A Boy Scout Comes Clean


I spent several years as a Boy Scout … about 50 years ago. Great memories. I loved the camaraderie, and I especially loved the camping trips, hikes, canoeing sunsets, campfires, jamborees … Wow!

At my first jamboree of many dozens of scout troops, my scoutmaster sent me to the other side of the camp to get a sky-hook from a troop over there. Unfortunately, when I got there, that scoutmaster had already lent his sky-hook to a troop way back over near where I’d come from. Oh, well. I got there, but it turned out THAT scoutmaster had also lent out the sky-hook … I think you’re beginning to get the picture.

After a couple hours I returned to camp, apologizing to my scoutmaster because I had no sky-hook. He was very forgiving, however, because they’d gotten along without it. What he really needed at the moment was some black whitewash. He heard that a troop way the heck over there had it, if I would just go get it … so off I went.

Those were definitely the good old days.

Anyway, recalling some of these memories, I looked up one of my all-time favorite written pieces. You’ve probably read it before, but I’ll share it here now, because it’s a good one to bring back into current vision from time to time.

Boy Scout Oath, Law, Motto, and Slogan

Scout Oath (or Promise)

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.

Scout Law

A Scout tells the truth. He keeps his promises. Honesty is part of his code of conduct. People can depend on him.

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

A Scout is concerned about other people. He does things willingly for others without pay or reward.

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.

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

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.

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.

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

A Scout works to pay his way and to help others. He saves for unforeseen needs. He protects and conserves natural resources. He carefully uses time and property.

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 or threaten him.

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.

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

Scout Motto: Be Prepared

Scout Slogan: Do a Good Turn Daily


In my estimation, one of the all-time great pieces of writing.

Richard Dennis