CHARACTER COUNTS! is a nonpartisan alliance of organizations working together to strengthen the character of young people today.
We seek alliances with others, including CHARACTER COUNTS!, to promote good character
We enhance character in our Scouts as instilled by parents.
We instill the Six Pillars of Character in our Scouts.
The Scout Programs of Adventure Scouts USA are inclusive. But we stretch beyond our members to include other organizations, which also benefit youth. These “Friendship Organizations” are organizations we have a special relationship with. We encourage other organizations, which are instill good character in youth, to join our “Circle of Friends.”
One of those organizations is the CHARACTER COUNTS! Coalition. We seek alliances with others in our efforts to promote good character. Adventure Scouts USA is proud to be the only Scout Programs, national organization members of CHARACTER COUNTS!. CHARACTER COUNTS!, is a nonpartisan alliance of leading human-service and educational organizations working together to strengthen the character of young people today and-- safeguard tomorrow for all. CHARACTER COUNTS! supports the development of good character in our Scouts. We reinforce these six pillars: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship.
The Six Pillars
- Trustworthy --Trustworthiness includes the positive character trait of honesty. Our Scouts are expected to tell the truth, to not repeat gossip or falsehoods, and do their individual best. We ask our Scouts after the end of a project if they feel they really gave their best. If the answer is no, they are encouraged to concentrate on the trait of always giving their best when participating in the next activity.
- Respect -- Respect is a particularly important part of our Scout Programs because we are nondiscriminatory. Equal treatment and respect of all persons is essential to the enhancement of character. It does not matter if our Scouts have physical disabilities, come from differing ethnicities, or have few outdoor skills. We foster the best in every Scout without discrimination. Because our Scouts choose, organize, and lead their own activities, they develop an appreciation for each other’s opinions. During brainstorming, our Scouts come up with ideas for activities . No one is ever insulted or put down for their ideas. Every idea and every Scout is treated with integrity.
- Responsibility -- We encourage the development of responsibility in our Scouts. We ask our Scouts to act with integrity, while keeping in mind the age of our Scouts and their individual capabilities. As our Scouts grow up, we encourage them to take on increasing levels of responsibility, including the Team Leader position, in which they will be responsible for facilitating meetings and coordinating activities.
- Fairness --Fairness is also an essential component in character. In our Scout Programs, we make sure every Scout is involved in every activity. No Scout will ever hear the words, “You cannot participate.” Every Scout participates in every activity while always giving their best. We make special arrangements to make sure every Scout, including those with challenges, takes part in every activity.
- Caring -- We also encourage the trait of caring. Our Scouts care deeply about their family and friends and we encourage the inclusion of multiple generations and extended family members, and also of friends who may not be Scouts. We also encourage kindness and decency toward all persons. Whether our Scouts are camping on our family-oriented camping trips, or participating in an activity with their fellow Scouts, the development of caring relationships is important to our Scouts’ life and well-being.
- Good Citizenship -- We enhance good citizenship in several ways. Our Scouts participate in projects of service to the greater community. As our Scouts progress, these projects build on each other and become more involved. One of the activities our Scouts participate in is volunteering at the polls, an ideal activity for Scouts who appreciate the power of voting by doing so everyday! In another example, our Scouts, with adult assistance, cook, prepare and deliver meals to shut-ins, particularly at holiday time.
CHARACTER COUNTS! believes there are ideals which stretch beyond nationality, race, gender, and experience. Therefore, their pillars are inclusive, universal values our Scouts can embrace whatever their background. CHARACTER COUNTS! believes it is more important to raise thinking, capable youth w ho employ character in their daily lives than to raise youth who can get a test question correct but cannot analyze or use the information in their daily lives. CHARACTER COUNTS! and our Scout Programs believe in the development of “whole people”, who have the tools to live healthy, meaningful lives.
Character Counts int our Scout Programs
Character counts in the life of our Scouts and their lives are instilled with adventure and enhanced with a sense of wonder and purpose. The Scout Programs of Adventure Scouts USA offer challenging programs that our Scouts choose, organize, and lead. Our Scouts are inspired to develop a compass, with which to lead their life, by their choosing to live their life by our Scout Promise, Scout Code, Scout Spirit and by their Giving their Best in all they do. Our Scouts are also inspired by our Team Counselors who similarly undertake to live a life of character.