Membership Retention in Scout Troops

Liam Morland

Senior Honours Essay
Department of Sociology
University of Waterloo


Factors affecting membership retention in Scout troops were examined. Scout meetings were unobtrusively observed and program information questionnaires were completed for 17 urban Scouts Canada Scout troops (age range 11-14) in Waterloo Region, Ontario. Thirty Scouters (adult leaders) completed written questionnaires. The study found that many Scouts remain in the program for only one year. Scouts who achieved badges are more likely to stay and continue to the Venturer program (ages 14-17). Troops with more outdoor activities and which give more autonomy to the Scouts have higher rates of membership retention. The Scout uniform is examined from a symbolic interactionist perspective. Scout culture is discussed. Includes description of Scouting with brief history. 23 tables.

University of Waterloo logo

Second Edition, July 27, 2002.
First Edition, August 16, 2001.
© 2001, 2002 Liam Morland.

Dedicated to
my Scoutmaster,
Scouter Jack.
Liam Morland