Study Findings Don’t Surprise Former Eagle Scouts in Legislature

PoliticsPA recently came upon this study conducted by Baylor University. It found that former Eagle Scouts – the highest rank of the Boy Scouts of America – were more likely to be civically engaged and take be community leaders.

Specifically, they’re 73 percent more likely to have voted in the previous election and 76 percent more likely to hold positions of leadership in their community (like elected official). That’s on top of a host of other non-political differences.

That made us curious about who in the legislature could boast the merit badges and knot-tying knowledge of an Eagle Scout. We asked around and heard three names: Rep. Mike Fleck (R-Huntingdon), Rep. Matt Gabler (R-Clearfield) and Sen. David Argall (R-Schuylkill).

Update: Rep. John Maher (R-Allegheny), also running for Pa. Auditor General, was an Eagle Scout and has served on the board of the Greater Pittsburgh Council BSA for over a decade. Rep. Brad Roae (R-Crawford) is also an Eagle, and presently serves as Assistant Scoutmaster of Troop 231 in Townville where his son is a first year Scout. As is Rep. Doyle Heffley (R-Carbon).

Fleck worked for the BSA full time as a district executive in Huntingdon County from 1999 to 2004. He said the Scouts help mold young men who are inclined to public office.

“I think the Eagle Scout program lends itself to more community-minded kids,” he said. “Eagle Scouts are very driven and goal oriented. What comes first: does scouts instill a desire for community leadership, or does it help prepare kids who are already inclined? I think it’s a little bit of both.”

It helped his 2006 campaign, too. His job duties with the Scouts included public relations, fundraising and networking with area social clubs. “It was an amazing network,” for politics, he said, “a perfect segue into this job.”

Argall said he’s still active in the Scouts.

“I have told many people that one of the single best things my parents ever did for me was to sign me up with the Scouting Program when I was 8” he told PoliticsPA. “I have remained active in the program ever since, first as a scout, then as a volunteer leader, then as a dad, and now, again, as a volunteer.  My story is not unique – many of our volunteers were Scouts themselves.”

So did Gabler, who is also a member of the Army National Guard.

“Becoming an Eagle Scout is more than just a list of requirements, it is an immersion in the character building and the skills that make someone a better citizen and a leader in their community,” he said.

“I rely on the lessons I learned as an Eagle Scout in my daily life as a community leader,” he added. “I’m honored to continue my work in Scouting as an adult member of my local council’s executive board.  It really is rewarding to help provide the opportunities of Scouting to the next generation of leaders in our area.”

Did we leave any out? Please email press@politicsPA.com if we there are former boy or girl scouts in the House or Senate we missed.

7 thoughts on “Study Findings Don’t Surprise Former Eagle Scouts in Legislature

  1. Many of these former Eagle Scouts have gone on to disgrace their order by doing things like illegally increasing their salary and voting to increase their own pension by fifty percent while bankrupting the pension system in the process. With regard to the pay raise they had to dishonor God by breaking their oath of office to vote for it. Are the virtues that the Boy Scouts teach greed, self interest, ambition, immodesty, cunning and Machiavellian politics? I don’t think so.

  2. Brett and former have two dumb and plainly politically motivated comments. This is a fluff piece. Go back to studying your talking points on the DNC’S. There is a presidential election they need to manipulate and brain wash you for.

  3. Come on Susan and Cheryl, You bash Fitzpatrick every chance you get on this. Let’s see it!

  4. Former Eagle Scout (or claims to be) said “supported voter ID laws, budgets that cut school funding, and natural gas drilling on the same state lands that Boy Scouts around the commonwealth of PA have spent a great deal of time protecting and preserving”. I have 2 sons who actually are eagle scouts. Let’s take the above points one by one. 1. Voter ID’s protect our right to vote. 110% voter turnout in some Dem precincts means the right (that many soldiers have died for) has been diluted without voter ID’s. 2. Drilling for natural gas has much less impact on our environment than windmills per BTU. We have more trees now than in 1929. And I have done enough camping to know firsthand. 3. The amount of increased $ we spend on government schools (no God) per student every year has far out stripped inflation for over 20 years. These three issues may touch on all 12 laws but for sure they hit Trustworthy, Thrifty and Reverent.

  5. Really? An innocuous story on a slow news day turns generates rants because the Scouts won’t entrust teen and pre-teen boys to known homosexuals? As an Eagle Scout, I only wish that it had not taken thirty or forty years for my Church to learn the same lesson

  6. I’m an eagle scout who went to the national jamboree with Sen Argall. I agree with the commenter above. I would never be in the military but these republican “scout leaders” are only leading for corporations. I appreciate that all of them are MODERATE republicans, they’re willing to listen to their constitutions, but they still vote for legislature that’s leading to the destruction of those who elected them.

    Leaders need to tell their constituents that the policies being set by Grover Norquist and the Freedomworks ARE NOT good policies for Pennsylvania. Just because you have an R with your name doesn’t mean you have to back up extreme right wing ideology.

    They’re all smart enough people to know how much government helps people. I hope they stop destroying it and start making it work.

  7. I earned my Eagle Scout at age 16 in PA and I have always been very active in politics, my community and I now serve as an Army Officer on Active Duty, but I have a hard time supporting the Boy Scouts today. I find it reprehensible that the Boy Scouts still clings to their outdated homophobic views. Being a member of the military I can attest to the fact that the repeal of DADT did no harm to our armed services and finally allowed our military to provide equal opportunity to serve. Through the Scouts I learned the importance of being part of your community through volunteer work and standing up for what is right even when it is not the popular thing to do, but the lessons I took away from the Boy Scouts are much different than the lessons the legislators mentioned in this story obviously took away. All three of them, and I will include Congressman Glenn “GT” Thompson(R-PA5) another active Scouter and former Juniata Boy Scout council president; have supported voter ID laws, budgets that cut school funding, and natural gas drilling on the same state lands that Boy Scouts around the commonwealth of PA have spent a great deal of time protecting and preserving. I applaud them for wanting to support their community, but I hope they will reflect on whether their political courses truly reflect the line from the Boy Scout oath “To Help Other People At All Times” not just when it is politically advantageous.

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