From a letter by the 2005 National Chief of the Order of the Arrow;
The Boy Scouts of America recently completed a survey of boys who had left the Scouting program. I would appreciate it if you read this letter and share the information with
your unit leadership.
The major conclusions from the survey are that young men drop out of the program due to the lack of a good unit program and not enough outdoor adventure. It is no secret that many boys join Scouting with a strong desire to go camping.
How vital is a having a good program? 38% of Scouts leave because of a poor unit program. Two of the major problems related to poor programming are time and personal relationships. When Scouts are not having fun, they are less willing to devote time to the program. Boys drop out so they can have more time to do other things that they enjoy more (32% of dropped Scouts listed this as a primary reason for leaving). Also, 23% left Scouting because of conflicts with unit leaders. Units with good program are less likely to have such conflicts. The Order of the Arrow believes that camping at least once a month is a vital component of a good unit program.
Another interesting statistic from the survey was that 69% of boys leave Scouting with the rank of Second Class or less. Advancement is a by-product of a good camping program. Most Scouts in units that camp monthly should attain the rank of First Class within a year of joining the program.
How important is camping?
51% of dropped Scouts come from troops with 5 or fewer camping outings per year.
71% of dropped Scouts come from troops with 8 or fewer camping outings per year.Only 15% of dropped Scouts come from units that camp every month!