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Boy Scouts Of America

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52 User Reviews
LAST UPDATED: September 16th, 2020
It was in the early 20th century that the Boy Scouts of America was founded. It started when a British Army officer, Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell, was stationed in India and found that his men did not know the basics of survival and first aid. Baden-Powell wrote a handbook called Aids to Scouting, this handbook spread quickly and became popular among young boys. That same year over 10,000 Boy Scouts attended a rally held at the Crystal Palace, within two years memberships had tripled. The organization promotes charity work, resourcefulness, teamwork, and leadership skills.

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The Good

  • Inexpensive fundraising expenses
  • 83.6 percent program delivery

Total Income

Boy Scouts of America does not yet have their 990 IRS form online for 2015. Annual revenue for BSA is largely built of membership dues. The revenue has grown for the last several years, with the exception of 2012-the year the BSA announced that boys who were openly homosexual were no longer banned from being members of Boy Scouts.
  • 2014: $252,600,778
  • 2013: $239,799,793
  • 2012: $191,960,296
  • 2011: $218,296,402

Administrative Expenses

Reported on Boy Scouts of America's 2014 Form 990 were administrative expenses of $37,025,275. BSA appointed a new Chief Scout Executive, Michael Surbaugh, who began his service on October 1, 2015. Mr. Surbaugh's salary has not been publicly announced or published at the writing of this review (August 2016). The prior Chief Scout Executive, C. Wayne Brock, had an annual salary (2014) of $562,676, which was 0.23 percent of the total revenue of Boy Scouts of America. Robert A. Tuggle, the CFO for Boy Scouts of America, had a total salary of $763,709 (0.31 percent of total revenue) which was reported in 2014. There are many reports of people being unhappy with the high salaries the administration receives, with people saying that BSA runs on volunteer service while the highest employees are paid extravagantly. The relative percentage of funds which goes to administration and to corporate salaries is high when compared with other charitable organizations.

Fundraising Expenses

Of the Boy Scouts of America's 2014 revenue, $2,916,972 was spent on fundraising expenses. This was far lower than the percentage used by other similar organizations.

Program Percentage

Boy Scouts of America used 83.6 percent of their 2014 revenue on program expenses. This percentage is higher than many other organizations, largely because the overhead for salary is comparably lower due to the bulk of the program which is offered by Boy Scouts of America is delivered by volunteers.

Donor Communication

Boy Scouts of America sends their print magazine and email newsletter to all those who have registered with the organization.

Awards

Boy Scouts of America has many internal awards which can be awarded to Scouts or volunteers. These can be awarded by the local Boy Scout Council or by the Boy Scouts of America.
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The Bad

  • High salaries for administration
  • Financial transparency
  • Negative press

Accessible Financial Information

Finding financial information on BSA's website can be challenging. Significant information is offered regarding volunteer support and resources for the scouts themselves, but there is no clear link to find annual reports, etc. on the front pages. There is also a lack of transparency, whether intentional or accidental, in that to examine prior years' information, the links direct users to the current (2015) annual report. Boy Scouts of America could improve transparency with financial records greatly by adding these files in addition to their IRS Form 990 as well as making them more accessible online.

Negative Press

Boy Scouts of America has had their share of negative press and controversies through the last several years. These have included the organization's stance on openly homosexual Scouts and Leaders, the refusal of BSA to accept girls in California, and new guidelines for Jamboree which exclude obese boys from participating. Homosexual Scouts and Leaders Until 2012, scouts who identified as homosexual were not allowed to enroll with the BSA. This ban was overturned in 2012, which resulted in backlash from groups, particularly religious groups who felt that Boy Scouts of America was inviting or encouraging homosexuals into scouting. The leadership stated that the ban on homosexual leaders was also unsustainable. Openly homosexual leaders have been able to serve as Cub and Boy Scout leaders since 2015. This created an uproar and several conservative religious groups left or did not renew their charters with Boy Scouts of America. Girls in Boy Scouts Throughout the last several years, there have been isolated incidents of girls wanting to join Boy Scouts of America. The latest is a group of girls, called the Unicorns, who had been attending Cub Scout activities, Pack Nights, etc. with their brothers. The girls enjoyed these activities more than they did Girl Scouts. When the local Boy Scout Council learned about girls participating in these activities, they were asked to stop. The girls turned in official Boy Scout applications into the local council which were forwarded to the national organization. Their memberships were denied and as the Boy Scouts, like Girl Scouts, are a chartered corporation by Congress, and are able to maintain a gender-specific membership. Jamboree and Obese Scouts or Leaders Beginning in 2016, Boy Scouts of America will not allow Scouts or Leaders with a body mass index (BMI) higher than 40 to participate in Jamboree. Those with BMIs between 32 and 39.9 will need to provide additional health information before being allowed to participate in Jamboree.
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The Bottom Line

Boy Scouts of America has a long-standing tradition to help boys develop character and become self-sufficient with outdoor skills and adventures. There has been a decline in membership over the last several years for various reasons, some of which are the organization's shift from banning homosexual youth and adults from participation. Others have stated that the programs are no longer significant or that there are not enough volunteers to maintain the program in some areas. In spite of this, Boy Scouts of America maintains its viability and appeal to many. With a solid volunteer network, Boy Scouts delivers a program which teaches character and outdoor skills to boys aged 7-20. The organization uses a significant portion of their revenue to support programs to meet these goals. Donations can be made to the National Council or to the Local Council. These donations help to support the program or to provide scholarships for boys whose families are not able to pay for the various scouting expenses, which can be significant. Donors can also support wounded veterans for the annual Veteran's Appreciation Day at Summit Scout Camp for wounded veterans and their families.
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Star Rating

4.3

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52 Reviews

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5 grade

58%

4 grade

29%

3 grade

2%

2 grade

8%

1 grade

4%

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Zabsanti Amite, LA

I've been in the boy scouts for over 7 years and the work that we do is a lot. I've been apart of many cleanups, charity events, and projects for the needy. I've stayed in the boy scouts for this reason and the positivity effect that it has on the boys is extraordinary.

1 year ago

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Eddie Rios Ogden, UT

Boy Scouts of America is a great organization centered around positive children development. They have the best activities and events. I like to support their charity drives too, like their holiday flag service. The do great community services as well. Great Charity organization and great leadership for our kids.

1 year ago

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Michelle Rios Ogden, UT

Opportunities provided by BSA to teach young men and women skills needed to survive in today's world is invaluable. I am always happy to donate to help these kids have the chance to go to a camp or an activity that will broaden their horizons. I am happy to see that girls are now able to participate.

1 year ago

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Thomas Hullinger Pleasant Grove, UT

I was a Boy Scout and I have learned first hand that the values they teach and the activities that they provide can teach a person valuable lessons that cannot be garnered in other places. I have also been a leader of the Boy Scouts and support them to this day.

3 years ago

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stevey shumway Midvale, UT

The Boy Scouts of America is a great organization. I served as a Cub Scout leader and enjoyed it very much. The organization is set up very efficiently and provides a place where the boys learn great life skills.

1 year ago

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Zac Cannon Long Beach, MS

I have several students that participate and help out with the Boy Scouts. These students are some of my hardest workers and they are always the ones offering to help make life a little bit easier for us. They help us with building anything needed as well as helping around to keep everything in our band hall neat.

1 year ago

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BeauCarl South Jordan, UT

I have worked throughout the years with the Boy Scouts of America with boys in my school area and my own two sons the Scouting program has a great summer camp and always teaches good life lessons. The one challenge we have had is the awards are expensive.

1 year ago

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Kathryn Robinson Riverton, UT

I love the Boy Scouts of America program. They teach great skills and concepts to young men. Several of my family members have received the Eagle Award. I am impressed by the Boy Scouts emphasis on community, service, respect and self-reliance.

1 year ago

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Heidi Hansen Eagle Mountain, UT

My son is an eagle scout. He found that the Boy Scouts of America instilled great values and work ethic. The merit badges have taught valuable skills and I am proud that he worked hard to earn the rank of Eagle.

1 year ago

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Audrey Mitchell Managua, MN

My brothers and Dad used Boys Scouts of America to give peanut butter that was donated by our neighborhood. It was a great charity to work through and to know that the Peanut Butter would be given to those in need.

1 year ago

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Tanner Cook Gilbert, AZ

I was a Boy Scout growing up- the feeling of community really helped growing up. The Boy Scouts is all about goal setting and looking back I enjoyed my experience thoroughly.

2 years ago

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Dylan Findlay South Jordan, UT

I love the Boy Scouts because of the valuable life lessons that are taught. Not only survival skills, but learning to be a good citizen and lots of other things.

3 years ago

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Brayden D. Gilbert, AZ

The Bou Scouts of America is a great organization. It is very good for young boys and it helps them learn and grow with knowledge that is needed in life.

3 years ago

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Tom Pleasant Grove, UT

I am a member of the Boy Scouts of America. I have been since I was 12 and will always be greatful for what I was taught and what is still taught in this organization.

3 years ago

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Danielle Powell Long Beach, MS

Great program for young boys. This taught him pride in self and learning to be responsible. Even though my son's dad was not around, other men in troop stepped up to allow him to do campouts

1 year ago

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DAVID HADAWAY Long Beach, MS

As an Eagle Scout, I cant say enough good things about BSA. The life skills Boy Scouts teach our youth is fantastic! So happy that my son is in Boy Scouts . Looking forward to all of the great bonding moments.

1 year ago

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Tom Gourley Pleasant Grove, UT

As a volunteer and donor for Boy Scouts, I feel good about the organization. They seem very concerned about properly training their staff (and volunteers) and helping young people develop in a safe environment. They also seem to be appropriately concerned about using their funding wisely. They have a good variety of things for youth to do to help them develop their characters and have fun at the same time.

1 year ago

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Yolanda Briganti Riverton, UT

The activities that my Boys did with Boy Scouts of America were really good for them. The role models were good. The values were good.

1 year ago

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Molly Keogh Ogden, UT

I feel that Boy Scouts of America provides many good values and work ethic. I also feel like many of their services and products are extremely overpriced, making it so that we were not able to financially participate as much as we would like.

1 year ago

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Bret Norton Thatcher, AZ

I was involved as a scout in my youth and have been involved as an adult leader for many years. I support the principles of the Scouting organization. I think it has done much good to bless the lives of many young men.

1 year ago

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Diego Flores New York, NY

I admire and respect this organization. As a former scout myself, I can confirm that I use the skills I learned here just about everyday. I can’t recommend joining BSA enough for any parents out there with young children.

1 year ago

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Rebecca Harvey Long Beach, MS

My son is a Cub Scout and the Boy Scouts of America have opened so many doors for us. We absolutely love helping with fundraisers and donations when we can!

1 year ago

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Jon Robinson Riverton, UT

I am an Eagle Scout and am very grateful to the program. I credit scouting for my love of the outdoors. It's a great place for a boy to learn and grow.

1 year ago

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Randi Nelson Managua, MN

Boy Scott’s of America has always been diligent about going around and asking for food donations, which makes them trustworthy to donate to.

1 year ago

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Cade Boudreaux , FL

Boy Scouts of America is a great organization. They have great values and do great for the community.

1 year ago

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Christina King Pass Christian, MS

My family loves Scouts, it’s been great for our son and taught him so much. We are so happy he joined.

1 year ago

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Laurie Massie Lakeland, FL

My boys did Boy Scouts through high school. Both of them LOVED it! It is a GREAT, positive influence in their lives.

1 year ago

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Mikayla Ralston Baltimore, MD

My brother became an egeal scout. The best part about this program is the diverse selection of Merritt badges. They have one for every person. Really created a community

1 year ago

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Sara Smith Riverton, UT

We have donated to the boys in our neighborhood and have seen them learn and develop new skills along their journey toward Eagle.

1 year ago

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Brenda Mertes Houston, TX

Boy Scouts used to legitimately be a great organization for boys. With its militaristic activities, it taught discipline and highly needed skills for youth. I'm not seeing the same thing lately from Boy Scouts. It has turned very feminine it seems and I'm saddened that my own son will not be joining.

1 year ago

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Tony Riverton, UT

Having grown up a boy scout and taken my son through the program, the principles of scouting are invaluable. On the other hand, the organization feels like it's reverted into a money grab, poaching from the Girl Scouts and paying high salaries to execs at the top. It's no wonder they're experiencing a mass drop off.

1 year ago

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Alicia Holman Gilbert, AZ

I love this program until they kept making changes and now it's not the same program that it was. It's way too political now. I think it was a great program for boys to learn so many great things

3 years ago

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Angelina Hamilton Gulfport, MS

This is a great organization for boys! They do so much for them and teach them so much! My son wouldn’t be the man he is today with out them!

1 year ago

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terryjamison Jackson, MS

My grandson is in the Boy Scouts m, it is a great program for young boys !! Get counselors they do a lot

1 year ago

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Violet Acosta Stewart Marietta, GA

I'm a Cub Master for pack 321. I enjoy spending time with my son and teaching kids about the outdoors.

1 year ago

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Jake Baleyev Long Beach, MS

Was in it when I was a wee lad, usually good people, good experience, helps the community very often. Very good for kids as well.

1 year ago

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Gabriel Chappell Luling, LA

I am a Boy Scout and currently working on my eagle and like Boy Scouts a lot love all the stuff we do

1 year ago

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Jacob American Fork, UT

Having completed my Eagle Scout through Boy Scouts of America, I learned many skills and met many people helping me to get where I am today.

1 year ago

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Roman Christiansen Pleasant Grove, UT

It taught me about life skills and how to live and survive in the real world. I would totally recommend this!!

1 year ago

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Carter Merrill Pleasant Grove, UT

I am an eagle scout and this program is fantastic. I have learned so many things and have had so many good experiences.

1 year ago

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Daphne Brown Riverton, UT

Great program and happy it is continuing. I just hate the amount of money being dropped on an executive team making really bad longterm decisions.

1 year ago

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Kimmi Riverton, UT

A great program to teach kids about the outdoors, life skills and service. The quality of the program varies from group to group.

1 year ago

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Jon Posey Riverton, UT

Have never been a fan of scouting, even when I was in the organization. Merit badges never did anything for me and all their internal struggles and political garbage has gotten in the way to just trying to create good humans.

1 year ago

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ltrain8796 Orem, UT

The Boy Scouts have been a great organization that has taught me a lot of life skills growing up.

1 year ago

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Madelyn Trout Kenner, LA

My little brother is in boy scouts. He absolutely loves it. It teaches boys useful life skills.

1 year ago

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Makayla Manus Gulfport, MS

The Boy Scouts are wonderful young up comers learning life skills and how to make the right decisions

1 year ago

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Donna Gaddy Long Beach, MS

My grandson had been in scouts for 4 years. I love the values they teach our young men

1 year ago

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SkylarPickens Houston, TX

My nephew loves the boy scouts! Shows his all the best skills to live in this world and hard work’

1 year ago

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Brittney Miskin Riverton, UT

A great program for youth, but unfortunately is not a very trustworthy organization. Awards and programs meant to help youth are overpriced and the money all goes to the top.

1 year ago

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Summer Morris (Logan) Riverton, UT

Great service and learning opportunities for boys. Teaches life skills and great self worth

1 year ago

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