2001: The Year in Review

For the first time in the movement's history, more than 5 million youth
participated in the programs offered by the BSA.

High-spirited fun and companionship are natural parts of the Boy Scouts of America's program of values and leadership.

2001 Will Be Recalled as a year that celebrated Scouting's many achievements and a year that challenged and defined the mission and purpose first stated 91 years ago. The Boy Scouts of America owes much of its success in recent years to decisive leadership and its careful strategic planning. May 2001 saw the introduction of a new strategic plan developed by the National Executive Board. BSA leaders including Executive Vice President Roy S. Roberts, chairman of the Strategic Plan Committee; President Milton H. Ward; and Chief Scout Executive Roy L. Williams designed the plan to help ensure the continued success of Scouting in the years to come.

2002-2005 Strategic Plan

Developed with the guidance of the volunteer leadership, the 2002-2005 Strategic Plan addresses five critical areas: traditional membership and unit growth, the Scoutreach program, leadership, marketing and strategic positioning, and financial development. Concentrating on these key areas will enable the Boy Scouts of America to continue to reach out to an ever-increasing number of young people with an exciting and engaging program of values and leadership.

For the first time in the movement's history, more than 5 million youth participated in the programs offered by the BSA. That achievement is testimony to the enduring values of the Scout Oath and Law, and to the dedication and commitment of our chartered organizations and 1.3 million volunteers.

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.

The Scouting movement is a community of volunteers and organizations working together for the sole purpose of helping young people succeed in life. To enhance the training of new Cub Scout, Boy Scout, and Venturing leaders, the BSA launched a comprehensive program to teach the basic skills they need to implement the Scouting program. The advanced leadership training program was enhanced to focus on team leadership and group dynamics as they apply to Scouting.

For the youth members and participants, Scouting is about having fun and learning new skills. Scouting is also about values, leadership, and service. Scouting is people. While statistics cannot capture the impact Scouting has on millions of young people, the numbers can document a picture of the successes the organization had in 2001.

Cub Scouting

Membership in Cub Scouting, for boys in the first through fifth grades, exceeded 2 million. There were 2,043,478 Tiger Cubs, Cub Scouts, and Webelos Scouts at December 31, 2001. An increased emphasis on outdoor programs resulted in 43 percent of all Cub Scouting members enjoying a day camp, resident camp, or family camping experience.

Boy Scouting

Membership in Boy Scouting reached 1,005,592 for 11- to 17-year-olds at December 31, 2001. The Eagle Scout Award, the highest rank a Boy Scout can achieve, was presented to 43,665 young men. The greatest percentage of Scouts participating in long-term camping expeditions was reached in 2001, with 60.9 percent of all Boy Scouts and Varsity Scouts participating in educational outdoor adventures.

The number of Venturing crews increased 9.1 percent in 2001. The program has been growing without pause since its introduction in 1998.


Using high-adventure activities, this character-building program reached 276,434 young men and women ages 14 to 20 at December 31, 2001, an 18.2 percent increase over the previous year. The number of Venturing crews increased 9.1 percent to 19,283 units. This program has experienced continuous growth since its introduction in 1998.


The National Court of Honor presents the prestigious Silver Buffalo Award to distinguished citizens for their exemplary national service to youth. In 2001, recipients of Scouting's highest commendation included William F. Cronk; George F. Francis III; General Robert T. Herres; W. Walter Menninger, M.D.; Elmer E. Rasmuson; Harold L. "Spike" Yoh Jr.; and members of the Oak Ridge Boys—Duane Allen, Joe Bonsall, William Lee Golden, and Richard Sterban.

The Honor Medal With Crossed Palms was presented to eight Scouts and Scouters who demonstrated unusual heroism and extraordinary skill or resourcefulness in saving or attempting to save a life at extreme risk to self. Other awards for lifesaving and meritorious action were presented to 289 Scouts and Scouters.

The Young American Awards recognize excellence in the achievements of young people ages 15 to 25. The 2001 recipients were James W. Johnson, Jason Wayne Kemp, Hong-Ly Thi La, Cyrus Jefferson Lawyer IV, and Evan Michael Todd.

The 15th National Scout Jamboree. The 2001 National Scout Jamboree, held in July at Fort A. P. Hill in Caroline County, Virginia, was the largest single-site jamboree since 1964, with more than 40,000 participants and an estimated 275,000 visitors. The purpose of the jamboree remains steadfast: to bring Scouts from across the country and from around the world for fun, adventure, learning, and brotherhood. There is no better time or place for a Scout to practice those values set forth in the Scout Oath and Law than among thousands of other Scouts who share the same principles.

September 11.

"Be Prepared." "Do my best to do my duty ... ." "Help other people at all times ... ." The events of that tragic day drew together Scouts and leaders across the country as a living example that these words that each Scout recites are more than words—they are a way of life.

Scouts of all ages pitched in to help in the wake of the September 11 tragedy.

President George W. Bush called on Scouts to help the children of Afghanistan by contributing to the Afghan Children's fund. The Scouts quickly answered the president's call.

Scouts—not just in Washington, D.C., and New York City, but in communities all over the United States—quickly mobilized to collect food and other necessities for the victims, rallied to support rescue workers, and performed countless acts of service. In the days immediately following:

  • Scouts and leaders in New York City collected gloves, socks, toothbrushes, dog food, and other material requested by firefighters and rescue workers.
  • The Greater New York Council donated 500 cots for relief workers at the World Trade Center site.
  • The South Florida Council set up a community candlelight vigil just 72 hours after the attack.
  • Scouts in Medford, New York, collected over 150,000 bottles of water and energy drinks for Ground Zero workers.
  • The Rochester, New York, council offered its local council service center to the Red Cross as a community blood donation center.
  • In Atlanta and in Detroit, Scouts distributed hundreds of car flags.
  • In Idaho Falls, Boy Scouts placed flags in the front yards of one house out of every three.
  • Scouts in Long Island placed messages of encouragement and pride in the hard hats used by rescue workers.
  • In Oklahoma, the council launched a "helping hands for heroes" project for Scouts and leaders to assist military families whose loved ones were called to duty.
  • An assistant Scoutmaster and Air Force major was one of the first to answer the call for volunteers to enter the Pentagon building to look for and offer aid to survivors.

As it has for over 90 years, Scouting responded quickly to a national emergency. That response continues today and for as long as it is needed. It is just part of an even larger daily Scouting response to America and the needs of the country.