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

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Tend to agree with not messing with it.

 

Kind of.

 

Much in the same tend to think that its more then just about hygiene.

 

Same as "Straight." isn't about a direction.

 

 

 

Each and everyone of us has our own take on what the Oath and Law is about.

 

We take ownership of it.

 

I don't think that it is possible for us adult members to force or impose what we believe it means to the other adults or youth we serve.

 

We can explain what it means, but this is where having the youth be around different adults comes into play.

 

A Lad can look at us and take what he likes or sees as being a good fit for him and then make it his own.

 

On the other side of the coin, if we are not living the Oath and Law.

 

He can take that and make that his own.

 

This is where us being as good an example as we can be comes into play.

 

Eamonn.

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The most recent copy of The Boy Scout Handbook that I have is the 10th edition, 1990. Pages 553-561 present and discuss the Scout Law. As I recall, the first part of each section quotes from official BSA Rules and Regulations or Bylaws, whichever is the actual source (sorry, I haven't read those since the 1990's, though the last time was after BSA had banned access to them, since I had bought copies when they were still sold in the Scout Shop). On page 561:

A Scout is CLEAN. A Scout keeps his body and mind fit and clean. He chooses the company of those who live by these same ideals. He helps keep his home and community clean.

The discussion that follows mentions physical dirt, which is unavoidable but which can be washed off, and "moral dirt" (my own term for it which is not used within the text) which cannot be so easily washed off:

You never need to be ashamed of dirt that will wash off. If you play hard and work hard you can't help getting dirty. But when the game is over of the work is done, that kind of dirt disappears with soap and water.

 

There is another kind of dirt that won't come off by washing. It is the kind that shows up in foul language and harmful thoughts.

 

Swear words, profanity, and dirty stories are weapons that ridicule other people and hurt their feelings. The same is true of racial slurs and jokes making fun of ethnic groups or peolpe with physical or mental behavior. A Scout knows there is no kindness or honor in such mean-spirited behavior. He avoids in in his own words and deeds. He defends those who are targets of insults.

That is what BSA taught, though yet again that is not what BSA practiced, including BSA's targeted insults to those whom it wished to exclude. Just as we have seen in this topic, BSA added extraneous interpretations to this point of the Law. It is a binding principle for all BSA leaders that we are not to add nor subtract from the actual requirements, and yet that is what BSA was doing (and still is). BSA re-interpretation that point of the Law to mean that homosexuality is not "clean" and hence they justified expelling gay members for being unable to follow Scout Law. That is adding to the requirements for membership. And I suspect that it is that re-interpretation of that point of the Law, that addition to the Law, that prompted the opening post (OP) of this topic.

 

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.

 

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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.

 

 

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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.

 

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.

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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.

 

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.

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