The purpose of the Boy Scouts of America is to provide an effective educational program for boys and young adults to build character, to train them in the responsibilities of participating citizenship and to help them develop their personal fitness, providing this country with citizens who:
This sounds like a tall order, but Scouting delivers!
Boy Scouting, one of several membership divisions of the Boy Scouts of America (others include Cub Scouting, Venturing, and Sea Scouting), is available to boys who have earned the Arrow of Light Award, or have completed the fifth grade, or who are 11 through 17 years old, and subscribe to the Scout Oath and Scout Law. The program achieves the BSA's objectives of developing character, citizenship, and personal fitness qualities among youth by focusing largely (but not exclusively) on a program that emphasizes outdoor activities. For a great description of Scouting's methods, click here.
Aims and Methods of the Boy Scout Program
Boy Scouting works toward three aims. The first is to build character, developing the Scout's personal qualities, values and outlook -- honesty, courage, integrity, self-reliance, self-discipline, self-confidence, and self-respect.
The second aim is to foster participating citizenship, training the Scout on his duties, obligations, privileges and functions as a citizen and member of his community.
The third aim of Boy Scouting is to help the Scout to develop physical, mental, moral and emotional fitness.
The methods of Scouting are designed to accomplish these aims.
Ideals - The Ideals of Scouting are spelled out in the Scout Oath, Law, Motto and Slogan. The 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 he becomes.
Patrols - The patrol method gives Scouts an experience in group living and participating in citizenship. It places a certain amount of responsibility on young shoulders and teaches boys how to accept it. The patrol method allows Scouts to act in small groups where they can easily relate to each other. These small groups determine troop activities through their elected leaders.
Outdoor Program - Boys often join Scouting for the challenge and fun of the outdoor program. Much of Boy Scouting is designed to take place outdoors, where Scouts find adventure, share responsibilities and learn to live with each other. The outdoors is also a laboratory where Scouts use the skills learned in troop and patrol meetings.
Advancement - Scouting provides a series of surmountable obstacles and steps to overcome them through the advancement process. Each Scout plans his advancement and progresses at his own pace as he overcomes each challenge. He is rewarded for each achievement, which helps him gain self-confidence. The steps in the advancement system help a Scout grow in self-reliance and the ability to help others. As Scouts plan their activities and progress toward their goals, they experience personal growth. Among the activities offered are over 100 hobby and career skills through the merit badge program, as well as camping and high adventure programs.
Adult Association - Scouts associate with adults (Scoutmaster, Assistant Scoutmasters, Merit Badge Counselors) of high character and learn from their examples.
Personal Growth - As Scouts plan their activity and progress toward their goals, they experience personal growth. The Good Turn concept -- helping others -- is a major part of the personal growth method of Scouting. Through service projects, Scouts take their place in the community. Many Scouting activities also allow Scouts to grow by associating with Scouts from different backgrounds.
Leadership Development - Scouting encourages boys to learn and practice leadership skills. Every Scout has the opportunity to participate in both shared and total leadership situations and to be involved in planning, organization and decision-making. Understanding the concepts of leadership helps a boy accept the leadership roles of others and guides him toward the citizenship aim of Scouting. Boy Scouts frequently demonstrate leadership skills far beyond those of their non-Scouting peers.
Uniform - The uniform makes the Scout troop visible as a force of good and creates a positive youth image in the community. The uniform gives the Scout a sense of belonging, not only in his patrol and troop, but in a world brotherhood of youth who share the same ideals. Wearing the uniform also shows each Scout's commitment to the aims and purposes of Scouting.
Troop 208 is a boy-run troop. The adult leaders and parents help out a lot, but boys run the program and make the key decisions. They are expected to make mistakes, which is how they learn. Leadership is one of the methods of Scouting. Every boy will have an opportunity to participate in both shared and total leadership. The patrol leaders' council plans and carries out meetings and troop activities. Patrol leaders will assign duties for patrol activities. Understanding the concepts of leadership helps the boy accept the leadership of others and helps him to grow into a more responsible adult. Here is an organization chart of a troop, and below is an outline of the duties of the troop's key leadership positions. Because of Troop 208's size, some of these positions may be vacant.
Gloria Dei Church sponsors Boy Scout Troop 208. Our troop has existed under its current charter since the early 1940's, and has an enviable record of boys advancing to the Eagle Scout rank (77 as of 2016). Our adult leaders are experienced and dedicated Scouters, fully trained according to BSA policies and procedures. Parental involvement in troop activities is invited and encouraged.
The expense of Scouting is low; the return on investment is priceless. Joining Troop 208 will cost you nothing; the troop underwrites registration fees. We have historically earned enough money through annual fund-raising efforts (or family contributions in lieu of fund-raising) to pay for troop equipment. Families pay only for Boy Scout uniforms, personal gear, reasonable outing costs, week-long summer camp and optional personal expenses.
We invite you to attend any of Troop 208's regular meetings on most Mondays at 7:00 p.m. Check our calendar to verify meeting dates. We meet at Gloria Dei Church, Huntingdon Pike and Welsh Road, Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania. Most meetings are in the basement, under the office entrance. If you don't see us there, look in the Christian Fellowship Hall or the Zabor Room (2nd floor). For more information, feel free to e-mail Scoutmaster.
Parents are always needed to help make the troop program successful. This can be by participating on the Troop Committee which oversees and approves troop activities, becoming an adult leader, participating in and driving on camping trips, driving for other activities, becoming a merit badge counselor, or participating in troop meetings. WE NEED YOU! We also need your feedback: if you have concerns or kudos about the program, your son's participation or progress, this website or anything else, please let us know. Remember, feedback is a gift!