Scouting is designed to teach life lessons about the responsibilities of citizenship, physical fitness, morality, self-reliance, strength of character, and service to others. As the scouts learn these lessons and grow from boys to young men, they progress through a series of rank achievements which indicate their current level in scouting. These ranks are based entirely on merit and not tenure. Each rank is earned after a successful board of review determines that the scout has met all requirements to move forward. The ultimate achievement is to reach the rank of Eagle Scout, which not all will achieve, but for those who do will forever be a defining element of their character and commitment to something greater than themselves.
Scouts earn merit badges as they learn new skills. Some include swimming, hiking, first aid, archery, kayaking, shooting, camping, and a myriad of others. Several specific skills are required for the Eagle Scout achievement, but the rest are tailored to the personal interests of the individual scout.