Why Become a Scout

ADVENTURE! That's what Scouting is. You are standing at the doorway to the most exciting adventures you can imagine. Step into the world of Scouting, and you'll find yourself hiking along trails, canoeing across misty lakes, and camping under the open sky. Smell fresh rain in the woods and fill your mouth with the taste of wild strawberries. At the end of a patrol bike-hike, plunge into a cool mountain lake. Cook your meals over a camping stove. Travel the backcountry without leaving a trace, and live well with only what you carry in your pockets and pack. Sound inviting? As a Scout, you can do all this and more.

Scouting is also a doorway to friendship. Boys you know might be joining your troop, and you'll meet lots of other Scouts along the way. Scouting is a worldwide brotherhood many millions strong. Almost anywhere you go, you will find Scouts excited about the same things you are.

Want to learn the skills that are used outdoors? Scouts know how to find their way with a map and compass, to stay warm and dry in stormy weather, and to give proper first aid. They observe wildlife close up and study nature all around them. There are plenty of important Scouting skills for you to master. You can teach others what you know. Everyone helping everyone else -- that is part of Scouting too.

People have always relied on Scouts to be prepared in time of need. Your troop leaders will show you meaningful ways to help your family, community, nation, and world. The small acts of kindness you perform every day will improve the lives of others. In an emergency, you will be ready to do whatever the situation requires.

Outdoor adventures, service projects, leadership in your patrol and troop -- Scouting will give you experiences and responsibilities that will help you mature. The Scout Oath and the Scout Law provide the guidelines you need to grow into a strong, confident adult. The knowledge and attitudes you develop as a Scout will spill over into the rest of your life.

Finally, Scouting is fun. You can look around during Scouting activities and notice a smile on every face. Everyone is sharing, learning, and living the Scout life.

Are you ready to get in on all the fun that Scouts have? Do you want to enjoy the adventures and friendship of a troop and patrol? This handbook will tell you all you need to know. The rest is up to you.

Excerpted from the BSA Boy Scout Handbook