Scouts strengthen communities

10 April 2018

As Scouts, we already know that Scouting develops socially engaged young people – individuals who are curious, kind, welcoming, active, resilient and extraordinarily equipped with skills for life. Now, we have evidence to back it up.

A new research study has revealed, or rather – confirmed, that Scouting develops strong community engagement in young people, fostering a culture of curiosity and acceptance.

Commissioned by The Scout Association, the study gathered data from over 2,000 young people, both Scouts and non-Scouts, and was independently conducted by SocStats, an agency that specialises in measuring impact in social sector organisations.

The findings are an inspiring reminder of why we do what we do. As it turns out, Scouting really can change the world. By creating a culture of curiosity and acceptance in young people, Scouting strengthens communities and contributes to greater social cohesion.

Here are a few highlights from the report.

Community impact and inclusion

Compared to young people not in Scouting:

  • Scouts are one-third more likely to take an active role in their communities
  • Scouts are one-third more likely to help out in their local area, feel greater responsibility to their local community and volunteer to help others
  • Scouts are 18% more likely to be curious about the world around them and 12% more likely to accept diversity in other people’s backgrounds and beliefs

Physical and mental wellbeing

  • Unsurprisingly, Scouts are 32% more likely to be physically active than young people who don’t take part in Scouting
  • Scouts are also 13% more likely to demonstrate mental resilience

Skills for life

The research highlighted how Scouting develops skills that are vital in the workplace. Compared to their non-Scouting counterparts, Scouts are:

  • 17% more likely to demonstrate leadership skills
  • 11% more likely to be better problem solvers
  • 19% more likely to show emotional intelligence
  • 17% more likely to be able to work well in teams


What do our young people have to say

These numbers give additional weight to the positive feedback we hear from young people every day. 13-year-old Charlotte Miles said: ‘since I became a Scout I have been so much more involved in my local area.

‘Volunteering as a Scout, helping out and getting to know people in the community. I have learnt so much and met people from so many different backgrounds, making some really great friends.

‘I think every young person should think about getting involved as you get so many new skills and it is really good fun.’


Chief Scout Bear Grylls calls for more people to get involved

Chief Scout Bear Grylls said: ‘this research proves that Scouting helps young people to develop a sense of community spirit, curiosity about the world and tolerance of others, as well as a host of practical skills for life.

‘But most importantly, it’s super fun! That’s why, with so many people looking for new hobbies for the year ahead, I’m urging young people and adults alike to consider signing up for the Scouts.

‘We are especially in need of more adult volunteers so that we can accommodate the high numbers of young people that want to join the Scouts, but are unable to because there are not enough volunteers in their area.’