Giving Tuesday

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Giving Tuesday 2023

National Capital Area Council helps youth meet and become Friends!

The Need for Close Friendships:

Multiple studies have shown that strong peer relationships are essential for healthy child development. According to psychologists from the University of Virginia (2015), close bonds during adolescence contribute positively to overall mental health, improved academic achievement, and reduced likelihood of substance abuse. Also, a 2022 report by the American Psychological Association (APA) found children in multiple friendships show better self-esteem and resilience, which is a key in fighting the loneliness epidemic.

Consequences of Lack of Friendship-Building Activities:

Children who do not engage in friendship-building activities are at an increased risk of experiencing social isolation and loneliness, contributing to the growing loneliness epidemic. A study by Cigna (2018) found that loneliness can actually have detrimental effects on physical health as well – comparable to smoking 15 cigarettes per day! Also, children with less social connections are more likely to suffer from common mental health issues that stand in the way of personal development, including depression, anxiety, and increased vulnerability to handle stress (Hawkley & Cacioppo, 2010).

The National Capital Area Council Programs as a Solution:

The NCAC offers various programs designed to encourage team building, character development, and camaraderie amongst peers. By participating in catered activities such as STEM-focused Nova Awards, outdoor adventure programs like hiking and camping trips, and community service projects, youth have ample opportunities to interact with others and form lasting bonds.

Within our programs, the Boy Scouts of America instill values such as respect for others and empathy – qualities that are crucial when looking for anyone looking to make friends. The safe and supportive environment provided by Scouting enables young people to grow confidently while actively addressing the dangers associated with loneliness and social isolation in a post-pandemic, technology driven society.

How Scouting helps youth meet and become Friends:

Scouting presents a wide array of socially oriented programs specifically designed to nurture team building, character growth, and most importantly, long-lasting friendships among young individuals. These range from STEM-driven activities, to thrilling outdoor adventures like hiking and camping trips, as well as community service projects that open the door to countless opportunities to forge lifelong friendships.

Scouts also find themselves building genuine friendships with peers from diverse backgrounds, discovering the true essence of teamwork, respect, and inclusivity. These deeply-rooted connections often continue to flourish long after their Scouting journey ends. They create unforgettable shared experiences like Eagle projects, hikes, and merit badge weekends, fostering a sense of friendship and promoting collaboration based on common interests.

Central to Scouting culture is an atmosphere of respect and inclusion where everyone feels cherished and accepted while developing essential qualities that will continue to benefit them through adulthood. The supportive community within the NCAC extends beyond fellow Scouts to include parents and families sharing similar values. This unique and widespread network of Scouts throughout the world is truly the foundation for enduring friendships and combating loneliness and social isolation head-on.

This #GivingTuesday, we are asking you to make a gift to National Capital Area Council so that we can continue to offer Scouts, their families, and our volunteers the opportunity to be friends. Make a contribution right now to #FundFriendship!

Here’s are a few simple ideas for how you can participate: