Cam Edwards had an interview earlier this week with Prof. Byron Johnson of Baylor University. Johnson and his colleagues with Baylor’s Program for Prosocial Behavior just finished a two year study funded by the John Templeton Foundation that measured the effects of being in Scouting as well as being an Eagle Scout. In the interview with Cam, Johnson says that he was somewhat surprised by the differences in terms of leadership, civic engagement, and other issues between those who have attained the rank of Eagle Scout, those who participated in Scouting, and everyone else.
The full study can be downloaded here. It should be noted again that this study was not started by the Boy Scouts nor was it funded by them.
While this study concentrated on the Boy Scouts, it would be interesting to see follow-on studies examine the impact of being in the Girl Scouts and if earning the Gold Award produced similar results to earning the Eagle.
I was both a Cub Scout and a Boy Scout in my youth. At one time I think I held the record in my troop for being the oldest Tenderfoot. However, once I made the decision to get off my duff, work hard, and stay involved with the Scouts, I did earn my Eagle. I actually have my Eagle with the Bronze Palm and am a Brotherhood member of the Order of the Arrow (Tali Tak Taki 70 Lodge). For those of you with experience in Scouting, this will mean something. For the rest, it means I got my act together. I found Scouting to be a very valuable experience and hope boys nowadays continue to enjoy the fun times and great learning experiences it offers.