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

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So what does "clean" really mean? A search for the word in this forum is almost 100% references to "not dirty with dirt or grime" as opposed to "pure or innocent." Biden got in a whole lot of trouble when he described Obama as "clean," which I took to mean "without known scandal" and not "neat and tidy," as others did, given the political context.

 

The implementation guidelines for the new membership standards refers to "clean" in this context: “Your relationships with others should be honest and open. Respect and defend the rights of all people. Be clean in your speech and actions and faithful in your religious beliefs. Values you practice as a Scout will help you shape a life of virtue and self-reliance.†Even here the word is used nebulously.

 

Does "clean" need to be replaced with a word that has a clearer meaning in our modern language?

 

Edit: Yes, I messed up with Oath and Law. Once you press the button, there's only so much time I guess you can edit your title.

 

 

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Other than the circular references about being clean in your speech and actions..., what's nebulous? Do you have an alternative to suggest? But for me, I'd say no, I think the concept of clean is clear :).

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Are you asking about the Scout Law? I can't find the word 'clean' in the Scout Oath.
Yep, it's in the Law. Not enough coffee.

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Do we want neat and tidy as well as lacking in the risque and vulgar? To me, it's two different qualities that should be differentiated.

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Are you asking about the Scout Law? I can't find the word 'clean' in the Scout Oath.
I believe that one of us moderators could change "Oath" to "Law" in the title, and if you'd like, I can try it. I did not just go ahead and do it because there has already been some discussion of what the title should have been, so changing the title at this point would probably just make things MORE confusing to readers.

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Kindof seems to me that it says what is needed to be said.... No need in helping to dumb down language. It already has enough steam on that heading if you ask me.

in the context of scouting

clean = not dirty, neat, tidy, not vulgar, not rude, nice

 

and yes KDD, camping is inherently mixing with "dirt", but there should be a pointed effort by a scout to keep his camp site tidy, to keep his cookware tidy, and keep his body tidy. I see it as a relative thing, not a concept to be taken to any extreme, such that clean only means sterile as in hospital operating room sterile.

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My first thoughts were: If it's not broken then don't fix it.

But on reflection.

I like clean.

While it's OK to get dirty.

It's not OK to be dirty.

Back when I was a young teenager, I thought that cussing was cool.

Back then I was warned (And warmed!!) About having a dirty mouth.

At school one of my masters found my stash of Playboy magazines. He must have known that I wasn't reading the articles.

He said they were dirty magazines and would lead to me having dirty thoughts!!

My Mother was informed and she said that this was just filth.

 

I am able to get past a lot of things, but most of the time and in most cases (Not all.) I don't understand any reason for someone being always dirty.

I don't think that being poor and being dirty, go hand in hand.

I have met people who are maybe just a little too clean. - Scared to get their hands dirty or in the case of one nephew of mine who took five or six showers a day.

A little overboard about what good hygiene is all about.

 

At work I have to pat down a good many inmates everyday.

Before I do I always ask each one "Are you clean?". Meaning do you have anything hidden on you that you ought not have.

In a way it's maybe a little unfair, because if I find anything after they have said that they are clean, they also face a charge of lying to a employee.

 

Clean?

One great thing about the Scout Law, is that we youth and adult members grow into it.

I'll bet if you ask a young Lad who has just crossed over from the Pack , his interpretation of the Scout Law, it's going to be different than if you asked a 14 year old, which would be different then a 17 year old.

I have been on the planet for a good while. (Yes I'm an old codger!) Have been a Scout for over half a century!

I like to think that I'm living the Scout Oath and Law.

Then every time I think that I "Have it down pat." The bar gets raised a little higher or I do something or fail to do something which I know has let the side down.

 

Without wanting to re-start any old arguments. I think that maybe with todays interpretation of "Straight.". Maybe we could come up with a word that replaces it?

How about "Morally Correct"?

We did take "Square" out of the Webloes Scout promise some years back when square no longer seemed to fit the bill.

Eamonn .

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So I saw this on Wikipedia, the definitive source of all knowledge:

During the years, Baden-Powell himself edited the text numerous times, notably in 1911 adding:

  • 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.

Maybe the problem is we have attempted to synthesize the Law to one-word answers and simply have failed to fully appreciate the meaning.

 

That said, I noticed this on the UK scouting site:

[h=3]The Scout Law[/h]

  1. A Scout is to be trusted.
  2. A Scout is loyal.
  3. A Scout is friendly and considerate.
  4. A Scout belongs to the worldwide family of Scouts.
  5. A Scout has courage in all difficulties.
  6. A Scout makes good use of time and is careful of possessions and property.
  7. A Scout has self-respect and respect for others.

Which seems to have replaced Clean with self-respect/respect.

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Respect was in there back when I was a Scout in 1969.

I'm too lazy to look up what is was before.

I do remember : A Scout smiles and whistles thru all difficulties"

Don't know about anyone else.

But I can't smile and whistle at the same time.

The only change that I see in the UK Scout Law is #4.

Back then it was A Scout is a brother to all scouts.

But back then we didn't have female Scouts.

Eamonn

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"....relationships with others should be honest and open. Respect and defend the rights of all people. Be clean in your speech and actions and faithful in your religious beliefs. Values you practice as a Scout will help you shape a life of virtue and self-reliance"

 

From "clean?"

 

Humbug.

 

"Trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, and reverent" are in the law. It doesn't need "clean" to stand in for a repeat of some combination of those.

 

"Clean" means clean, hygienic.

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The Scout Law hasn't changed since 1911. The Scout Oath and Law could be considered the constitution of the BSA. Of the world's countries that have constitutions only Australia (1900), Denmark (1849), Luxembourg (1868), Norway (1814), and the United States (1787) have constitutions that are older (the U.K. and Canada don't have constitutions). I'd say leave the Scout Law alone, it's passed the test of time.

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Respect was in there back when I was a Scout in 1969.

I'm too lazy to look up what is was before.

I do remember : A Scout smiles and whistles thru all difficulties"

Don't know about anyone else.

But I can't smile and whistle at the same time.

The only change that I see in the UK Scout Law is #4.

Back then it was A Scout is a brother to all scouts.

But back then we didn't have female Scouts.

Eamonn

"...smiles and whistles...." I like this. But isn't whistling against the law some places? Or am I confusing that with gum chewing?

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