How Scouting Meets the Seven Needs of Growing
According to Michael Gurian
Scouting fulfills seven important needs of growing boys in the following ways:
1. Goal Setting. The program of merit badges teaches
boys how to set goals and work methodically toward accomplishing them and provides an opportunity for achievement and
2. A healthy hierarchy. Boys like a hierarchical system, one in which their position is clear to them. Scouting provides
that type of emotionally healthy hierarchy.
3. Mentoring. Boys hunger for male heroes to emulate. Scouting provides both adult
mentoring and healthy peer mentoring.
4. An experience
of nature. For boys, nature is a living organism, and boys need to bond with that
natural life. Boy Scout camping takes them out of the cities and into that natural environment.
Spiritual Development. Boys must have a
spiritual language within which to understand concepts such as character and moral development. A Scout leader who is a
devout person offers, but doesn't push, that spiritual language.
6. Character Development. There aren't a lot of places
these days that just come right out and say they're about character development. Through Scouting, boys hear the
message that Character counts.
7. Discipline. The discipline provided by the structure of Scouting helps boys build their own system of self
Excerpted from Scouting Magazine May-June 1999 Issue.