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A Scout has Integrity

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On February 5th, Scout Sunday, we held our annual potluck lunch and Court of Honor. This is my Scoutmaster's Minute I shared with the boys at the end of the day. I hope it is something you all can use:



Today you face many important choices, choices that will influence the rest of your life. You are given many paths to go down, and as teenagers (or nearly teenagers), you are going to be making choices that will have an impact on how you live rest of your life.


I want to remind you of two points of the Scout Law. We usually will ask you about one at a time, such as "What does it mean to you to be trustworthy? or "Tell me about a time you were Loyal". I want to combine the first two points together, a Scout is Trustworthy and a Scout is Loyal. Together, these words say one thing, "a Scout has Integrity". Integrity involves being true to your words, true to yourself and true to each other. It's a combination of being both Trustworthy and Loyal.


Let me give you an example. Yesterday was our pack's Pinewood Derby, and many of you helped put it on. Many of us were cheering for Ryan, an autistic boy in the Bear den who came close to winning the championship last year. Ryan's car flew through the den unbeaten to get first place. He won his first couple of heats in the pack championship until in once race his car faltered. It wobbled a little bit and came partially out of the lane. It didn't touch any other cars, and did not appear to be caused by any outside influence, so there was no need to re-race. For a moment, though, I almost called for a re-race. I wanted him to win. But would that have been the honest thing to do? No, as a man of integrity, I have to stand for what is right. For as much as I wanted to see him win, I had to remember that there were two other young scouts who wanted to win just as bad.


The next race, Ryan's car faltered again. This time he was in first place and about to cross the finish line. The nose of the car kicked out and it hit frame of the finish line marker. This time, an outside force influenced the order of the race. He clearly would have won. He took his car to the pit, a wheel had come a little loose. That was the cause of the problem. He tightened it up, and returned to race. And to win. He never lost again and he won the pack championship! We were all excited for him. It all turned out well in the end, and we maintainted the integrity of the race.


As I said, you are faced with choices. Big ones like "Am I going to keep my body clean?" or "Am I going to drink, smoke or take illegal drugs?". And others, just as important are "Am I going to stand on my own?" or "Am I going to take the easy way and find ways to beat the system, cheat the tests and bend the rules without getting caught?". Or, "Am I going to live by the commitments I made?" or "Do I recite meaningless oaths by repetition and no meaning?".


Scouts, you take an oath, to live by the Law, the entire Law. And when you blend all twelve points together, it doesn't look the same. Just as blending Trustworthy and Loyal together we find integrity. When you blend all twelve together, you find a true Boy Scout. A man the world will respect and honor, a man that will be a true success in life.

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Yeah Semper, my guys sometimes pull out the watch on me. I tell them that I get a couple extra minutes at Courts of Honor. This was a little more "preachy" than usual, but there was a reason. It hit home with some (I hope).

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