Scouting provides youth with an opportunity to try new things, provide service to others, build self-confidence, and reinforce ethical standards. These opportunities not only help them when they are young but also carry forward into their adult lives, improving their relationships, their work lives, their family lives, and the values by which they live.
A 2005 study by Harris Interactive found that 83 percent of men who were Scouts in their youth agree that the values they learned in Scouting continue to be very important to them today. Eighty-seven percent of men who remained in Scouting five or more years attribute some of their self-confidence in their work to their Scouting experience. Half of the group say Scouting had a positive effect on their career development and advancement, and 83 percent say there have been real-life situations where having been a Scout helped them be a better leader.
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.
Values of Americans Study