Celebrate the Superhero in All of Us!

In celebration of National Superhero Day, we conducted a super-hero inspired survey with more than 4,000 Skouters asking them about their favorite superheros. We were overjoyed to learn three out of four members of the SKOUT community say helping others in need is what makes a superhero, and nearly 80% say they want to be a superhero in real life. Check out more super stats from our survey:

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America’s favorite superhero is…

  • Well, it depends on whom you ask... Women said Batman. Men said Superman.

Which supervillain wins the popularity contest?

  • Women prefer Catwoman and men prefer the Joker.

Batman and Robin are the best superhero BFFs.

  • More than half of people surveyed (53%) said Batman and Robin are their favorite superhero friends.
  • 19% said The Thing and Human Torch are their fave friend duo, 16% prefer Green Hornet and Kato, and 12% said the Wonder Twins make the best squad.

Immortality is the most wished for superpower.

  • When asked which superpower they wish they had, 1 out of 3 people surveyed said immortality.
  • 29% said the ability to fly, 22% said superhuman strength and 17% said superspeed.

The Batmobile is the best superhero ride.

  • 49% of people surveyed said they would pick the Batmobile if they could have any superhero vehicle.
  • 20% would choose Wonder Woman’s Invisible Plane, 20% would prefer the X-Men’s Blackbird and 12% would pick The Green Hornet’s Black Beauty.

A mask is a must-have superhero accessory.

  • 57% of people surveyed said a mask is the most important superhero accessory, 19% said a cape, 14% said a ring, and 10% said a cool belt.

Nearly 80% of people want to be a superhero in real life. Here’s what it takes…

  • 44% of people surveyed said selflessness, 37% said no fear, 11% said technology and 8% said money.

GIVE A GIFT TO GRANT A WISH

Being a superhero in real life isn’t as far-fetched as people may think it is. In honor of National Superhero Day, we are partnering with Make-A-Wish® Greater Bay Area to grant a wish to a child in need of a superhero.

Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. In 2016 Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area celebrates 32 years fulfilling magical wishes!

You can help Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area continue their incredible work granting wishes by giving your fellow Skouters a Superhero Gift! For every Superhero Gift given, SKOUT will make a donation to Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area until we have reached our goal of granting a wish. Superhero Gifts can be found in the Superhero Day category of the Gift Store.

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Sending a Superhero Gift will help bring joy to a child who needs it more than ever. Help us make a wish come true for a child who needs a real-life superhero. Learn how to give a gift to a Skouter.

Inspired to do more? In addition to giving a Superhero Gift, you can donate directly to the cause and volunteer with your local chapter of Make-A-Wish!



REPRESENT YOUR SUPER SQUAD!

Is your squad worth superhero swag? Let’s find out! Post a picture of you and your squad with the hashtag #besuper to the Buzz. The Grand Prize winner will receive a SKOUT National Superhero Day T-shirt! Runners-up will get 500 points added to their account!

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Drumroll for SKOUT Leader Board Round 2!

SKOUT Leader Round 2 results are in! We asked more than 3,000 Skouters what they think makes a great member of the community. Skouters who share fun pictures, fill out their About Me and send virtual gifts to fellow Skouters, get the popularity vote. Check out this post for more details on what it takes to make the SKOUT Leader Board. Congratulations to the following Skouters!

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Do you think you should be in the Top 5? Try filling out your About Me section or post fewer selfies. If you think a fellow Skouter deserves to be in the Top 5, give him or her a Trophy Gift! Trophy Gifts are located in the SKOUT Leader category of the Gift Store.

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Congrats to the Top 5! Stay tuned for Round 3 of the SKOUT Leader Board! To view Round 1, click here.

New Friendship Gifts in the Gift Store!

Celebrate your SKOUT friendships by giving your favorite Skouters one of our new Friendship Gifts located in the Friendship category of the Gift Store! A small gift goes a long way when it comes to brightening someone’s day. Give a Gift to simply wish your friend a good day, cheer them up or even to say hello. Check out the Gift Store today!

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New to SKOUT? Learn how to give a gift!

SKOUT Success Stories From All Over the World

We love hearing about the friendships made on SKOUT! Skouters from all over the world tell us about the friends they’ve made -- whether they’re people nearby whom they now hang out with in person or people in different cities or even countries with whom they chat regularly. One thing they have in common: Most people say they never would have met if it hadn’t been for SKOUT.

Jade Cycles to Cure Cancer

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Skouter Jade’s New Year’s Resolution was to start cycling more, so she picked up a few extra spin classes at her gym, Equinox, which is how she was introduced to Cycle for Survival.

Jade was intrigued to learn 50 percent of all people with cancer are battling a rare form of cancer, but clinical trials and research studies are often underfunded. When she discovered 100 percent of Cycle for Survival funds go directly toward rare-cancer research, she knew she had to contribute.

“It was the perfect opportunity to both do good and get fit at the same time,” she says.

There are several different ways to participate in Cycle for Survival. Jade chose to ride in the Cycle for Survival Challenge, which automatically tallied how many miles she biked in any cycling class for one month. For every 10 miles biked, Equinox would donate $1.

“It was incredibly motivating and inspiring to be cycling alongside other people for a good cause, knowing that the more I pushed myself, the more I’d be helping in the fight against cancer,” she recalls.

Jade biked 305 miles and contributed a total of $30.50.

“Thousands of cyclists all across the country raised a record-breaking total of $30 million this year,” explains Jade with excitement.

Clearly, this is a cause millions can get on board with, and there are several ways to participate, including donating directly to the cause.

We commend Jade for her efforts to fight cancer!

Do you lend a helping hand to a charity or nonprofit? We’d love to hear about your volunteering efforts! Send us an email to successstories@skout.com. If we choose your story to post on our blog, we will add 500 Points to your account!

Skouter Ryan Grants Wishes to Support His Community

Ryan has been involved with several nonprofits, including Make-A-Wish and has participated in events such as the AIDS Walk and Light the Night. He’s been walking the Light the Night walk for a long time now, and the cause became even closer to him when he lost a good friend to lymphoma a few years back. He hopes that by walking for Light the Night, he can contribute to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s goal of finding cures and ensuring access to treatment for all blood cancer patients.

As a wish granter and events volunteer for Make-A-Wish, he is able to see, firsthand, his contributions come to fruition.

“It brightens a sick child’s life by granting him or her a wish to travel somewhere, be someone for a day, meet someone or receive something special like a guitar. It makes me happy when I visit kids to decide on their wish and deliver the good news when it is approved,” says Ryan.

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And what does he hope to achieve from his efforts? Simply that warm, cuddly feeling. “I hope to achieve a sense of fulfillment in helping others and hope I will get help in return if I ever need it.”

Want to learn how you can contribute? Here are a few ways you can:

  • Donate to help grant wishes for children suffering from diseases.
  • Participate in an AIDS Walk near you or donate to their community.
  • Walk for Light the Night or donate to support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Foundation’s efforts to cure blood cancer.

Thank you for your efforts to help others, Ryan!

Whenever we hear stories of Skouters donating to their favorite charities and giving back to their communities, it makes us superproud to call them part of the SKOUT community -- so proud, in fact, that we share their story on our blog to inspire the rest of the SKOUT community to get involved with charities and nonprofits too!

If you’d like to share the story of your volunteer efforts with us, shoot us an email at successstories@skout.com. Should we choose your story to be on our blog, we will add 500 Points to your account!

Bustle - National Friendship Week Survey Reveals Just How Far We'd Go To Help A Friend In Need, Plus 5 Other Things You'd Only Do For Your BFF

Skout_National_Friendship_Week By Jessica Learish

You’re always down to tell your best friend just how much you love her, but National Friendship Week is Aug. 16 through Aug. 22, and if you haven’t already, now is the perfect time to show her just how much you appreciate all that she does — even if that simply means showing up at her apartment with a bottle of wine and two glasses ready to go in hand. Say what you will about #squadgoals, but friendship really is what makes the world go round — a recent National Friendship Week survey suggests that we actually are getting by with a little help from our friends. The global social network Skout conducted a survey of 1,500 men and women in the United States, and found that people are more than willing to lend a hand to a friend in need, and make some pretty big compromises to accommodate a friend's wishes.

And we're not just talking alternating favorite pizza toppings or choosing to go to a bar that is closer to your friend's place than yours. According to this survey, a whopping 81 percent of survey respondents reported that they would be willing to donate a kidney to a friend who needed one, if they were indeed a match. That's about 32 percent more than who would seriously consider donating a kidney to a stranger.

Read the full article here.

The New York Times - A Solo Traveler’s Guide to Meeting People

skouttravel By Stephanie Rosenbloom

When you are traveling solo, it’s not always a breeze to strike up a conversation with a stranger.

In fact, how do you meet other single travelers or locals in the first place? And if you’re looking for friendship — or even something more — how do you ensure that amid all the fun you don’t neglect to take safety precautions?

Before we get to tactics, it’s helpful to know that you are likely to be rewarded for overcoming apprehensions about approaching someone new when you’re on the road.

“It's easy to imagine all the ways things will go badly or believe that this person doesn’t want to connect,” said Nicholas Epley, a professor of behavioral science at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. But if you reach out, he continued, “almost everybody reaches back.”

The app Skout enables travelers to meet locals or one another wherever they are, be it a concert in London or a soccer game in Barcelona.

Read the full article here.

thestar.com - How to Host a Perfect Friendsgiving

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By Lauren Pelley

Looking around my Friendsgiving table on Friday, I was filled with sheer joy. Even though the whole thing was a bit of a mess.

Nine of us were sitting around a plastic table, relocated from my backyard and draped with a new white tablecloth that was covered in creases after coming straight from its packaging. Each guest’s place setting contained the odds and ends of different cutlery sets and a few mismatched plates. Once the turkey was (finally) ready, cutting it became a four-person fiasco with me reading directions off an iPhone, while others inspected the meat and helped tear off the seemingly superglued thighs. Two people were stuck sitting on a piano bench. I’m pretty sure the food was cold.

But who cares, right? We had plenty of wine, great conversation, and no one got food poisoning. It had all the magic of Thanksgiving, but with friends instead of family — a mix of my university friends, coworkers, and the last-minute addition of my younger brother. We discussed politics, vented about our jobs, and clinked glasses in a toast to the season.

And that’s what Friendsgiving is all about. The food — which included garlic mashed potatoes and roasted carrots, in my case — is just a bonus.

In recent years, this holiday of sorts has grown in popularity. Thirtysomethings are driving the trend, according to a survey from the social app Skout, which found 18 per cent of people between 30 and 39 plan on celebrating Thanksgiving with friends this year — along with 11 per cent of people 18 to 29.

Read the full article here.

Calling All Friendship Success Stories!

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What do Lady Toro and River, Lucas and Pongchuwala have in common? They all met great friends on SKOUT!

Have you met a good friend on SKOUT? If so, we want to hear your story! Shoot us an email to successstories@skout.com.

We are interested in what makes your SKOUT friendship special. Is your SKOUT friend the one you can talk to about any of your problems? Are they the person you share hilarious inside jokes with? Are you planning a trip to meet your SKOUT friend in person? We’re looking forward to hearing your story!

If we choose to feature your success story on the SKOUT blog, we will deposit 500 points to your account!

Celebrate the Importance of Laughter

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April 1 kicks off National Humor Month! We’re celebrating by emphasizing the importance of laughter in our everyday lives. It’s true -- laughter is the best medicine. Anyone who’s ever watched a cat video on YouTube after a bad day knows this. But, did you know laughing can help you make more friends?

After examining a sampling of Skouters’ profile pictures, we found Skouters who share a profile picture of themselves laughing have their profile favorited 404% more times and make 324% more connections with others than the average Skouter. Laughter is contagious, and it certainly seems like people want to be friends with someone who has a good sense of humor.

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In addition to reviewing profile pictures, we surveyed more than 3,000 Skouters throughout the U.S. to learn their thoughts on humor and friendship. Highlights from the survey include:

We crack ourselves up.

  • 75% of people surveyed think they are funny.
  • People with a witty sense of humor are most likely to think they are funny (81%).

We enjoy laughing with friends.

  • 94% of people surveyed say they enjoy making other people laugh.
  • People who say their style of humor is slapstick are most likely to enjoy making others laugh (98%).

Practical jokers attract more friends.

  • Practical jokers and people who say “bathroom humor” is their style are most likely to have five or more close friends.
  • Least likely to have five or more close friends are people with a sarcastic or self-deprecating sense of humor.

Not everyone laughs at clowns.

  • 30% of people surveyed say they are afraid of clowns.
  • People with a sarcastic sense of humor are most likely (37%) to be afraid of clowns.

Women will pass on the chick flick -- they prefer comedy films!

  • Comedy movies trumped all other genres among women surveyed, with 26% of women preferring comedy vs. 23% who prefer action-adventure, 21% who prefer horror and 18% who prefer romantic films.
  • While 43% of men said they prefer action-adventure, comedy came in as the second most popular genre (21%).

Looking to laugh it up with the locals? Here’s where to go...

  • New Yorkers and San Franciscans are most confident (83%) that they are funny.
  • Houstonians want you to have a good time -- 100% of Houstonians surveyed say they enjoy making others laugh. 98% of Angelenos and Atlantans say the same.

Cards Against Humanity is a popular game among people with large groups of friends.

  • More than 50% of people with 5 to 9 friends enjoy playing this card game with their friends.

FREE HUMOR MONTH GIFTS EVERY WEEK!

Throughout Humor Month, we’ll be giving away one of the following gifts each week: HAHA, JAJA, Laughing Monkey and Laughing Panda. These Gifts can be found in the Humor category of the Gift Store. Stay tuned for the free Gift of the week!

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The simple act of giving a Gift to a fellow Skouter can really brighten their day. Click here to learn how!

SHOW US YOUR BEST #LOL FACE

Let the data speak for itself! Skouters who have a profile picture of themselves laughing make more connections than those who don’t!

We want to see a picture of you laughing! Post a picture of yourself laughing to the Buzz with the hashtag #LOL. We’ll choose our favorites and give them 500 Points!

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TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE OF COMEDY FILMS!

SKOUT Leader Board Round 1!

A couple of weeks ago, we asked Skouters what characteristics make a SKOUT Leader. Here’s a refresher:

  • The majority of Skouters, about 35%, like when fellow members of the community ask how they are doing or give them a virtual gift.
  • 33% of Skouters enjoy when fellow members of the community share fun pictures instead of only posting selfies.
  • 32% of Skouters appreciate when fellow members of the community take the time to fill out their About Me section.

We also asked you to give those Skouters you think best represent the above traits a SKOUT Leader Trophy Gift. We tallied the results of who received the most Trophy Gifts.

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Do you think you should be in the Top 5? Try filling out your About Me section or post fewer selfies. If you think a fellow Skouter deserves to be in the Top 5, give him or her a Trophy Gift! Trophy Gifts are located in the SKOUT Leader category of the Gift Store.

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Congrats to the Top 5! Stay tuned for Round 2 of the SKOUT Leader Board!

Celebrate Love and Life During Holi

Today, March 24, marks the celebration of Holi - the festival of colors. A spring festival, primarily celebrated in India, Nepal and other regions of the world with a significant population of Hindus, Holi celebrates the victory of good over evil and is a means for many to forgive and forget, meet new people and enjoy life. During Holi, the streets come alive with vivid colors as festival goers douse one another with powdered color pigments while singing and dancing. The celebration itself is a work of art and a magnificent display of love and appreciation for the human spirit.

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Even if you’re not in a part of the world where Holi is celebrated, you can travel virtually to India and check out the festivities! Meet locals who partake in the festival and join the fun with them using SKOUT Travel.