Availability: The Boy Scouts of America have programs for youth from age 6 (Tiger Cubs) thru 21 (Venturing Crew). The program is available locally (www.beascout.org to locate a unit near you), but with a national, professional support base to assure program quality, message consistency, volunteer leader training, safety programs and security screening processes.
Topics of Interest: Scouting offers curriculum that covers a range of topics from:
- Archaeology to Archery,
- Backpacking to Birdstudy,
- Camping to Chemistry,
- Climbing to Cinematography,
- Disabilities Awareness to Dentistry,
- Emergency Preparedness to Environmental Science,
- First Aid to Fishing,
- Geocaching to Golf,
- Welding to Wilderness Survival,
- SCUBA to Space Exploration,
- Pioneering to Programming and much, much more (there are more than 130 merit badge unit studies available to pursue and new ones being added each year!)
Service Opportunities: Scouting advancement is critically linked to service projects. This focus reminds scouts to think about their duty to help other people at all times.
Physical Activity: Scouting promotes healthy outdoor adventure thru hiking, camping, boating, climbing and more. Scouting also encourages boys to be involved in sporting programs. We know they have commitments outside of the scouting program and we don’t interfere with those programs — scouts can come when they’re available, work with friends on their own schedule, and even pursue self-study programs.
College and Career Development: According to a recent Gallup Poll (surveying more than 81,000 men):
- 22% of men who have been Boy Scouts report graduating from college, compared with 16% of non-Scouts. Additionally, 19% of men who have been Boy Scouts have gone on to achieve a postgraduate education, compared with 13% of non-Scouts.
- In similar fashion, men who have been Boy Scouts also report higher annual incomes on average than non-Scouts. Twenty-eight percent of former Boy Scouts report an annual income of $90,000 or more, compared with 20% of non-Scouts.
According to a Harris & Associates survey, involvement in scouting produces:
- Increased participation in sports and extracurricular activities…34% for Scouts vs. 26% for non-Scouts
- Higher high school graduation rates…91% for Scouts vs. 87% for non-Scouts
- Higher college graduation rates…35% for Scouts vs. 19% for non-Scouts
- Being a leader among their peers…57% for Scouts vs. 37% for non-Scouts
- Increased civic responsibility as adults by voting in every election…47% for Scouts vs. 29% for non-Scouts
- Increased regular attendance of religious services as adults
- Higher value being placed on family relationships and good citizenship
- Earning 30% higher average household incomes as adults
Scouting Outcomes versus Athletics (alone): Scouting supports your son’s involvement in competitive sports; however, on an outcome versus outcome basis, the combination of scouting and sports provides more opportunities for your son than either program alone.
Consider this statement from “The Sports Digest” a publication of the United States Sports Academy;
“The NCAA has compiled statistics on the number of high school athletes who continue their sport participation at the intercollegiate and professional levels. The data covers men’s and women’s basketball, football, baseball, ice hockey, and men’s soccer. These are team sports that have well-established professional leagues in the United States.
Basketball and football, the most visible of high school and college sports, have a very low percentage of athletes who play in high school and then eventually move up to the professional ranks. In men’s basketball, for example, there is only a .03% chance of a pro career. This means that of the almost 156,000 male, high school senior basketball players only 44 will be drafted to play in the NBA after college, and only 32 women (.02%) out of just over 127,000 female, high school senior players will eventually be drafted.
In football the odds are slightly better, with .08% or 250 of just over 317,000 high school senior players being drafted.
The sport with the most professional opportunities is baseball, with high school players having a .4% chance of playing professionally.”
So unless your son is “Jimmy Smith, A True Sports Prodigy” (see embedded video, below) your son will definitely get a lot out of scouting since it’s not an “all or nothing” choice for him.