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ham_solo

SMM about WHY the Scout Law and Oath?

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Anyone have any scoutmaster minutes about "the WHY" of the Law and Oath?  Why we follow those, why those are important, and why they should care? 

I feel like we stand up and we say those the oath and law before every meeting, we talk about them sometimes, discuss how they apply in their lives, and talk about them when it comes time to advance and in BOR's... . but I just don't fell like we don't really communicate "the why" to the youth.  

How did my scoutmaster(s) instill into me these things enough that I carried them with my whole life and still try to live by them today?  Did I just absorb it via osmosis?   I want the boys to feel about the oath and law the same way I did and still do today, but I just am not sure how to do it.

Any ideas?

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Those things are important at face value, so it is a little tough to report on why. But, since my family had us doc at a marina with wifi, I've made my coffee and the sun is rising on the first clear day of our tropical vacation, I simply say this:

Down to the semi-retired cab driver who took us from the airport to help us provision, then to our slip (and did not charge us for a full hour fare), to the businessman in a fishing charter opposite ours... Everone I talked to is convinced that scouting does something very good for a youth. What could it be? Lots of folks take their kids on adventures. Bears don't care about what uniform a hiker wears. But duty to God and country, helping others at all times and keeping fit to do so ... plus a short list of traits needed to fulfill that duty ... set the bar for a young man to achieve greatness.

Vows are like loadstone, they set a needle to align north-south once that needle floats freely. We scouters recognize it, and a lot of other people were scouts or have met scouts recognize it too.

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The "yarns" in BPs Scouting for Boys were short stories of people living those principles. I think he had it right.  The SM minute is a short story, a yarn, which tells the tale of one point of the law, oath, etc... One can even end the story with, "a scout is courteous" if one wishes to make it explicit.

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15 hours ago, ham_solo said:

Anyone have any scoutmaster minutes about "the WHY" of the Law and Oath?  Why we follow those, why those are important, and why they should care? 

I feel like we stand up and we say those the oath and law before every meeting, we talk about them sometimes, discuss how they apply in their lives, and talk about them when it comes time to advance and in BOR's... . but I just don't fell like we don't really communicate "the why" to the youth.  

How did my scoutmaster(s) instill into me these things enough that I carried them with my whole life and still try to live by them today?  Did I just absorb it via osmosis?   I want the boys to feel about the oath and law the same way I did and still do today, but I just am not sure how to do it.

Any ideas?

Well, can you tell us exactly why YOU strive to internalize the standards of the Oath and Law?

I can think of lots of real-life stories that end with the protagonist immediately obtaining something good/avoiding something bad as a result of his actions. For example: A young man studying in Japan stands up to his friends (a scout is brave) and leaves a party when others present start to use drugs. The police show up and his friends get arrested then kicked out of the country. He goes on to have a successful career as a result of his international studies. But "Be brave and do the right thing and you won't get in trouble with the law" is not the message I want to convey. I want my scouts to be brave even if they don't benefit from it in obvious or direct ways. 

Things get a little mushy as we approach the ultimate reasons for why each individual wants to be a better person. It might be religious, humanist, or something else. What's your reason?

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7 hours ago, Tampa Turtle said:

If my married eyes start to give some comely lass "a second glance" I hear "A Scout is Clean" and I am reminded to look away.

I can understand why you would hear "Clean", I would probably hear "Trustworthy" or "Loyal" or, if I'm joking around, "Obedient."  If anything like that ever happened to me, of course.

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1 hour ago, NJCubScouter said:

I can understand why you would hear "Clean"

Because the wife goes clean out of his mind?

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7 minutes ago, David CO said:

Because the wife goes clean out of his mind?

:)  But now that I think about it, if a hypothetical person (let's call him TampaTurtle) is having thoughts that are "impure" enough to violate A Scout is Clean, it wouldn't matter whether he is married or not, whereas Trustworthy and Loyal (and Obedient) only kick in if you are married.

  • Haha 2

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10 hours ago, qwazse said:

Vows are like loadstone, they set a needle to align north-south once that needle floats freely. We scouters recognize it, and a lot of other people were scouts or have met scouts recognize it too.

Quite right.

We struggle to put into words the significance of the Oath and Law in our daily decisions. But just about everyone understands the value of good character. Good character is every parent's desire for all their kids. Good character is what the employer wants from employees. Good character is how mans actions toward each other is measured.

So, ask anyone, and everyone, to give one word that describes "Scouting" and likely character will be mentioned most. For scouts, character is defined as the Oath and Law. Scouts are luckier than most because they have a guide for how to act in good character. It is something that most of their friends don't have.

Loadstone, I like that.

Barry 

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15 minutes ago, NJCubScouter said:

:)  But now that I think about it, if a hypothetical person (let's call him TampaTurtle) is having thoughts that are "impure" enough to violate A Scout is Clean, it wouldn't matter whether he is married or not, whereas Trustworthy and Loyal (and Obedient) only kick in if you are married.

I would have thought that you, as a lawyer, would have added Thrifty to your list.  You must be well aware of how expensive a roving eye can be.

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WHY THE SCOUT PROMISE,  LAW ?

Here's an idea I have played with:    Scouting asks a person to BE something, unlike some other groups that ask you to NOT DO something.   Behavior is ALWAYS a choice.   Gravity is not a choice.  Eating is not a choice. Breathing is not a choice.  But WHAT we eat is a choice (nutrition, obesity, etc.)  , keeping the air clean (carbon footprint, pollution, etc.) is a choice. 

Ask your Scouts what an OPPOSITE Scout Law might look like:   Dirty,  Lying,   Disloyal,  etc.  What would that do to the Troop?  society?  Your friendships, buddies, family?    

Ask about that.... 

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24 minutes ago, Tampa Turtle said:

 greeted with a stake knife through the heart. 

So...you are a Vampire??

Related image

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On May 9, 2018 at 5:24 PM, NJCubScouter said:

:)  But now that I think about it, if a hypothetical person (let's call him TampaTurtle) is having thoughts that are "impure" enough to violate A Scout is Clean, it wouldn't matter whether he is married or not, whereas Trustworthy and Loyal (and Obedient) only kick in if you are married.

 

Thrifty kicks in ... Lawyers fees, etc ...

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