Taking boys on lengthy hikes, ziplining, or swimming is more than just fun. It’s important. 

Adventuring the outdoors provides benefits that Scouts can’t get in other places. According to various studies and facts, being outside improves your health, happiness, and humanity.

Health

Being outdoors brings great health benefits like Vitamin D nourishment (from sunshine). Vitamin D helps with bone and teeth health, and it also helps prevent disease

One study show that rigorous exercise like biking, running, hiking literally helps improve your memory. Article results said,”Aerobic exercise training increases the size of the anterior hippocampus, leading to improvements in spatial memory.” 

Happiness

Being outdoors can also improve your mood. 

A study done in Japan  found that walking through forests decreases stress and other negative psychological issues. Mood improvement rates were higher than among those who just walked around urban neighborhoods. A similar study was done more recently (2015), and the same results occurred. People were happier moving in nature than just being outside. 

Humanity

According to a Berkley article, being outside can help us be kinder, better people. What Scoutmaster doesn’t want that for his boys? 

It quotes a study done to discover the emotional impact on nature among people. The results showed how powerful nature is. Said the article, “The researchers concluded that experiencing the beauty of nature increases positive emotion—perhaps by inspiring awe, a feeling akin to wonder, with the sense of being part of something bigger than oneself—which then leads to prosocial behaviors.” 

Outdoor adventure isn’t just fun. We don’t just send our Boy Scouts into the great outdoors to play. Being in nature makes them happier, healthier, and more humane. It’s a way for them to grow positively. That’s why it’s so essential. 

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Michelle Carpenter

is a reporter for the Voice of Scouting and a marketing associate for The Utah National Parks Council. Her father, husband, and brother are all Eagle Scouts, so she firmly believes some of the best men did Scouting.

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