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.


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.” 


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. 


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. 

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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