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Scouting Supports Education

Education Scouting STEMScouting activities contribute to the academic development of the children who participate. 

In the elementary grades, the program is built around a series of theme-based explorations. As a Cub Scout advances, the requirements get more challenging, to match the new skills and abilities they have learned. Cub Scout advancement supports over 120 elementary TEKS. Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) are the standards which outline what students are to learn in each grade in the state of Texas.

In the middle and high school grades, service, community engagement and leadership development become increasingly important parts of the program as youth lead their own activities. Youth also have the opportunity to explore other areas of interest such as the arts, STEM, business, and outings within the community. More than 85% of merit badges include requirements that meet National Science Education Standards, giving Scouts a foundation in everything from nuclear science to robotics.

Scouting also helps Scouts develop the 6 Cs of education for the 21st century: critical thinking and problem solving, collaboration, communication, creativity, character education and citizenship. These skills help prepare children for future employment. Employers are looking for creative employees who have good problem-solving skills and an ability to adapt to changes; the Scouting program helps foster these skills.

The brochure can be shared with educators (principals, teachers, superintendents).

Brochure Education


Scouting Teaches Life Skills

Scouting provides youth with skills that help them cope. Youth say Scouting has taught them to: (Harris Interactive research study, 2005)

  • Always give their best effort
  • Always be honest
  • Treat others with respect
  • Set goals
  • Stay physically fit
  • Take care of the environment

Lifelong Benefits of Scouting

"Be Prepared" is more than just a motto for Scouts; it's a way of life. Scouting offers a wide array of programs for lifelong learning that prepare youth for success. In fact, Scouts: (Harris Interactive research study, 2005)

  • Earn higher annual household incomes
  • Value family relationships highly
  • Have lifelong friendships
  • Believe helping others should come before one's own self-interest
  • There have been real-life situations in which having been a Scout helped them to be a better leader.

Scouting and Academic Performance

A CAC council survey conducted showed:3

  • 99% of Scouts advanced to the next grade in school
  • 96% earned A's and B's in school, including 92% of ScoutReach youth
  • 94% say that Scouting will help them get into college
  • 96% say that Scouting will help them get a good job in the future
  • Scouts graduate from high school (91% versus 87%)1
  • Scouts graduate from college (35% versus 19%)1

Scouting Builds Positive Character

A study at Tufts University showed strong evidence that participation in Scouting supports the development of pro-social behaviors, career goals, tolerant beliefs, and positive character attributes (Lerner, et al., 2015).

  • Scouts reported significant increases in six critical areas versus non-Scouts: cheerfulness, kindness, hopeful future expectations, trustworthiness, helpfulness, obedience
  • Scouts were more likely than non-Scouts to embrace positive social values. Ask a Scout what’s most important to him, and he was more likely to respond with answers like “helping others” or “doing the right thing.” Ask a non-Scout the same thing, and he was likely to say “being smart,” “being the best” or “playing sports.”
  • Scouts who attend meetings regularly report higher trustworthiness, helpfulness, kindness, and thriftiness, higher levels of hopeful future expectation and self-regulation, better grades, and a better connection with nature vs. Scouts who sometimes or rarely attended. (summary)

Leadership and Citizenship Training

  • Scouting encourages Scouts to take responsibility
  • Scouting teaches Scouts new interests and skills
  • Scouting provides multiple leadership opportunities
  • Scouts learn to be a good team player
  • Scouting influences Scout to always be honest
  • Scouts learn to take better care of the environment
  • Scouting influences Scouts to respect the life and property of others
  • Scouting teaches Scouts to have pride in their country
  • Eagle Scouts are more likely to have held a leadership position in their local community2
  • Eagle Scouts are more likely to agree they work hard to get ahead2

Positive Effects of Scouting

Some of the specific positive effects of Scouting documented by researchers include:

  • The time that children spent in structured activities such as Scouting has been correlated with higher academic and conduct grades, constructive peer relations, and positive emotional adjustment (Posner and Lowe, 2008).
  • Involvement in activities such as Scouting is correlated with a decrease in delinquency rates (Agnew and Peterson, 1989).
  • The time that children spent in Scouting shows that Scout programs help youth develop a sense of themselves as people who are broadly competent, who can work constructively in groups, and who can complete poorly defined tasks. Youth in Scouting also have an increased sense of obligation to the community and its institutions (Kleinfeld and Shinkwin, 1983).
  • Youth involved in Scouting are identified as demonstrating higher affective and cognitive regard for learning science content (Jarman, 2005).
  • Scouting programs support the growth of developmental assets (Search Institute, 2004).
  • Researchers identified significant differences between Scouts and non-Scouts in these areas: health and recreation, connection to others, service and leadership, environmental stewardship, goal orientation, planning and preparedness, and character. These traits carry over into adulthood (Jang, Johnson, and Kim, 2012).


Scouts as Resources to Schools

Young people involved in Scouting develop skills that can be leveraged in support of overall classroom activities and goals. Some that may be of benefit in your school include the following:

  • Skills: Help lead games and activities, problem-solving
  • Knowledge: Knowledge of science and technology content in real-world context; experience with non-competitive and initiative games
  • Dispositions: Positive self-concept, solution-oriented, independent problem solver, community service orientation, focus on participatory citizenship and stewardship
  • Service: Scouts are expected to provide service to the community, including the schools the boys attend. Any request you have for acts of service to support your school (grounds beautification, opening ceremony for school events, grounds cleanup, help at school carnivals, and the like) will be acted upon by the pack leaders and the youth in the Cub Scout pack. Visit for examples of how Scouting supports schools. 


?"Eagle Scouts: Merit beyond the badge”

Independent research conducted by Baylor University demonstrates the significant, positive impact Eagle Scouts have on society every day. The study found that Eagle Scouts are more likely than men who have never been in Scouting to:

  • Have higher levels of planning and preparation skills, be goal-oriented, and network with others
  • Be in a leadership position at their place of employment or local community
  • Report having closer relationships with family and friends
  • Volunteer for religious and nonreligious organizations
  • Donate money to charitable groups
  • Work with others to improve their neighborhoods


Serving Scouts with Disabilities

The Boy Scouts of America supports full participation by members with physical, mental, and emotional challenges.

  • The BSA builds awareness in all its members of the special needs of youth and creates inclusion opportunities to maximize the experience of each youth member.
  • Scouting has a great deal to offer to youth with special needs and challenges, who are more heavily represented in the BSA (15.1 percent) than in the general population (8.4 percent).
  • The Scouting program provides firsthand experiences that support academic performance, development of social and life skills, career exploration, and independent living. 
  • The program has adaptations for physical and intellectual limitations similar to the least restrictive environment (LRE) principle. with which you are familiar.
  • The BSA has procedures to allow an alternative path for a student to earn ranks and awards when the regular requirements are not achievable due to a disability.
  • The council's disabilities awareness committee members offer a variety of training courses and resources for parents and Scouters.

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