Sunday, July 25, 2010

On My Honor...

By: Bastiatarian

My 17-year old son recently had his Eagle Board of Review and became an Eagle Scout. Although I did not advance past the rank of Star when I was a Scout, over the decades since then I have been involved in Scouting as a leader in a variety of capacities. I have also tried to encourage my own boys to live the principles of Scouting.

Boy Scouts are expected to adhere to the Boy 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. 

 As indicated in the Scout Oath, Boy Scouts are also expected to live in accordance with the Scout Law:

A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.

The Boy Scout Handbook elaborates on each element of the Law.
A Scout is Trustworthy.
A Scout tells the truth. He is honest, and he keeps his promises. People can depend on him.
A Scout is Loyal.
A Scout is true to his family, friends, Scout leaders, school, and nation.
A Scout is Helpful.
A Scout cares about other people. He willingly volunteers to help others without expecting payment or reward.
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.
A Scout is 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.
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.
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.
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.
A Scout is 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.
A Scout is 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.
A Scout is 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.
A Scout is Reverent.
A Scout is reverent toward God. He is faithful in his religious duties. He respects the beliefs of others.
As I have mentioned, Boy Scouts are expected to live in accordance with these principles. Whether they are active in Scouting or not, I expect my own sons to live that way.

What do we expect of our elected officials? How many members of Congress live the principles of the Scout law? How many are truly trustworthy? Thrifty? Clean? In general, politicians have very few if any of these qualities. For the most part, we have sent our worst and stupidest, our least honorable and least capable, to Washington, D.C.

Isn't it about time that we held our elected officials to the same standard that is successfully upheld by millions of adolescent boys across the nation?


  1. My congratulations to your son. I was only in Scouts a short time when our troop merged with another and I chose not to follow. Still, I look on those days fondly and feel that they helped make me a better person. It sounds like you've done a good job of guiding your son, so congratulations to you also.

  2. I can only second Gorges sentiments. Congrats to your son and you as well for being the guiding light in your sons life.

  3. Thank you both. I can't take too much credit. He's made good decisions on his own, and is a far better young man than I was at his age.


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