The Boy Scouts

Developing Resilience for Life

Compelling Multi-Year Value Proposition

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) due to due to a variety of reasons--abuse, illness, drug abuse, the loss of a family member to incarceration or death, violence, poverty, and more --cause urban children to face dramatic challenges to their physical, emotional and psychological health. Hunger, lack of material goods, and no positive exposure to common childhood experiences are some of the most frequent and traumatic. Research has shown that in conjunction with counseling, resilience is the leading acquired skill, either natural or learned, that allows people to successfully respond to such adversities in a positive way. Often, the adult leaders, mentors and camp staff are ill-equipped to counsel Scouts who are challenged by severe trauma.


The Cradle of Liberty Council, Boy Scouts of America (COLBSA) has worked with acclaimed researcher, professor and program developers on positive youth development, Dr. Richard Lerner, and Dan Warren, to create a multi-year Resilience Program. This training curriculum prepares our leaders to build resilience character to overcome adversity while creating an environment that encourages the development of positive character and a willingness to serve others. Ultimately, Scouts who are mentored by these specially trained leaders will develop a range of coping mechanisms to guide how they think about and choose to act/react when facing life challenges. COLBSA recognizes that resilience training, to help mentors identify and respond appropriately to Scouts dealing with acute childhood trauma, is beyond the scope of traditional Scouting curriculums. Merging the positive values learned in Scouting with a serious program dedicated to cultivating resilience would make a lifetime difference.


The Scouts rapidly learn resilience skills to face the realities of their environment. The first group at Resica Falls Boy Scout Camp were thrilled but “shell shocked” in the words of Deputy Scout Executive Chris Tomlin. Everything was a new experience. The program’s positive impact continues as its scope expands to include such exposures.

It has been proventhat resilience can be learned and grown through such programs. Scouting is also a perfect vehicle as Scouts learn to seek support and develop trust in each other and their leaders, people they know they can count on. This trust is a key aspect of resilience. Scout virtues, found in the Scout Oath and Law, are more than just words; they build a set of internal values that will stay with a boy as he grows into a man, and continue through his adult life.

Study results from Louis Harris and Associates show that Scouts with at least five years in the program are more likely than boys who have never been Scouts to:

  • Take leadership roles in clubs or school organizations,
  • Put the needs of others before their own,
  • Have higher self-confidence,
  • Be active in a variety of after-school activities, and
  • Resist peer pressure to take part in delinquent or dishonest activities.

Boys in Scouting say the program has taught them to give their best effort, always be honest and respect others. These values have been proven to lead to greater success in adulthood. The same Louis Harris Study finds that men who were Scouts for at least five years were more likely to:

  • Graduate from high school and college,
  • Earn higher annual household incomes,
  • Value family relationships highly,
  • Attend religious services,
  • Have lifelong friendships,
  • Believe helping others should come before one’s own self-interest.

The Boy Scouts of America - Cradle of Liberty Council, headquartered in Wayne, PA serves more than 18,000 young people in Philadelphia, Delaware and Montgomery County.

Program Overview

To meet the specialized needs of inner-city youth, COLBSA will conduct specialized training for leaders, mentors and camp staff focused on Intentionally Building Resilience, Mental Health First Aid and Robust Scouting Skills and Position Training. Training courses will be conducted twice annually to support year round programming.

Each troop will follow a series of activities and exercises that:

  • Focus on individual strengths
  • Empower Scouts to make values-based decisions
  • Teach how behaviors affect others
  • Learn personal discipline
  • Accept opportunities to show gratitude and give back
  • Create a space of personal and psychological safety

Opportunities for Sponsor Recognition and Employee Engagement

Sponsorship offers multiple opportunities for employees to get involved in the program throughout the cycle as fits their schedule or the sponsor’s goals.

Sponsor Recognition includes:

  • Corporate name and logo featured as Sponsor
  • Name and logo prominently displayed on all handouts and materials
  • Corporate name and logo with hyperlink, QR and social media icons featured on the COLBSA website and in media releases