Eagle Scouts

Merit Beyond the Badge

One hundred years after Arthur Eldred of New York earned this nation’s first Eagle Scout Award, independent research demonstrates the significant, positive impact Eagle Scouts have on society every day.  Since it was first awarded in 1912, more than 2 million young people have achieved the Boy Scouts of America’s highest rank. The 2010 study conducted by Baylor University, Merit Beyond the Badges, found that Eagle Scouts are more likely than those who have never been in Scouting to:

  • Have higher levels of planning and preparation skills, be goal-oriented, and network with others
  • Be in a leadership position at their place of employment or local community
  • Report having closer relationships with family and friends
  • Volunteer for religious and nonreligious organizations
  • Donate money to charitable groups
  • Work with others to improve their neighborhoods

This independent research was funded by the Templeton Foundation and conducted by Baylor University in 2010. The Boy Scouts of America has linked to it with the permission of Baylor University Institute for Studies of Religion, Program on Prosocial Behavior. 

Note: While this study only includes findings on men who were Eagle Scouts (as women were not eligible to earn Eagle Scout at the time this study was conducted,) we’re confident the benefits of becoming an Eagle Scout are not limited by gender.

Download complete study