According to recent research, scouts are highly likely to internalize positive character traits like honesty, leadership, and dependability. And boys who were scouts are more likely than non-scouts to resist negative peer pressure, on the one hand, and to value family life and lifelong friendships, on the other. They learn, as one BSA executive told me, “to live a life of honor.” Those qualities are indispensable not only for career success, but for family life as well.
Why does Scouting work so well? For starters, the Scouts have a hundred year track record of building character and fitness. Though times change, human nature does not. The Scouts incorporate the latest technologies and current interests into the time-honored merit badge system; boys learn to try new things, set goals, and persevere until they accomplish them.
But the capacity for achievement, by itself, doesn’t create better human beings. And here’s where the Boy Scouts shine most brightly: its activities explicitly seek to instill character and virtues within the hearts of young men.
I’m so grateful to the Boy Scouts for the years of support they gave my own two sons throughout their childhood and teen years. My husband and I first introduced our boys to scouting when our oldest son was in second grade. The next year, his little brother joined the scouts too and for the next ten years our sons lives were filled with adventure, friendship, achievement – and consistent teaching about God and His commandment to serve others. Our two sons thrived in the Boy Scouts. They found strong role models and lifelong friends and both of them earned the coveted rank of Eagle Scout. But even had they not decided to pursue the Eagle Scout rank, the years of scouting would have been a blessing. I will always be grateful for the way scouting strengthened the values we were working so hard to instill in our sons.
For parents looking for an assist in raising strong young men in a world that’s gone soft, check out your local scouting troop. Your boys will “be prepared…for life.”