Scouting CARES (Character, Achievement, Respect, Education, and STEM) instills character development and leadership in youth through partnerships in communities that would benefit from a vibrant Scouting program.
Learn the Values, Live the Values, Share the Values
Scouting CARES gives leadership and emphasis in creating Scouting programs where they might not otherwise thrive in the National Capital Area Council. Scouting CARES expands Scouting programs to all
youth and espouses the belief that Scouting is inclusive and available to all.
Scouting emphasizes character development, ethics, and moral values to address many of the problems youth and their families face in our country. Scouting prepares all youth to be leaders, accept responsibility, and care about principles and causes beyond their self-interest.
We recruit and employ positive adult role models who serve as leaders to provide in-school, afterschool, and community-based outreach programming through the Scouting CARES initiative. Our goal is to provide a premier scouting program to over two hundred Scouts across six sites in the following
target areas – Washington, D.C., Prince George’s County, Montgomery County, and Alexandria, VA. This initiative is a 26-week program designed to meet youth and communities’ needs and interests in underrepresented neighborhoods while providing character development and leadership opportunities.
Scouting CARES will also offer outdoor experiences, such as Resident Camp and Day Camp. Finally, enrolled youth will enjoy the same Scouting program as Scouts throughout the Council.
To positively influence the lives of the youth population through activities that cultivate their skills in five critical elements of healthy youth development:
• Strong personal values and character
• A positive sense of self-worth and usefulness
• Caring and nurturing relationships with parents, teachers, other adults, and peers.
• A desire to learn and fostering a sense of community
• Productive and Creative use of time
This study examined character attributes associated with participation in Scouting CARES, Boy Scouts of America’s recent program innovation created to deliver Scouting curriculum to underserved populations. Participants were predominantly Black/African American and resided in low-income urban communities. Youth completed surveys assessing how much they embody different character attributes (e.g., kindness, helpfulness, hopeful future expectations), and a subset of youth also participated in semi-structured interviews examining character-shaping experiences within the program.
Results replicated an eight-factor character structure established with youth involved in traditional Scouting programs and indicated that involvement in Scouting CARES may positively contribute to the development in youth of prosocial behaviors, future career goals, tolerance beliefs, and the manifestation of character attributes across Scouting and non-Scouting contexts.
Together, these findings have implications for measuring character constructs among youth of color from low-SES backgrounds, and for the conduct of youth-serving character development programs more generally.
Elsie Whitlow Stokes Community Freedom Public Charter School- East End Campus
Suitland Elementary School
St. Francis Xavier Catholic School