The ideals are those outlined in the Scout Oath and Law, the Scout Motto and Slogan, and the concept of "Scout Spirit". The ideals define what a Scout should strive to be: trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, reverent, mentally awake, morally straight, physically fit, always prepared. The Boy Scout measures himself against these ideals and continually tries to improve. The goals are high, and, as he reaches for them, he has some control over what and who he becomes.
This method permeates everything Scouts do, defining acceptable behavior, challenging the Scout to do his best, and even to do better than his best. Scout spirit describes the level of commitment a Scout has toward these ideals, and challenges him to do what needs to be done.