I don’t think that this news will surprise any of us. A recent study conducted at Tufts University found that Scouting had a significantly positive impact on character of the youth. In the three year study of 2,200 youth, researchers found that there were significant increases in trustworthiness, helpfulness, kindness, obedience, and cheerfulness among the 1,800 boys in scouting versus the 400 non-scouts. That is 5 of the 12 points in the scout law. Not bad when you consider that all the scouts in the study were 12 years old or younger and only in cub scouts.
In addition the study found that the scouts also expressed a more positive future hope. Of course. When you have character attributes such as helpfulness, kindness, and cheerfulness and you know that you can make a difference, why would you not think that the difference you make will be positive?
The study went on to share that the more time that a child spent in scouting, the greater benefit they received.
I have to confess that I do not necessarily think that Scouting is alone in the ability to have a positive influence on our youth. Many organizations, with a strong mission for their youth program will achieve similar results. There are many good programs that focus on character, rather than win at all costs, that we need to make sure we are encouraging our children to participate in the right program. The program that is going to benefit them in the long run.
If your child is in scouts, Well Done!