Move over 3. The magic number for 2014 is 51,820. That’s how many young men became Eagle Scouts last year.
Since the Eagle Scout rank was first awarded in 1912, more than 2 million young men have achieved the Boy Scouts of America’s highest rank. A study conducted by Baylor University, Merit Beyond the Badge, found that Eagle Scouts are more likely than men 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.
Eagle Scouts as Household Names
Some of the more notable Eagle Scouts are President Gerald Ford, Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton, explorer Steve Fossett, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation co-chair Bill Gates Sr., MLB all-star Shane Victorino, and actor Jon Heder, star of the independent film Napoleon Dynamite.