Our Aim Is True
The aim of the Scouting movement is to build youth into quality citizens by:
- Building Character
- Fostering Citizenship
- Promoting Fitness
Each individual Scouting organization specifies these aims differently, but in general, these are the things Scouting wants to accomplish - regardless of the type of program, age group, or country of origin.
Lets look at each of these aims in turn for a little more explanation:
Character is a pretty generic term. It means the combination of qualities or features that distinguish one person or group from another. So, what do we mean when we say Scouting aims to build character? Well, we're talking about the qualities of a person that makes him self-sufficient, motivated, charitable, concerned for others, and willing to accept the responsibilities placed before him.
Scouting aims to build self-confidence, problem solving, compassion, acceptance of personal responsibility, and leadership skills within each Scout. This allows the individual boy well prepared for life in an adult world. How Scouting does this relates to the methods of Scouting, so we won't go into that here.
Regardless of what country a Scout lives in, there are qualities and responsibilities expected of every citizen. In the United States, the rights and responsibilities of citizenship are clearly described in the Bill of Rights. Scouting aims to teach each Scout the rights and responsibilities of citizenship and provide him with real experience in citizenship.
The end result of such training should be individuals who know what it means to be a citizen, what is expected of them, and what they can expect in return. They are prepared to participate in society and in many cases become leaders in their community or profession.
Being fit means, of course, much more than being muscular or athletic. Scouting believes that quality citizens with good character should also maintain a good level of physical and mental fitness. That doesn't mean Scouting expects every Scout to be athletic and scholarly. What it means is that a Scout learns to challenge himself physically and mentally, and to remain fit in order to meet that challenge.
Scouts experience a high level of activity, and are challenged to do many things that require physical and mental fitness. Through these experiences, the Scout learns to enjoy being fit. He learns the dangers of becoming sedentary and complacent, and of being tempted by lifestyles that lead to mental and physical weakness.
Your Aim Helps
Scouting's aims represent the ultimate goal of the organization for each Scout. The aims aren't the path we need to take, or the blueprint for our success. The aims are the end result, the destination of our journey. If we compare building a Scout with building a house, the aims represent the result we want from the building process. The aims, then, are the house. The aims aren't the steps we take to design and build the house. As we go through the steps of building a house, we keep an eye on our goal - the end result we seek - but most of our attention and effort is in the steps we are taking.
In Scouting, the aims represent the result we want from the process of Scouting. This is our ideal. We need to keep an eye on the aims, but most of our attention and effort should be on the steps we take toward that goal. That means it's important to know what the aims of Scouting are, but our main concern should be the methods of Scouting.