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Should "Clean" be replaced in the Scout Oath? If so, with what?

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  • #16
    Originally posted by DWise1_AOL View Post
    Also note that CLEAN, like REVERENT, are themselves additions to the original Law. I own a reprint of BSA's first Handbook for Boys, but it's packed away and I cannot get to it right now. However, as I recall, those additional points to Scout Law already existed in BSA's version of Scouting and hence have been part of BSA-style Scouting from the beginning. All I'm stating here is that any comparison between UK Scouting and BSA Scouting needs to keep that history in mind.

    My opinion is that this point of the Law should be retained, but only so long as its proper interpretation is observed and it's not used for BSA political purposes. The same as with REVERENT, which does not require the exclusion of atheists and which does explicitly exclude the outright bigotry that we see so many Scouters express.
    I have a copy of the 1911 Handbook (an original, not a reprint). Pg 10 lists the twelve points as an "abbreviated form of the Scout Law". It is this form to which the scouts "are to commit to memory". Pg 15 Provides the laws "which relate to the BSA, are the latest and most up to date". 11. 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.


    • DWise1_AOL
      DWise1_AOL commented
      Editing a comment
      There you go. It was with BSA pretty much from the beginning if not actually from the beginning. It was also not with Lord Baden-Powell's original Scout Law, so it is a USA addition (meaning the United States of America with its capitol in the District of Columbia and not the other four "United States" in America).

      I think the point still remains that BSA had interpreted far more into the point of the Law than they should have. And my personal opinion that we should retain that point of the Law, properly interpreted.

      Congrats on owning an original 1911 Handbook. Very valuable. I had also learned a lot from my father's 1944 Bluejacket's Manual which I still own and treasure. You must have had an ancestor who was active in Scouting back then.

    • Peregrinator
      Peregrinator commented
      Editing a comment
      It was also not with Lord Baden-Powell's original Scout Law
      True ... he added it to the Scout Law in 1911:

      A SCOUT IS CLEAN IN THOUGHT, WORD AND DEED. Decent Scouts look down upon silly youths who talk dirt, and they do not let themselves give way to temptation, either to talk it or to do anything dirty. A Scout is pure, and clean-minded, and manly.
      I wonder if he added it under the influence of friends in the United States? However, it seems very much in keeping with what he professed and taught anyway.