Getting your kids to be scouts is an age-old tradition with some surprising new benefits. That’s right, not only will your little tots learn how to start fires and pitch tents, they’ll also be a lot happier many years down the road.
According to a new study published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, kids who are scouts or girl guides in their childhood have a lower chance of having a mood or anxiety disorder at age 50 than everybody else.
In the study, researchers looked at almost 10,000 people born in the U.K. during 1958, 28 per cent of which were scouts or guides as kids. Those who were scouts had an 18 per cent lower risk of developing a mental disorder by the time they were 50.
“We expect the same principles would apply to the scouts and guides of today and so, given the high costs of mental ill health to individuals and society, a focus on voluntary youth programmes such as the guides and scouts might be very sensible,” stated Chris Dibben, one of the study’s authors.
Chief Scout Bear Grylls from the Scout Association also found a connection between scouts and emotional resilience: “I am really proud that scouting provides young people with an opportunity to develop the skills they need to be resilient and deal with what life throws at them.”
Looks like there’s more to scouts and girl guides than cookie sales and badges after all.