For three years, a research team from Tufts University worked with the BSA’s Cradle of Liberty Council to measure the character attributes of both Scouts and non-Scouts — all with a goal of better understanding the character development of youth as it was happening. At the beginning, there were no significant differences in character attributes between Scouts and non-Scouts. By the end, the differences were striking . . .

This is what happened.

2000+ Scouts and non-Scouts aged 6-12 from across the Philadelphia area were measured in 6 key areas:

Change in Character

Over the course of the study, the change in positive character attributes for Scouts vs. non-Scouts became evident. After 2.5 years of research, Cub Scouts reported significant increases in cheerfulness, helpfulness, kindness, obedience, trustworthiness, and hopeful future expectations.
  • Scouts
  • Non-Scouts

Scouts are significantly more likely than non-Scouts to embrace other-oriented values, including “helping others” and “doing the right thing.”


Scouting & Sports


Scouts who attend meetings regularly report higher trustworthiness, helpfulness, kindness, and thriftiness, higher levels of hopeful future expectation and self-regulation, better grades, and a better connection with nature vs. Scouts who “sometimes” or “rarely” attend.