6th SMHB




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The Sixth Edition, Scoutmaster's Handbook (1972) was the first to list "Three Aims of Scouting:" Character, Citizenship, and Fitness. It included an interesting list of behaviors that suggest evidence of those qualities by which a Scouter could judge the effectiveness of his program:


bulletHe is confident in himself, but not conceited.
bulletHe is honest with himself and others.
bulletHis personal appearance and general actions show that he respects himself.
bulletHe has some skills that enable him to enjoy life.
bulletHe can take care of himself in emergencies.
bulletHe shows imagination and resourcefulness in solving problems.
bulletHe is courageous in hard situations.
bulletHe can plan and use logic to meet unfamiliar situations.
bulletHe shows what moral values he holds high by the decisions he makes.
bulletHe is responsible and loyal to the commitments he makes to himself and others.
bulletHe believes in some religious concept and practices his belief in his daily life.
bulletHe respects other people's beliefs when they are different from his own.


 "...If you are making progress in citizenship training, you will observe behaviors like these:"

bulletThe boy knows something of his heritage as an American and is proud of it.
bulletHe understands to some degree American social, economic, and governmental systems.
bulletHe understands and can use skills of leadership to lead a group to a successful outcome.
bulletHe demonstrates concern for and interest in others.
bulletHe has some knowledge of cultures and social groups other than his own and is able to understand something of what it is like to belong to another such group.
bulletHe is aware of community organizations and what they do.
bulletHe understands the ethnic and social situation in his neighborhood.
bulletHe contributes in some way to the improvement of the environment in which he lives.
bulletHe wisely uses property belonging to himself and others.
bulletHe explores vocational and hobby possibilities for himself.


Physical Fitness

bulletThe boy knows and practices good health rules; he has good health habits.
bulletHis physical fitness is shown by strength, muscle tone, and endurance.
bulletHe has reasonably good physical coordination.
bulletHe keeps his weight within healthful limits.

Mental Fitness

bulletBeing alert (mentally awake!)
bulletBeing able to give and receive information
bulletRetaining and using knowledge
bulletUsing good judgment, thinking logically, making sound decisions
bulletSolving problems creatively
bulletUsing a questioning approach to problems

Moral Fitness

bulletCourage about what he believes. Being called "chicken" doesn't divert him from doing what he believes is right--or not doing what he believes is wrong.
bulletRespect for other people's viewpoints when they are different from his.
bulletCompassion for other's feelings and needs.
bulletActing as if the rights of others matter to him.
bulletAccepting others as equal in worth and dignity.

Emotional Fitness

bulletAdaptability--being able to adjust to new or changing situations.
bulletSelf-discipline--having self-control
bulletRespect for self
bulletConstructive and enthusiastic attitudes.


The Sixth Edition was the first of two editions to state that the Methods "are *not* listed in order of importance--because they are equally important. There were only seven Methods, however, and the Uniform was not one of them:

  1. Scouting Ideals
  2. Patrols
  3. Advancement
  4. Adult Male Association
  5. Outdoor Program
  6. Leadership Development
  7. Personal Growth

Other Program Elements

 "We have considered those parts of Scouting that are so essential to the success of the program that we call them methods. There are, of course, other features and elements--some unique to Scouting, some not. Each contributes its own flavor to the total program.
We note some of these other program elements here, in no special order."

The Scout Uniform
The Good Turn
Activities Among Troops

The Methods of Scouting






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Last modified: October 15, 2016.