In 1908, Lord Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of Boy Scouting, wrote: “The aim of Scout training is to improve the standard of our future citizenhood, especially in character and health; to replace self with service, to make the lads individually efficient, morally and physically, with the object of using that efficiency for service for their fellow-men.”
More than 100 years later, it is clear that the BSA continues to achieve our founder’s objectives and advance these core values today, serving an annual membership of more than 2.5 million youth members in cities and towns across America. This success depends on—and is a tribute to—nearly a million adult volunteers, who through their own example, teach our youth members how to be trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent. We are tremendously proud of what we’ve accomplished together—and what we’re continuing to do to prepare the youth of today to be tomorrow’s leaders.
Our comprehensive youth protection program is comprised of four key components: (1) a multi-layered volunteer application and screening process, including local selection and screening, national criminal background checks, and verification that Scouting has received no prior allegations of inappropriate conduct; (2) extensive training programs designed specifically to teach Scouts and adult volunteers how to recognize and prevent abuse; (3) clear policies that create barriers to abuse of youth members; and (4) mandatory reporting of allegation or suspicion of abuse.
The BSA’s youth protection efforts are led by Mike Johnson, an internationally recognized expert on child abuse detection and prevention. Mike, together with both professional and volunteer Scouters, continues to enhance the BSA’s youth protection policies, procedures, and training materials to strive to be at the forefront of youth protection.