Success in life often comes down to making the best of any situation. Scouting hands youth situations and shows them how to make the best of them. It shows them how to build their own shelter in a hailstorm so they will know how to weather any storm life throws at them. Scouts learn how to navigate the woods without getting lost so that they can navigate life without losing the principles and values instilled in them. Scouting helps youth realize what they’re truly capable of doing in a fun and responsible way.
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The Boy Scouts of America has helped lay the foundation for the future for more than 160 million alumni and members, both male and female. Generations of young people have been shaped by our time-tested program that teaches values, builds character, and exposes our most impressionable beings to skills they wouldn’t otherwise acquire.
In Scouting, preparedness is more than just a motto. “Prepared. For Life.” provides a succinct way to illustrate what Scouting is all about and to explain our role in helping young people on their journey to adulthood.
When we talk about “Prepared. For Life. ™” in Scouting, it is literally what we teach. We prepare them for adventure by promoting youth to pursue an active and healthy lifestyle, and to enjoy the great outdoors in a responsible way. We prepare them for leadership by giving young people the skills to take ownership of new tasks and lead by example.
“A sign of a good leader is not how many followers you have but how many leaders you create.” Mahatma Gandhi
Since the inception of the Boy Scouts of America in 1910, one of their main objectives has been to provide strong role models for youth during their formative years. What our youth need are caring adults who are strong role models. We know that mentoring is an important component of Scouting and recent scientific research proves that Scouting builds character. Dr. Richard M. Lerner, a psychologist and youth expert at Tufts University and his team measured the character attributes of nearly 1,800 Cub Scouts and nearly 400 non-Scouts.
Scouting is a vehicle that carries youth on a developmental journey that unlocks their full potential and leaves an indelible impression that lasts a lifetime. Scouts are taught self-confidence that allows them to react heroically in tragedy, the importance of serving others and meeting needs when they arise, and what it means to give back.
Community service is perhaps one of the best benchmarks we can use to judge how our cities and towns are truly performing. When care for those who need it the most is lacking in our country, it speaks volumes about the direction of our society. It is what we do that determines who we are, and who we are is defined by the character we instill in our children and future generations to follow.