Twenty years later: The Scout Law lives on

Boy Scouts of America Logo

I have many amazing memories from when I was a child, not the least of which was my time spent in the Cub Scouts and the Boy Scouts. I’m proud to say that I stuck it out to become an Eagle Scout, and even all these years later, I put it on my resume, and other people comment about it to me. All my time in the scouts laid the foundation for who I am as a man, human being, and citizen of the United States.

Over the past few years, there has been controversy surrounding the scouts, but in all honesty, that doesn’t affect me, nor does it change my past or the wonderful experiences and opportunities I had as a result of being involved.

My goal in this post is to share why I think the Scouts had such a positive and influential impression upon me, and how it lays the foundation for young men to grow up with a solid set of principles, and hopefully, a code or credo of their own by which to live. I know it did that for me.

One of the main reasons is the Scout Law, which every Boy Scout memorizes, and repeats before each meeting. It becomes his code. It consists of a list of 12 adjectives-12 terms which a Scout should aspire to live up to at all times. It is a reminder that we should always hold ourselves accountable, and to live with honor.

The Boy Scout Law

The original Scout Law was written over 110 years ago, back in 1908. It was created from the founders of the Boy Scouts as they looked at several different organizations and groups. They were curious about the laws and codes these groups lived by, and set out to replicate what these organizations such as the Native Americans, the Japanese Samurai and the European knights all had in common. The result was the Scout Law.

Even 20 years after I finished my Eagle project and received my Eagle badge, I still remember this. It means even more today than it did when I was a teenager. It makes more sense. And I understand the importance of each word.

I thought it would be interesting to reflect on each of the 12 points of the Scout law, especially 20 years after my last time saying them out loud with a group of other Scouts. If you were never in the Scouts, or are unfamiliar with their codes and laws, maybe you’ll find this interesting and enlightening. In my next 12 posts, I will reflect upon each on of the 12 principles in the Scout law, and discuss what I think it means for me, as well as for society in general.

I’m still trying to live up to these laws.


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