A Scout is Obedient

“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 disobeying them.”

Being obedient is more than just blindly doing what is asked.    It is understanding what is being asked, why it is being asked, and then seeing if what is being asked follows with the rest of the Scout Oath and Law.

Being obedient is also about doing what you know is right – whether it is following rules or completing a task – without being asked.  Proactively doing what is right, or what is needed, shows that a Scout truly understands their role in being part of a group.

Continue reading “A Scout is Obedient”

Friendly, Courteous & Kind ?

I’ve often wondered about the twelve words Lord Baden Powell chose for the Scout Law – particularly words like Friendly, Courteous and Kind, which seem to be synonyms.

Are they redundant?  Are they interconnected?  Has our modern English lost some details originally found in the words 100 years ago?  So, I decided to look into it.

I couldn’t find an online dictionary with definitions from 100 years ago.  And when I looked in current online dictionaries, each word was often used used to describe the others.

So, I moved on to Scouting resources.  In looking at the descriptions from Scouts BSA, we see these explanations:

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.

Courteous: A Scout is polite to everyone regardless of age or position. He knows good manners make it easier for people to get along together.

Kind: A Scout understands there is strength in being gentle. He treats others as he wants to be treated. He does not hurt or kill harmless things without reason.

I often use the ascoutis.org website for my Cubmaster Minutes.  They add these additional insights: Continue reading “Friendly, Courteous & Kind ?”

A Scout is Friendly

A Scout is friendly. A Scout is a 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.

If a Scout pre-judges someone on their skin color, language, clothes, looks, family name, or other superficial aspect, then he is not following the Scout Law.

Friendship is a mirror. When you have a smile on your face as you greet someone, you will probably receive a smile in return. If you are willing to be a good friend, you will find friendship reflected back to you.

Last week I was at Kroger getting gas.  A man who looked nothing like me pulled up on the opposite side of the pump I was using.  As he came around to pump his gas, I smiled at him and said, “Good morning”.  That simple gesture brought an instant smile to his face.

He greeted me back and began to pump his gas.  As soon as he had his pump set, he came back and struck up a conversation with me.  We chatted about the weather that day (it was hot), what weather we hoped for that summer (cool), and what we each had planned for Mother’s Day.

We said goodbye and each went our separate ways, both a little brighter and happier for the conversation.  A little friendliness can bring big happiness to both you and the people around you.

A Scout is Loyal

This month’s point of the Scout Law is “Loyal”.  I was having a hard figuring out how to discuss “Loyal” at our recent Pack meeting.  Usually we think of loyalty as “fealty”.  What I came to realize, was that it also meant “dedication”.

A “loyal fan” is someone who is dedicated to their team – win or lose.  They show up to the games.  They cheer.  They offer their support, and indeed their loyalty to that team, and its players.

For our Scouts, “loyalty” to Scouting means the same thing.  We want our Scouts, their parents, and other adult leaders to show up.  To participate.  To be involved. To be dedicated.

As Scouters we desire this loyalty not to just our events and activities, but to the ideals and principles of Scouting itself.  We desire a continual mindfulness and intentionality to the Scout Oath and the Scout Law. Continue reading “A Scout is Loyal”