Utah tops the 2014 Eagle Scout rankings; where does your state fall?

Let’s give a big hand to Utah.

No state produced more Eagle Scouts in 2014 than Utah. Thanks in large part to the strong support Scouting receives from the LDS church there, 5,480 young men became Eagle Scouts in Utah last year.

That was enough for our nation’s 45th state to be No. 1 on the list for at least the sixth year in a row. That’s every year since 2009 — the first year for which detailed Eagle Scout statistics were made available to me.

California, Texas, Pennsylvania and New York round out 2014’s top 5. See the complete list — 1 to 50 — below.

Also, because it’s not really fair to compare the number of Eagle Scouts in the nation’s most populous state (California) and its least (Wyoming), I’ve included population-adjusted rankings as well. In that list, Wyoming leaps 42 spots to No. 3, while California drops 34 spots to No. 36.

Utah, though, tops both lists. Nicely done, Utah!

States ranked by number of 2014 Eagle Scouts

  1. Utah: 5,480
  2. California: 4,883
  3. Texas: 4,058
  4. Pennsylvania: 2,349
  5. New York: 1,954
  6. Virginia: 1,937
  7. North Carolina: 1,836
  8. Ohio: 1,748
  9. Illinois: 1,724
  10. Florida: 1,556
  11. Georgia: 1,413
  12. Missouri: 1,363
  13. New Jersey: 1,281
  14. Washington: 1,279
  15. Arizona: 1,209
  16. Michigan: 1,199
  17. Idaho: 1,182
  18. Minnesota: 1,045
  19. Massachusetts: 1,026
  20. Maryland: 952
  21. Colorado: 900
  22. Wisconsin: 893
  23. Tennessee: 885
  24. Indiana: 842
  25. Connecticut: 674
  26. South Carolina: 630
  27. Kansas: 606
  28. Oregon: 566
  29. Alabama: 559
  30. Iowa: 513
  31. Nevada: 465
  32. Kentucky: 459
  33. Oklahoma: 455
  34. Mississippi: 387
  35. Nebraska: 378
  36. Louisiana: 367
  37. Arkansas: 281
  38. Hawaii: 236
  39. Rhode Island: 220
  40. West Virginia: 212
  41. Montana: 180
  42. New Hampshire: 178
  43. New Mexico: 173
  44. Maine: 164
  45. Wyoming: 159
  46. Alaska: 123
  47. Delaware: 95
  48. South Dakota: 94
  49. Vermont: 92
  50. North Dakota: 90

States ranked by number of 2014 Eagle Scouts (population-adjusted)

It’s not fair to compare tiny Wyoming to California. So this list shows which states produced a disproportionately large (or small) number of Eagle Scouts in 2014 once you factor in population.

(FYI, I used these 2014 population numbers.)

  1. Utah
  2. Idaho
  3. Wyoming
  4. Virginia
  5. Missouri
  6. Kansas
  7. Rhode Island
  8. Nebraska
  9. Minnesota
  10. Connecticut
  11. North Carolina
  12. Pennsylvania
  13. Washington
  14. Arizona
  15. Montana
  16. Colorado
  17. Alaska
  18. Hawaii
  19. Iowa
  20. Nevada
  21. Maryland
  22. Wisconsin
  23. Massachusetts
  24. Ohio
  25. Texas
  26. Vermont
  27. New Jersey
  28. Oregon
  29. Georgia
  30. Tennessee
  31. New Hampshire
  32. Illinois
  33. South Carolina
  34. Mississippi
  35. Indiana
  36. California
  37. Maine
  38. North Dakota
  39. Michigan
  40. Oklahoma
  41. Alabama
  42. West Virginia
  43. South Dakota
  44. Kentucky
  45. Delaware
  46. New York
  47. Arkansas
  48. New Mexico
  49. Louisiana
  50. Florida

Eagle Scouts who don’t live in one of the 50

Not all Boy Scouts (and Eagle Scouts) live in one of the 50 United States. Here are those numbers from 2014:

  • Puerto Rico: 161
  • Transatlantic: 121
  • Direct Services: 82
  • Far East: 57
  • Washington, D.C.: 28
  • U.S. Virgin Islands: 4

Council-by-council rankings, 2014

As requested by a commenter, I’m adding the council rankings below. Take these with a big pinch of salt, though. Councils with more Scouts will, of course, have more young men earning the Eagle Scout award.

I don’t have the council-by-council membership numbers right now, so this list is purely a ranked list that doesn’t take into account council size.

The number before the council name is the council number, which is used for record-keeping.

  1. 591 Utah National Parks
  2. 590 Great Salt Lake
  3. 82 National Capital Area
  4. 589 Trapper Trails
  5. 10 Grand Canyon
  6. 576 Sam Houston Area
  7. 571 Circle Ten
  8. 250 Northern Star
  9. 307 Heart of America
  10. 39 Orange County
  11. 92 Atlanta Area
  12. 312 Greater St. Louis Area
  13. 662 Longhorn
  14. 107 Grand Teton
  15. 47 Golden Empire
  16. 492 Cascade Pacific
  17. 49 San Diego – Imperial
  18. 220 Baltimore Area
  19. 421 Occoneechee
  20. 609 Chief Seattle
  21. 272 Great Lakes (merged into 784)
  22. 61 Denver Area
  23. 527 Laurel Highlands
  24. 45 California Inland Empire
  25. 83 Central Florida
  26. 66 Connecticut Rivers
  27. 564 Capitol Area
  28. 106 Ore – Ida
  29. 160 Crossroads of America
  30. 328 Las Vegas Area
  31. 1 Greater Alabama
  32. 438 Dan Beard
  33. 127 Three Fires
  34. 358 Partriots’ Path
  35. 55 Silicon Valley Monterey Bay (25 & 55 merged)
  36. 583 Alamo Area
  37. 560 Middle Tennessee
  38. 23 Mount Diablo – Silverado
  39. 441 Simon Kenton
  40. 333 Northern New Jersey
  41. 205 Lincoln Heritage
  42. 525 Cradle of Liberty
  43. 602 Heart of Virginia
  44. 326 Mid – America
  45. 40 San Gabriel Valley
  46. 777 Washington Crossing (was Bucks County)
  47. 404 Suffolk County
  48. 635 Bay – Lakes
  49. 51 Western Los Angeles Area
  50. 782 Water and Woods FSC
  51. 546 Narragansett
  52. 101 Northeast Georgia
  53. 70 Old North State
  54. 611 Inland Northwest
  55. 415 Mecklenburg County
  56. 33 Los Angeles Area
  57. 544 New Birth of Freedom
  58. 783 Southern Shores FSC
  59. 386 Theodore Roosevelt
  60. 612 Pacific Harbors
  61. 104 Aloha
  62. 781 President Gerald R. Ford FSC
  63. 60 Pikes Peak
  64. 72 Connecticut Yankee
  65. 86 Gulf Ridge
  66. 397 Seneca Waterways
  67. 87 North Florida
  68. 558 Chickasaw
  69. 236 Yankee Clipper
  70. 502 Minsi Trails
  71. 539 Chester County
  72. 129 Northeast Illinois
  73. 480 Last Frontier
  74. 557 Great Smokey Mountain
  75. 31 Pacific Skyline
  76. 84 South Florida
  77. 347 Monmouth
  78. 249 Old Colony
  79. 62 Longs Peak
  80. 374 Hudson Valley
  81. 690 Burlington County
  82. 420 Piedmont
  83. 57 Ventura County
  84. 28 San Francisco Bay Area
  85. 315 Montana
  86. 751 Northwest Suburban
  87. 433 Great Trail
  88. 553 Indian Waters
  89. 606 Mount Baker
  90. 364 Twin Rivers
  91. 177 Mid – Iowa
  92. 244 Knox Trail
  93. 488 Indian Nations
  94. 330 Daniel Webster
  95. 595 Colonial Virginia
  96. 551 Blue Ridge
  97. 661 Puerto Rico
  98. 599 Blue Ridge Mountains
  99. 427 Old Hickory
  100. 81 Del – Mar – Va
  101. 388 Westchester – Putnam
  102. 660 Blackhawk Area
  103. 596 Tidewater
  104. 636 Three Harbors
  105. 85 Gulf Stream
  106. 95 Flint River
  107. 306 Ozark Trails
  108. 380 Greater Niagara Frontier
  109. 640 Greater New York Councils
  110. 426 East Carolina
  111. 147 Des Plains Valley
  112. 412 Great Southwest
  113. 373 Longhouse
  114. 429 Northern Lights
  115. 574 Bay Area
  116. 651 Potawatomi Area
  117. 18 Quapaw Area
  118. 111 Snake River
  119. 528 Hawk Mountain
  120. 440 Greater Cleveland
  121. 204 Blue Grass
  122. 620 Glacier’s Edge
  123. 88 Southwest Florida
  124. 198 Quivira
  125. 463 Great Western Reserve
  126. 138 W. D. Boyce
  127. 27 Sequoia
  128. 114 Lewis and Clark
  129. 303 Andrew Jackson
  130. 416 Central North Carolina
  131. 211 Istrouma Area
  132. 218 Pine Tree
  133. 329 Nevada Area
  134. 550 Coastal Carolina
  135. 617 Buckskin
  136. 11 Catalina
  137. 16 Westark Area
  138. 653 Great Rivers
  139. 802 Transatlantic
  140. 460 Erie Shores
  141. 585 East Texas Area
  142. 59 Greater Yosemite
  143. 436 Buckeye
  144. 450 Heart of Ohio
  145. 604 Blue Mountain
  146. 501 Northeastern Pennsylvania
  147. 763 Stonewall Jackson Area
  148. 89 West Central Florida
  149. 524 Pennsylvania Dutch
  150. 610 Great Alaska
  151. 425 Cape Fear
  152. 444 Miami Valley
  153. 156 Buffalo Trace
  154. 172 Hawkeye Area
  155. 512 Westmoreland – Fayette
  156. 53 Los Padres
  157. 227 Boston Minuteman
  158. 254 Mohegan
  159. 341 Jersey Shore
  160. 157 Anthony Wayne Area
  161. 118 Chicago Area
  162. 145 Hoosier Trails
  163. 234 Western Massachusetts
  164. 299 Gamehaven
  165. 449 Black Swamp Area
  166. 592 Green Mountain
  167. 491 Crater Lake
  168. 573 Yucca
  169. 577 South Texas
  170. 627 Samoset
  171. 598 Shenandoah Area
  172. 324 Cornhusker
  173. 549 Palmetto
  174. 559 West Tennessee Area
  175. 748 Yocona Area
  176. 702 Rainbow
  177. 214 Southeast Louisiana
  178. 414 Daniel Boone
  179. 91 Chattahoochee
  180. 733 Sioux
  181. 41 Redwood Empire
  182. 800 Direct Service
  183. 697 Oregon Trail
  184. 713 Sequoyah
  185. 230 Nashua Valley
  186. 773 Gulf Coast
  187. 32 Long Beach Area
  188. 96 Central Georgia
  189. 133 Illowa
  190. 311 Pony Express
  191. 99 Coastal ( Empire) Georgia – 3/1/14
  192. 173 Winnebago
  193. 532 French Creek
  194. 533 Susquehanna
  195. 58 Verdugo Hills
  196. 304 Pine Burr
  197. 578 Three Rivers
  198. 296 Central Minnesota
  199. 424 Tuscarora
  200. 439 Tecumseh
  201. 497 Juniata Valley
  202. 556 Cherokee Area
  203. 618 Allohak
  204. 638 Central Wyoming
  205. 4 Mobile Area
  206. 165 La Salle
  207. 376 Iroquois Trail
  208. 152 Calumet
  209. 400 Revolutionary Trails
  210. 552 Pee Dee Area
  211. 93 Georgia – Carolina
  212. 197 Jayhawk Area
  213. 614 Grand Columbia
  214. 368 Baden – Powell
  215. 500 Moraine Trails
  216. 144 Abraham Lincoln
  217. 30 Southern Sierra
  218. 322 Overland Trails
  219. 803 Far East
  220. 162 Sagamore
  221. 562 Golden Spread
  222. 286 Voyageurs Area
  223. 64 Western Colorado
  224. 375 Five Rivers
  225. 98 Alapaha Area
  226. 467 Muskingum Valley
  227. 584 Caddo Area
  228. 192 Coronado Area
  229. 5 Tukabatchee Area
  230. 117 Prairielands
  231. 664 Suwannee River Area
  232. 212 Evangeline Area
  233. 775 Rio Grande
  234. 121 Lincoln Trails
  235. 100 Northwest Georgia
  236. 215 Norwela
  237. 216 Katahdin Area
  238. 283 Twin Valley
  239. 509 Bucktail
  240. 213 Louisiana Purchase
  241. 637 Chippewa Valley
  242. 63 Rocky Mountain
  243. 561 Texas Trails
  244. 624 Gateway Area
  245. 225 Annawon
  246. 221 Mason – Dixon
  247. 178 Northeast Iowa
  248. 209 Calcasieu Area
  249. 474 Cimarron
  250. 504 Columbia – Montour
  251. 35 Marin
  252. 141 Mississippi Valley
  253. 382 Allegheny Highlands
  254. 694 South Plains
  255. 3 Alabama – Florida
  256. 405 Rip Van Winkle
  257. 741 Texas Southwest
  258. 413 Conquistador
  259. 580 NeTseO Trails
  260. 615 Mountaineer Area
  261. 691 Pushmataha Area
  262. 6 Black Warrior
  263. 302 Choctaw Area
  264. 695 Black Hills Area
  265. 69 Housatonic
  266. 393 Otschodela
  267. 469 Cherokee Area
  268. 587 Northwest Texas
  269. 567 Buffalo Trail
  270. 619 Ohio River Valley
  271. 102 Maui County
  272. 468 Arbuckle Area
  273. 538 Chief Complanter
  274. 42 Piedmont
  275. 22 Alameda
  276. 67 Greenwich
  277. 696 Midnight Sun
  278. 13 De Soto Area
  279. 224 Cape Cod and Islands
  280. 194 Santa Fe Trail

Hat tip: Thanks to the BSA’s Mike Lo Vecchio for getting these numbers for me.

109 Comments

    • Instead of removing them, I would be curious to see what the Eagles look like by charter organization. Only because I suspect it looks very much like units by charter organization.

      • So Bryan is active but ignoring me. LDS and the Regular BSA are different. I don’t mind this list, but it’s skewed. I would like to see all the same data with the same standards in place to compare to. LDS has it’s standards and that is fine, BSA National has it’s standards and that is fine. But to make a list like this with two sets of data and simply say this is the list with no identifier as to the differences is skewed data. I understand most of the tweaks are minor, but the fact that the Scouting program is a part of the church structure thus every youth is a part of the program makes a huge difference to those of us struggling to recruit over involved kids into another program.

        National knows who is LDS and who isn’t. We aren’t listed the same. We don’t even wear the same world crest on our uniforms. So give us the data so we can see how we really compare. Utah will always be the top of this list as long as LDS is in the list. I don’t know that they would be if LDS was removed though. Councils are the same way.

        The fact that several other posters have gotten personal replies though and mine has been ignored though, well I can pretty much guess I will never see that data here.

        I really don’t think it does anyone any favors though to create a report like this where you lump in 2 separate sets of requirements into one list with no way to purge the data that is irrelevant to you.

        • Somehow you were misinformed. LDS Scouts follow national advancement standards same as any other chartering organization.

        • Mr. Moore…I’m not sure where you are getting your information from, but you are totally clueless. Every Boy Scout, Venture Scout and Varsity Scout uses the same requirements and guidelines to earn their Eagle Rank, no matter who their Chartered Organization is.

          I have been a District Advancement Chairman for almost 20 years and have 8 LDS Units in my district of 33 Troops . EVERY Eagle Scout Candidate completes the same requirements as the next.

          Yes they run their programs a bit differently than traditional units but they ALL follow and meet the same Standards and Requirements as set by National.

        • Richard,
          I commend you on maintaining the same standards without regard to religious affiliation. Totally cool. I think that on closer examination, some LDS (not all) actually modify standards and requirements set by national. I assume the same is true with other sponsoring organizations, but as an LDS leader myself, I feel it isn’t right and doesn’t lead to fulfillment of the BSA Mission Statement for youth.
          Keep up the great work you are doing!

        • Please tell me where I buy this “special” LDS world crest? I’d love to add that to my patch collection.

          Sarcasm aside, many LDS scouts actually need to work harder to earn their eagle. LDS units don’t allow overnight camping on Saturday nights, so a weekend campout is usually only one night as opposed to 2 with other charter organizations. That means an LDS boy will have been on nearly twice as many campouts by the time they earn their camping merit badge.

        • David, perhaps it’s just my area, they wear a purple patch with the world crest with the person and the trumpet on top of it. I’m not LDS, All I know of the program is from the troops I’ve had interaction with. If you go back and look at my post, my main point is they do have a different way to recruit and maintain membership than the other troops. As such, in my opinion, to compare the LDS percentages and numbers to the other troops is skewed. .

        • Having seen upfront the differences in Utah Councils to my New York Council, I can understand the impact LDS has in Utah units that is not quite the same even though New York is the birth place of LDS religion. The better word to us is ‘expectation’ rather than ‘standard’. We all follow National standards although LDS has a slightly different structure along age lines. If one looks deeper, the true plus of LDS is the ‘family/parents’ support priorities that many council struggle with in today’s world that has drifted away from as other priorities compete with.

          Let’s instead look a bit deeper within ourselves and see if the reason many of us don’t join BSA because we too seek that ‘family/parent’ support priorities in wanting our boys to grow up to be fine men with timeless values. I know as a single parent, many men provide this male role model for my son that was sorely lacking. Also many a campout provided quality time spent with my son that I wouldn’t have been able to find elsewhere. THANK YOU LDS for your influence in BSA by helping keep ‘family’ in ScOUTING and providing great 12 points!

  1. Congratulations to all who have attained this rank! I need to say to those handing out the rankings, however, that sheer numbers alone are not enough. Large states are more likely to “win”. Perhaps a percentage total of scouts might also be included, for example… different and better statistical comparisons.

      • I think a slightly better comparison would be 2014 Eagle Scouts vs youth (maybe even youth males) that are of Scouting age, say 12-18. That would show what percentage of youth within their representative population obtained Eagle rank. It should be possible to get some version of this information (maybe not those exact ages) in the census data.

        • I was thinking the same thing. Florida has a large retiree population. That’s one of the reasons it ranked last on the per capita list. Arizona also is a retirement destination but it benefits on the population-adjusted list from a sizable Mormon population.

          We discussed market penetration (registered BSA youth members as a percent of age-eligible youth) at a recent district meeting. That’s a more accurate measure of success, but there are still factors such as household income, ethnic group, and religious affiliation that affect BSA involvement.

    • Just so you know Avery Moore, the requirements are all completely the same. They use the same scout book. They just rarely if any camp on saturday night and tge quorum identify falls under the troop, team and crew programs. Also that the SPL is usually a 12 or 13 year old boy. But they di use the same book, same scouting.

    • Missing one other key demographic beyond just number of people. A proper adjustment includes age and sex of population. Since only makes earn eagle and they must be between about 11-12 and no older than 18, that’s the denominator to build a ratio. States with ilder residents like maybe Florida or Michigan may score better.

      • That would be an interesting stat to see.. median of age for these councils. I will say I was stunned at sheer numbers of Eagle for Utah Councils when put under states. Amazed me how New York population is so large yet drop way down on the population list while one of the Top 5 on the council list. Info like this is great for membership committees and recruitments.

    • In our NY LDS troop and we wear the regular World Scouting Crest. I can’t find such an LDS variant in a Google Images search, which seems contrary to the specified BSA uniform. Wouldn’t a separate World Crest miss the point? Scouts internationally wear the same purple patch. See http://scout.org.

      • Some patches can be Council related that already been approved by National Council yet won’t be stated in BSA’s Guide to Instigna. I saw such an example for a Council Shoulder Wood Badge patch.

  2. A more significant stat would be the percent of Troop, Team, and Crew members that achieved the rank of Eagle.
    Also, how many councils include portions of more than one state?
    Percentage of eligible Scouts in a Council would be more significant.

    • Narragansett Council covers a territory that includes all of Rhode Island, portions of Eastern CT and portions of South Eastern Massachusetts, this would skew their numbers when comparing the state numbers.

  3. Population adjusted is not a bad thing, but what about putting it together as a percent of registered Scouts or percent of scout aged youth. I think Utah would still hit No. 1 based on percent of scout age youth, but maybe not so for percent of registered scouts.

  4. I’m only mildly interested in the number of Eagles produced. How about putting the emphasis where it really belongs, ie. the number of good Scouts produced, a small percentage of whom happen to have achieved excellence. The rising percentage of Eagles produced is demonstrating a dilution of the quality of the product.

    • On my blog I regularly spotlight high-achieving Eagle Scouts (of which there are far too many to name them all). This list is merely a fun way to look at how the numbers break down.

      As for the percentage of Eagles rising, I’ll cover that in a future post once I get the final 2014 numbers. To me, though, producing more Eagle Scouts and increasing that percentage is a good thing. Why wouldn’t we want the BSA to help create quality leaders who will some day run this country?

  5. Another stat that would be interesting is that the what percentage of the Boy Scouts who entered scouts in a certain year reached Eagle. For Instance, say a troop had “N” scouts who entered in 2008. The number of scouts “E” from that group who reached Eagle in 2010, 2012, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 would then be divided by “N” – Your percentage conversion is then “E/N”. It would be interesting to see how that varied in a troop from year to year. [I don’t include 2009 since it would be almost impossible for someone to reach in that time, give the road to First Class takes about a year minimum, and the service requirements for 2nd and 1st consume 10 months. An Eagle before the end of the 2nd year in scouting would be somewhat suspect]

    [The above calculation based on the number who entered in a year in Cub Scouting would be interesting, but too daunting on a national scale, even on a district scale…what might be interesting this year is to see how many of this years crew of Cub Scouts (yeah, I know in a strict sense, crew isn’t the correct word) enter Boy Scouts verses the previous years since the Cub Scouting program has been changed.]

    Since LDS runs a somewhat different program from the rest of BSA, what is there in the program that results in this…I can see a percapita difference, but the absolute numbers make one wonder the stats [I am not attacking the LDS in this regard, just curious]

    • Actually, I have the perfect counterexample. I know a guy that joined another troop about the same time I joined mine. Based on his progression from Scout to Eagle, it’s possible to earn the top rank in about 3 years, making the latest a 2014 Eagle Scout could’ve joined up a whopping 2011.

  6. “Since LDS runs a somewhat different program from the rest of BSA, what is there in the program that results in this…I can see a percapita difference, but the absolute numbers make one wonder the stats [I am not attacking the LDS in this regard, just curious]”

    Agree!
    I’m not wanting to diminish LDS participation. but the program is far different than that of other sponsoring organizations re: participation of both leaders and youth.
    An analysis with LDS sponsored units taken out of the mix might be better in terms of State by State comparison.

  7. I am not LDS but I am a District Advancement Chairman that has 2 LDS units in it that I review their Eagle Proposals and sit on their EBORs and these boys meet the same BSA requirements as all the other scouts. There is no LDS block checked on the Eagle application. These two units if anything are more demanding in ensuring the requirements are fully met than others.

  8. Nope – I don’t think this is a truly fair comparison any way you slice it. In the LDS Church all male youth are registered in scouting, inflating membership numbers. And I can speak from personal experience that as a Non-LDS Eagle I am insulted my 3 LDS brothers-in law are Eagles. When asked – the 3 cannot tell you WHAT they did as a Eagle project! And further discussion leads me to believe they know nothing of other Eagle projects. Remember, learning to and providing leadership for the Eagle Project is the core of the rank’s award. I am not saying the young men in the statistics did not earn the Rank, but I think the Utah Numbers might be slightly skewed.

    • Not to mention that in many, if not most, LDS families, the boy is not allowed to get his driver’s license in order to get their Eagle. It’s almost like they are earning the Eagle for their parents, and not for themselves.

      • Most? As an LDS scouter who has lived in Utah and now in South Carolina, I can tell you that I do not know any LDS families that made earning their Eagle as a pre-req for their son to get his drivers license. Mine certainly didn’t. I do know of several families belonging to other denominations here is SC who have, though.

        Perhaps you know some LDS families who have, maybe even many, but you should be aware that such a thing is hardly unique to LDS families.

        • My apologies, I have heard way too many of these cases, and it has all been LDS scouts, but I think it’s a crazy practice- no matter your denomination.

        • I’ve lived in utah all my life and been in scouting many years and I know more families than I care to name that hang the “get your eagle before you can get a license” requirement on their kids. One In particular that held me accountable on her sons family life merit badge, his last before he became an eagle. I had the gall to require him to actually do what was required to get it. The mother called and was upset because his sixteenth birthday was a week away and he was whining. I threw in the towel after she almost came to tears blaming me for his troubles land took the signed blue card over in hopes SOMEONE in their family would feel some sort of desire for him to actually earn the badge, no such luck, the mother was elated that her son would now get his drivers license! And that’s just one example, and yes I’m a scoutmaster and LDS. This kind of thing isn’t unique to LDS families at all!

      • Kris –
        The point about earning Eagle before the boy gets a Driver’s License is irrelevant. As we know, there are often 2 fumes that interfere w/ getting Eagle…Gas Fumes and Perfumes. By the parent (not the troop but the parent) placing that restriction, the parent gets the boy to focus on completing his project and more importantly, EARNING, the Eagle. It is a matter of setting priorities, and does not interfere with any of the BSA requirements.

        This simply focus the boy on the goal. I know too many (including a nephew, a judge, and sadly, myself) who have said that their lifelong regret is that they did not persevere until they earned Eagle.

        The unit I am with (for my grandson) is chartered by a chapter of the Exchange Club. (I. am the C.O.R.). They set no requirements on our troop other than that we follow the national guidelines.

        By the way, I’ve heard also that there are there are three “P”s that interfere with Eagle [Payday, Petroleum, and Perfume]

        • This is the first I’ve ever heard of your 3 P’s comment of Payday, Petroleum and Perfume. Correct me if I’m wrong in my translation:
          Payday = after school jobs
          Petroleum = getting driver’s license (I honestly this being against scouting unless I have the wrong meaning.)
          Perfume = interest in girls or having a girlfriend.

          Where does extracurricular activities like sports, church, recreation center sports and more fit in? Should it also have a ‘P’ effect?

        • I would offer that all those extra-curricular activities you mention fall under the category of Petroleum (have car-will go). BTW Petroleum isn’t just a Driver’s License, it is a CAR/Truck to increase mobility, clean, polish, maintain, trick out, show off, etc.

        • You are right in your interpretation…the thing is that extracurricular activities like sports, church, recreation center sports also compete. it is just that “Payday, Petroleum and Perfume” are new to the mix [younger scouts can’t work or drive, and most don’t get involved in a relationship] – that is, the interest comes about the same time these other distractions arrive. Parents and scouts have over the years learned to manage the multiple activitie but three new things in the mix can be overwhelming for scouts and parents

  9. Hi Brian – Can you correct the name of our council? Its 244 Knox Trail Council and not Know Trail Council. I mistype this all the time.

      • Here are a few other council names that I believe need corrections.

        51 Western Los Angeles Area should be Western Los Angeles County.
        98 Alapaha Area should be South Georgia.
        358 Partriots’ Path should be Patriots’ Path.
        690 Burlington County should be Garden State.

        Also, for consistency I would suggest either the following four be combined into “780 Michigan Crossroads” or 272 should be listed as “784 Great Lakes FSC”:

        272 Great Lakes (merged into 784)
        781 President Gerald R. Ford FSC
        782 Water and Woods FSC
        783 Southern Shores FSC.

        (Yes, I have obsessive- compulsive tendencies.)

        Thanks for listing the councils. I made a few corrections and updates to a list that I compiled last year from various sources to determine how many councils are chartered by the BSA. It’s 277 by my count which combines the four Michigan field service councils and doesn’t count Direct Service which technically isn’t a council but functions in some ways like one.

  10. Is the population adjustment based on pure number of people in the state, number of Scout-aged boys in the state,or number of Scouts in the State? I would be interested to see which states have the highest Scout population (overall and per capita)… I have a hunch that Utah has a higher percentage of Scouts in it’s population than, say, Hawaii, and would love to see the Scout population of each State. Is it uniform across the country? Which areas of our country have the most Scouts? Are there more Scouts in New York City or Nebraska? Would love to know!

  11. I too would love to see a statistic on how many Eagles were Cubs. And how long a Cub. Actually, could the data be presented so we could run our own numbers? Lots of inquiring minds on here.

  12. Great list! While you are correcting council names, number 35 on your list “Santa Clara County” changed names when they merged 2 years ago. The correct name is “Silicon Valley Monterey Bay”. Thanks.

  13. It is time to look at calling completion of the LDS priesthood training program something other than “Eagle.” The standards are vastly different, the merit badges handed out like candy and the eagle project are of little lasting value.

    • I have been in LDS church and an adult scouter for past 25 years. I have never heard of someone “completing” a priesthood training program let alone calling it “Eagle”. In my council there is a significant number of troops sponsored by LDS and significant number sponsored by other churches and organizations. Our District and Council Boards of Review and Advancement Standards follow the National Guidelines. There is no different Standards for Scouts sponsored by LDS. If you look at the percentage of scouts enrolled who earn Eagle over in Utah I bet the percentage isn’t that much different than a national average. They have 150-200k kids in scouting in that state. I would challenge that their standards are somehow different.

    • I earned my silver square knot on a purple background. For some reason when I applied for Eagle Scout it didn’t ask about that one. Would’ve been a lot easier than doing all those merit badges and the project.

    • I am not aware of any different standards. As a youth I went to Philmont to participate in the NJLIC one summer, and came back the next to be part of staff. I met scouts from all across the country who had been recommended and sent by their leaders for their exceptional qualities–the best of the best as it were. During those weeks I only met one other LDS scout, but among the many exceptional scouts that were there from all background, I also met an alarming number of Eagles who couldn’t recite the scout Oath or Law, tie basic knots, perform basic first aid, or demonstrate a host of other skills that the badges on their uniforms said they should know. Dysfunction is hardly unique to LDS units, though it may be more visible due to the high number of units they charter, and some aspects of LDS ‘culture’ that have already been commented on here. But LDS units use the same requirements as any other scout, and LDS leaders are supposed to complete the same training as any other scouter. I have seen many a unit where the local leaders lacked training and as such did not run the program to national standards, but that was not due to any chartered organization policy or double standard. I have seen it in plenty of LDS units, as well as Catholic, Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian, school/community chartered units, and others. I have seen Eagle projects from many scouts, certainly including LDS, that I thought fell well short of the mark, as well as just as many exceptional ones. Religious affiliation had little to do with it. It is important to remember that the standard for success isn’t how long the project results last; rather, it is about what caliber of leadership and service the candidate gave in identifying, planning and carrying out the project. it isn’t about how big it is, or how many others turn out for it, as much as what the young man learns from it and demonstrates through it. I’ve been to many summer camps and merit badge universities where merit badges are, as you put it, ‘handed out like candy’, cranking kids along a production line process intended to give a scout a badge in a short time that by design should take much longer. That is not unique to LDS units either. My own sons have gone through them, and when I talked to them about what they actually learned, presented and discussed, and compare that to the requirements, it is very evident to me that they did not really earn that badge. However, because they have a blue card signed by a ‘registered counselor’ they are presented with it all the same. But it isn’t just LDS scouts at those merit badge events (a small minority is our council) and it isn’t the units passing out the badges. The LDS scouts certainly benefit from this flawed approach to merit badges, but so do all the others. My response as a unit leader to this problem is to ensure the troop plans activities where the scouts who ‘earned’ the award will have to use the skills that they supposedly learned and lead the others, so that one way or the other they will get the necessary practice.

  14. I have been involved for past 25 years in scouting in a council with a substantial portion of troops chartered by LDS and substantial portion chartered by other organizations. I have seen no difference in standards for merit badges or Eagle projects. LDS follow the same exact standards as everybody else from my experience. I have never heard of there being different standards.

    • Terry,

      Has it been in the same council the entire time? I’ve been in 5 councils over a number of years, and have met a bunch of LDS scouters and pros. I’ve seen good LDS units and the opposite. I’ve asked my LDS friends about this and they basically say the same thing, “The further away from Salt Lake City you get, the more variation in the program you get.” From talking to one friend from Utah, observing a unit in mid-America, and seeing a second unit on the East coast, that seems to be case.

      IMHO, another challenge the LDS units face, one that I believe the LDS Church is starting to address, is “calling” their leaders. I remember trying to get a hold of one LDS troop using the contact information on the charter. Leadership changed multiple times within the 6-8 months of the charter, and the folks I’ve tried didn’t know who the current leadership was. I eventually had to go to their bishop to get the correct info. My understanding is that now the LDS Church want leaders to be “called” for a period of 3 years now. So improvements should take place in those area where problems do arise.

      • Nahila,
        I am in a predominately LDS District in Utah (wow imagine that) Utah National Parks Council is the Nation’s largest council and 98% of the units are LDS sponsored. 80,000 leaders and at least that many Scouts at probably the same ratios. COR and Institutional Head is generally the same in those units thru the charter lifetime, and if they change, they also know who the new ones are.
        Granted the Church needs to look closely at what the program administered it. My feeling, and I think it is not just LDS units, is that more adult leaders “think they know what the program is” rather than getting trained and actually implementing the program. In areas where I see strong trained Adult leaders, I see Eagles that really have earned the badge, while in less trained areas…..not so much so.

        • Jay,

          Like you said, training is the key. Challenge I had with the East coast unit was, and still is unfortunately, getting their leaders trained and implementing the program. My feeling is that because the adult leders turnover so fast, they never get beyond YPT. And I never see them at district or council functions. They do not participate in Scouting for Food, a district Memorial Day service project, or even camp Friday night at camporee.

          One time I visted them, all the troop did was play basketball. and talking to the Scouts, that all they ever did. No camping, no skills instruction. And yes the leader was untrained, hence one of the reasons for the visit. Leader had just been “called” and was only serving until someone else was “called.” And the bishop wasn’t that involved.

          This contrasted to the LDS troop in Louisiana. Bishop not only was involved, but was the district chairman. Troop did participate on the district and council level. Even gave dispensations, is that the LDS term, for Scouts to do special events like jamboree and Philmont.

          Also my DE tells me of his expereinces in Utah growing up. With a few minor LDS specific differences, his troop was a outdoor oriented troop.

          And yes, it’s not just LDS troops. I have a traditional troop that has some major issues. SM thinks he knows it all and that, “Scouting has to change with the times.” Despite the number of people who have tried to counsel and mentor him: the former SM, district training chair who was an ASM in the troop, the two UCs assigned to him, etc. He still knows best and is doing his own thing.

          One difference is that eventually the traditional troop will die out as boys quit Scouting or transfer to other troops. Because the LDS Church requires all boys to be in Scouting, the problem troops continue to exist. And those problems get passed on until rectified.

      • Hey Nahila…I think you have ‘hit the nail on the head’. About a quarter of the LDS units in my district have a very stable set of adult leaders and the other units seem to change leadership at the drop of a hat. Once we get a leader trained, they’re gone to another Calling. It’s really hard to keep everyone trained and informed when they are reassigned so quickly.

      • Yes. Has been in same council (Las Vegas) entire time. I have also seen we’ll run LDS units and the opposite. I doubt it has anything to do with distance from Salt Lake but just difference in training, experience and commitment of leaders (like in all troops). I agree with your point that troops who turnover adult leaders frequently struggle more and don’t serve the youth nearly as well.
        But the main point I was making is that advancement standards for MB, Eagle Projects and Boards are the same for all scouts no matter whether their troop is run well or poorly or whether it is sponsored by LDS, Catholic, Methodist etc..

  15. While highlighting the number of Eagles, Silvers, and Quartermasters is interesting, let’s remember that the advancement goal for Scouts is 1st Class, Bronze, and Ordinary. The ranks and merit badges are merely tools to provide motivation for these young people to achieve the real objective of Scouting; to prepare young people to cope with the challenges that life will throw at them

  16. Bryan –

    Can you take the Council Ranking list and adjust the rankings by Council Population…similar to what you did for the states (number of Eagles in the council divided by total of Scouts in the council)? I think it would give a better picture of which councils have a strong trail to Eagle (versus which ones are just big councils).

    Or could you at least provide the number of Eagles from each council (I’d like to know how many Eagles came from my council)… and also possibly share the total number of Scouts in each council too.

    It’s interesting to know Utah National Parks Council is #1 and Santa Fe Trails Council is #280…but how many Eagles did these councils produce and how big are these councils to begin with? More data on the data would be interesting and more useful to seeing the bigger picture.

    Thanks!

    • I agree! Please provide fuller data, Bryan!

      Of course Utah National Parks is going to have the most Eagle Scouts… they have the most Scouts! They are the largest council in the country. Comparing Utah National Parks (with just under 87,000 Scouts) to Piedmont Council (with just over 1,000 Scouts) on total number of Eagles produced is not fair and gives a misleading representation. Utah National Parks Council probably produced more Eagle Scouts last year than Piedmont has total members. Having the data weighted by size of council would more useful and show a more useful picture of the trail to Eagle program a council has.

      Santa Fe Trail Council is at the bottom of the list; they have less than 4,000 Scouts (across all program levels). Utah National Parks has 87,000 Scouts (almost 22 times the number of Scouts of Santa Fe Trails Council) but are they producing 22 times as many Eagles (or is it more or less)? And Santa Fe Trails Council (which is the lowest Eagle-producer) is four times bigger than Piedmont Council (the smallest council in the country)… but Piedmont outranked Santa Fe Trails an 5 other larger Councils.

      Weighted data (or at least the numbers so we can do the math) would be appreciated.

  17. One of the reasons Utah’s numbers are so high/inflated is because they have a number of 13/14 YO scouts receiving/earning their Eagles because they are encouraged/pushed by their leaders and their moms to get their Eagle before they are in my opinion prepared for it. I am a non LDS Scouter who has worked in the GSLC for 30 years. I have served on Eagle Boards of Review and more then once I have been surprised by what passes for an Eagle Project and the Scouts poor responses to what it means to be an Eagle Scout.

    • Agreed that Leaders and Moms push youth to get their Eagle, but I think that applies across the board, not just in Utah. Dads are involved as well. I look at some projects and wonder myself how they became projects. it appears to be a lack of training of adult leaders who approve projects and do EBOR as the youth does what he sets out to do and has had approved. What I don’t understand is why there isn’t more council and/or national oversight on projects to actually get a higher standard for those projects.

    • We have LDS units in our district, their Scouts get their Eagle project approved by the district advancement committee just like all the other Life Scouts from non-LDS uits.

      My son has participated in Merit Badge Forums/Days/Fairs/Etc. offered by LDS churches. One LDS church I know hosts one the first Saturday of the month every other month of the year. They usually do 3 Merit Badges, at least 1 that is Eagle required. The Merit Badges have prerequistes in order to complete it that day. Scouts can earn only 1 Merit Badge. I saw nothing different in the LDS Merit Badge events than in non-LDS events my son has attended.

      My final observation may not be reflective of all LDS Scouters, but I observed that a couple of them got by with the minimum 21 Merit Badges required for Eagle. Most other Scouts I know in our area, have at least a few more optional Merit Badges over the minimum by the time they get to Eagle. I do not know, however, if that is prevalent across the country.

  18. Two comments: It is interesting to me that there are as many Eagles noted in PA and CA as there are, as these are two of the hotbeds of BSA controversies. Part of it is certainly population, especially in CA; but cannot help but wonder if the negative attention contributes in the opposite way to some extent?

    In regard to LDS, I often wonder about the number of snarky comments regarding them from other Scouters (?; are they living the Oath and Law?). In our area, we have similar issues with both LDS and non LDS units; some are very strong, and some not so much. They also are cyclical. But, there is little evidence that I have seen in close to 100 boards for Eagle that the average quality is much different. And, it appears to me based on discussions with a couple of my LDS friends that they are slowly addressing many of the difficult issues that have made them a bit more erratic in the past, especially in tenure of leaders.

    And, based on how poorly most of our political leaders appear to respresent us, those that are “proud” of being Scouts or Scouters, and especially Eagle, do not reflect particularly well on the standards we would like them to carry past boyhood. Just my personal view of course. And I do realize that there are some that mainly manage to actually follow that compass in everyday life.

  19. I would like to see a break down without LDS included. They have a major advantage that others don’t have. We have to recruit and retain scouts, they have scouts is a part of their church program. My kids are very attentive to our church programs, followed by scouts. Nothing against LDS, just that the number is biased. I’ve had LDS scouts in my pack, that is until they can join the LDS pack. The Wards/chapel also fund the packs and troops so the expense for the scouts is minimal.

  20. If I may interject (and forgive me if this has been covered as I didn’t read every comment) there is some misunderstanding on this thread which I hope my input will help correct. I was a very active Scouter in Northern New Jersey until a health issue sidelined me from much of my Scouter duties but my Council is probably one of the most diverse in the US. We run the gambit from the very wealthy to the very poor and we service a wide range of youth, adults and chater organizations. Here are some things that I have learned specifically about Scouting and the LDS.

    First, the primary functional goal of the BSA is not to churn out Eagle Scouts. It is really to give a boy the skills necessary to obtain the rank of First Class. If you have attended Woodbadge, you have the learned all of the skills of a First Class Scout, and those are the skills believed to be the most important once necessary for you to function on your own – self reliance.

    Next, the Church of Latter Day Saints (LDS) from what I understand has a requirement that every member serves in the Mission Field for two years. This is why the LDS embraces the Scouting program. It teaches the skills necessary to fulfill their missionary service, but the boys must still earn their ranks and build their skills. Naturally, their numbers would be higher, but so what? How is that skewed in any way, shape or form? God bless them! At least they’re growing and that’s a positive thing.

    Why is that a problem to some of you? The population in Utah that identify themselves as LDS (depending on source) is between 58 and 69.14%. The boys join Troops voluntarily, but they join because they know that they’ll need the skills. Ask anyone who served in the military. While training, you know exactly who were Boy Scouts and who were not. It is evident in the way they carry themselves and how they do things, usually incorrectly. To say that somehow it’s not fair that their numbers are high is very disingenuous and I would throw in borderline envious.

    During my involvement in the BSA program, my Council went from a Youth membership level of 37,000 to 13,000 and I will not opine here on what I suspect the reason for the decline was but I can assure you that it wasn’t local policies that prompted the exodus, but naturally the larger number would generate more Eagles than the lower number. In 2014, 340 Eagle Ranks were awarded which is about 2.8% of the membership. According to what I just read, that was a record number earning the rank. So why with less youth does a Council produce a record number of Eagles? I’ll tell you the secret. Commitment. Commitment from the boys who have a desire to excel. A desire to succeed. A desire to tackle the goal of Eagle while engaged in many of the other things that take up their time today. A boy becomes an Eagle Scout because he pushes himself and pulls himself, and if he falls, he gets back up and runs even harder. It really has nothing to do with his Troop or his Charter Organization. The desire to succeed come from inside of him.

    While I see the complaints as being petty shots at the LDS, it’s not the LDS that you’re insulting but every single boy who worked hard, met the requirements and earned the rank of Eagle.

    If I am in error regarding the LDS Missions account or anything I presented here please set me straight. That was information presented to me by a third party or gleamed from web sites I checked as I wrote this.

    Yours in Scouting!

  21. I have happily been a Utah Scouter for many years. In my view, the LDS Church loves the scouting program for numerous reasons: the skills it teaches, the leadership, citizenship, character and personal development opportunities, ethical and moral values that are taught, and its strong stance on Duty to God. As well as the excellent adult training offered. Scouting is a phenomenal tool for youth development.

    Advancement in LDS units is expected to comply fully with BSA standards. I have worked closely with many Eagle Candidates, all of whom are pretty great kids – just over half are 13-15 years old, highly motivated kids – and many are 17 1/2, rushing to finish up what they perhaps weren’t mature enough, or were not supported enough to complete earlier. Essentially all of whom are on target to be responsible, successful, trustworthy adults.

    Sometimes, however, advancement is over-emphasized – it becomes the main focus for some boys/families/units. This can lead to a checklist mentality about the Eagle rank and Eagle project – they just want to get it done. In my experience, despite my encouragement to aim high, reach beyond their comfort zones, maximize the impact of their project – some boys who could, don’t produce amazing results. The guide to advancement limits my ability to enforce higher standards…

    LDS Units are largely implemented by congregation (ward) as an 11 year old patrol, with emphasis on mastering the Trail to First Class skill set, 12-13 year olds do scouting, 14-15 year olds are registered as Varsity Scouts, and 16-18 year olds are registered as Venture scouts. [At 18 or 19 a volunteer, 2 year long, self funded, mission is emphasized as each young man’s Duty to God. Many, however, choose not to go.]

    The LDS implementation of scouting has its weaknesses.
    -Limited training and tenure in leaders – from frequent reorganization – is too common.
    -Support from unit committees is also highly variable.
    -Unit size is commonly 12 boys or less – non LDS boys are welcome in LDS units.
    -Varsity & Venture programs are often not implemented – leaving boys without Eagle by 14 without a supportive program (thus the rush to get Eagle early).

    Scouting is a phenomenal tool – some say the best out there – for developing boys into great men – but it is a multifaceted tool that takes training and experience to implement properly. Sometimes it seems so overwhelming… 20+ years and still learning. Like most of you, I am in Scouting because I see the value of scouting, and love helping boys learn and grow. May God bless all of us in our efforts, and bless the boys of this generation to Do Their Best!

  22. Timp,

    This is something I always wondered about LDS troops. You state “LDS Units are largely implemented by congregation (ward) as an 11 year old patrol, with emphasis on mastering the Trail to First Class skill set….”

    How can the 11 year old patrol really master the skills required for Tenderfoot, Second class, and First Class if they cannot camp? Tenderfoot requirements 1 through 3 specifically mention camping. Second Class requires 2 camp outs, And First Class requires a 3rd camp out.

    Again, this is not meant as a criticism, but something I am curious about.

    • Nevermind. Looking at the LDS and Scouting info online, I found out that 11 year olds are allowed 3 nights of camping in order to meet First Class Scout requirements.

      • Thank you Nahila for chasing your own answer. I am a scoutmaster in an LDS unit and often refer to the scouting resources on the LDS church website.

        In our unit, our 11 year-old adult leaders don’t camp for whatever reason (goes back to your earlier comment on the challenge of being “called” vs. volunteering – but I think in our case it’s perhaps due to lack of adult leader training), so we’ve worked with the scout committee and the Patrol Leaders Council to find ways to include the 11 year-old boys in 3 of our campouts while they are 11 years old, involving their fathers or other registered adults to oversee the 11 year-olds on the campout.

        In relation to a boys trail to Eagle, I would not be surprised if the units producing Eagles also have strong “new scout” patrols. LDS sponsored scouting units (wards) sometimes have challenges in this area as adult advisers over the new scout patrol are different than those who work with the older boys, and the two groups sometimes do not talk. But that is something a good scout committee can address, which I would also not be surprised to see that many Eagle scouts come from units with well functioning committees.

  23. A lot of people complaining about the LDS troops, but no one is complaining about the LDS money keep the BSA alive. The BSA IS the LDS troops, the other troops need to realize that.

    • The BSA SHOULD be more than just the LDS church. The problem is that the BSA is terrible at getting intercity minority kids to join up. That’s why California is 36th in Eagle Scouts per million people. If you look at the bottom 15 states, most of them have large Black or Hispanic populations.

      • There is a bigger picture of inner city minority kids that just too big to tackle under this topic. Summed up there is loads of factors that with adult volunteers being the number one reason. Would be a nice topic of how other Councils/ Districts/ Units have achieved success in this area!

    • Having served in predominately LDS as well as non-majority LDS councils throughout the country during a 30-year military career, I did see a huge variance between units, and as perhaps snarkily reported above, a tremendous funding difference. It is quite true that LDS units are funded by their church, and that there are thousands of such units in the three councils that cover Utah. Similarly, there are a large number of LDS units in most every council, nationwide.

      Following retirement from the Army, I was a DE in one of those Utah councils, and the district I had contained over 400 units, all LDS. Mine was one of 20 districts in the council, many of which were comparably sized. I had a bit of a problem making certain that proper training and standards were maintained, rather than “word of mouth, how we’ve always done it” methods prevailing. But one area I had little concern about was funding, either in chartering or Friends of Scouting. Over 90% of the units rechartered and completed FoS well in advance of the requested dates, and the others were chartered and exceeded FoS goals shortly thereafter.

      Hence, I would say there is a bit of validity to any comment that a lot of money flows from LDS units to BSA at large, though I feel it inaccurate to state that “BSA IS the LDS troops”. Such sentiment does a disservice to all troops, both LDS and otherwise.

      Given the recent policy changes at the national level, a large amount of attention was paid to whether the LDS church would follow the path of other chartering denominations who pulled out of BSA to start or join other organizations. For some it was a question of how much their influence would be missed, or gratitude that it would be gone. For many, however, they were rightly concerned that BSA would lose a major funding base, which would have resulted in thousands of BSA jobs being lost as money to pay them would dry up. The losses in total scouts that has continued annually since the late 70s would have been magnified 10-fold, in one fell swoop, and what has been a slow downward spiral, would have been a death crash.

      It will be interesting to see how much those policy changes affect FoS in Utah and elsewhere. I have read anecdotal accounts saying that many former donors are now pulling their support … voting with their checkbooks. The percentage of funding that flows out of LDS family finances may dwindle, though at least for the near future, chartering and registration will remain relatively constant in those units. If either (FoS or registration) do go away in LDS units in large amounts, BSA could in fact be in serious trouble.

  24. I think that the population adjusted rankings need to take into consideration only the population of youths under 18. One quarter of elderly Americans live in one of three states: California, Florida, and New York. Florida ranks highest with 18% of their citizens who are age 65 or older. Interestingly enough, California, Florida, and New York produced 8,393 Eagle Scouts, or 16% of all Eagle Scouts.

    While having a large elderly population slews the normalized numbers against states like California, Florida, and New York, they are also fortunate because a large number of the elderly are committed to volunteering their time to participating as Adult Scout leaders. I know because our Scoutmaster here in Florida is a retired grandfather of one of our Scouts and we have produced 9 Eagles, including my twins, in the past 5 years our small Troop (less than 20 Scouts).

  25. Again I am forced to comment on a couple of misconceptions. The LDS believe it or not is not the largest BSA supporting religious organization. It is the Methodist Church and as for attracting “intercity” (inner city), it is easier said than done. When I spoke of my Council being quite diverse, my District is just as diverse. I have been involved in the push to recruit inner city kids. In one case, in a meeting with the mayor of a large city, the professional was asked point blank why there were no Scout Units in his city. He was given an honest reply. There was no interest coming out of the city and out recruiting efforts were all presented to him. He swore that he would change that but I doubt anything was done about it. In another case, the local police department expressed interest in working on establishing a Scout Unit, and again all we got was excuses so please, it is not from a lack of trying.

    If you ask the common person on the street about Scouting (at least in the northern tier of states and again based on my personal experience) you’ll get an answer like “they are a Catholic group” or “that’s only for the rich kids.” Why? Well, because in those areas, there are many Units chartered by a Catholic Church.

    My town has two troops. A Catholic unit and a Presbyterian unit. I am a protestant so I should have gravitated to the Presbyterian unit, right? Well, we joined the Catholic unit. Why? Because Wednesday nights was better for us than Thursday nights. Nothing more and nothing less. Religion is taught in the home and not in Scouting, but is a core component of the Scouting program. I have been in more churches than you know and never felt like an “outsider” regardless of the denomination and that includes the Synagogues. As a member of the district training team, I would be asked to lead the meeting with a prayer and when training was held in a Synagogue. I actually learned and offered the prayer in Hebrew which I believe did more to cement the bond between BSA and the Jewish houses of worship.

    A few years ago there was a push to use soccer in order to entice hispanic kids to join. I don’t know if it was successful but no one can say that BSA is not making efforts. What we need is more “advertising” and going on radio or TV is expensive. I would use the schools as a recruitment tool. When ever they had a “talent night,” I would have some of the boys in my Cub Den that attended my son’s school join the show and do Scout skits in complete Scout regalia. One time they even fooled me.

    They started with looking around for a quarter. The one kid came over and asked “what are you doing?” “Looking for a quarter.” He asks where did you lose it and the one boy said “over there but the light is better over here.” They moved to the middle and did a few of the one liners ending with “The look on your mom’s face when the Cubmaster says she has to pee in the woods, priceless.” That was followed by “scary animal sounds” that didn’t scare them and the one boy looks back and says “Girl Scouts” they yell AHHHHH! and run off stage. While running, my son stopped, stooped over, got up holding his fingers together and said “Hey, I found my quarter” and got a belly laugh from the entire crowd.

    THAT my friends is the best recruiting tool we have. The boys themselves. In today’s world, kids in Scout uniforms are on occasion mocked. I always told my son to reply with positive in Scouting. “Have you ever slept aboard the USS New Jersey, the most decorated battleship in the Navy, then have the honor of serving on the flag raising detail in the morning? I have.” Encourage your boys to focus on the positives of Scouting.

  26. Overall, I think this is a good conversation.

    While Scouting is a worldwide movement, local variations do occur. Even in the BSA, things done in one section of the country are not feasible in another. Best example I can give is that unless the New Orleans Saints win another Super Bowl (highly unlikely with all the recent trades) I seriously doubt that any snow related activities common elsewhere in the US will be feasible in Southeast Louisiana. 😉

    Same with the LDS units. I think that there is wide variety of LDS units from good to needs help. This is just like any other denomination’s Scouting units.

    But I think that there is a variety of factors that give LDS units a negative image in some areas of the country. I mentioned previously the high turnover rate in leaders and the lack of training. Also mentioned is how the 11 year olds are segregated from the rest of the troop and are limited to 3 campouts that first year. If I read the information correctly, the appointment of leadership positions is another difference that some non-LDS leaders have concerns about.

    And since certain LDS leadership positions relate to BSA leadership potsitions, if the LDS Scout doesn’t realize that being church president is being the SPL of the troop, and mentions being church president as his leadership position for Eagle, it can be very confusing, and frustrating for non-LDS Scouters to understand.

    Another thing that in my opinion hurts some LDS units is the lack of participation in district and council events. That’s the case where I am at locally. Because folks do not see them active or hear about what they are doing, it is almost as if they do not exist. When troops are in trouble it can be easy to spot. Usually they stop attending district and council events and functions: roundtables, service projects, camporees, etc. And folks will jump in to help them out.

    But when you have difficulties even tracking down the leaders to offer help, it can get very challenging. Being ignored when trying to help them get the resources they need is also frustrating. And eventually you give up trying.

    On a different note for my LDS brothers out there, can someone request to be called to a Scouting position and stay in that position? We mentioned the lack of consistancy and high turnover in LDS unit leaders. I know nationally the LDS Church is promoting a 3 year calling, but it seems like non-LDS units have leaders 5, 10, 20, and in a few cases 50+ years in SM and ASM roles. Could an LDS member request to be called for an extended period of time than the recommended 3 years?

    Again this is not meant to be a criticism of the LDS Church and their Scouting program. Rather it is me trying to get a better understanding of the church’s policies so I can get a pack and a troop more involved, and help them deliver a quality program.

    • Nahila,

      I’m so glad you are asking these questions. Regarding your question, “can someone request to be called to a Scouting position and stay in that position”, the answer is “it depends.”

      Yes, a person “called” to a scouting position can request to remain in that scouting position, and sometimes they remain in that position for many years, but the ward (unit) leadership (bishopric) determines what calling and for how long. The same is true with callings in our church that are not scouting related. Our ward just released a clerk that had served for 15 years in roughly the same role. However, when the bishopric of the ward sees a need for a person called to a scouting position to move to a different calling in the ward, they are released from that scouting calling. That does not mean that the person cannot serve elsewhere in scouting in the unit.

      For example, I was the COR for several years, as a calling in the bishopric. When I was released from that calling, someone else became the COR, but the same day I turned in an adult application to volunteer on the unit scout committee. Thus LDS adults who wish to continually serve in scouting can do so, even if their current calling in the church is not related to scouting.

      Regarding tenure, many LDS scouting leaders have suggested that tenure be viewed instead as “ten-year”, with the idea of encouraging bishoprics to keep adults called to scouting roles in their positions longer.

      Also, I don’t view your comments as criticisms in any way, they are just good questions.

      • Steve,

        Thank You.

        On a lighter note, 10 years as a Boy Scout leader is easy. 10 years as a Cub Scout leader, may be I should make reservations for the neuroscience/behavorial health ward. 🙂

        I’ve found being a Cub Scout leader is the toughest volunteer position of all the positions I’ve ever volunteered for. 6 years of Cub Scouts down, 4 more to go with youngest!

  27. I’m a life-long scouter. I’m currently a 9-year scoutmaster in an LDS troop in Utah and I’m hoping to remain in this position for many, many more years. As a boy scout in an LDS troop in California, we partnered with a Catholic and a school-based Cub Scout Pack and they fed into our LDS troop. At one time we had 32 scouts -only two were LDS. The boys and adult leaders were from various faiths -and all were accepted and respected. My Utah troop is also fairly large and I have boys and adult volunteers who are not LDS. Yes, I do consider my service as a scoutmaster to be a divine calling. For me, this brings an added internal level of commitment and sanctity to this volunteer work. I’ve worked on summer camp staffs in California, Utah, Wyoming, and Idaho -all multi-denominational and well-functioning.
    What hurts me with much of the conversation I’ve seen here is what seems to be an attempt to cause division in the brotherhood of scouting. As with all good scouts, I believe in God. I respect how others may choose to believe in God. I believe in scouting -the same scouting that I share with my brothers of different religious faiths. Good scouts are trustworthy and encourage the scouts to accurately fulfill the same advancement requirements. Good scouts promote brotherhood.
    I call for good scouts everywhere to look for the good in each other, to promote this great unified cause, and to live up to the ideals to which we have sworn our sacred honor. Unity and Brotherhood my fellow scouters.

  28. Everybody wants to nit pick. The standard to achieve Eagle Scout is the same whether you are a member of the LDS church or not. The fact that the LDS church uses the Scouting program for their young men’s program says a lot for the Boy Scouts of America. That’s probably what keeps the Scouting program from becoming too liberal, they would lose a major part of their funding and membership if the LDS Church decided to do their own young men’s program.

    • The utah standard that I’ve seen over the last decade is not the same as other or “real” councils. I think scouting is great, am LDS and a scoutmaster but the Eagle is a right of passage here in utah. I’ve had boys get a family life badge in one hour at a pow wow from the son of the counselor, they disregard the projects and the ninety day tracking of family duties. Two boys got cooking merit badge at camp in a two hour class and it took 40 minutes to take the roll call. One of my scouts went to one class of environmental science and got homesick at camp and went home, he was given the blue card for completion. Pulp and paper badge saw scouts chasing a moose in a field while the class was going. A father told me about the art merit badge “this is Gods art gallery” when I mentioned his son needed to visit a museum or gallery to complete the badge. Then there was the boy who didn’t attend ANY scouting for four years … That whole active in the troop was IGNORED…yet three days before his 18 the birthday a fellow in my ward went into the website and added badges and rank advancements. The boy asked me to sign off and I told him I didn’t feel right about it and a representative from our utah council actually got angry at me and said, “our job is not to keep kids from getting their Eagle”. Another story at camp, two brothers were finishing up the last day and their dad told them to go get the blue cards for Indian lore, one commented he hadn’t finished a dream catcher he was making and the dad told him to use his brothers and do his later. These same two boys and a dozen others tried to outdo each other to see who got the most badges that week. I’m sorry but when kids are getting nine merit badges in a week at a utah scoutcamp, and that isn’t uncommon, something’s wrong. And these are just a few of the instances. Utahans high numbers aren’t authentic, they’re a joke and it’s sad because parents and leaders don’t care about ethics, just that kids get their eagle awards because they’ll fail at life and family later if they don’t. just a sad situation but when you try and tell someone you’re called on the carpet like I was with the council. Don’t get me wrong there are kids and parents who help, are involved and really EARN the title but they are few and far between.

  29. Bryan

    Thank you for the fun fact. Sorry some people can’t just take it for what it is. I love your blogs they are always interesting. Not always fond of the comments…there are some extremely rude people out there (as I can attest to personally). I don’t even bother commenting anymore after the way I was treated the last time I did. But I digress. Thanks for the info. It was fun to read. And no matter who their charter organization is or what state they are in I think ALL Eagle Scouts in the class of 2014 (my son is one) deserve a HUGE CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! All of them put in hard work, dedication, and a lot of time to get there. And at the end of the day… that is the bottom line. Just remember we are all here for one purpose… encouraging young men to better themselves through scouting (oh, and have fun).

    • Please keep on commenting. Those attacking you for your ststements violate the 5th tenet of the law.

      But also don’t mistake disagreement with attack, unless there is that tone to the response. This is a forum for dissemination of information, but also serves as a way for the rank-and-file volunteers to expresses their opinion in hopes that someone at National takes note.

      So, keep on commenting!

  30. I live in Utah, a great place and wonderful living conditions. I am saddened however at the statistics of how terrific we are here with Eagle scouts and alarmed first hand. Our state’s population of 3 million compared to California in 2013 is around 1/13 of California’s 38 million, yet Utah beats in Eagle scouts hands down. Why? Well I’m a scoutmaster, love the scouting way and think the boys are terrific. I want to make it clear, I believe in scouts, or at least did until I got heavily involved, and I’m a member of the LDS church and am proud to say it. Why are we so good, let me give some first hand reasons I’ve seen. It seems that an Eagle scout in Utah is more of a rite of passage kind of thing. Now don’t get me wrong, there are kids who work hard, who strive to do the job and deserve every accolade, but for ever one of those there are too many to say that “coast” their way through. It’s a standing joke in Utah about mothers getting the badges for the boys, and leaders who not only condone this travesty but embrace it. Case in point, a young man who just didn’t want to do Family Life to the satisfaction of the requirements set forth by the BSA, that whole 90 day thing about tracking chores was a bother, so his mother threatens if that counselor won’t sign him off, then she’ll find one who will. Two days shy of his 18th birthday and MIA from any troop involvement for four years, and a general attitude of indifference he becomes an Eagle scout. Then there were the brothers at scout camp who raced to see which could accumulate the most badges in five days, 15 minutes for the Fingerprinting badge, two forty minute classes for cooking and a father who told his one son to use his brother’s work (he could do the work later) to get another badge. Result, six boys and 50 badges earned at scoutcamp. And the leaders at scoutcamp condone that race, a bragging right to get as many badges in the week as humanly (or super humanly) possible, rather than helping the boys actually learn something and really “earn” the badge. Then there are the Pow Wow’s, Three weeks, one night per week and three more badges. Family Life was given in a two week class of 40 minutes each week, and when asked about the requirement of 90 days of tracking chores, well the merit badge counselor, who was actually the son of the real counselor and not even registered said the boys could “back date” everything, never mind the project you have to do to benefit the family alone and with the family involvement, hence “FAMILY LIFE”. I’ve tried to talk to parents, to church figures who are in authority and to the scout office all to be labeled a dissident and someone who “doesn’t want to see the kid get his Eagle”. Goodness are we preparing our young generation for anything but failure and a life of ease? Perhaps. I just wish someone in scouting with some authority and guts would put their foot down and make a stand, you’d see a lot less Utah Eagles, and that would be bad for a boy’s self esteem. What do I know, I’m just someone who will soon retire from scouting and let it be. You can’t fight city hall I suppose. I do applaud and respect the few, the ones who take scouting seriously and earn it.

    • This problem is by no means imaginary. While serving as the Eagle Project coordinator several years ago in the National Parks council, I had a FATHER (not the scout) approach me about his son’s eagle project. His son was going to go with him to a local national forest (in which the father served as a forester) to plant 100 seedlings. There was no planning nor leadership on part of the scout, and even “service” was questionable, as the father was a paid employee at that forest. I told the dad that his son needed to come speak with me personally about his project before I would approve it, and that it needed to show all three elements required for a scout project.

      A week later I heard that the father had bypassed me and gone to a member of his Stake (similar to a Diocese in the Catholic Church) leadership to get his son’s project approved.

      His son was a problem scouter (I didn’t envy the Scoutmaster who had to deal with him), and should not have proceeded in rank. But it happened.

      I hope that such dealings are isolated, as they will feed the “I’m privileged” mentality that seems to be showing in the recent college happenings at Mizzou and elsewhere. Those who properly complete requirements to become First Class or an Eagle learn selfless service, and skills upon which to rely. Those handed those ranks, merit badges, etc., become part of a much larger problem, the fruition of which we’re seeing at all levels in our nation today. When done properly, Scouting can be a solution to much of what ails our nation today. When not, it can greatly exacerbate the problems.

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