. Learn more about how Scouting keeps youth members safe.