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Did a Good Turn Daily?

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Okay, what exactly is the difference between a Slogan, and a Motto?

We are supposed to 'Be Prepared' ("why, for any little thing")

and 'Do a Good Turn Daily'.

How do we instill in our boys (and girls?) the idea of service to others , without thought of recompense? Are we losing that dynamic, along with the outdoor imperative? Maybe that is our biggest problem, not the poor quality of the uniform, or the unhealthy example of some of our leaders, or the sometime unprofessional professional.

It could be a game, I remember, back in the day. We even had a competition once, turn us loose and come back with a report of what our GD had been. One, specific, GD. Hold a door open. Carry some groceries in. Hung up laundry without being asked. Put some fallen stuff back up on the shelf in a store. Picked up trash on the street. Dad stops the car and we got out and put the trash cans back that had blown out into the street. Helped a turtle across the street. Heard lots of GD stories.

I think the ideal, which was often learned later, was to make it anonymous. At least, try to.

It's the anonymity that is often lost. Not acknowledging the GD could be the same thing, anonymity. We all knew who had provided the money to let the Scout go to summer camp, but we were savvy enough not to let on. We all knew. His name need not be voiced. His act was appreciated. That was sufficient.

One acts when something is seen as needed. "Why doesn't somebody DO something"? Lots of people feel "it's not my job." Maybe. Maybe not.

If one is ASKED to do a specific act, that is not a GD. If it is a 'chore' or 'in my job description' , probably not. If one is paid, or awarded or given recognition, that is not a GD. At least, not if the pay or award is expected. Sometimes the GD is recognized as such , and reward is made, but sometime later.

The inherent act does not define the GD. A GD can be small (hold open the door) or large (provide a college scholarship). They don't even have to be of service to a human. Beyond being somehow beneficial, anonymity is a large part of a GD.

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Of all the things that go into being a Scout the one that I've the least problem with is the daily good deed.

The Oath and Law always seem to be beyond my grasp. I try and even when I've given it my best the bar seems to be set higher and higher.

"Be Prepared". Sounds easy enough and it isn't until something goes wrong that I find out that my smug thinking was all in vain and I really wasn't prepared.

But to do a good turn?

Even a smuck like me can do that.

Kinda sad that some older Scouts at times look down their noses at this bit, thinking that this only applies to the "Little kids."



Back when I was a Scout in England. The Easter break was about 3 weeks. One of these weeks was "Bob A Job" week. The one week a year when Scouts could do a good turn and get paid for it. The "Bob" was a Shilling now 5p. (Less then ten cents.)


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