Home Building Youth 3 Research-Backed Benefits of Being a Cub Scout

3 Research-Backed Benefits of Being a Cub Scout

The benefits of being a Cub Scout make a big difference in the course of your son’s life. From developmental years to adulthood, research shows boys who participate in Scouting gain life skills that set them apart long after their days in the program

If you sign your son up for Cub Scouts, he’ll benefit from these three key character-building attributes:

  1. Goal Orientation – Scouting provides a clear path for kids to succeed at making and achieving tough goals. Whether working toward achieving a new Scouting rank or striving to gain a new skill, Scouts are constantly working toward reaching measurable goals. Not only do these achievements follow a Scout throughout life, but he also establishes the habit of setting and striving for personal, academic, and professional goals as an adult.
  2. Leadership – Scouting provides consistent opportunities for Scouts to learn and practice leadership skills. Leading projects and peers is the norm for kids in the program. As Scouts mature in rank, their leadership abilities continue to grow and they’re offered even more opportunities to lead. This helps kids develop into adults who standout as leaders in their workplaces and communities.
  3. Preparedness – Scouting builds life skills (like learning to conquer hard tasks) by facing challenges head-on. The program is structured so that what once seemed impossible to a Scout becomes attainable, a positive cycle that prepares youth for the undoubted challenges they will meet in life.
Dr. Richard Lerner of Tufts University reported his team’s findings at BSA’s Top Hands Meeting in Dallas in August 2015

Aside from the fun and friendship of Cub Scouts, a Tufts study of more than 2,000 Cub Scouts and non-Scouts showed there were other big wins for kids who were part of the program. Dr, Richard Lerner, the study’s author reported that the study shows Scouting matches perfectly with the overall developmental needs of children that age in five areas: Caring, Connection, Competence, Confidence, and Character. He referred to these collectively as the 5-Cs:

  • Caring—Scouts are taught to be a friend to all and to do a good turn daily, to be helpful and give service without being asked.
  • Connection—Scouts are first part of a unit, that is part of a community, in our country and the world brotherhood of Scouting. As they become part of each of these communities, their connections grow.
  • Competence—From Tiger skills to Wolf and on the trail to Eagle, basic skills move to advanced proficiency and competencies for life.
  • Confidence—Scouts start small but do age-appropriate “hard things.” They are engaged in new activities and adventures where they can test their abilities and grow in confidence.
  • Character—The study shows a solid improvement among Cub Scout boys in traits like helpfulness, trustworthiness, reverence in life, and hopefulness toward the future; essentially mapping these traits to the Scout Law or character for life.

If you’re seeking a program for your kids to build skills for life, the benefits of being a Cub Scout are important to consider. Learn more about Cub Scouts and find a pack in your area by heading to Be a Scout.

Darryl Alder
Darryl is a retired career Scouter with more than 30 years of service. These days he is a Scouting Ambassador and serves on the Council Membership and Marketing Committee. However, his pride in Scouting is his volunteer service as an Associate Advisor, Varsity Scout Coach, Scoutmaster, Cubmaster, Chartered Organization Representative, and Commissioner.


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