Purpose of Boy Scouting:
The Blue Ridge Mountains Council with the Boy Scouts of America aims to provide a program for community organizations that offers effective character development, citizenship training and personal fitness training for youth.
Boy Scout Program Membership:
Boy Scouting is a year-round program for boys age 11-17. Boys who are 10 may join if they have received the Arrow of Light Award or have finished the fifth grade. Boy Scouting is a program of fun outdoor activities, peer group leadership opportunities and a personal exploration of career, hobby and special interests, all designed to achieve the BSA’s objectives of strengthening character, personal fitness and good citizenship.
The Blue Ridge Mountains Council has over 180 troops and 80 crews active in its council area.
Who Pays for It?
Several groups are responsible for supporting Boy Scouting: the boy and his parents, the troop, the chartered organization and the community. Boys are encouraged to earn money whenever possible to pay their own expenses and they also contribute dues to their troop treasuries to pay for budgeted items. Troops obtain additional income by working on approved money-earning projects. The community, including parents, supports Scouting through the United Way, Friends of Scouting campaigns, bequests and special contributions to the Blue Ridge Mountains Council. This income provides leadership training, outdoor programs, maintenance of the Council Service Center in Roanoke and other facilities, and professional service for units.
Aims and Methods of the Scouting Program:
The Scouting program has three specific objectives, commonly referred to as the “Aims of Scouting.” They are character development, citizenship training, and personal fitness.
The methods by which the aims are achieved are listed below in random order to emphasize the equal importance of each.
- 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. The outdoors is the laboratory in which Scouts learn ecology and practice conservation of nature’s resources.
- Advancement: Boy Scouting provides a series of surmountable obstacles through the advancement method. The Boy Scout plans his advancement and progresses at his own pace as he meets each challenge. The Scout is rewarded for each achievement, which helps him gain self-confidence. The steps in the advancement system help a Boy Scout grow self-reliant and able 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 and 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. The religious emblems program also is a large part of the personal growth method.
- 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 Blue Ridge Mountains Council offers many outdoor activities and camps at its Blue Ridge Scout Reservation in Pulaski County, Va. Boy Scouts can participate, enjoy and learn from week-long experiences at such camps as: Mountain Man Outpost, High Knoll, Fish Camp, New River Adventure, Voyageur Trek and the Claytor Lake Aquatics base, just to name a few.
The BSA conducts a national Scout jamboree every four years and participates in world Scout jamborees (also held at four-year intervals).