baylor-study

New study shows 46 ways Eagle Scouts are different

Eagle Scouts are a different breed. You know it; I know it.

And today, we’ve got independent, scientific proof to back up our claim.

At last, the results are in from the 2010 Baylor University study, Eagle Scouts: Merit Beyond the Badge, conducted by the university’s Program for Pro-Social Behavior under a grant from the John Templeton Foundation.

The researchers found statistically significant differences between Eagle Scouts, former Scouts who didn’t make Eagle, and men who were never in Scouting. The differences were grouped into seven areas: Health and Recreation, Connection, Service and Leadership, Environmental Stewardship, Goal Orientation, Planning and Preparedness, and Character.

The timing’s perfect with the 100th anniversary of the Eagle Scout Award this year. But what were the findings? How did Eagle Scouts rate? Read on for my complete analysis.

Introduction

With the help of the Gallup Organization, Baylor University researchers contacted 81,409 potential respondents. From those who were contacted, 2,512 adult males agreed to be re-contacted for the survey. Of that group, 134 are Eagle Scouts.

Researchers asked the men 55 questions, touching on topics such as well-being, civic engagement, and character development.

They sought to answer these questions: Do youth participating in Scouting receive character-building advantages over youth that have not participated in Scouting? More specifically, do Eagle Scouts, because of the additional commitment and effort required to reach this rank, experience additional positive attributes that provide advantage and benefits to them over non-Scouts as well as other Scouts who never attain the rank of Eagle?

I have studied the complete report and want to share all 46 findings divided into seven thematic categories.

For each of the below, “Scouts” means men who were in Scouts as youth but didn’t reach Eagle, while “non-Scouts” means men who were never in Scouts as youth.

Ready? Let’s go.

Health and Recreation

Eagle Scouts exhibit an increased tendency to participate in a variety of health and recreational activities.

  1. Exercise every day for 30 minutes: Eagle Scouts are approximately 58 percent more likely than other Scouts but are not significantly different from non-Scouts.
  2. Regularly participate in boating (sailing, canoeing, kayaking): Eagle Scouts are 59 percent more likely than non-Scouts, although there is no significant difference between Eagle Scouts and other Scouts.
  3. Regularly participate in fishing: Eagle Scouts are 36 percent more likely than non-Scouts, while they are not significantly different from other Scouts.
  4. Participate in camping: Eagle Scouts are approximately 40 percent more likely than other Scouts and 95 percent more likely than non-Scouts to report camping.
  5. Satisfied with the amount of leisure and free time they have: Eagle Scouts are 51 percent more likely than Scouts while there is no statistically significant difference between Eagle Scouts and non-Scouts.
  6. Attend plays, concerts, or live theater: Eagle Scouts are 72 percent more likely than non-Scouts but are not significantly different from other Scouts.
  7. Play a musical instrument: Eagle Scouts are 38 percent more likely than non-Scouts. However, Eagle Scouts and other Scouts are not significantly different.
  8. Read books: Eagle Scouts are 39 percent more likely than non-Scouts but are not significantly different from other Scouts.
  9. Visit a local, state, or national park: Eagle Scouts are 42 percent more likely than non-Scouts, while they are not significantly different from other Scouts.
  10. Drink alcohol in the last seven days: Eagle Scouts are 25 percent less likely than other Scouts, although they are not significantly different from non-Scouts.

Connection

Eagle Scouts show a greater connectedness to siblings, neighbors, religious community, friends, co-workers, formal and informal groups, and a spiritual presence in nature.

  1. Report being very close with their siblings: Eagle Scouts are 38 percent more likely than non-Scouts. Eagle Scouts and other Scouts are not significantly different in their relationships with siblings.
  2. Report being extremely close with neighbors: Eagle Scouts are 97 percent more likely than Scouts. Eagle Scouts are not significantly different from non-Scouts.
  3. Report being extremely close with their religious community: Eagle Scouts are 66 percent more likely than Scouts. Eagle Scouts and non-Scouts are not significantly different.
  4. Have extremely close relationships with friends: Eagle Scouts are 60 percent more likely compared to Scouts. Further, Eagle Scouts are also 37 percent more likely to be extremely close with friends, compared to those men who never participated in Boy Scouts.
  5. Report being extremely close with their co-workers: Eagle Scouts are 57 percent more likely than Scouts but are not significantly different from non-Scouts.
  6. Have talked with or visited with neighbors at least once per month: Eagle Scouts are 36 percent more likely compared to Scouts. Moreover, Eagle Scouts are 46 percent more likely to have interacted with immediate neighbors at least once per month than men who never participated in Boy Scouts.
  7. Belong to at least four formal or informal groups: The likelihood of Eagle Scouts is 54 percent greater than Scouts. Additionally, Eagle Scouts are 87 percent more likely than non-Scouts to belong to at least four formal or informal groups.
  8. Agree they find a spiritual presence in nature: Eagle Scouts are roughly 44 percent more likely than Scouts. Also, Eagle Scouts are 50 percent more likely than non-Scouts to agree they find a spiritual presence in nature.

Service and Leadership

Duty to God, service to others, service to the community, and leadership are traits that are especially strong in Eagle Scouts.

  1. Have donated money to a religious institution within the last month: Eagle Scouts are 53 percent more likely than non-Scouts but are not significantly different from other Scouts in donating money to a religious institution.
  2. Have donated money to a non-religious institution or charity in the community within the last month: Eagle Scouts are 34 percent more likely than non-Scouts. However, Eagle Scouts and other Scouts are not significantly different.
  3. Volunteer time to a religious organization: Eagle Scouts are approximately 55 percent more likely, compared to other Scouts. Also, Eagle Scouts are 66 percent more likely than non-Scouts to volunteer time to a religious organization.
  4. Volunteer their time to a non-religious organization: Eagle Scouts are 58 percent more likely than other Scouts. In addition, Eagle Scouts are 62 percent more likely than non-Scouts to volunteer time to a non-religious organization.
  5. Work with their neighbors to address a problem or improve something: Compared to Scouts, Eagle Scouts are 68 percent more likely . Also, Eagle Scouts are 56 percent more likely than non-Scouts to work with others in their neighborhood to address a problem or improve something.
  6. Have voted in the last presidential election: Eagle Scouts are 73 percent more likely than non-Scouts, while they are not different from other Scouts.
  7. Have held a leadership position at their workplace: Eagle Scouts are roughly 39 percent more likely than other Scouts and approximately 55 percent more likely than non-Scouts.
  8. Have held leadership positions in the local community: Compared to Scouts, Eagle Scouts are about 53 percent more likely. Moreover, Eagle Scouts are around 76 percent more likely than non-Scouts to have held leadership positions in the local community.

Environmental Stewardship

Eagle Scouts are more likely to engage in behaviors that are designed to enhance and protect the environment.

  1. Be active in a group that works to protect the environment: Eagle Scouts are 89 percent more likely than other Scouts and 92 percent more likely than non-Scouts.
  2. Avoid using products that harm the environment: Compared to Scouts, Eagle Scouts are 38 percent more likely. Further, Eagle Scouts are 31 percent more likely than men who have never been Scouts to say they avoid using products that harm the environment.
  3. Report trying to use less water in their household: Eagle Scouts are 71 percent more likely than Scouts, while they are not significantly different from non-Scouts.

Goal Orientation

Eagle Scouts are more likely to be committed to learning, and to set and achieve personal, professional, spiritual, and financial goals.

  1. Feel it is extremely important to learn something every day: Eagle Scouts are 42 percent more likely than other Scouts. Further, Eagle Scouts are 40 percent more likely to believe it is extremely important to learn something every day, compared to those men who never participated in Boy Scouts.
  2. Report taking a course or class in the past year: Eagle Scouts are 30 percent more likely than Scouts. Eagle Scouts are 80 percent more likely than non-Scouts to report taking a course or class in the past year.
  3. Report achieving a personal goal in the last year: Eagle Scouts are 39 percent more likely than Scouts. Eagle Scouts are also 64 percent more likely than non-Scouts to report they achieved a personal goal in the last year.
  4. Report they achieved a professional goal in the last year: Eagle Scouts are roughly 29 percent more likely than non-Scouts.
  5. Indicate they achieved a spiritual goal in the last year: Eagle Scouts are about 81 percent more likely than other Scouts and 81 percent more likely than non-Scouts.
  6. Report achieving a financial goal in the last year: Eagle Scouts are 57 percent more likely than other Scouts. Also, Eagle Scouts are 49 percent more likely than non-Scouts to say a financial goal was achieved in the last year.

Planning and Preparedness

Eagle Scouts show higher levels of planning and preparedness than do Scouts who never attained the rank of Eagle Scout and men who were never Scouts.

  1. Have a disaster supply kit in their home: Eagle Scouts are 94 percent more likely than other Scouts. Also, Eagle Scouts are 124 percent more likely than non-Scouts to have a disaster supply kit kept in the home.
  2. Report a kit with emergency supplies is kept in their car: Eagle Scouts are 43 percent more likely than other Scouts. Moreover, Eagle Scouts are 81 percent more likely than non-Scouts to report a kit with emergency supplies is kept in their car.
  3. Have a specific meeting place for family to reunite in an emergency: Eagle Scouts are 94 percent more likely than other Scouts and 100 percent more likely than non-Scouts.
  4. Have CPR certification: Eagle Scouts are 50 percent more likely than other Scouts. Also, Eagle Scouts are 90 percent more likely than non-Scouts to have CPR certification.

Character

Eagle Scouts are more likely than other Scouts and men who were never Scouts to indicate they have built character traits related to work ethics, morality, tolerance, and respect for diversity.

  1. Agree they always try to exceed expectations: Eagle Scouts are 54 percent more likely than other Scouts. Additionally, Eagle Scouts are 52 percent more likely than non-Scouts to agree they always try to exceed.
  2. Agree they always do what is right: Eagle Scouts are approximately 47 percent more likely than non-Scouts, whereas Eagle and other Scouts are not significantly different.
  3. Agree they work hard to get ahead: Eagle Scouts are 88 percent more likely than other Scouts, although they are not significantly different from non-Scouts.
  4. Agree they always treat people of other religions with respect: Eagle Scouts are 109 percent more likely than other Scouts. Moreover, Eagle Scouts are 45 percent more likely than non-Scouts to agree they always treat people of other religions with respect.
  5. Strongly agree that most religions make a positive contribution to society: Eagle Scouts are 29 percent more likely than non-Scouts, but are not significantly different from other Scouts.
  6. Say respecting religious leaders outside of your religion is at least somewhat important: Eagle Scouts are 133 percent more likely than other Scouts and 109 percent more likely than non-Scouts.
  7. Say it is important to show respect to the American flag: Eagle Scouts are 89 percent more likely than other Scouts. However, Eagle Scouts and non-Scouts are not significantly different in their attitudes toward the American flag.

Summary

Analysis of the nationally representative survey reveals significant differences between Eagle Scouts and other Scouts as well as non-Scouts. Eagle Scouts consistently indicate their experience in Scouting contributed to positive and prosocial development as measured by responses to a wide range of issues and subjects, including the following:

  • Eagle Scouts exhibit an increased tendency to participate in a variety of health and recreational activities.
  • Eagle Scouts show a greater connectedness to siblings, neighbors, religious community, friends, co-workers, formal and informal groups, and a spiritual presence in nature.
  • Duty to God, service to others, service to the community, and leadership are traits that are especially strong in Eagle Scouts.
  • Eagle Scouts are more likely to engage in behaviors that are designed to enhance and protect the environment.
  • Eagle Scouts are more likely to be committed to setting and achieving personal, professional, spiritual, and financial goals.
  • Eagle Scouts show higher levels of planning and preparedness than do other Scouts and non-Scouts.
  • Eagle Scouts are more likely than other Scouts and non-Scouts to indicate they have built character traits related to work ethics, morality, tolerance, and respect for diversity.

In sum, when compared to Scouts and non-Scouts, Eagle Scouts exhibit significantly higher levels of health and recreation, connection, service and leadership, environmental stewardship, goal orientation, planning and preparedness, and character.

Read the complete study

There you have it. Click here to read the complete, 74-page study (PDF).

What do you think?

What finding (by number) surprised you the most? The least? How will you use this information in the future? Leave your thought below.

124 thoughts on “New study shows 46 ways Eagle Scouts are different

  1. Pingback: An Eagle Board of Review study guide, created by Scouters « Bryan on Scouting

  2. Pingback: The Eagle Scout application ain’t over till the Boy Scouts sing « Bryan on Scouting

  3. Coming in late here, but though this study is interesting, correlation doesn’t prove causality. What I mean is that, perhaps it is those whose personality would normally do certain things are more likely to become Eagle scouts if they join scouting. I’m not saying it’s necessarily the case, and I have my boys in scouting now and I hope that they become Eagle scouts, and I believe that they will definitely become more self-confident and self-assured by trying so many new things, but since it is up to them to achieve something like Eagle, it also depends a lot on their environment and their motivation and how much they enjoy scouting in order to achieve it.

    Anyway, my two cents.

    • Scouting presents appropriate problems in front of members to encourage survival skills and independant thinking.
      The big problems facing todays youth are about not enough stimulating problems dealing with survival.Having every sort of problems encourages acti ities and thinking that either works well on down in results and this is the sort of exercise these kids need not luxuries of every concieveable distraction such as modern media..roughing it brings out appreciations for help theyve gotten all along.
      As a nation the genes degraded from bad thinking skils such that support narcissisum and feminism at any and all expense to the nations detriment.With the sell out to drug cartels and saudi arabia our imposters in office created this dilema that ends us in chains was not an accident.Feeding freebies to immigrants puts a favela near you soon.
      Who to thank …idiots like your parents

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