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Scout Basics

Scout Oath

On my honor
I will do my best
To do my duty to God
and my country
and to obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong,
mentally awake,
and morally straight
.

And What Each Line Means:

On my honor . . .    By giving your word, you are promising to be guided by the ideals of the Scout Oath.

I will do my best . . .  Try hard to live up to the points of the Scout Oath. Measure your achievements against your own high standards and don't be influenced by peer pressure or what other people do.

To do my duty to God . . .   Your family and religious leaders teach you about God and the ways you can serve. You do your duty to God by following the wisdom of those teachings every day and by respecting and defending the rights of others to practice their own beliefs.

and my country . . .   Help keep the United States a strong and fair nation by learning about our system of government and your responsibilities as a citizen and future voter.  America is made up of countless families and communities. When you work to improve your community and your home, you are serving your country. Natural resources are another important part of America's heritage worthy of your efforts to understand, protect, and use wisely. What you do can make a real difference.

and to obey the Scout Law; . . .  The twelve points of the Scout Law are guidelines that can lead you toward wise choices. When you obey the Scout Law, other people will respect you for the way you live, and you will respect yourself.

To help other people at all times; . . .  There are many people who need you. Your cheerful smile and helping hand will ease the burden of many who need assistance. By helping out whenever possible, you are doing your part to make this a better world.

To keep myself physically strong, . . .  Take care of your body so that it will serve you well for an entire lifetime. That means eating nutritious foods, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly to build strength and endurance. it also means avoiding harmful drugs, alcohol, tobacco, and anything else that can harm your health.

mentally awake, . . .   Develop your mind both in the classroom and outside of school. Be curious about everything around you, and work hard to make the most of your abilities. With an inquiring attitude and the willingness to ask questions, you can learn much about the exciting world around you and your role in it.

and morally straight. . .    To be a person of strong character, your relationships with others should be honest and open. You should respect and defend the rights of all people. Be clean in your speech and actions, and remain faithful in your religious beliefs. The values you practice as a Scout will help you shape a life of virtue and self-reliance.


Scout Law:

A Scout is...

  • Trustworthy,
  • Loyal,
  • Helpful,
  • Friendly,
  • Courteous,
  • Kind,
  • Obedient,
  • Cheerful,
  • Thrifty,
  • Brave,
  • Clean,
  • and Reverent.

Definitions


Trustworthy - A Scout tells the truth. He is honest, and he keeps his promises. People can depend on him.

Loyal - A Scout is true to his family, friends, Scout leaders, school, and nation.

Helpful - A Scout cares about other people. He willingly volunteers to help others without expecting payment or reward.

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.

Courteous - A Scout is polite to everyone regardless of age or position. He knows that using good manners makes it easier for people to get along.

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.

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.

Cheerful - A Scout looks for the bright side of life. He cheerfully does tasks that come his way. He tries to make others happy.

Thrifty - A Scout works to pay his own way and to help others. He saves for the future. He protects and conserves natural resources. He carefully uses time and property.

Brave - A Scout can face danger although he is afraid. He has the courage to stand for what he thinks is right even if others laugh at him or threaten him.

Clean - A Scout keeps his body and mind fit and clean. He chooses the company of those who live by high standards. He helps keep his home and community clean.

Reverent - A Scout is reverent toward God. He is faithful in his religious duties. He respects the beliefs of others.



Scout Salute

The Scout salute shows respect. Use it to salute the flag of the United States of America. You may also salute a Scout leader or another Scout.

Give the Scout salute by forming the Scout sign with your right hand and then bringing that hand upward until your forefinger touches the brim of your hat or the arch of your right eyebrow. The palm of your hand should not show.

Our Scout salute and handshake are ancient signs of bravery and respect. During the colonial period of our country, many men carried weapons for protection. Sometimes when they met one another, there was an uneasy moment as each man watched the others right hand. If it went to his sword or his gun, there might be a fight. but if it went to his hat, it was a salute of friendship and respect.



Scout Motto

"Be Prepared !"

In various languages, it has been used by millions of Scouts around the world since 1907.

Of course, it is no coincidence that this motto can be shortened to B. P. and Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of the movement, used to shorten his surname into B.P.

In the third part of Scouting for Boys dated February 12, 1908, Robert Baden-Powell explains the meaning of the phrase:

The Scout Motto is: BE PREPARED which means you are always in a state of readiness in mind and body to do your DUTY.
Be Prepared in Mind by having disciplined yourself to be obedient to every order, and also by having thought out beforehand any accident or situation that might occur, so that you know the right thing to do at the right moment, and are willing to do it.
Be Prepared in Body by making yourself strong and active and able to do the right thing at the right moment, and do it.


Scout Slogan

"Do A Good Turn Daily"

Some Good Turns are big - saving a life, helping out after floods or other disasters, recycling community trash, working with your patrol on conservation projects.

But Good Turns are often small, thoughtful acts - helping a child cross a busy street, going to the store for an elderly neighbor, cutting back brush that is blocking a sign, doing something special for a brother or sister, welcoming a new student to your school.

A Good Turn is more than simple good manners. It is a special act of kindness.


Scout Handshake


Our Scout salute and handshake are ancient signs of bravery and respect. During the colonial period of our country, many men carried weapons for protection.

Sometimes when they met one another, there was an uneasy moment as each man watched the others right hand. If it went to his sword or his gun, there might be a fight. but if it went to his hat, it was a salute of friendship and respect.

The left handshake comes to us from the Ashanti warriors whom Lord Baden-Powell, the founder of Scouting, knew almost 100 years ago in West Africa. He saluted them with his right hand, but the Ashanti chiefs offered their left hands and said, "In our land only the bravest of the brave shake hands with the left hand, because to do so we must drop our shields and our protection."

The Ashantis knew of Baden-Powell's bravery because they had fought against him and with him, and they were proud to offer the left hand of bravery.

When you use the Scout salute and handshake, remember that they are signs of respect and courage.

The left hand is also closer to the heart...

Scout Sign

The Scout sign shows you are a Scout. Give it each time you recite the Scout Oath and Law. When a Scout or Scouter raises the Scout sign, all Scouts should make the sign, too, and come to silent attention







 

Scout Emblem



 
  1 - The three-point design of the top half is like the north point of an old sailor's compass. This shows that a Scout is able to point the right way in life as truly as the compass points it in the field.
Three Points
  2 - The three points of the trefoil are like the three fingers used in the Scout sign. They stand for the three parts of the Scout Oath: duty to  God & country; duty to others; duty to yourself. 
  Eagle and Shield

 3
- The eagle and shield, national emblem of the US, stand for freedom and a Scouter's readiness to defend that freedom.
  Two Stars

 4
- The two stars stand for truth and knowledge of the Scouting movement. They guide you by night and suggest a Scout's outdoor life
  Scroll

 5
- The scroll is turned up at the ends to remind us of the corners of a Scout's mouth raised in a smile as he does his duty. The Scout motto is printed across the scroll.
  Knot

 6
- The knot attached to the bottom of the scroll represents the Scout slogan, Do a Good Turn Daily. 

 Scout Uniform


“…putting on the uniform does not make a fellow a Scout, but putting on the uniform is a sign to the world that one has taken the Scout obligations and folks expect Scout-like acts from one wearing it.”

Excerpt from The Handbook for Boys, 1927

Field Duty Uniform (Commonly known as Class A)

  • Official short sleeve shirt
  • Shoulder Loops 
  • Troop 460 Numerals 
  • World Crest 
  • Patrol Patch
  • Official scout pants or shorts 
  • Official BSA belt
  • Troop 460 cap
  • Boy Scout Handbook 

Field Activity Uniform (Commonly Class B)

  • Troop 460 Field Activity T-shirt
  • Troop 460 cap 
  • Boy Scout Handbook 

The Outdoor Code

As an American I will do my best to...
Be clean in my outdoor manners

I will treat the outdoors as a heritage.
I will take care of it for myself and others.
I will keep my trash and garbage out of lakes, streams, fields, woods, and roadways.
Be careful with fire

I will prevent wildfire.
I will build my fires only where they are appropriate.
When I have finished using a fire, I will make sure it is cold out.
I will leave a clean fire ring, or remove all evidence of my fire.
Be considerate in the outdoors

I will treat public and private property with respect.
I will use low-impact methods of hiking and camping.
Be conservation minded

I will learn how to practice good conservation of soil, waters, forests, minerals, grasslands, wildlife, and energy.
I will urge others to do the same.


Pledge of Allegiance

"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
The Pledge of Allegiance of the United States is an oath of loyalty to the national flag and the republic of the United States of America, originally composed by Francis Bellamy in 1892. The Pledge has been modified four times since then, with the most recent change adding the words "under God" in 1954. Congressional sessions open with the swearing of the Pledge, as do government meetings at local levels, meetings held by the Knights of Columbus, Royal Rangers, Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of the USA, Fraternal Order of Eagles, Freemasons, Toastmasters International and their concordant bodies, other organizations, and many sporting events.