Second study shows Scouting’s life-changing impact on young people


A newly-published study by the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) has once again proven that Scouting makes a difference in the lives of young people. The findings collected from a series of surveys and interviews conducted in 2018 are outlined in the report of the second phase of the Measuring Scouting’s Impact on the Development of Young People project, which looks at the effect on Scouting on the development of young people in France, Mexico, the Netherlands, and Saudi Arabia. The report highlights that Scouts score higher than non-Scouts across all categories of personal development. 

The study compared 4,144 Scouts and 3,029 non-Scouts aged 14 to 17 from the same communities, with the same cultural, socioeconomic, and educational background across a set of skills, attitudes, knowledge, and behaviour considered to be developed through Scouting. It was undertaken by the WOSM in collaboration with the National Scout Organizations (NSOs) in the four countries, with the analysis carried out by ZK Analytics. 

In almost all developmental outcomes measured, the study uncovered positive differences between Scouts and non-Scouts. Scouts routinely report improved self-esteem, self-confidence, and interpersonal skills as one of the main effects that Scouting has on their personality and way of being. Scouts also cite positive changes in behaviour and how Scouting made them more responsible citizens.

The outcome substantiates the results of a prior ground-breaking study conducted by WOSM in 2017, which produced previously unavailable scientific evidence of Scouting’s positive impact by conducting a study on young people in Kenya, Singapore, and the United Kingdom. The findings from this report similarly identified that Scouts across the three continents out-performed their non-Scout peers in nearly every category measured.

The insights and methodology developed for the studies will be used to further develop tools, resources, and expertise to enable NSOs to conduct similar research. The materials will be made available through the WOSM Service Platform leading up to the 2020 World Scout Conference. The report on the second phase of the Measuring Scouting’s Impact on the Development of Young People project may be downloaded at