In order to be a leader, you need to have followers. Very few boys at school would accept the boy scouts as their leaders. The scouts just don't have what it takes to pull it off.
That is why the scouting program is so important to them, and why we continue to charter a unit. Scouting gives these boys an opportunity to experience leadership. They would probably never get a chance to experience it otherwise.
Based on the responses to your post, and my experience, I think it varies from place to place and maybe from time to time.
I'm not sure why I remember this, but when I was somewhere around the fifth grade, the student council president (an eighth-grader, it was a K-8 school) was a Scout, and sometime during his eighth grade year he made Eagle. Of course, this was about 50 years ago. (!)
In high school I was elected student council treasurer (not sure where that stands in the pantheon of "leadership") and I was a Boy Scout. Our student council presidents and class presidents were not Scouts as I recall. In fact if I remember correctly our class president (all four years) was really not involved in any other activities of consequence, but he must have done something right along the way because he is now a state court judge (an appointed, not elected position.)
When my son was in high school, and on the robotics team, for all four years the overall student captain of the team was a Boy Scout - three different Scouts from two different troops, all of whom were either Eagle at the time of their election or made Eagle in their senior year. (My son was a sub-team captain.) And yes I realize that the robotics team is not necessarily a microcosm of the school, and not necessarily composed of the "most popular" kids anyway.
And then again, leadership ability and popularity are not necessarily the same thing.
Edited by NJCubScouter, 22 March 2017 - 04:06 PM.