11 Boy Scout Skills That Prepare You For College

11 Boy Scout Skills That Prepare You For College

Scouting and Studying go together quite nicely

Being a part of the Boy Scouts was a huge part of my life. I became an Eagle Scout at the age of 15 and continued on to earn 11 Eagle Palms, which are awarded for every three months of continued activity, leadership, and five merit badges. Scouting played a huge role in making who I am today. Today, I am a college student. To most people, they believe that scouting only teaches you to build fires and set-up tents, but scouting truly teaches you so much more.

1. Tying Knots

You read that right. Anyone who has to deal with moving and transporting equipment has had to know a good knot or two to hold everything together. As a rower, when we leave to compete, we have to tie up our boats, oars, riggers, and other equipment tightly so that they do not fall off the trailer. It also applies to moving in and out of dorms. Have to tie extra bags to the roof of your car or secure them in your truck bed? There is a knot for that too. I certainly know a few people in the rock climbing club who definitely need to know knots too.

2. Time Management

Five merit badges each month sounds easy right? Having to work with a merit badge counselor, Scoutmaster, whoever manages the merit badges, and not to mention getting all the requirements done can get a little complicated. It takes time and planning to make sure you can get everything done on time. Group projects are a breeze if you can get your work done, schedule around your group members' times, and get it turned in on time. The same goes for multiple homework assignments from different classes. Manage your time and set goals. They will be easily completed without a rush.

3. Teamwork

The ability to work with people of all kinds is an important skill for many aspects of life. Being in the Boy Scouts has allowed me to meet and work with a variety people from many walks of life. Those experiences have allowed me to enhance my own teamwork abilities, and thus help my team. I'm not just talking sports teams. There are other groups that require teamwork too, like study groups, lab partners, and group assignments.

4. Leadership

Speaking of teamwork, sometimes you have to take the reigns. Leadership is a core value in the Boy Scouts. Scouting offers a variety of leadership roles such as quartermaster, historian, patrol leader, troop guide and more. The most important form of leadership I learned was servant leadership. The team does not work for you, you work WITH the team. I have found this form of leadership to be most applicable to those in leadership positions of clubs. The best way to improve a club is to lead the way, not tell the members which way to go and watch them wander.

5. Cooking

No, I do not have a gas stove or fire pit in my dorm room. Yes, I have taken two Home Ec classes. What I mean by cooking is how important food and the preparation of it is. Home Ec taught me how to cook and health class barely taught me the food pyramid (Is that still a thing?). Cooking in scouts has taught me how to properly nourish myself on my own. I've learned how to make the best, quick cold cut sandwiches and can cook up an exquisite meal using only leftovers. Being the grubmaster on camp outs has also taught me to be thrifty when buying enough food, even finding good deals for a little extra. Using every bit of what you buy can help cut into your grocery bill.

6. Adaptability

Thanks to scouting, I have had the opportunity to travel to many places and do many things I would have not been able to without. Going to all of these places and doing so many activities usually required me to get used to a new environment. When I attended the World Scouting Jamboree in Sweden, I had to learn to communicate with people who did not speak my languages, English and German. While I was at the National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience in Philmont, I had to get used to the hot and dry environment while performing first aid and search and rescue exercises. Let's just say the weather doesn't bother me anymore. College will end up placing you in many different situations that you will have to adapt to or risk not performing well.

7. The Importance of Physical Fitness

Scouting offers many outdoors adventures from hiking to whitewater rafting. Everything we did required some level of physical fitness. PE and Health class did teach me about physical fitnes, btu scouting really nailed how important it is to maintain a good level of physical fitness for life. In college, we are usually confined to a desk, bench, or bed. It's is easy to pick up that habit of staying there and continuing it once you leave college. If I maintained a more sedentary lifestyle through college, I would not be able to do all the activities I loved doing in scouts once I leave.

8. First Aid

I'm not talking about running to the scene of an accident on you way to class, I'm talking about the little things that can add up. Knowing first aid also means you knows how to treat yourself. While studying, it is easy to focus too much on that and not on your health. I have had several friends become very dehydrated because they did not bring a drink and did not want to leave to go get one. First aid also comes in handy in case of an accident in the lab for you science majors.

9. The Importance of Community Service

Giving back to your community is something I firmly believe in. Whether it is a merit badge or an Eagle project, scouting requires community service to be performed in some way. There are a multitude of ways you can serve your community. When you help out your community, you build a bond with the people you work with. It is an excellent way to get you out of your room too.

10. Fun and Work are not mutually exclusive

The Order of the Arrow, a group within scouting, emphasizes cheerful service. It has taught me that no matter how arduous my task, I can do it with a smile. It may not be the most fun thing in the world, but I can make the most of it. You can enjoy whatever work you are doing as long as you view it that way.

11. Keeping to my Values

Even though I am no longer a Boy Scout, I continue to live the Scout Oath and Law in my everyday life to the best of my ability. These sets of values have helped guide my morals and decisions as I matured. In college, you will have your values challenged. Of course, this is not a bad thing. You should also listen with an open mind, btu you should not be so quick to change your mind on your values. Scouting gave me firm groundwork to lay my values, ethics, and morals. I still build on it to this day.

Cover Image Credit: James Stephenson

Popular Right Now

5 'Ruff' Stages You And Your S.O. Go Through When You Get Your First Dog Together

From Scooping Poo to realizing you might love the dog more than you love him..

There's something different about the milestone "getting your first dog together." I'm not saying other milestones like buying a house or getting engaged isn't close to the very top of the list-because I'm sure to several it is.

But for me? Dogs are my weakness.

My boyfriend is my weakness.

So putting them both together is surreal, and I encourage anyone who is truly in love to get some type of animal (even if it isn't a dog) with your significant other. You learn what kind of responsibility they put into raising something they so desperately love.

You think you love this person all you're capable of loving them, then you see them giving all their love to something that is both of yours...together. It all becomes that much more special, and still to this day it is one of my greatest accomplishments.

I'm sure that will all change one day when I'm a mom or when I get married, but for right now I think I'll bask in the wonderfulness that is my dog and boyfriend.

Though it's a beautiful journey, it's a hectic one too. I believe this prepares you for what it will be like one day to have a family of your own, and even though it's exciting to get to go through some of the motions, it's tough, "ruff," and scary all at the same time.

1. You question whether or not you may actually love this dog more than your boyfriend

Boyfriend: "If me and Benjy were both drowning, AND YOU COULD ONLY SAVE ONE, who would you save?"

Me: "Well lucky for you Benjy is an excellent swimmer so..."

Boyfriend: "No...no that wasn't the question. We are both submerged underwater, WHO WOULD YOU SAVE?!"

Me: "What kind of freaking question is this? Why would you ever make me choose?"

2. The infamous "I took him out last time"

You took him out last time? Well, I cleaned up the shit that stuck to the bottom of my shoe two hours ago.


You took him out last time? Well, I picked up every piece of toilet paper from the hallway that he got out of the garbage, and every sock he took out of the hamper.




3. The "what's in your mouth?" game

I don't know why I feel like asking my boyfriend what our dog has in their mouth is actually going to get me anywhere because it never does.

Me: "Babe what does he have in his mouth?"

Boyfriend: "Benjy what do you have in your mouth?"

Me: "Do you really think asking Benjy is going to get us anywhere?"

Boyfriend: "Do you really think asking me is going to get anywhere?

Benjy: *Eats entire sock then shits it out later*

4. The first vet scare

The first time you have to take your baby to the vet (for something other than a check-up) is probably one of the scariest feelings in the world. It makes all the times you fought over who would take them outside or argued about what they were chewing (and why they were chewing it in the first place) irrelevant.

It's watching them shake as they go back to that room, and waiting not so patiently for what the vet has to say and if your baby will be okay.

To find out it was something minor that both you and your significant other worried about for no reason.

"Yes he did eat your bracelet, but give it a few days and it'll be right back out of him in no time."

At this point, neither of us care. We're just trying to hold back tears and get our baby back in our arms.

5. Saying Goodbye

One of the hardest and most difficult things you will have to do in your life is saying goodbye to a pet you love.

An even harder thing you'll have to do is say goodbye to a pet you love with someone you love. I think the difficult part is to imagine every stage of this dog's life you got to enjoy with your partner, and now it will continue with your partner, but potentially start with a new dog. It's weird to even have to come to terms with starting over, but telling each other that it's what your first fur-baby would have wanted helps a little.

Getting a dog with the love of your life will change it. It will make little things seem big, and smaller things look huge. The first time they go up and down stairs, to the first time they fall asleep on you with their belly facing up.

There are all these cute memories that you don't just watch alone—you watch with the person you love.

If we are this much in love, can you imagine what it'll be like when we have kids? God, I can't.

Cover Image Credit: Instagram

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

March Madness Is The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

From Upsets to Buzzer Beaters

March Madness. My favorite month of the year.

For those unaware, March Madness is the month long NCAA Men's and Women's Basketball Tournament. By March 31st, one team will be cutting down those nets and celebrating in the biggest party of the year.

Ever since I was a little kid, I always loved making a bracket. Choosing teams with the best jerseys or the coolest mascots was my strategy as a kid, but now I focus more on what upsets might happen.

The BEST part about March Madness is seeing what underdog team can pull out a win against a team destined for victory. March Madness is known for its upsets, buzzer beaters, and shocking wins. A team's high ranking might not mean anything more than an easier schedule, but lower ranked teams have time and time again come out to shock the #1 and #2 seeds.

As a Freshmen at Villanova University, I'm ecstatic for March. The Men's team recently won the Big East Championship and received that coveted automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. To make things even better, they are ranked #1 in the East Division--and projected to win the division. The Wildcats are hoping for 2018 to be there 3rd NCAA Division win, full of many more buzzer beaters.

With all that March has to offer, I'm excited to see the upsets and the buzzer beaters, and of course, how Villanova shapes out this year.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Related Content

Facebook Comments