President Woodrow Wilson signed a unanimously-approved Congressional charter that gave federal recognition to the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), stating at the time that “every nation depends for its future upon the proper training and development of its youth.” The charter allowed for the group to be recognized under U.S. Code Title 36, the part of U.S. law that recognizes “patriotic and national organizations,” rather than having to seek incorporation state-by-state. The purpose, as noted in section 30902 is “The purposes of the corporation are to promote, through organization, and cooperation with other agencies, the ability of boys to do things for themselves and others, to train them in scoutcraft, and to teach them patriotism, courage, self-reliance, and kindred virtues, using the methods that were in common use by boy scouts on June 15, 1916.”
The BSA is one of the largest youth organizations in the United States with about 1 million participants and is a member of the World Organization of the Scout Movement. Since its founding in 1910, over 110 million youth have participated in BSA programs. Since 1971, girls have been able to take advantage of the opportunities afforded by participation in the outdoor and leadership skills training offered by the BSA. That was the first year they could join Exploring, a teenage career shadowing program included under the BSA umbrella. Subsequent to that, they became eligible to join the Venturing and Cub Scout programs. Since 2019, girls have been eligible to participate as Scouts BSA (ages 11-18) and become eligible to attain the rank of Eagle Scout.
The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law.
On my honor I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my country
and to obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong,
mentally awake, and morally straight.
A Scout is: