The Boy Scouts of America highlights anti-bullying efforts incorporated in current Scout programming
IRVING, TX (September 17, 2019) – Generation Z believes bullying is the biggest issue facing their generation, according to new data. A survey of American youth ages 6 to 17, commissioned by the Boy Scouts of America, found that bullying ranked as the top concern for young people on a community, national and global level.
The survey asked young Americans to prioritize their top five from a list of roughly 20 issues in the local community, the U.S. and the world. Thirty percent said bullying was one of the problems they most wanted to solve across the globe, and 32% said it was the biggest issue in the country. On a local level, Gen Z ranked bullying (28%), hunger (28%) and care for the elderly (27%) as the top three issues they see themselves helping to improve in their community.
From daily good deeds to service projects, the Boy Scouts of America has been actively working to equip kids with the tools they need to counteract bullying throughout their communities and daily lives. All Scouts participate in anti-bullying training and learn to live by the Scout Law, a foundational element of Scouting that includes 12 guiding characteristics that include being helpful, trustworthy and kind. In fact, a 2015 Tufts University study showed children involved in Cub Scouts were significantly more kind and helpful than non-Scouts.
“My son is in a local Scouting troop here in Lakeville, Minnesota and it has changed his life,” said Katie Dettmann. Her son Alden has autism. She says Scouts BSA is the first place where her son has not been judged. “It’s a peer group that’s very accepting and welcoming. He can take risks, try new things and grow with the encouragement and support of his peers.”
“Scouting is one of my favorite things I’ve ever been a part of. I’ve met people from all over the world and I get along with them. We learn so much from each other,” said Alden Dettmann.
The desire for inclusivity and kindness resonates well beyond Alden’s family. According to the survey, 86% of young Americans said that not being bullied is a daily priority. And 97% said being kind to others is an important aspect of daily life.
Multiple Eagle Scout projects, a substantial service project that’s required to attain the program’s highest rank, have tackled bullying and inclusivity in recent years. One Scout even rallied his community to construct a musical playground that was fully accessible for students with physical or mental challenges. And merit badges offered by Boy Scouts of America, such as Disability Awareness and American Cultures, help kids understand and respect each other’s differences while building character and leadership skills.
This desire to help make the world a better place is inherent in Gen Z, according to the study. Seventy-six percent said they believe their generation has the ability to make positive change in the world. Other top issues they want to tackle globally are poverty (28%), human rights (26%) and access to education (24%).
• 97% of those surveyed said being kind to others is important
• 84% said they want to be a part of solving issues in the future in their community
• 79% said improving their community is very important
• 50% said the reason they focus on some of these issues is because their parents are passionate about them
• Bullying was the top concern among respondents with 28% of respondents seeing themselves helping improve bullying at the community level, 32% at the national level and 30% at the global level
• Other top concerns respondents want to help solve are hunger (28%) and care for elders (27%) at the local level, animal rights (28%) and recycling (28%) at the national level and poverty (28%) and human rights (26%) at the global level
To learn more or join, visit www.Scouting.org.
¹A 2015 study by Tufts University worked to answer that question and many others through research which measured the character attributes of both Scouts and non-Scouts. The survey included 2,000+ Scouts and non-Scouts aged 6-12 in the Philadelphia area.
About the Boy Scouts of America
The Boy Scouts of America provides the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training, which helps young people be “Prepared. For Life.®” The Scouting organization is composed of nearly 2.2 million youth members between the ages of 5 and 21 and approximately 960,000 volunteers in local councils throughout the United States and its territories. For more information on the Boy Scouts of America, please visit www.Scouting.org.
About the Survey
This survey was conducted by YouGov Plc. on behalf of the Boy Scouts of America. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. The total sample size was 1,002 youth, ages 6-17 across the U.S. Data was collected between August 14-20, 2019 and was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all U.S. youth, ages 6-17. In the case of children’s samples (under 18 years old) the parent who is the panelist is invited to the survey and then asked to give consent to allow their child to take the survey. More about the survey methodology can be found at www.YouGov.com.