Boy Scouts making an impact on the Old North State

Boy Scouts across N.C. gathered on Friday at the N.C. Supreme Court building for a special presentation. (Lauren Rose / North State Journal)

RALEIGH — While the N.C. Supreme Court is the appropriate forum for policy arguments to be made, a presentation there last Friday by the Boy Scouts organization was unrebutted and even had one of the justices advocating for their position.

Justice Paul Newby — himself an Eagle Scout — served as the chairman of the group tasked with making the 2018 Boy Scouts of America Annual Report to the state. Newby led a group of current and former Scouts from an opening event at the Supreme Court as they presented the report to Gov. Roy Cooper at the Executive Mansion and to Lt. Gov. Dan Forest at the Hawkins-Hartness House.

Justice Paul Newby welcomes N.C. Boy Scouts to the N.C. Supreme Court on Friday for presentation
of the 2018 Boy Scouts of America Annual Report to the State. (Lauren Rose / North State Journal)

In addition to presenting and discussing a primer on the Boy Scouts, Newby also played host to dozens of Scouting leaders, current Scouts, and a distinguished group of business leaders and entrepreneurs who have obtained the rank of Eagle Scout.

This year’s report was titled “Scouting’s Impact on the Economic Engine of North Carolina,” and much of the activity at the Supreme Court was focused on the business success of Eagle Scouts and highlighting the impact that Scout-led businesses have had on North Carolina.

“These Eagle Scout entrepreneurs no doubt helped North Carolina become Forbes Magazine’s #1 Best State for Business in 2017,” said Newby in the report.

The report, which shows the overall impact of Scouting on the state, included broad data on the participation levels of the 68,646 youth members and 25,968 adult volunteers in the 11 Councils of the Boy Scouts across N.C. The report also presented an analysis of the influence had by Scouting on N.C.’s entrepreneurial economy carried out by Ted. D. Zoller, T.W. Lewis Distinguished Scholar and Professor at Kenan-Flagler Business School at UNC Chapel Hill.

In his analysis, Zoller suggested that more than 3,000 Scouting entrepreneurs are active in N.C. and that a high percentage of the state’s most successful entrepreneurs are part of the exclusive fraternity of Eagle Scouts. In his conclusion, Zoller found that “individuals who attain the rank of Eagle Scout are 30 times more likely to become an entrepreneur than an average business person.” Zoller — who is also an Eagle Scout — concluded his analysis with a recommendation that N.C. State Government study ways to encourage Scouting among N.C. youth.