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The Mission of Scouting is:

To contribute to the education of young people, through a value system based on the Scout Promise and Law, to help build a better world where people are self-fulfilled as individuals and play a constructive role in society. This is achieved by

  • involving them throughout their formative years in a non-formal educational process
  • using a specific method that makes each individual the principal agent in his or her development as a self- reliant, supportive, responsible and committed person
  • assisting them to establish a value system based upon spiritual, social and personal principles as expressed in the Promise and Law.

The Mission was adopted at the 1999 World Scout Conference in Durban, South Africa. The Conference also identified six key challenges that the Movement needed to address in order to achieve its Mission:

  1. Relevance - meeting the needs and aspirations of young people.
  2. Complementary nature - focussing on the distinctive contribution Scouting can make to the education of young people, particularly through the Scout Method.
  3. Membership - reaching out to more young people.
  4. Adults - attracting and retaining the adults we need.
  5. Relationships and partnerships - working with others to better serve young people.
  6. Unity - pursuing a common purpose at all levels.

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The Vision for Scouting is:

As a global Movement, making a real contribution to Creating a Better World.

We see Scouting entering its second century as an influential, value-based educational Movement focussed on achieving its mission, involving young people working together to develop their full potential, supported by adults who are willing and able to carry out their educational role.

We see Scouting worldwide as attracting and retaining more and more young people (especially adolescents) of both genders and coming from broader segments of society.

We see Scouting as attractive to adults, women and men, in all cultures - a Movement through which they can make a significant contribution to society by working with young people.

We see Scouting as a dynamic, innovative Movement with adequate resources, simple structures and democratic decision making processes where organisation, management and communication are effective at all levels.

The Vision was adopted at the 2002 World Scout Conference in Thessaloniki, Greece. A new vision statement and strategic priorities (see below) are currently being developed and will be voted on at the 2014 World Scout Conference in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

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Strategic Priorities

Based on the Mission and Vision, seven strategic priorities have been identified. They represent the key issues to be addressed in Scouting worldwide, with their relevance at national level varying depending on the local context:

1. Youth Involvement - revitalising the Scout Method. This strategic priority aims at assisting National Scout Organizations (NSOs) in revitalising this fundamental element of our Movement, which is crucial to its effectiveness and its ability to achieve its mission.

2. Adolescents - supporting their transition to adulthood. This strategic priority aims at supporting NSOs in responding effectively to the needs and expectations of adolescents. This will result in an increase in membership in this age-range and enhance Scouting’s reputation as an organisation which helps young people in their transition to adulthood.

3. Girls and Boys, Women and Men - respecting differences, promoting equality and sharing responsibility. This strategic priority aims to identify the support and tools required to help NSOs offer equality of opportunity to girls and boys, women and men at all levels in Scouting. This should offer new opportunities for everyone and, through an increase in youth membership and adult leadership, result in a more even balance in the male: female ratio in associations.

4. Reaching Out - breaking down barriers and working with broader segments of society. The aim of this strategic priority is to support NSOs in identifying and responding to the needs of young people and adults in the sectors of the society where Scouting is currently not having an impact. This should result in an increase in membership and increase Scouting’s impact in the world today.

5. Volunteers in Scouting - developing new approaches to broaden the base of adult support. This strategic priority aims at redefining the concept of volunteering as applied to Scouting and reviewing policies and practices to help NSOs recruit and retain a new group of adults in Scouting.

6. An Organisation for the 21st Century - becoming flexible, lean, innovative, and participatory. This strategic priority aims at assisting NSOs as well as WOSM itself at world and regional levels, to adopt a strategic approach, reviewing their structures, systems and management to enable them to be sensitive to the changing needs of society and to respond quickly and effectively.

7. Scouting’s Profile - strengthening communications, partnerships and resources. This strategic priority aims at strengthening Scouting’s communications, partnerships and resources at all levels as these are vital in supporting the work to achieve the mission.

This set of priorities was approved at the 2002 World Scout Conference in Thessaloniki, Greece. A new vision statement and set of strategic priorities are currently being developed and will be voted on at the 2014 World Scout Conference in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

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The Triennial Plan

Based on the Resolutions adopted by the World Scout Conference and a few other ongoing projects, the World Scout Committee and the World Scout Bureau put together a Triennial Plan. It constitutes a roadmap for the time leading up to the next Conference.

The current Triennial Plan covers the period 2011-2014 and the work is organised in four Priority Areas:

  1. 21st Century Leadership
  2. Youth for Change
  3. Global Support System
  4. Our Strategic Path

For each Priority Area there is a Working Group headed by a World Scout Committee member to ensure that the goals are met (see Working Groups and Subcommittees).

Besides the work structured around the Priority Areas, other specific issues (some of them arising from Conference Resolutions) are being addressed during the 2011-2014 triennium, such 
as “Human Rights”, “Duty to God”, “Accredited NSOs”, “Succession of the Secretary General” and the “Location of the World Scout Bureau”.

All the above will be complemented by the regular work in areas such as Communications and External Relations, Information Services, Finance, World Scout Events, Constitutions, etc.

To reflect the mindset and the spirit for this triennium, the Plan has been named “Leadership. Innovation. Service.”

Triennial Plan 2011-2014.

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