Scouting is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the awarding of the first Eagle Scout badge.

A 2010 Baylor University study, “Eagle Scouts: Merit Beyond the Badge,” conducted by the university’s Program for Pro-Social Behavior, has put into quantifiable metrics that Eagle Scouts, because of their training in scouting, are the kind of people who value healthy lifestyles, want to protect the environment and seek out ways to help their community.

Some findings from the 74-page study:

* Eagle Scouts show a greater connectedness to siblings, neighbors, friends, co-workers and a spiritual presence in nature. Duty to God, service to others, service to the community and leadership are traits that are especially strong in Eagle Scouts.

* Eagle Scouts are more likely to engage in behaviors that are designed to enhance and protect the environment.

* Eagle Scouts are more likely than other Scouts and non-Scouts to indicate they have built character traits related to work ethics, morality, tolerance and respect for diversity.

This should come as no suprise.

Local Eagle Scouts who, as adults, make a positive impact in their communities, include state Sen. Tom Saviello, Pastor Rick Moore, Kennebec Journal City Editor Scott Monroe and Attorney Chris Petersen.

The Pine Tree Council, which serves half the state of Maine, has had more than 6,600 Eagle Scouts in its history, young men who became business leaders, military heroes, bankers, Scout leaders, school volunteers and visionaries.

All Eagle Scouts have a great tradition to carry forward, and Maine is the better for the efforts of all Eagles.

Chuck Mahaleris


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