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Scouting Supports Education

Scouting 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 more than 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 six “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).

Proof points for Scouting in schools

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).

Scouting teaches life skills


Scouting provides youth with skills that help them cope. Youth say Scouting has taught them to:


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

(Harris Interactive research study, 2005)

"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

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.
  • Report summary

Serving youth of all abilities


We support full participation by members of all physical, mental, and emotional development.


  • 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.