BSA "Aims and Methods" 1959-1990
Wed, 25 Sep 1996 17:55:43 -0400
IV. The Fifth Edition, Scoutmaster's Handbook (1959) retained the same
graphical outline of "THE AIM OF SCOUTING" AND "THE METHODS OF SCOUTING"
as the Fourth Edition.
V. The Sixth Edition, Scoutmaster's Handbook (1972) was the first to list
the three Aims of Scouting as we now know them: Character, Citizenship,
and Fitness. It included a list of behaviors that suggest evidence of
those qualities by which a Scouter could judge the effectiveness of his
THE CHARACTER AIM
* He is confident in himself, but not conceited.
* He is honest with himself and others.
* His personal appearance and general actions show that he respects
* He has some skills that enable him to enjoy life.
* He can take care of himself in emergencies.
* He shows imagination and resourcefulness in solving problems.
* He is courageous in hard situations.
* He can plan and use logic to meet unfamiliar situations.
* He shows what moral values he holds high by the decisions he makes.
* He is responsible and loyal to the commitments he makes to himself and
* He believes in some religious concept and practices his belief in his
* He respects other people's beliefs when they are different from his own.
THE CITIZENSHIP AIM
"...If you are making progress in citizenship training, you will observe
behaviors like these:"
* The boy knows something of his heritage as an American and is proud of
* He understands to some degree American social, economic, and
* He understands and can use skills of leadership to lead a group to a
* He demonstrates concern for and interest in others.
* He has some knowledge of cultures and social groups other than his own
and is able to understand something of what it is like to belong to
another such group.
* He is aware of community organizations and what they do.
* He understands the ethnic and social situation in his neighborhood.
* He contributes in some way to the improvement of the environment in
which he lives.
* He wisely uses property belonging to himself and others.
* He explores vocational and hobby possibilities for himself.
THE FITNESS AIM
* The boy knows and practices good health rules; he has good health
* His physical fitness is shown by strength, muscle tone, and endurance.
* He has reasonably good physical coordination.
* He keeps his weight within healthful limits.
* Being alert (mentally awake!)
* Being able to give and receive information
* Retaining and using knowledge
* Using good judgment, thinking logically, making sound decisions
* Solving problems creatively
* Using a questioning approach to problems
* Courage about what he believes. Being called "chicken" doesn't divert
him from doing what he believes is right--or not doing what he believes is
* Respect for other people's viewpoints when they are different from his.
* Compassion for other's feelings and needs.
* Acting as if the rights of others matter to him.
* Accepting others as equal in worth and dignity.
* Adaptability--being able to adjust to new or changing situations.
* Self-discipline--having self-control
* Respect for self
* Constructive and enthusiastic attitudes.
THE METHODS OF SCOUTING
The Sixth Edition was the first of two editions to state that the Methods
"are *not* listed in order of importance--because they are *equally
important*" (emphasis in bold italics). There were only seven Methods,
however, and (SURPRISE!) the Uniform was not one of them:
1. Scouting Ideals
4. Adult Male Association
5. Outdoor Program
6. Leadership Development
7. Personal Growth
Other Program Elements
"We have considered those parts of Scouting that are so essential to the
success of the program that we call them methods. There are, of course,
other features and elements--some unique to Scouting, some not. Each
contributes its own flavor to the total program.
We note some of these other program elements here, in no special order."
The Scout Uniform
The Good Turn
Activities Among Troops
VI. The Seventh Edition, The Official Scoutmaster Handbook (1981),
retained the Three Aims with some minor changes to the behavior to look
for in a successful program:
"He has some skills that enable him to enjoy life" was changed to "He has
developed special skills or hobbies that absorb his energies and develop
his competence and confidence." "Hard" was changed to "difficult" in "He
is courageous in difficult situations." Dropped were: "He shows
imagination and resourcefulness in solving problems," and "He shows what
values he holds high by the decisions he makes."
"He understands the ethnic and social situation in his neighborhood" was
changed to "He understands and respects the ethnic and social
relationships of his community." "He resists the urging of his peers to
experiment with smoking, drugs, and alcohol" was added here and repeated
as an example of "Courage about what he believes" under Moral Fitness.
Two attributes were rewritten: "The boy has good health habits. He
eats properly, exercises daily, and gets enough sleep," and "He keeps his
weight within reasonable limits."
"Being able to give and receive information" was dropped.
"...We have considered the aims of Scouting and some of the evidence of
achieving them. There are eight methods we use to accomplish these aims.
They are not listed in order of importance because they are all of equal
importance." The emphasis had been dropped and an eighth Method added:
Ideals (was Scouting Ideals)
Patrol Method (was Patrols)
Outdoors (was Outdoor Program)
Adult Male Association
Leadership Training (was Leadership Development)
OTHER PROGRAM ELEMENTS
Competition and Sports
Team Sports Policy
Activities Among Troops, Packs. and Posts
Anniversary Week Celebration
VII The Eighth Edition, The Scoutmaster Handbook (1990), continued with
the same three Aims and eight Methods:
THE AIMS OF SCOUTING
Aim I--To build character
Aim II--To foster citizenship
Aim III--To develop fitness
THE METHODS OF SCOUTING
Patrols (was Patrol Method)
Adult Association (was Adult Male Association)
Leadership Development (was Leadership Training)
VIII The Ninth Edition: Has anyone heard any rumors? I'd love to see Bob
Birkby take a crack at editing the next one!
Rick Seymour, ASM
Troop 108, Kenmore, NY
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City