The Boy Scouts of America is one of the largest scouting organizations in the United States. The mission of the organization is to prepare the youth and help them make ethical and moral choices throughout their lives by instilling certain values. But did you ever wonder how many of NASA’s astronauts were active boy scouts during their time?
At least 207 of the 312 astronaut candidates had experience scouting. Twenty of the 24 people who visited the moon were scouts too. This includes all three members of the crew of Apollo 13.
NASA and Scouting Organziations
Scouting and NASA have a long history together. Scouting has been done by more than two-thirds of all astronauts, both current and past. At least 207 of the 312 pilots and scientists have been chosen as astronauts since 1959 and be scouts or actively involved in scouting.
The list contains 32 Scouts with unspecified ranks, including 27 Girl Scouts, along with 39 Eagle Scouts, 25 Life Scouts, 14 Star Scouts, 26 First Class Scouts, 17 Second Class Scouts, 13 Tenderfoot Scouts, three Explorers, 25 Cub Scouts, 10 Webelos Scouts, one King’s Scout, and two Wolf Scouts.
Among the 24 astronauts who made it to the moon on the Apollo 8 and Apollo 10 through 17 missions, twenty were scouts, including all three crew members of Apollo 13. As well as 11 of the 12 moonwalkers.
Scouting helps develop motivated, high-achieving individuals who may become astronauts, scientists, or engineers thanks to its emphasis on leadership, cooperation, life skills, and good role models. Today’s scouts could be among the pioneers of the following generation who assist guide efforts to comprehend Earth better and explore space in a few years. (Source: NASA)
NASA Sponsors Both Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts
Charles F. Bolden Jr., a former astronaut and the current NASA Administrator, was also a Boy Scout. He understands from personal experience how much effort and commitment it takes to win these accolades. Administrator Bolden believes that involvement in scouting lays the groundwork for a lifetime of discovery and adventure. He takes great pride in that many NASA scientists, engineers, and astronauts started their careers in exploration and discovery by participating in scouting.
The organization honors Boy Scouts, who receive the esteemed Eagle Scout Award, and Girl Scouts, who receive the honorable Gold Award. You can obtain a certificate of distinction and a letter of congratulations from the agency celebrating these outstanding accomplishments on the NASA website.
Both prizes symbolize the highest level of scouting success. Most children join scouting throughout their elementary school years. Scouts acquire badges, pins, and trophies as they rise through the ranks in recognition of their character growth and skill mastery. The scouts regularly accomplish tasks that test their skills and push their boundaries, and scouting activities are liberally peppered with enjoyment and teamwork.
However, to achieve the renowned rank of Eagle Scout or Gold Award, a scout must go above and beyond the initial obstacles and construct a project that helps the community or brings about a necessary change. By the time the project is completed, the scouts will have proven themselves deserving of joining the ranks of those who came before them via networking, preparation, and resourcefulness. (Source: NASA)