We all know that boys today are “at risk.” They are more likely than girls to drop out of school and less likely to enter or graduate from college. They are also more likely to be diagnosed with learning disabilities and have low self-esteem.
What can change the direction of this trend? A study conducted by Harris Interactive shows that Scouting programs build boys’ mental, social, and physical skills. Compared with youth who have never been in a Boy Scout program, boys who have been Scouts five or more years:
• Have higher self-confidence,
• Are more likely to resist peer pressure to take part in delinquent activities,
• Are less likely to consume alcohol,
• Are more willing to help others
• Report earning higher grades, and
• Are more likely to volunteer to be a leader.
This study shows that the skills boys learn in Scouting help them overcome obstacles and challenges throughout their lives. In fact, more than 80 percent of men in this study who were Scouts as youth say there have been real-life situations where having been a Scout helped them be a better leader.
Findings from the study indicate that the positive effects of Scouting last a lifetime. Men who were Scouts five or more years as youth are more likely than men with no Scouting experience to:
• Graduate from high school (91 percent Scouts versus 87 percent non-Scouts),
• Graduate from college (35 percent Scouts versus 19 percent non-Scouts),
• Earn higher annual household incomes ($80,000 Scouts versus $61,000 non-Scouts),
• Have lifelong friendships (89 percent Scouts versus 74 percent non-Scouts), and
• Believe that helping others should come before one’s own self-interest (92 percent Scouts versus 83 percent non-Scouts).
These statistics speak for themselves. Scouting can and does make a difference. Our youth need Scouting more today than ever. As a council we believe that every youth should have an opportunity to join. It is our mission to make this a reality.
Thank you for helping with the Scouting program. Whether you are a parent or an adult volunteer, we are grateful for the impact you are making in the lives of Scouts in our area. Because of what you are doing today, we are building a better and brighter future for tomorrow.
(The Trapper Trails Council has 17,570 youth involved in Cub Scouting, 15,159 in Boy Scouting, 7,773 in Varsity Scouting, and 8,680 in Venturing. There are 26,311 registered adult volunteer leaders. The Trapper Trails Council covers parts of Wyoming, Idaho, and Utah.)