TABLE OF TOPICS
THE SCOUT OATH, THE SCOUT LAW AND CHARACTER
A SCOUT IS TRUSTWORTHY
A SCOUT IS LOYAL
A SCOUT IS HELPFUL
A SCOUT IS FRIENDLY
A SCOUT IS COURTEOUS
A SCOUT IS KIND
A SCOUT IS OBEDIENT
A SCOUT IS CHEERFUL .
A SCOUT IS THRIFTY .
A SCOUT IS BRAVE .
A SCOUT IS CLEAN .
A SCOUT IS REVERENT .
DO A GOOD TURN DAILY .
The first Chief Scout Executive, James E. West, said that for a boy, “Making the Most of Yourself” was “The Greatest of all Adventures”. He noted that to build a great man one must begin with a sure foundation. He suggests that the code of conduct found in the Boy Scout Oath, Law, motto and slogan will serve as a good foundation for young man to build his life and character. He also notes that the age at which young men enter Scouting is the appropriate time for them to select a code of conduct upon which to build their character. We can do a great service to our youth by presenting the Ideals of Scouting to them in an attractive manner.
— The thoughts listed below are sample Scout Master Minutes which apply to building character by living the Scout Law, Scout oath, Slogan and Motto. Many more examples of Scout Master minutes can be found on Google; just type in Scout Master minutes.
Character—Character is often thought to be something we are or something we have; but in practice the word “Character” is not so much a noun as it is a verb. A verb of Action, and eventually a verb of being. Character is what we do. And what we become, is shaped and determined by what we do.
Character— “I think of my earlier career as a Boy Scout, and going camping and learning a little bit of self–confidence in what you could do—and sometimes getting lost, and the usual things boys do. All of these things helped build the Character in myself that allowed me to handle a crisis–and that’s exactly what Apollo 13 was.”
—Jim Lovell, U.S. Astronaut and distinguished Eagle Scout
Light Your Law
(Light an ordinary match, hold it up until it has burned for a few seconds, and then blow it out, break it, and throw it away.)
Scouts, you're all familiar with a common match, and know that with it you can start a fire—a fire that will keep you warm, cook your food, and add cheer after dark. After using the match to light your fire, you break it to be sure it is out, and discard it.
The Scout Law is somewhat like this match. We use it to light the good things inside us, but unlike the match we threw away, we should keep the Scout Law to use over and over—in our Scout activities, in our daily living at home, in school, in our work and play, and in the future as we grow into manhood. We don't discard the Scout Law after the troop meeting or even in later years when we are no longer Scouts. The things it represents are as true and meaningful to adults as they are to Scouts.
If you follow the Scout Law every day, the points of the Law will become so much a part of your life that when you grow up and enter the world of adults, you will be able to stand erect and look everyone squarely in the face and say, "I am a man."
Let's all stand, give the Scout sign, and repeat the Scout Law.
—Scoutmaster Handbook. 7th Ed., 1981, p 312
The meaning of the Scout Law. The Scout Law is the foundation of Scouting. It is expressed in just twelve simple points, but the standards they set for you are high. Use the Scout Law to guide your actions when you are alone and as a member of your family, community, and nation. The Scout law will show you how to live as a boy and as a man
– Scout Handbook, Eleventh Edition, 1998, p 47
HONOR — The most important scout virtue is that of Honor. Indeed this is the basis of all scout virtues and is closely allied to that of self–respect. When a scout promises to do a thing on his honor, he is bound to do it. The honor of a scout will not permit of anything but the highest and the best and the manliest. The honor of a scout is a sacred thing and cannot be lightly set aside or trampled on. — Scout Handbook First Edition, 1911 p. 9
On My Honor–Honesty–Originally, the word Honor came from the word Honest. A person of Honor if first of all an honest person, he will not lie, cheat, not steal; he is truthful, shows fairness and sincerity, he is straight forward and free of deceit
A Scout is Trustworthy. Your parents, teachers, and friends know that as a Scout, you tell the truth and Keep your promises. When you agree to do something for your mother or father they know that you will do it. When you say that you will attend a troop meeting your leaders can count on your being there. When you have said that you are going on a troop hike or camp, the other Scouts know that you will be ready to go at the time agreed on.
– Scout Handbook 1979 Edition
A Scout is Trustworthy. All our dealings with other people are based on trust. We drop a letter in the mailbox and trust the post office to get it to its destination. We buy a can of food and trust the manufacturer to have filled it with only wholesome ingredients. If we couldn’t trust other people, the work of the world would soon come to a standstill. And if you can’t trust a Boy Scout, you can’t trust anybody. It is a great thing to have people trust you. It feels good to “keep your honor bright” and to be able to look people straight in the eyes.
– Scout Handbook 1965 printing
Trustworthy— One old Gentleman, who knew President James A. Garfield in an early day, said of him afterwards, that—
“His conscience kinder went ahead on him inter his work, an’ ye could allers trust him to do any job, hoein’, rakin’, hewin’, planin’, teachin’, or any other thing, fur he’d feel much of the wust ef he left any out as it hadn’t orter be. He didn’t cover up notin’ he’d spiled, and he’d work just as fast if the man who paid him warn’t around. He was right–up–n’–down square”.
A Scout is Trustworthy. A Scout tells the truth. He is honest, and he keeps his promises. People can depend on him.
A reputation of being trustworthy is important to you now and in years to come. Trustworthiness will help you make and maintain good friendships. But more than that, your honesty is a sign of your character—the kind of person you are inside. Your parents, teachers, and friends expect you to tell the truth and to keep your promises. They know they can rely upon you to do your best in every situation.
Of course, there will be times when your judgment fails and you make mistakes. ... If you quickly admit what you have done and make good on any damage, others will soon forget the incident. By learning from your errors, you can do better in the future.
You must also have trust in yourself. You know when you have done right and when you have done wrong. Live in such a way that you can respect your self, and others will respect you too.
— Scout Handbook, Eleventh Edition, 1998, p47
A Scout is Trustworthy. Your reputation for being Trustworthy will follow you through your whole life. Being Trustworthy is important to your happiness now and in the future. It will be important in your employment and in handling your personal finances. Being a Trustworthy person will even determine the kind of people who will be your friends.
— Scout Handbook 8th Edition
A Scout is Trustworthy
An architect who had just finished college was trying to get his business established and was having a hard time doing it. He still owed money for some of his college expenses and saw his debts piling up. Each day he became more and more worried, until he was looking around desperately for a solution.
Then a wealthy man, who had been a good friend of his father, came to him one day. "I want you to build me a house," he said. "Build it of the finest materials. Spare no expense. Build it just as if it were for yourself and you had all the money in the world. Here is an advance on your fee. I will be gone for some months, so take full charge."
It was like a dream to the young architect. The advance enabled him to wipe out all his debts, and he knew that he could be married soon. For when the house was finished, he could expect other good commissions. Then his reputation would be established solidly. So he set to work with great joy.
As the building progressed, the architect was struck with an idea. The owner would not be back for months. No one was keeping check on the building. He could build the house just as he pleased. So he began to use second-rate materials where they wouldn't show. As he went on in this way, he figured he would make an extra ten thousand dollars for himself, because, of course, he would charge the owner for the best materials throughout.
Well, the house finally was finished and the owner came back. The man was pleased. "It's beautiful," he said. "But, unfortunately, I will never live in it. While I was traveling, I made some investments in Europe that will keep me there, perhaps permanently. And I want you to have this house as a wedding present from me. It's so beautiful! It's a picture of your own character, true and loyal all the way through!
Imagine how the young architect felt! Yes, the house was a picture of his own character, and would be there to remind him of his cheating as long as he live
— Scoutmaster Handbook. 7th Ed., 1981, p 318
A Scout is Trustworthy. A Scout tells the truth. He keeps his promises. Honesty is a part of his personal code of conduct. People can depend on him. – Scout Handbook 1979 Edition
A Scout is Loyal. A Scout is true to his family, friends, Scout leaders, school and nation.
Loyalty starts at home. You show through your actions that your family can count on you. The success of your Scout Troop and patrol also depends upon your loyalty and that of other Scouts as support your leaders and pitch in to do your share of the work. Your loyalty to the ideals of your school can make the learning experience good for every one.
Express your loyalty to the United States by respecting the flag and government, and by participating in the democratic process. See where things can be made better and work toward that ideal. Give real meaning to your loyalty by helping improve your community, state, and nation. – Scout Handbook, Eleventh Edition, 1998, p. 48
Loyalty and Respect for the Flag
(Have one red, one white, and one blue piece of cloth and a U.S. Flag.)
What is our flag? You might say it's a piece of cloth. Would that be sight? Well, it's true that these pieces of cloth could make a U.S. flag, But then we would have more than just a piece of cloth, wouldn't we? What is our flag, then? It's a symbol of our country, of the principles 'or which we stand. It's a guarantee of protection and security for is. And isn't it a thrill to see the flag flying at the top of a tall staff?
The blue in our flag is a symbol of faith and loyalty—the faith and loyalty of our country's founders. The red in our flag denotes sacrifice, the sacrifices made to establish our nation. The white of her stars and alternate stripes stands for purity of heart and mind. Yes, the colors stand for bravery, loyalty, and purity.
Is there anything in these pieces of cloth by themselves that demands our respect? No. They could be made into an apron just as easily as a flag. We could mop the floor with them or wipe our shoes with them. But the flag these pieces of cloth could make represents our great nation and everything the United States stands for. That's why, Scouts, we give our flag the respect and loyalty that we owe the United States of America.
— Scoutmaster Handbook. 7th Ed., 1981, p 311
A Scout is Loyal. He is loyal to all to whom loyalty is due: his Scout Leader, this Home, and Parents and Country. – Scout Handbook First Edition, 1911 p. 15
A Scout is Loyal Loyal originally came from the word legal, it meant being faithful and giving allegiance to the constitutional and legal government of his country. It also includes being faithful to persons and Ideals that one is under obligation to defend and support. –Webster’s Dictionary
A Scout is Helpful. A Scout is concerned about other people. He does things willingly for others without pay or reward. – Scout Handbook, Ninth Edition.1979, p. 31
A Scout is Helpful. A Scout cares about other people. He willingly volunteers to help others without expecting payment or reward.
You promise in the Scout Oath to help other people at all times. The Scout Motto asks you to be prepared. The Scout Slogan reminds you to do Good Turn daily. These three ideals work together: you promise to help, you can help because you have learned how, and you do help because you care about people.
Scouts want the best for everyone, and act to make that happen. While a scout can work for pay, he does not expect to receive money for being helpful. A Good Turn that is done in the hope of getting a tip or a favor is not a Good turn at all. – Scout Handbook, Eleventh Edition, 1998, p48
A Scout is Helpful. When a Scout Troop or Patrol is Camping, “ helping” helps. As camp is being set up, and as Scouts go about completing their assigned tasks and individual responsibilities, they can be alert to the needs of others and can lend the helping hand. If one of the newest members is not quite sure of how to do something, one of the more experienced scouts can be of great service by helping him; not by just doing things for him; but by assisting, and kindly teaching. When your job is completed, check with your leaders to see what else needs to be done. Camping with a group of helpful campers is a joy and delight and when everyone pitches in to get things done, there is a lot more time for fun group activities.
A Scout is Helpful. To be helpful is one of the most desirable traits a scout can acquire. Sometimes we may feel that our help is not really needed, or that we are not very good at doing the task at hand, or perhaps that the task is unpleasant and we don’t like doing it; but often the need is for some one to just help, to lend a hand, to make the task easier, or to get the job done more quickly. Sometimes the most beneficial effect of our helping is that it lets someone know that we care about them and appreciate them. So watch for ways to be helpful; at home, at school, or in your neighborhood. Don’t forget to be helpful to the people you care for the most
A Scout is Friendly. He is a friend to all and a brother to every other Scout.
– Scout Handbook, First Edition, 1911, p.15
A Scout is Friendly. A Scout is a friend to all. He is a brother to other scouts. He seeks to understand others. He respects those with ideas and customs other than his own.
– Scout Handbook, Ninth Edition.1979, p. 31
A Scout is Friendly. A Scout is friend to all. He is a brother to other scouts. He offers his friendship to people of all races and nations, and respects them even if their beliefs and customs are different from his own.
Friendship is a mirror. When you have a smile on your face as you greet someone, you will probably receive a smile return. If you are willing to be a good friend, you will find friendship reflected back to you.
Accept who you are, too, and celebrate the fact that you don’t have to be just like everyone else. Real friends will respect the ideas, interests and talents that make you special.
– Scout Handbook, Eleventh Edition, 1998, p. 49
A Scout is Friendly One of the most important assets any boy can have is the ability to make friends. This applies not only when he is young, but when he is a man as well. The capacity to get along well with people, to avoid friction and promote good will and cheerfulness, helps us to make effective use of our abilities. Yes, it is essential to success in practically every walk of life. Every boy, whether he is a Scout or not, ought to cultivate the habit of friendliness in the same way that we do in Scouting, sharing his interests and his good times with all others in the group.
More than this, he should look for opportunities to be helpful to his friends. What is the evidence of friendliness? What is the test of a friendship? The fact that an individual cares for something beyond himself. He is unselfish, he cares for his friends sufficiently to want to be of help to them. His attitude of mind is such that he feels an obligation not only to carry his own pack, but to be anxious at least to help carry some one else's pack.
The friendly boy is cooperative. He does his full share to make a success of any enterprise of which it is a part– not from a selfish motive, but because he is a loyal friend and a member of the group.
Tolerance is involved in friendship, and that wonderful thought in the Twelfth Scout Law, "He . . . respects the convictions of others in matters of custom and religion." The things we have in common with other people are much more important than the things which we have not
On the foundation of friendliness and tolerance the Scout Movement has built a brotherhood that reaches around the world. Every boy, however, can cultivate these qualities for himself and make his own life richer and happier as well as of more service to others.
— Adapted from James E. West’s “Friendly” Editorial in Boys Life.
A Scout is Friendly. A fundamental part of the game of Scouting is that it gives a boy a chance to do worthwhile things with other Scouts as a member of a Patrol or Troop. He is a member of a group to which he acts loyally, in which he should take pride, and for which he will work with other Scouts. More than that, all members of his Troop are on the same footing. Your clothes in your school may, because of economic conditions, be better than the other fellow's, or you may have patches on the seat of your trousers. But as a Scout you are in the Uniform of the Scout. And there you put in operation a tremendous force for building friendships.
I can think of no place where a boy has a better opportunity to practice friendliness than in camp. The whole camp idea is based on team work, putting aside your selfish interests, for the welfare of others. This is one of the rules of the game. The "Buddy System," a plan which has been developed in Scout Camps for the greater safety of swimmers, illustrates the value of friendship. During the swimming period each boy swims with a Buddy. Should he get into difficulty, his Buddy would help him and call others to his assistance. The safety and advantages of the swimming period are more than helped by this simple form of cooperation. In the same way you will find that all your experiences become much more worth while if you share them with your friends. So be a good friend; you will then have good friends and you will all find more happiness.
— Adapted from James E. West’s “Friendly” Editorial in Boys Life.
A Scout is Courteous. An important virtue of a scout is that of Courtesy. A Boy Scout ought to have a command of polite language. He ought to show that he is a true gentleman by doing little things for others – Scout Handbook, First Edition, 1911, p. 9
A Scout is Courteous. The cave-man was all right in his day. He squatted before the fire, snatched his lump of meat, pulled it apart with his hands and teeth. If he saw anything he wanted, he grabbed it. If some one was in his way, he knocked him down. If the person remonstrated, the caveman snarled at him. Often there was a fight.
But who wants a cave-man around to-day? Along with houses, tables and chairs, and knives and forks, we have developed standards of kindness and gentleness and courtesy.
Have you ever noticed that there are some people who everyone seems to like. It is my belief, based on my experience, that it is within the power of practically every one of us to develop the ability to attract people and win friendship by being courteous.
James E. West who was the first Chief Scout Executive, and had worked with thousands of boys in all sorts of situations said: “There is no greater asset that any boy can have than courtesy. Intelligence, skill, perseverance, all these will help you on the road to success. But if your manners are boorish, if you offend people by your rudeness, you are bound to find the going very rough and hard. Other people judge your character by your manners. The boy who knows how to act politely gets the advantage
Yet courtesy is something that every boy can readily acquire. Some boys do not because they think it is sissified! The really big men in the world have always been noted for politeness and courtesy. Haven't you seen rival captains on the athletic field shake hands with each other? That is courtesy. Theodore Roosevelt was noted for his politeness, especially to the poor and unfortunate. Gene Tunney, a world champion boxer, is one of the most courteous gentlemen I have ever known. Winston Churchill is outstanding in his good manners. History is full of such examples.”
Observe the manners of other people whose conduct you admire. In most libraries there is a reference book in which you can look up any questions that puzzle you. Do not overlook the importance of knowing the correct thing to do in certain situations. If you begin early, such knowledge will become second nature to you; and as your treat the people around you with more courtesy and respect, you will find that you will have more friends than you realized.
— Adapted from James E. West’s “Courtesy” Editorial in Boys Life
A Scout is Courteous. Courtesy is something that every boy can acquire. Courtesy is treating other people as we like to be treated. What I have in mind is treating people with that instinctive kindness that springs from the heart. Don't think that courtesy is something on the outside that you can put on and take off as you do your hat. Real courtesy is based on character. It involves self-control, the ability to check an angry word or a hasty action because you don't want to hurt some one else's feelings. It involves tolerance, the realization that the other fellow has a right to his own convictions and should be allowed to further them. If you keep these two things in mind, you will never interrupt in an argument, and never start bawling at the top of your voice when things don’t go your way..
I have said that courtesy is one of the easiest qualities for a boy to develop, as well as the most valuable. Will you start now, to-day, and practice for one week, genuine, unfailing courtesy based on good will toward others? If you will honestly undertake to do this, I guarantee that the results will be so pleasing to you that you will decide to keep it up day by day. Courtesy is a habit that can be developed – by you and you alone. Begin to practice in your own home. Try it out on your younger brothers and sisters. Instead of "bawling them out" just try showing them a little courtesy based on kindness.
If you have the sincere wish, you can easily master the simple rules of polite conduct that make life more pleasant and easier for all of us. If you begin early, such knowledge will become second nature to you; if you do not acquire it while you are young, you may be embarrassed later in life by the lack of it.
Always remember that real courtesy goes deeper than good manners and surface politeness. Real courtesy involves seeking out opportunities for kindness and service. It is not a matter of form but of the heart. It is the basis of our Scout Good Turn
— Adapted from James E. West’s “Courtesy” Editorial in Boys Life
A Scout is Courteous. Manners are of more importance than laws. Upon them, in a great measure, the laws depend. They give their whole form and color to our lives. --BURKE
A Scout is Courteous. A Scout is polite to everyone regardless of age or position. He knows that using good manners make it easier for people to get along together.
“A Scout is courteous” is another way of saying “A Scout is a gentleman.” Open a door for someone. Offer you seat on a bus or in a busy waiting room to an elderly person, a pregnant woman, or anyone who needs it more than you do. Greet others with a firm handshake. Do you share of family chores in a pleasant way. Say “Please” and “Thank you” or “Pardon me” and “I’m sorry” whenever appropriate.
Being courteous shows that you are aware of the feelings of others. The habits of courtesy that you practice as a Scout will stay with you throughout your life.
– Scout Handbook, Eleventh Edition, 1998, p. 49
A Scout is Kind. A Scout knows there is strength in being gentle. He treats others as he wants to be treated. Without good reason he does not harm or kill any living thing. Kindness is a sign of true strength. To be kind you must look beyond yourself and try to understand the needs of others. Take time to listen to people and imagine being in their place. It should never be difficult to show kindness to those in need and to those who cannot defend themselves. What can be harder is being kind to people you don't know or with whom you disagree. We live in a world that has more than its share of anger, fear, and war. Extending kindness to those around you and having compassion for all people is a powerful antidote to the poisons of hatred and violence. Kindness is not limited to how we feel about people. Be kind to pets and wildlife and this wonder earth we have been given. – Scout Handbook, Eleventh Edition, 1998, p. 450
A Scout is Kind. In the first Scout book is a story of a King who had a son whom he loved with all his heart; so he gave the Prince every thing his hear desired. And yet in spite of this, the young prince was unhappy and wore a frown every where he went. By and by a magician came to the court and on seeing that constant frown on the boy, s face, said to the King, “I can make your boy happy and turn his frown into a smile. “Alright” said the king, “and whatever you ask I will do.” So the Magician took the boy into a private room and with a white liquid wrote something of a piece of white paper; he then gave the prince a candle and told him to warm the paper and read what was written. The prince did what he was told. The white letters turned to blue and the prince read these words: “Do a kindness to some one every day.” So the prince followed the magicians advice and became the happiest boy in the kingdom. This story illustrates a truth. If we find ways to be kind every day and make it a habit to always be kind and of service to others, our character will be such that we will find true happiness.
– from the Scout Handbook, First Edition, 1911, p.245
A Scout is Kind. He is friend to animals. He will not kill nor hurt any living creature needlessly, but will strive to save and protects all harmless life. – Scout Handbook, First Edition, 1911, p.15
A Scout is Obedient. A Scout follows the rules of his family, school, and troop. He obeys the laws of his community and country. If he thinks these rules and laws are unfair, he tries to have them changed in an orderly manner rather than disobey them.
Your family members care for you and want you to be safe. Help them out by following the rules set for you by your parents or guardians. There are others besides family members to whom you owe obedience. When teachers give you homework, it is usually because the assignments will help you learn. When an employer gives you a task to be done, it is usually for the good of the business. When your Scout leader asks you to do a job, it is because your efforts will help your patrol and troop. Being obedient also means following city, state, and national laws.
Obedience must be guided by good judgment. If someone tells you to cheat, steal, or do something else you know is wrong, you must say no. Trust your own beliefs and obey your conscience when you know you are right. – Scout Handbook, Eleventh Edition, 1998, p. 50
A Scout is Obedient— Have you watched airplanes flying high overhead? They travel through the clear blue sky, through banks of clouds, across rivers and mountain chains, over cities and fields, There is drama and romance in their magnificent performance. Free as a bird they seem, flying like a bird high in the sky.
Free, yes, but the secret of their freedom, as of all freedom, is Obedience. Obedience to laws; to laws of nature, laws of mankind, and laws of mechanics.
It is a wonderful example of Obedience. These pilots, couldn't even take their ships off the ground if their eyes and hands and feet were not trained to Obedience.
What is this thing called Obedience? It is the building up of a self-discipline that is the very essence of performance.
As the pilot's hand on the control stick and his foot on the rudder bar are trained to such obedience that their action seems an unconscious reaction, so your obedience is building up mental discipline that will stand you in good stead all your life.
It is the habit of Obedience or discipline of mind and actions in little things that gives one that personal quality which makes possible the doing of big or worth-while things.
Obedience and discipline are things which we all have to learn. The boy who is fortunate enough to learn them in his youth, and applies them to his daily routines at home and at school, is spared some very hard knocks when he grows older.
The thing is to cooperate happily in the process which develops discipline and obedience in the doing of small things while we are young. Then, when our turn comes to do big things, discipline will help to insure accomplishment. Often a boy must obey as a matter of duty when he would rather be doing something else. When he has learned to obey orders cheerfully, he is well along on the road to a life full of satisfaction and usefulness.
— Adapted from James E. West’s “Obedience” Editorial in Boys Life.
A Scout is Cheerful. He smiles whenever he can. His obedience to orders is prompt and cheery. He never shirks nor grumbles at hardship.
– Scout Handbook, First Edition, 1911, p.15
A Scout is Cheerful. A Scout looks for the bright side of life. He cheerfully does tasks that come his way. He tries to make others happy.
Some people grumble when they are doing homework or losing a game. They might become upset if the weather turns bad on a Scout hike or if the trail is long and dusty. Others are cheerful. They jump at opportunities, and their sense of joy makes everything easier for them and for those around them.
You know that you cannot always have your own way. Now and then you have do things that you don't like very much. A cheerful attitude can make the time go by more quickly, and can even turn a task you don’t like into a lot of fun.
You have the choice of whether or not to enjoy the experiences and challenges of life. You can complain if you want to and be grumpy all the time, but it is easier and much more enjoyable to decide from the start to be cheerful whenever you can. Cheerfulness is infectious--the smile on your face can lift the spirits of those around you.
– Scout Handbook, Eleventh Edition, 1998, p. 51
A Scout is Cheerful. As the Scout Law intimates, He must never go about with a sulky air. He must always be bright and smiling, and as the humorist says, “Must always see the doughnut and not the hole.” A bright face and a cheery work spread like sunshine from one to another. It is a Scout’s duty to be sunshine–maker in the world. – Scout Handbook First Edition, 1911 p. 9
A Scout is Cheerful. One of the biggest assets a Scout can have is a sincere smile.. A little smile does a lot of good. A smile is the Scout’s Good Turn to the world. When you smile something happens in your own heart and you pass this on to others. Practice cheerfulness, be positive, and smile. This is not a difficult thing to do. Begin now, today. Resolve for one whole day to practice cheerfulness and smiling. Then keep it up for one day more–and then another–until you acquire the habit. You will enrich your personality and help spread sunshine and happiness. A smile is a part of the Scout Law. – From an Editorial in Boy’s Life by James E. West
A Scout is Thrifty. He does not wantonly destroy property. He works faithfully, wastes nothing, and makes the best use of his opportunities. He saves his money so that he may pay his own way, be generous to those in need, and helpful to worthy objects.
– Scout Handbook, First Edition, 1911, p.15, 16
A Scout is Thrifty. A Scout works to pay his way and to help others. He saves for unforseen needs. He protects and conserves natural resources. He carefully uses time and property. – Scout Handbook, Ninth Edition.1979, p. 31
A Scout is Brave. He has the courage to face danger in spite of fear and has to stand up for the right against the coaxing of friends or the jeers or threats of enemies, and defeat does not down him . – Scout Handbook, First Edition, 1911, p.16
A Scout is Brave. A Scout can face danger even if he is afraid. He has the courage to stand for what he thinks is right even if others laugh at him or threaten him.
– Scout Handbook, Ninth Edition.1979, p. 31
A Scout is Clean. He keeps clean in body and thought, stands for clean speech, clean sport, clean habits, and travels with a clean crowd. – Scout Handbook, First Edition, 1911, p.16
A Scout is Clean. A Scout keeps his body and mind fit and clean. He goes around with those who believe in living by these same ideals. He helps keep his home and community clean. – Scout Handbook, Ninth Edition.1979, p. 31
A Scout is Reverent. He is reverent toward God. He is faithful in his religious duties and respects the convictions of others in matters of custom and religion.
– Scout Handbook, First Edition, 1911, p.16
A Scout is Reverent. When Scouting came to America in 1910, James E. West was on a committee whose duty it was to make sure that scouting fit the needs of American youth. This is what he wrote of the work of that committee. “When we developed our Scout Oath and Scout Law, I gave special attention to the Twelfth Scout Law so as to be sure that it was a part of the obligation of every boy that comes into Scouting. A group of us were entrusted with the task of studying the English Law and developing something that would meet conditions in America. Our meetings covered a period of four months. On some occasions we were in session every day of the week. One of the things of which we were most deeply convinced was the need for what is covered by the declaration of the Twelfth Scout Law: "A Scout is Reverent. He is reverent towards God. He is faithful in his religious duties, and respects the convictions of others in matters of custom and religion."
It is our belief, that what the boys of America need most to-day is character development ...they need a strengthening of the religious influence in their lives. The boys of America can not grow into the kind of manhood gives them moral fiber and moral character, without the help and power of God.
The boy or man who has a truly religious attitude of mind is conscious that he has responsibilities. History and literature in America have overemphasized the fact that America is the land of the free. America is the land of opportunity, but this opportunity brings obligations. We must be vigilant and keep that reverent attitude of mind that will regard citizenship as a responsibility and not a privilege alone.
“Reverence toward God gives the basis for a boy's development, so that he is equipped with a power within himself to know what is right and the motives for doing it; equipped within himself with a power of self-control, so that he can do the thing that is right because his judgment tells him it is right, and refrain from doing the thing that is wrong, because it is wrong. If every boy who reads this message will try to put this Twelfth Scout Law into practice in his daily life, he will soon develop right habits of conduct, moral fiber, character, and self-control, and add to his equipment for a happy as well as a useful and worth-while life of service and satisfaction.
How wonderful it would be if every American, yes, if people the world over would accept and follow the Twelfth Scout Law which so well epitomizes the American Way--the way of Washington, the way of Lincoln, the way of all the immortal multitude of patriots who held fast to faith in God as the sheet-anchor of our liberties.
So near is grandeur to our dust,
So near is God to man
When duty whispers, lo thou must,
The youth replies, I can. - EMERSON
– From an Editorial in Boy’s Life by James E. West
Do a good turn Daily. The final and chief test of a Scout is the doing of a good turn every day, quietly and without boasting. This is the proof of the Scout. It is practical religion, and a boy honors God best when he helps others most. A boy may wear all the scout uniforms made, all the scout badges ever manufactured, know all the woodcraft, all the campcraft, Scoutcraft and other activities of boy scouts, and yet never be a real Boy Scout. To be a real Boy Scout means the doing of a good turn every day with a proper motive; and if this be done, the boy has a right to be classed with the great Scouts that have been of service to their country.
– Scout Handbook First Edition, 1911 p. 10
Do a good turn daily: The Real Test–The final test of a good Scout is in his doing of Daily Good Turns, quietly and with out boasting. All the uniforms ever made, decorated with all the badges, do not make the wearer a Scout.
A Good Turn is an extra kindness and service–something more than what courtesy and good manners would do. To answer a traveler’s inquiry is not a good turn, it is a natural courtesy, but to actually go to conduct him, that would be extending to him more courtesy than he had asked.
The real secret of doing a good turn is in an attitude of mind. The Scout who cares about other people/s comfort, happiness, or welfare finds hundreds of chances to get a thrill out of being helpful to others. Soon this tends to become a habit and marks the Scout as a real citizen.
– Scout Handbook, First Edition, 1940 printing, p. 25.
The Good Turn
(Hold up an ordinary mechanical pencil with the lead turned in so it will not write. Use this pencil as if writing on a sheet of paper and then hold up the paper to show that there is no writing on it.)
Scouts, this pencil won't write. It doesn't leave a mark on this sheet of paper. But if we give it a good turn (at this point turn the pencil so the lead comes out), it now becomes useful and will leave a mark on a sheet of paper.
The good turn we gave the pencil made it useful. The Good Turns we do in our daily living are the things that make us useful. The Good Turn enables us to be useful in our home, school, community, and nation. The Good Turn raises us above the ordinary. It makes our lives worthwhile. — Scoutmaster Handbook. 7th Ed., 1981, p 315
Do a Good Turn Daily, with 2 Pennies glued back to back with J B Weld
I have 2 pennies here glued back to back. They are bright and shiny. One is a 1999 penny the last year of the 19 Hundreds; the other is a year 2000 penny the first year of the of the 2 thousands. [they are both of the same century and millennium]. [Or use 2000 and 2001 the last of one millennium and the first of the next]
They are glued together to keep me from spending them or just setting them aside. I carry them in my left pocket to remind me to do a Good Turn Daily. After I do a good turn, I then transfer them to right pocket until the next morning.
I would now like to talk about the number 2000. How many years does it take to accumulate 2000 days? 2 times 365 is 730. Adding 365to 730 takes us to 1095. This tells us that 3 years is longer than 1000 days by about 3 months. It turns out that 2000 days is about 5 ½ years.
What can a you young men accomplish in 2000 days or 5 ½ years?
Consider the case of a young man who becomes a scout right after his eleventh birthday. 2000 days or 5 ½ years later he would be 16 ½ years old. He could very well be an Eagle Scout with Palms. What growth he can experience while he goes through 2000 days of Good Turns. And that is just the date on one of the coins. If we add the dates from the two coins together we get 4000. Four Thousand days is very close to 11 years.
Look and see where this same young man is after 4000 days of good turns. At age 22, he would have been doing A Good Turn Daily for half of his life. He would likely be a very mature young man. He may have attended a Trade School, College or University program. He may be Married.
What a great thing it would be, to have a pattern of Service–to–others well established because of his practice of doing a Good Turn Daily.
I hope and pray, as your fiend and Scout leader, for this blessing in the life of each of you young men; and I encourage each of you to establish now the Habit of doing a Good Turn Daily.
Do a good turn Daily (Hold up some money.)
All of you recognize this and know that it will buy certain things. It can purchase a candy bar, a stamp, or a little time on a parking meter. Add more money and you can do bigger things.
However, there are many things that money, no matter how much you have, cannot buy. Some of these include the love of your family, freedom, friendships, and the great out-of-doors.
You can't place a value on Scouting, either. We couldn't pay salaries enough to get all the help we have. Nor could we place a value on the memorable experiences, the camping trips, the hikes, the fun of campfires.
People can't pay us for the Good Turns we do, and isn't that a good thing? Such payment would take away the good feeling that we have when we do something for others.
Remember, this money can buy many things, but not the things that really count in human happiness and dignity. — Scoutmaster Handbook. 7th Ed., 1981, p 314
Courtesy, Kindness and Doing a Good Turn Daily— One thing that should be noticed about good men throughout history is that they were willing to work to improve themselves and to improve the daily lot of others, and that they were always ready to do a good turn to someone. Our modern civilization gives the Boy Scouts of America an opportunity to go out and do their good turn daily for others in thousand ways that will benefit our American life the most. And in it all will come the satisfying feeling that they were doing just as much and perhaps a great deal more than the iron–clad men of the round–table, or the buckskin clothed scouts of the frontier, in making their country a little safer and a little better place to live in. Chivalry and courtesy and being a gentleman mean just as much now as they ever did, and there is a greater demand in these days to live pure, to speak true, and to help others by a good turn daily than ever before in the world’s history. — Boy Scout Handbook, first edition, 1911, p.251
The Good Turn— All day long the great city of London had been in the hard grip of a dense, heavy fog. Traffic crept cautiously and slowly. Street lights had been ordered on by the police before noon, and now night was coming on. Danger lurked on every hand because “going was difficult even for the native.
William D. Boyce, Chicago publisher and traveler, was seeking a difficult address in old London. A boy approached him, and asked, “May I be of service to you?” Mr. Boyce told him where he wanted to go and the boy saluted and said, “Come with me, Sir,” and forthwith led him to the desired spot. Like the typical American tourist, Mr. Boyce reached in his pocket and offered the boy a shilling. The boy promptly replied, “No, Sir, I am a Scout. Scouts do not accept tips for Courtesies.” The man in surprise murmured, “What do your say?” The Scout repeated and then added, “Don’t you know about the Scouts?” Mr Boyce said, “Tell me about them.” The boy did and added, “Their office is very near, Sir. I’ll be glad to show you the way.”
Mr. Boyce had to complete his errand first. The lad waited, however, and then let him to the office of Lord Baden-Powell, founder of British Boy Scout Association, where information about the Scout Movement was gladly given. Mr. Boyce was tremedously impressed and gathered all available information, brought it bact to the United States.
On February 8 of the next year (1910), Mr. Boyce and others interested in boys and citizenship, formally incorporated the Boy Scouts of America. This day is observed each year as the birthday of Scouting in the United States.
This Good Turn to a stranger brought Scouting to the United Sates (1909), and to millions of American Boys
On May 1, 1926, at Washington, D.C., the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America honored this Unknown English Scout with the award of the “Bronze Buffalo,” a large statue of a buffalo similar to the Silver Buffalo Award, for distinguished service to boyhood. On it is this simple but eloquent inscription: “To the Unknown Scout whose Faithfulness in the Performance of the ‘Daily Good Turn’ Brought the Scout Movement To The United States of America”. This Statue is set up in Gilwell Park, England, and was received by the Prince of Wales on behalf of the British Boy Scouts.
This Good Turn is in no way unlike millions of Good Turns done daily by the Boy Scouts in the United States and the World. — Handbook for Boys, 1940, pp 17–19
Be Prepared– It was at the annual county fair, and farmers from all over the county had come to exhibit their produce and crops; and to hire farm hands for the coming year. One prosperous farmer approached one husky lad who was seeking employment, and asked: “What can you do?” “I can sleep when the wind blows.”
With such and odd answer, the farmer turned to walk away, irritated at the answer of the young man. But he turned again and asked: “What did you say?”
“I can sleep when the wind blows.”
“Well,” said the farmer, “I don’t know what that means, but I’m going to hire you anyway.”
Winter came, followed by the usual spring, and the new hired hand didn’t show any spectacular signs of extra work, but filled the function of his calling as most other would have done.
And then late one evening in early summer the farmer noticed a strong wind coming up. de dashed to the bunk house to arouse him to see that all the stock was properly cared for. There he found the hired hand sound asleep. and try as he would, he could not awaken the young man. Giving up in disgust, the farmer ran do what he could to care for the stock.
But to his surprise, the farmer found all his animals in their places, and the doors and the windows securely closed. He found that the haystacks had been crisscrossed with heavy wires, anticipating such a night, and that it would weather the storm.
Then the farmer knew what his hired hand meant when he gave his only qualification: “I can sleep when the wind blows.”
The Scout Law in Daily Life– Practically the entire life of every Scout will be lived with other people. Everywhere he goes, he will meet people and have to deal with them. In a very large measure, his own success in life will hinge upon his ability to get along with people—honest business is just that.
How does the Scout Law figure in all this? Strange to say, most people he meets will tend to mirror back the spirit and attitude the Scout sends out to them.
The Scout Law is of especial importance as it outlines how one should live and act to get along successfully with people—to merit their respect and confidence by applying the age-old Golden Rule—treating them as one would like to be treated.
— Scout Handbook, First Edition, 1940 printing, p. 33
HABITS— EVERY day of our lives we are forming habits. Some of them are desirable, some are undesirable. But good or bad, your habits represent–YOU! There is nothing more binding than a habit.
We also form habits of mind, though we are often unaware that we are developing them,. If we have developed the right sort of habits, our actions follow automatically; and the results are worth while to ourselves and to others
We have it within our power to determine what type of habits we form. Every boy can say to himself, "I will be what I want to be." The great law underlying character formation and character building is simple and natural. Your every action is accompanied by a thought. To a great extent, your thoughts determine your actions. You can choose which thoughts you allow to remain in your mind; the effort to control your thoughts will inevitably influence your actions. Each time it takes less effort to produce a desirable action, and in time, the right sort of habit becomes fixed.
The best way to get an undesirable thought out of your mind is to put in some worth–while thought instead. This in time becomes the dominating thought and is more likely to lead to desirable actions, which in time will lead to desirable habits. In time a boy may acquire the habit of cheerfulness– or he may allow habit to make him irritable. Habit can make him punctual and orderly, or tardy and slovenly. It comes down to the matter of right thinking, and building correct habits. — Adapted from James E. West’s “Habit Editorial in Boys Life.
Scout Spirit — An Old Indian was sitting talking to his Grandson; He said :
“I have two wolves in me. For many years each has each been trying to shape me to be as he is.
One is a terrible ugly beast; he is mean and full of hate; he is flattering, devious and sneaky; he cannot be trusted; he is cruel; he is aggressive, surly, and unpleasant to be around; he gets pleasure in inflicting pain and hurting others. If he gets control, he destroys that which is good.
The other wolf is full of love and kindness; he is friendly; he is protective of things that are good; he is loyal and helpful; he is straightforward; he is open and honest; he can be trusted.
I tell you ths may grandson, because you also have two wolves in you. And each is trying to entice you to be as he is.”
The Grandson asked: “Which one will win?”
The Grandfather answered: “It depends on which one you feed.”