What’s a Scout Hour?

posted Apr 11, 2012, 7:52 PM by Greg Jewett   [ updated Apr 11, 2012, 7:53 PM ]
I posted this ‘study’ to Facebook earlier this week. The interest it created leads me to share  news of research by hard-working yet little known Scouters who staff the Large Baden Collider at Philmont Scout Ranch.

Some years ago Bernoulli (Harry Bernoulli, Pack 234) concluded Scout volunteers could fulfill their mission in an hour a week. This hypothesis has since been the subject of intensive study.

I was able to find the most current formula that accounts for the ages of the Scouts (younger Scouts require more time) and the influence of other volunteers.

(Sc x AuN)/1000=SH

Where ‘SH’ = Scout Hour, ‘Sc’=Scouts, ‘AuN’= Adjusted Unit Number

The value for Sc is determined by

(SoR x M) –Sa = Sc

Where ‘SoR’ (Socuts on Roster) = the base number of Scouts the volunteer is directly charged with supervising, M is the multiplier determined by the type of unit (Cub Scout Packs use 10, all others use 15),  ‘Sa’ is the sum of the Scouts ages.

The value of AuN is determined by

UN (if P then UNx2) – (1/3 AoR) =AuN

Where ‘UN’ is the last two digits of the unit number (‘P’ = Pack), ‘AoR’ is adults on roster (1/3 AoR is the traditional calculation recognizing 1/3 of the available volunteers do all the work).

Sample Calculations

Mary is the Cubmaster of Pack 33; she has a total roster of 45 Scouts and 18 adult volunteers. The sum of the Scout’s ages is 360 years

(45×10)-360= 540 (Sc)

The Adjusted Unit Number is

(33×2)-[18/3]=60 (AuN)

Mary’s Scout hour is worth 5.4 hours


John is the Scoutmaster of Troop 33, he has a total roster of 45Scouts and 18 adult volunteers. The sum of the Scouts ages is 540 years.


The Adjusted Unit Number is


John’s Scout hour is worth 3.6 hours


The nature of the Scout Hour itself is more ambiguous. Some volunteers insist that their Scout Hour represents total time spent per week, many others suggest various multipliers (Leatherman, Gerber, etc.).Some studies conversely suggest that the Scout Hour  is the amount of time remaining for a volunteer outside of  Scouting activities.Ongoing research at the  Large Baden Collider (LBC) involves accelerating particles of coffee, square knots and various Scouting literature and allowing them to impact each other.Scouters hope that the LBC will help answer some of the fundamental open questions concerning the basic laws governing the interactions and forces affecting Scout Hours.