About Scouts

The Boy Scouts of America is one of the nation's largest and most prominent values-based youth development organizations. The BSA provides a program for young people that builds character, trains them in the responsibilities of participating citizenship, and develops personal fitness.

For over a century, the BSA has helped build the future leaders of this country by combining educational activities and lifelong values with fun. The Boy Scouts of America believes — and, through over a century of experience, knows — that helping youth is a key to building a more conscientious, responsible, and productive society.

Facts About Scouting


In 2010, service projects were conducted by more than 2.7 million youth members and more than 1.1 million volunteers.

  • 28,335,249 service hours were reported in 2010.
  • $605,240,919 of service was provided by Scouts and leaders to communities across America. (Based on the $21.36 Independent Sector value of volunteer time for 2010)
  • Service Projects most commonly reported for Journey to Excellence in 2010 include
    • Food collection and distribution
    • Litter cleanup/community beautification
    • Military support/appreciation
    • Conservation projects
    • National Park Service Resource


1,111,453 volunteers provided leadership for Scouting programs in 2010.

  • On average, Scout volunteers give 20 hours per month in service to Scouting. This equals approximately 266,748,720 hours of volunteer time given to support Scouting in 2010. (Source: Volunteer Outcomes Study, Research & Evaluation)
  • $5,697,752,659 of volunteer time was given in 2010 to support Scouting across America. (Based on $21.36 Independent Sector value of volunteer time for 2010)


  • 181 NASA astronauts were involved in Scouting (57.4% of astronauts).
    • 39 are Eagle Scouts.
  • 35.5 percent of the United States Military Academy (West Point) cadets were involved in Scouting as youth.
    • 15.6 percent of cadets are Eagle Scouts.
  • 23 percent of United States Air Force Academy cadets were involved in Scouting as youth.
    • 12 percent of cadets are Eagle Scouts.
  • 25 percent of United States Naval Academy (Annapolis) midshipmen were involved in Scouting as youth.
    • 11 percent of midshipmen are Eagle Scouts.
  • 206 members of the 112th Congress participated in Scouting as a youth and/or adult leader.
    • 29 are Eagle Scouts.

Scout Activities and Outdoor Adventures

In 2010, nearly 1.1 million youth attended a council camp or national high-adventure camp.

  • Cub Scouts
    • 271,995 attended day camp.
    • 199,762 attended family camp.
    • 95,150 attended long-term resident camp.
  • Boy Scouts
    • 424,235 attended long-term resident camp.
    • 61,387 attended high-adventure camp.
  • Venturers
    • 5,161 attended long-term camp.
    • 20,596 attended high-adventure camp.
    • 22,577 attended Venturing activities.
  • National high adventure base—Boy Scouts and Venturers
    • 21,201—Philmont
    • 8,971—Florida Sea Base
    • 4,428—Northern Tier
  • Other outdoor adventures
    • 85,896—COPE
    • 139,593—Climbing and Rappelling

Advancements and Awards

  • 56,176 youth earned the rank of Eagle Scout in 2010. (Source: Program Impact Department—Eagle Scout Service)
  • From 1912 to 2010 more than 2 million Boy Scouts have earned the Eagle Scout rank. (Source: National Eagle Scout Association)
  • Eagle Scout rank is earned by only 5 percent of Boy Scouts each year. (Source: National Eagle Scout Association)
  • 2,056,870 merit badges were earned by Boy Scouts in 2010.
    • 110,837,443 merit badges have been earned by Boy Scouts since Scouting was established in 1910.
    • The most often earned merit badges since 1910 include:
      • First Aid—6,626,926
      • Swimming—6,008,004
      • Camping—4,426,201
      • Cooking—4,126,177
      • Citizenship in the Community—3,237,364