Monday, June 20, 2011

Training Item 1.1: Aims, Mission and Vison

Wood Badge would be a phenomenal waste of time and money if I did not share what I've learned. Consequently, I'm preparing twelve lessons on Scouting fundamentals, and we're not talking knots and tinfoil dinners.  The first training session consisted of an introduction and discussion of the Aims, Mission and Vision of the BSA, and how that coincides with the Mission of the Aaronic Priesthood (handout, Ctrl+p to print).
The Aims of Scouting:
  • Growth in Moral Strength and Character
  • Physical, Mental and Emotional Fitness
  • Participating Citizenship
The Mission:

To prepare young people to make ethical choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law.

The Vision:

The Boy Scouts of America will prepare every eligible youth in America to become a responsible, participating citizen and leader who is guided by the Scout Oath and Law.
A mission statement is a brief statement that reflects core values and communicates objectives. It's why an organization exists. A Vision statement is a picture of future success. A good vision engages the heart and soul, and leads to a worthwhile goal; it gives meaning to effort. Think of JFK's vision to place man on the moon, or MLK's vision of a colorblind society – both men saw immense potential and inspired the nation to reach for something better. Many companies use these tools to define who they are and measure progress. The BSA is no different.

Scouting is a game with a purpose. The game is what Scouts do, the purpose, embodied in the Aims, Mission and Vision, is why they do it. They don’t even know this purpose exists. But we adults do, and we need to be thinking long-term, as in “what kind of men do I want these boys to be in 15 years, 25 years, when scouting, mission, college, etc. are all over and they’ve become our replacements? And how does Scouting augment the Primary and Aaronic Priesthood training they’re getting now?

In our capacity as leaders of boys, our collective goal is to:
  • build young men of high moral character, physical, mental, emotional and spiritual fitness and citizenship
  • prepare them for the challenges that will face them, both as MP holders and missionaries, and as contributors to society in general
By understanding the mission and vision of the BSA, we, as leaders of boys, will be better prepared to accomplish the aims of Scouting, and by extension, the Mission of the Aaronic Priesthood. All four look forward to the day when each young man is facing life's challenges on his own, when he makes his own decisions about life, family, church and other obligations.

Their early Scout experiences in Cubs and 11YO/Deacons will excite and prepare them with the skills and confidence needed for their later teen years, when their activities can have a profound effect on their emotional and spiritual development. Often, it is the high adventures of their later teen years that truly offer them the opportunity to reach out to the Divine and discover Who they really are.