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4.
The Boy Scouts of America (hereafter the BSA) is an organisation founded in 1910 as part of the Scouting Movement, which began in 1907 with Lord Baden-Powell's establishment of a similar organisation in England, using his previous experience in the Royal Army (which he achieved the rank of Lieutenant General in). The American version was founded by William D. Boyce, whose story is immortalised in the 'Story of the Unknown Scout' (a memorial is dedicated to said Scout in Washington, D.C., in the form of a buffalo). The BSA includes youth aged 12-18, and has several offshoot programs, including Sea Scouts, Varsity Scouts, Cub Scouts and Venturing.

The BSA is primarily intended to teach young men and boys the value of good citizenship, leadership skills and outdoorsmanship.

The BSA has a system of ranks and awards to recognise and encourage advancement in its program. The ranks are, in order of lowest to highest, Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life and finally Eagle. After achieving Eagle, a Scout may endeavour to earn other awards beyond his rank, called Eagle Palms, ordered Bronze, Gold and Silver (compare with Olympic medals, ordered Bronze, Silver and Gold). Since these Palms are non-specific, they may be earned again and again, and stacked much like a military award in ribbon form, for as long as the Scout is actually in Scouting (i.e., he has not turned 18). Other awards of note are what the BSA calls merit badges, which are required to advance beyond First Class (and are required to advance beyond Star and Life to Eagle). These merit badges focus on one particular topic, and have a set of requirements that must be met before completion can be asserted. They are intended, much as the other requirements are, to teach valuable skills, give examples of what a Scout may wish to do with his life, train him in group leadership and cooperation and to give him a greater awareness in general. In addition, the BSA maintains several religious awards (not all are mainstream Christian: there is an Islamic, Meher Baba, Jewish, LDS, Catholic—including Eastern—Moravian and Zoroastrian), lifesaving awards (the Honor Medal—awarded in cases 'of exceptional skill or resourcefulness and extreme risk of life' with crossed palms upon the ribbon—Heroism Award and Medal of Merit), ecological awards (the World Conservation Award, commonly known as a 'pocket panda', the Leave No Trace Awareness Award and the Hornaday Award), several sporting-related awards, interpreter badges (for those Scouts who can translate to and from other languages fluently) and even an Organ Donor Awareness Award.

The BSA is organised into four regions: Western, Central, Southern and Northeast. These regions are further subdivided into areas, which are further subdivided into councils (the main administrative body). Councils have several troops under their authority, which are in turn comprised of patrols. Other bodies, such as those mentioned above (Sea Scouting, Cub Scouting, etc.) also fall under Council jurisdiction.

The BSA has, in recent years and in various areas of the United States, been seen as an organisation dedicated to discrimination and its members viewed as somehow weak, because of the set of promises that the Scouts take upon themselves. The truth is in fact much different: the BSA is a private organisation (although one with an extensive national heritage, and so receives special treatment, which other organisations and some Scouts and Scouters themselves do not agree with), whose right to determine its membership laws was upheld 5 to 4 in the Boy Scouts of America vs. Dale Supreme Court case in 2000. The BSA is also, in fact, composed of individuals of strong character, mind and body, who have not only hiked on extensive wilderness trips, navigated river rapids, gained recognition as experienced sailors and more, but have also participated in community service projects ranging from small to those of great import (the creation of a memorial, etc.), as well as saved lives, both by direct and indirect means. Many Scout troops maintain contingency plans for reacting to everything from fires to chemical spills, and some troops go so far as to develop plans for community defence. In other areas of the country, the opinion of the BSA is improving, albeit slowly.

Often seen as a paramilitary organisation, some troops de-emphasise this, while others do nothing to hinder it. The position of the National Council is that Scouting is a non-military movement, and has in fact banned much of the camouflage used by the military, and has also banned the use of rigid knives, such as Bowie knives.

Further reading can be found at the following links (remove spaces where applicable):
http://www.scouting magazine.org/issues/0110/d-wwas.html
http://www.scouting magazine.org/
http://www.scouting.org/
http://www.scout.org/
http://en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/Scouting
http://en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/Boy_Scouts_of_America
http://meritbadge.org/wiki/ index.php?title=Main_Page
http://www.boyscouttrail.com/ square-knots.asp
The Boy Scouts of America is an American organisation, much like the American Legion.
by Blast June 24, 2007
 
1.
An organization dedicated to providing fundamental life-skills and leadership training for young men and women. Membership requires dedication, honor, and character.
Neil Armstrong was an Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America.

PS - way to spell camporee, idiot
by Brian December 12, 2003
 
2.
The reason I'm getting a full scholarship to the college of my choice.

Many of the nation's CIA, FBI agents are eagle scouts
The majority of astronauts are eagle scouts
Many presidents and military officers are eagle scouts
A vast percentage of CFO, CEO's are eagle scouts

Look above. I think I've said enough. Boy scouts of America.
by heskeyson April 20, 2006
 
3.
To all those who have written or heard negatively about the BSA as a whole, NOT ALL participants in the Scouting Movement are: bigoted, right-wing, pro-life, vindictive, scum-sucking bastards. Although there are a few members that accurately fit some or all of the above descriptors, the REAL scouts actually adhere to most of the ideals represented by the Scout Oath and Law.

You may have heard that the entire BSA openly discriminates against people for there sexual orientations, religious beliefs, or lack thereof. NOT TRUE. Most troops, such as my own, are against discrimination. See also: Scout Oath.

An organization dedicated to providing fundamental life-skills and leadership training for young men and women. Membership requires dedication, honor, and character.

Neil Armstrong was an Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America.
The Boy Scouts of America. If the real world was like D&D, these people could be likened to a group of Paladins. Yes, that was a nerdy analogy, but at least I got the message across.
by aka_Pyro June 23, 2007
 
5.
America's finest youth organization that provides guidance and fun for millions of fine young men. It taught me outdoors skills like firebuilding and knot tying that I would never learn anywhere else and no else outside of scouts knows, and really valuable life skills like citizenship, finances, and communications. The Boy Scouts adhere to an oath of morals and guidelines that instill in its members a sense of pride, individuality, responsibility, and leadership, to name a few. People who do not adhere to these guidelines are not welcome; this has brought trouble to the Boy Scouts, but if you don't believe in God, you can't be Christian either, and if you don't believe in killing you can't join the Army. We welcome anyone who believes and practices what we do. I am an Eagle Scout, and this is one of my greatest accomplishments that I am most proud of and Scouts greatly affected my life. Outsiders will not understand the true spirit of Boy Scouts if they let society and its biased ideas toward Boy Scouts influence their opinions.
Neil Armstrong is an Eagle Scout of the Boy Scouts of America.

by mikethemanjr November 09, 2007
 
6.
A very misunderstood organization that instills morales and values into the male youth of America. It is often look down upon as uncool and homosexual due to things such as merit badges and week long all boy scout camps. In the long run, colleges and business think very highly of Eagle Scouts.
Tom: Hey Johnny, what did you do at scout camp, make lanyards and baskets?

Johnny: No, I spent the night in the mountains with my troop.

Tom: HA! You slept in the mountains with a bunch of guys? What a fag!

Johnny: Dude, I'll be the one laughing when I'm the CEO of a company and you're working at McDonalds.

*10 years later Johnny drives his Mercedes through a McDonald's drive through*

Johnny: Oh hi Tom! So you work at a McDonalds?

Tom: Yea....HEY am I still able to join the Boyscouts of America?

Johnny: No sorry! You have to be 18 or younger to earn Eagle!

Tom: Aw dam. I guess I'll join the coastguard then!
by BlueSharpie22 July 09, 2011
 
7.
A group that is stereotyped WAY too much. Not all of them hate gays and not all of them are right wing. Most of the time, they screw around, go camping, have a lot of fun, make awesome inside jokes, screw around with knives, shoot guns, and burn stuff. They generally have a good time.
Once at camp, we poured hot cocoa powder over a fire and made a 10 foot tall flame. That's what we do at the Boy Scouts of America.
by The Super Scout of Swag June 11, 2013