Scouting works with colleges, universities, and other research based organizations to study the impact Scouting has on youth. These studies help us determine if we are meeting the needs of children and fulfilling our mission.
The Search Institute has identified forty building blocks of healthy development that help young people grow up healthy, caring, and responsible.
When you join the Boy Scouts of America, Scouting is like an extension of your family: It follows your values, it sees to the overall care and well-being of your child, and it’s always there for you. It’s not an either/or choice you have to make for your child. It works with you to let you manage your time and other activities and will always be there when you return.
Maturity. Youth experience dramatic physical and emotional growth. Scouting offers them opportunities to channel much of that change into productive endeavors. Through service projects and Good Turns, Scouts can discover their place in the community. Many Scouting activities allow youth to associate with others from different backgrounds. The religious emblems program offers pathways for Scouts to more deeply understand their duty to God. The unit provides each Scout with an opportunity to explore, to try out new ideas, and to embark on adventures that sometimes have no design other than to have a good time with good people.
Flexibility. The Scouting programs are flexible and accommodate the need to balance the work and life requirements of a busy family. It’s easy to plan for meetings and activities, and if something unexpected comes up, just let your leader know—it’s expected in the lives we live today.
Adaptability. Your child can work on achievements at his or her own pace. For example, if your child is in a spring soccer league and has to miss several meetings and activities, he or she still can complete and sign off on Scout activities to work toward the next level.
Transferability. The skills and values your child learns through Scouting can be applied in any non-Scouting activity he or she participates in. As your child builds character, this can be an especially valuable defense to the peer pressure all youth experience when growing up.
As youth, Scouts are taught to live by a code of conduct exemplified in the 12 points of the Scout Law, and they continue to live by these laws in adulthood.
- Trustworthy: The majority of Scouts agreed that Scouting has taught them always to be honest (75 percent) and to be a leader (76 percent).
- Loyal: Eighty-eight percent of Scouts are proud to live in the USA, and 83 percent say spending time with family is important to them.
- Helpful: Eight out of 10 Scouts surveyed believed that helping others should come before their own self-interest.
- Friendly: Eighty percent of Scouts say that Scouting has taught them to treat others with respect and (78 percent) to get along with others.
- Courteous: Almost nine of 10 Scouts (87 percent) believe older people should be treated with respect.
- Kind: Most Scouts agree (78 percent) Scouting has taught them to care or other people, while 43 percent say their skills in helping other people in need are “excellent.”
- Obedient: Boys in Scouting five years or more are more likely than boys who have never been in Scouts to reject peer pressure to hang out with youth they know commit delinquent acts (61 percent vs. 53 percent).
- Cheerful: Overall, Scouts are happy with their schools (78 percent) and their neighborhoods (79 percent). However, because Scouting builds such high ideals in youth, Scouts are less satisfied than non-Scouts with the state of the world today (47 percent vs. 52 percent).
- Thrifty: More than eight out of 10 Scouts (82 percent) say that saving money for the future is a priority.
- Brave: Eighty percent of Scouts say Scouting has taught them to have confidence in themselves, and 51 percent rate their self-confidence as “excellent.”
- Clean: Nearly the same number of Scouts (79 percent) agree that Scouting has taught them to take better care of the environment and that Scouting has increased their interest in physical fitness.
- Reverent: Scouting experience also influences religious service attendance. Eighty-three percent of men who were Scouts five or more years say attending religious services together as a family is “very important,” versus 77 percent of men who had never been Scouts.