BSA to use Scout Oath and Scout Law for all programs

Update, Jan. 27, 2014: Sea Scouts, see how this applies to you here.

It’s official: The resolution to move to one Oath and Law for Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Varsity, Sea Scouts, and Venturing was approved this morning by the Boy Scouts of America’s executive board.

I first told you about the volunteer-led proposal in a blog post in August.

Essentially, this means every Scout of any age will use the Scout Oath and Law instead of reciting separate, program-specific sayings. Cub Scouts will recite the Scout Oath and Law instead of the Cub Scout Promise and Law of the Pack. Similarly, Venturers will no longer use the Venturing Oath and Venturing Code.

Because it will take time to transition into this new approach, the changes are not immediate.

The Venturing change will not happen until late 2013 or early 2014; the Cub Scout change will take effect in mid-2015. Stay tuned to my blog for exact dates as I get them.

Additionally, the newly adopted resolution replaces the full-hand Venturing sign and salute with the three-finger Boy Scout sign and salute.

UPDATE (10/18/12): I confirmed the above sentence today. Venturing will begin to use the Scout sign and Scout salute. This wasn’t mentioned in the resolution because the sign and salute are not specified in the rules and regulations.

For the full resolution and answers to some frequently asked questions, follow the jump: 

Frequently asked questions

Here are the BSA’s answers to some questions already received…

Q: What, specifically, is being changing?

A: Cub Scouts:

• Adopt the Scout Oath and Law for use in the Cub Scout program, retiring the Cub Scout Promise.

• Revise the Core Values of Cub Scouts to align exactly with the 12 points of the Scout Law.

• Retire the Law of the Pack, while maintaining the concept of “Akela” as leader.

• Maintain the current Cub Scout motto, sign, salute, and handshake.

A: Venturing:

• Retire the Venturing Oath, Code, sign and salute

• Adopt the Scout Oath, Scout Law, Scout sign, and Scout salute

• Engage the task force and National Youth Cabinet to determine whether Venturing should have a differentiating motto/slogan or adopt “Be Prepared”

Q: Why are these changes happening?

A: Each of our programs is designed to help instill the goals of the BSA mission in its members’ daily lives. As the BSA strives to operate as one organization, build continuity of membership over a person’s life, and deliver its mission, considering one Oath and Law as a tool to unify our membership is appropriate. Additionally, the earlier and longer a member is exposed to the values of the Scout Oath and Law, the better the opportunity is that they will be able to live those values in their lives.

Q: How did these recommendations come to be?

A: Two separate task forces have worked on the deliberations leading to the recommendations – the Strategic Plan Goal 411 Task Force and the Venturing Task Force. Each of these is volunteer-led and staffed (approximately 50 and 25 volunteers, respectively).

These task forces made the initial deliberations and recommendations beginning in 2011 and early 2012 respectively.

In the case of the Cub Scout, the 411 task force consulted with cognitive and child development specialists and educational practitioners involved in Scouting. Specifically, these professional and scouters were asked to consider age & developmental appropriateness of the current Cub Scout Promise and Law of the Pack versus the Scout Oath and Law. The outcome of this study suggested that comprehension difficulty is high for both but not materially higher for the Scout Oath. Further the study group concluded that Cub Scouts could understand the Scout Law just as well as the Cub Scout Promise with appropriate support and guidance. Additionally, research among parents (62% favorable) and Cub Scout leaders (59% favorable) was also supportive. Cub Scouts would not be asked to memorize or recite the Scout Law at early ages.

With respect to Venturing, the primary discussion points centered around the length and lack of use of the current Venturing Code, the desire to support a seamless set of value statements between Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and Venturing (one program) and a desire to align Venturing’s value statements with those used for similar age programs worldwide.

Q: Isn’t the Scout Oath and Law much more difficult for Cub Scout age boys to memorize and understand?

A: This was an initial concern of the task force. To address this concern, the task force recruited a group of individuals with experience in child development and linguistics and a group of educational practitioners. All of these individuals are Scouters.

After study, the group’s conclusions were:

• Both sets of value statements contain complex concepts requiring support and guidance for the user to fully understand and learn to live buy.

• Both sets of values statements are written at a relatively high reading level, but the Scout Oath is not significantly more difficult to read and comprehend than the Cub Scout Promise.

• The Law of the Pack is significantly more difficult for Cub Scout age boys to understand than either the Cub Scout Promise or the Scout Oath and contains concepts for which younger Cub Scouts are not developmentally prepared.

• Cub Scout age boys will be able to learn and comprehend the Scout Oath with support and guidance similar to that currently provided when learning the Cub Scout Promise (cards as prompts, guided discussion on meaning, etc.).

• Cub Scouts in early ranks should not be expected to memorize the Scout Law but are developmentally ready to begin exposure to the words of the Law and are ready to begin building understanding of the concepts with help.

Q: Cub Scouts is not Boy Scouts. If Cub Scouts use the Scout Oath and Law, what will separate the programs, what will the boys look forward to?

A: Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts are separate programs. Cub Scouts preparing to move to Boy Scouts will continue to anticipate the new uniform, the increase in independence and leadership growth of the patrol method, the enhanced opportunities for fun and adventure thru age appropriate troop activities they could not do as Cub Scouts and the Boy Scout advancement program and other opportunities. Use of the same Oath and Law will unify them with their older “brothers” but will not make them Boy Scouts.

Full resolution

Click here to download (PDF).

What do you think?

Comments are open for your reaction to this move. How will it affect your Scouting life?

Photo: Some rights reserved by PruittAllen

330 thoughts on “BSA to use Scout Oath and Scout Law for all programs

  1. Incidentally, did anyone else notice that the Cubs in the photo aren’t saluting correctly? (one worse than the other)

  2. Why postpone the changes? A Tiger joining this year will have to relearn at the end at Bear year. The Tiger joining in 2014 will have to learn the following year.

  3. It will be a real challenge to get the tigers and wolf cubs to memorize the Scout Oath and Law. I don’t believe this idea was given enough thought. A focus group is not the way to change policies. This is a bad idea that will eventually affect the membership.

    • Michael, there is nothing in the Bobcat requirements that states that the Cub memorize the Oath and Law. The requirements say, “Learn and say” using “Do Your Best” as the criteria (from the Cub Scout Leader Book).

  4. As a pack and den leader, I submitted my input months ago against this. Cub scouts are not Boy scouts. It feels like the BSA has lost its way lately. Why push these young boys into the Boy scouts so early, when will belt loops go away and merit badges appear. :-(

  5. Well, Like I posted on the Southern Region Venturing facebook, I no longer have any reason to find a good Venturing Crew, because they are going to turn into Boy Scout Troops by the time I turn 19….

    Who on earth had the great idea to go and destroy what was a perfectly good program that only needed some properly trained adults (not cubmasters or scoutmasters, or crewmasters!) and youth who wanted to do it themselves?

    If you need me I’ll be in the OA and I guess teaching “Venturers” Boy Scout Merit badges when they change the awards because Eagle and Silver are too similar…

    • They haven’t changed any requirements in Venturing, so you should be able to find a Crew to join that is unlike a Boy Scout Troop. Sure, there will be some Crews that are pretty similar to Troops, but they already exist. The thing with Venturing is that there are Crews out there with all sorts of different specialities.

      And why wait until you turn 18? Find a crew that you fit with now. If you’re already first class, you can earn your Eagle through a Venture Crew. Or maybe start your own Crew with an OA focus, since that is something you seem quite interested in.

  6. Rob, I agree that Scouting is for the boys. Unfortunately, there are many adults who will embrace this because it makes it easier for them (see some comments here). I don’t believe that this will help instill the values of the Oath and Law into the younger scouts. We’ve all learned something when we were young and weren’t mature enough to understand it until we looked at it another way when we were older. This takes away one opportunity of relooking and evaluating as a Boy Scout what was learned as a Cub.

    • No matter what oath and law is put out there, none of them hold water unless observed and lived by the leaders within a program. I think it is a good thing to bring it all under one for at a core level we are all part of the same program with the same goals.

    • Maybe, but so what? I was in Cub Scouts many years ago and didn’t remember anything about what we recited or did. Cub Scouts is about having fun and learning skills. Webelos and new Boy Scouts should already be explaining to their leaders the meaning of the Oath and Law – there is the reevaluation.

      • As a Cub and Boy Scout when it came time to bring my three in to Scouting I could repeat all of that sorry it didnot stick with you but I run the twelve daily don’t you and all the rest of the scouts and scouters.

      • You might not remember what you recited or did, but per your earlier quote, boys “will learn things without even knowing they are learning them.” That’s the so what. Webelos and new boys are explaining the meaning now. Currently that is the reevalution. That won’t be the case with the change.

    • that’s always been the beauty of “age-appropriate” in Scouting — introducing concepts and activities to the boys in ways that their age and stage can understand, then re-introducing, expanding and advancing as they get older, develop gross and fine motor skills (I work with Cubs folks), better communication skills, better conceptual skills…

  7. Forget the why, my problem is the when. why should I keep teaching the law of the pack when I know it will go away and they will have to learn he Scout oath and law.
    If you have made your mid up then start today.

  8. I think this is a great idea. Wish I had thought of it. I also wish it was implemented right away. Putting it off this way just gives the naysayers more time to gripe about it. Of course they will anyway.


    • Been is Scouting for 51 years seen alot of changes did not agree with any of them but went forward and now change again. If you look back at all the changes in Scouting over the past 100 years many of the changes were changed back becaues they did not work or the number of Scouts went down in part due to the changes. Now be a nay sayer or not history repeats itself and the changes are still coming just read between the lines and in a few years they will change back just watch and see and do not buy the uniform yet they are changing also. Youth get tired of change and will go on to something else that has easier/less changes and more differances so they can be different is that not the reason we are who we are. Think about it!!!!!!!!!

      • The definition of “youth” is change. Not much time for them to notice, it’s only the old goats (like you and me) that notice. If it changes back, I’m OK with that too, hope I’m still here to see it.

  9. The thing I like about the BSA program is that it builds upon itself. Similar requirements occur at the Tiger, Wolf, Bear, Webelos, and even Scout level; only to more depth and breadth each year. Belt Loops eventually build up to Merit Badges, for example. This is the philosophy of the Cub Scout Promise; it is a more age-appropriate version of the Boy Scout Oath.

    Also, I see the Cub Scout sign, handshake and salute will be kept. This makes no sense since the two fingers represent the two parts of the Cub Scout Promise, just as 3 fingers represent the 3 parts of the Boy Scout Oath.

    I was involved with Camp Fire Boys and Girls (now Camp Fire USA I believe) and their national organization was guilty of making changes for change sake which crippled their program (for example in my region, Northern California, there is no fully-functional Councils in existance anymore). I think BSA has in the past kept massive changes minimal; they should continue this philosophy and halt this massive change.

    • If the boy are not getting “the whole Akela thing” then you have to step back and ask yourself if you are teaching them where Akela comes from and why the are called Cub Scouts. In other words, teach them “The Jungle Book” and they will get it. All of mine always did.

  10. I don’t think this change will affect me or my scouting. The cub program change is not going to take effect until 2015. My son will be a boy scout by then. I do appreciate the comment above which reminds us that cubs are not required to memorize the cub scout promise or law of the pack. The requirement states: learn and say. It does not specify memorization.

  11. Lets not forget this resolution was pushed by volunteers from across the country and adopted by the Executive Board, also a group of volunteers.

    Many people are resistant to change. Remember when the forward pass was illegal in football? When seatbelts weren’t even in cars? Change happens. While this change may present some obstacles, perhaps the naysayers can find some positives, too. The Scout Law should begin at the earliest possible age. I see elementary schools adopting much of the same language in their programs, classrooms, and multi-use rooms. A 7-year can begin to understand concepts like respect, friendliness, honesty, obedient, and then’ll understand others as they get older.

    • Those are examples of changes that stuck. Sometimes things change back or don’t catch on. That’s happened in Scouting before.

      The BSA will always try to tweak things. There will always be grumbling about the changes. Some changes will stick and everyone will get used to them and some changes will get changed back.

  12. We will be sad to see the Oath go. We said it in our crew meetings and at our district VOA because we just plain liked it. As my daughter wrote in one of her college essays about Venturing and her trip to Philmont, “when you join an organization in which you promise ‘to strengthen America…and to seek truth, fairness, and adventure in our world,’ you feel like a superhero.”

    From my experience and their feedback, the teenage girls in my crew want to camp, hike, backpack, sail, SCUBA, climb, etc., but they do not want to be Boy Scouts. They want to be Venturers, which I think when you are talking about a group of 14-18 year old girls, is fair.

  13. I think this makes a lot of sense and I believe it is the right move for our Scouts. As a past Cubmaster and a current Scoutmaster and Crew Advisor, I appreciate the effort and consideration that went into this decision. Although they are separate programs I think this will help bring continuity and consistency to the Scouting program. Well done!

  14. Anyone else notice that it seems the old timers are against it and the new timers think it’s okay? Kinda feels like the presidential campaign. :)

    Some of you are being VERY un-Scouter like. Have you forgotten Scout Law #8? Go ahead, we’ll wait for you to count down to that one.

    And gripping is pointless. It’s going to happen. So why not figure out how to embrace it instead of being a whiner. If you love the Cub Character Connections (like I do), try keeping a POSITIVE ATTITUDE.

    • {Scout Law #8 is Cheerful for those of you that don’t want to work it out}

      The change is going to happen but the griping is not pointless (except for the non-constructive griping). Throughout the process the BSA has been asking for feedback and people should not stop sharing their opinions if they are not happy with the changes. They are looking into more possible tweaks within the programs. And the griping facilitates discussion that hopefully gives people ideas about how to naturally work the changes into the program.

  15. Hmm… I am not sure what to think yet about this. I can see advantages both ways. I like the language of the BS oath better than the Cub Scout Promise. I would like to know if the handbooks for cub scouts will be updated with the new language. Personally, I think some of the books need a serious overhaul to bring them up-to-date, but that is another issue.

  16. ” . . . if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it . . . ”

    The 411 task force apparently has determined that eliminating the Cub Scout and Venturing oath, promise, etc., in favor of the traditional Boy Scout program oath and law is in the best interests of the organization, and has made that recommendation to the National Executive Board which has in turn made a determination and enacted such changes to take effect within the next year or so.

    While it is reported that this action was made on the basis of a 411 task force committee of 50, in association with a Venturing Task force committee of about 25, not many Venturers and Advisors that I am aware of had much of a chance to have input on this process and it was rather rapidly developed without any prior announcement until just a short time ago [August 2012] which seems to be very little time to solicit input from a broad spectrum of the youth and adult membership. Focus groups rarely provide a statistically valid sampling of the opinions and ideas of the larger compendium of the overall membership in my experience.

    Not much has been heard from the Venturing side of the discussion. As a former Explorer, an Explorer Advisor and more recently a Venturing Advisor and Sea Scout Ship Skipper, I do not share or support the opinion of those who made that determination. Baden Powell recognized the need for an older youth program very early in his organization of Scouting by encouraging the start of Sea Scouts which is the second oldest program of the BSA celebrating their 100th anniversary this year. The Sea Scout program interestingly will NOT be included in that recommendation, and will keep their traditional Sea Promise, nor will there be any similar impact on the Order of the Arrow, so it is curious as to why Venturing should be so affected. Homogenizing elements of youth programs in terms of their formerly unique identities seems to be of questionable value or impact.

    The Venturing Code and Oath largely express the same values as the Scout Oath and Law, just as do the Cub Scout Promise, and each is age appropriate. It is curious that these traditional trademarks of the respective programs have existed for many decades, and yet are just now being brought under scrutiny and apparently will be eliminated for reasons which in my opinion are not well supported or justified.
    he old adage ” . . . if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it . . . ” may be appropriate.

    • The 411 and Venturing Task Force have been collecting opinions and ideas for well over a year. It does seem that it was kept pretty quiet, although I’ve been telling people to email them with their ideas for quite a while now.

      Sea Scouting is included in the recommendation because it is a subprogram of Venturing. The Sea Promise was explicitly stated to not be under consideration by the group.

      The OA is simply a subgroup within Boy Scouting, so it is affected in the same way that Boy Scouting is (not at all in this case).

      Venturing was only founded in 1998 so “existed for many decades” is a bit much.

      • Brian may not be aware of the history of of Venturing which evolved directly from outdoor high adventure Exploring which does in fact go back for many decades, thus supporting my comment, and is not [as Brian suggests] “a bit much” at all. Here is a synopsis of that history:

        The City of Chicago government was sued in the mid-1990′s for sponsoring an Explorer post which had discriminatory membership requirements relating to belief in a supreme being, etc. Consequently any program sponsored by any government or corporate organization that was barred from discrimination would no longer be able to sponsor Explorer Posts.

        BSA had to react and provide a venue from which to operate these highly popular career interest Exploring posts, so they transferred them to the BSA wholly owned subsidiary corporation Learning for Life where there were no membership restrictions and thus was compatible to continue the career interest Exploring programs without litigation.

        By coincidence, the largest group of high adventure outdoor Exploring youth programs was being concurrently evaluated by a national task force to enhance and expand that element of Exploring and was already in the process of rolling out elements of that program, but not until much later.

        The Chicago decision compelled the task force to ramp up the release of the of program to 1998, and unfortunately also required changing the program name since Exploring was kept by the LFL career explorer posts.

        So based on other international young adult programs using the term “Venturers” for similar teen age youth, Venturing was chosen to replace traditional Exploring, and new logos and program designs were created. A new Venturing Division replaced the Exploring Division. The old Explorer Silver Award was restored with a new design, and other awards such as Ranger were added. The forest green Explorer uniform shirts were retained with an addition of the gray cargo trousers or shorts.

        Thus the evolution of Today’s Venturing.program from outdoor high adventure Exploring.

        I should note that I was an Explorer in the 1950′s and an Advisor thereafter until Venturing and Sea Scouting were created and then became an advisor and a skipper for both of those programs, and have experienced them at a local, regional and national level.

        • “Brian may not be aware of the history of of Venturing which evolved directly from outdoor high adventure Exploring which does in fact go back for many decades, thus supporting my comment, and is not [as Brian suggests] “a bit much” at all.”

          I am very much aware of the history of Exploring and the LFL break-off and creation on Venturing. However, I still stand by my remarks. You stated that removing the Venturing Oath and Code was removing something that has “existed for many decades”. The Venturing Oath and Code did not exist until 1998. Your statement would be correct if the Venturing Oath and Code were directly taken from the Exploring Oath and Code, which I do not believe to be the case.

          tldr; high-adventure in BSA has existed for decades, but Venturing itself has only existed since 1998 not decades as well.

        • Brian, I am looking at a copy of the 1977 Exploring Reference Book. In that Document the Exploring Code is listed, as follows:

          ” As an Explorer–
          I believe that America’s Strength lies in her trust in God and in the courage and strength of her people.
          I will therefore be faithful in my religious duties and will maintain a personal sense of honor in my own life.
          I will treasure my American Heritage and will do all I can to preserve and enrich it.
          I will recognize the dignity and worth of my fellowmen and will use fair play and goodwill in dealing with them.
          i will acquire the Exploring attitude that seeks the truth in all things and adventure on the frontiers of our Changing World.”

          The Current Venturing Code is as follows::

          “As a Venturer, I believe that America’s strength lies in our trust in God and in the courage, strength, and traditions of our people. I will, therefore, be faithful in my religious duties and will maintain a personal sense of honor in my own life. I will treasure my American heritage and will do all I can to preserve and enrich it. I will recognize the dignity and worth of all humanity and will use fair play and goodwill in my daily life.; I will acquire the Venturing attitude that seeks truth in all things and adventure on the frontiers of our changing world”

          So i think you can see that the Exploring Code and the Venturing Code are virtually
          identical with just a few small changes in phraseology thus supporting my contention that the code does in fact go back for many decades.

          I think this is getting a little petty, so why don’t we try to stay with the big picture in discussions. .of what the future may hold for young adult programs.

  17. Great news and a great move. The one tradition we need to get rid of is the traditional loss of youth “crossing over” from Cub to Boy Scouts which varies, but I recall an average loss of 40% and higher. One program, Scouting, with age-appropriate activities and units removes the “crossing over” barrier making Boy Scouts simply the next step on the path of Scouting. It works in the UK and other countries around the world. It’s about time the USA joined in!

    • You have completely ignored two programs within the BSA. There is Exploring, part of Learning for Life, and Venturing, part of Scouting.

      Venturing and Boy Scouting (or more specifically Venture Scouting) cover boys of the same age. Mushing everything together into a single program would eliminate one of these two programs.

      The loss of youth during the crossover is because those individuals do not wish to continue in Scouting and that transition point is an easy point to step out. If that transition point is eliminated, those individuals would still drop out, just not all at the same time. They key is to make them interesting in staying in Scouting and changing how things are labeled wouldn’t help that.

    • If this means that girls and gays are equally accepted in all programs, I can get on board. If that’s not a part of the end game, I don’t think this change is fixing anything.

    • I’m with you, John! The UK added girls to the program, subject to individual unit interest, and Girl Guides (their Girl Scouts) did not decline as a result. Both programs are doing well.

      My girls dropped out of Scouts after Brownies (very common) because GS wasn’t “fun anymore.” They both love camping, sports and outdoor activities and would have been Venture Scouts except that they lost interest in the program for so long.

      It works around the world, it could work in the USA.

      • Take a look at American Heritage Girls We have many of the same program opportunities that Boy Scouts does including the outdoors activities. We actually have a memoradum of mutual support with BSA to bring a quality program to the girls so that they would enjoy getting involved in similar activities to what the boys are doing!

        • I can’t agree with the Christian based part of heritage girls, BSA is at least open to all religions. Being Jewish, I’m offended that my daughter would be held out of the program. She has been in Girl Scouts for years now and has already earned her Bronze and Silver awards, only the Gold award left.

        • Actually AHG is open to ALL girls of all faiths, socioeconomic backgrounds and all races. There is no requirement that a girl must be a Christian to participate. I’m sorry that you have been misinformed on that detail. Granted it is still a Christ-centered program, but the girls do not have to share that faith to be a member.

        • I can’t imagine why a nice Jewish girl wouldn’t want to join a Christ -centered program like AHG. Sounds like they are not welcome to me.

        • VERY VERY VERY Wrong Some of my closest friend are Eagle Scouts and are Jewish. Most of them are still very active in Scouting in different Troops in our Council.

        • I’m not sure why it “sounds like they are not welcome to me”… when I clearly stated, “there is no requirement that a girl must be a Christian….girls do not have to share that faith..” Girls of all faiths ARE welcome. If someone of Jewish background, or B’ah’ai, or moslem, or hindu, atheist or any other belief system desires to, they CAN be a part of American Heritage Girls.

          In BSA, each troop is owned by their charter organization. That charter organization has the privilege to direct the “flavor” of the troop: by specifying the nature of their program even to the details of the chapel service presentation (mass vs, protestant service; litergy, worship styles, etc…) But that doesn’t mean that a boy of a faith differing from that charter can not participate in that troop. In fact, the troop that my son was in for years, is chartered by Church of Christ and had some of that “flavor”. However, we had two Jewish families who were involved (dads were ASMs, one of the boys became the SPL, etc…) The charter organization is the one who dictates the openness of the troop. From faith to schooling choices, etc… Not the National Organization.

          It is the same in AHG – all girls are welcome in the design of the National Organization! Our goal is to raise women of integrity through service to God, family, community and country.

          Whether someone of a different faith chooses to be a part of a Christ-centered program is an entirely different matter. But the idea that girls of other faiths are not welcome is simply not true.

        • It is because of the inherent conflict of these two statements:
          “there is no requirement that a girl must be a Christian”
          “Our goal is to raise women of integrity through service to God”

          All of your examples feature the BSA, which has a much subdued religious subtext compared to the AHG.

          “Whether someone of a different faith chooses to be a part of a Christ-centered program is an entirely different matter.”

          Consider this: ‘Whether someone of a different faith chooses to be a part of a Vishnu-centered program is an entirely different matter.’

        • Brian, I couldn’t reply to your other comment:”‘Whether someone of a different faith chooses to be a part of a Vishnu-centered program is an entirely different matter.’” I agree. I guess it comes down to what I’m trying to say is a matter of word choice. all faiths are WELCOME…whether or not they join us is their CHOICE, but someone of another faith not becoming part of AHG is not because of AHG’s rules, it is because of personal choice.

          Not everyone will wish to be a part of a Christ centered program – that is true, but to say that they aren’t welcome is not true. All are welcome whether or not they come.

          Hope that makes sense!

        • I won’t say that the AHG doesn’t welcome everyone. I will say that they are inviting people into something that people may not find welcoming, which is indeed because of personal choice. My belief is that every religious group/organization has the subtext that other religions are incorrect. In the best case, it is subdued and not made an active part, but it cannot be completely eliminated.

          The AHG is very open that it is some christian denomination. And the subtext of that open declaration will inherently breed some degree of unwelcomeness to people that are not that christian denomination. In my opinion, there will always be some degree of unwelcomeness in every religiously affiliated group. But the degree of unwelcomeness and how it affects members can greatly vary.

        • Our Eagle Scout son and our granddaughter Jamie have started AHG. He saw their info booth at the 2010 Jamboree. I’ve been reminding him that when Jamie starts high school, he becomes a Venturing Crew Advisor.

        • That is AWESOME!!! My Eagle Scout has definitely helped teach the basics when the girls first started in AHG. I’m trying to get my highschooling AHGer (Patriot) to spearhead starting an AHG Venturing Crew in the North Texas Area. So they can better participate in the high adventure opportunites that exist.

      • Hmmmm the Euro was formed by European nations and it worked for them, why didn’t the UK join it? The UK drives on the other side of the road, should we also switch? We were also GS Troop leaders that kept an outdoorsy themed Troop until we could no longer do it, where our daughters went to a GS troop with”fun” activities, camping, fishing, etc. The BSA can’t be the repository for the failings of other programs. The Awanas are a co-ed “scout like” program…..maybe there is your answer rather than radically changing a program that has worked for 100+ years in the US.

      • Quick correction: You mean Venturers and not Venture Scouts. Venturing is a Scouting program within the BSA. Venture Scouting is a subprogram within Boy Scouting which is a Scouting program within the BSA.

      • In the UK, the Girl Guides and the Boy Scouts have always been two parts of the same program – not so here. Given the 100 years of history which each organization has, and the fundamental differences in structure and program which have developed in the past century, I think it unlikely – and in fact, virtually impossible – that the two programs could ever be combined into one.

    • That is a bad idea. In Venture Crew, leadership positions typically are all taken by the girls because girls mature faster than boys. I do not want to see that happening in Boy Scout or Cub Scout.

      • Thing about Venturing, on a sample of one, is that boys who’ve been Scouts were Eagles or Life working on Eagle, and already had the POR requirement covered. They didn’t need to do it. As always, YMMV

    • BSA= Boy Scouts of America……add girls to a Boys Program? Really? I would be curiouos who, commenting on this suggestions was a Cub, Boy Scout, adolescent leader and/or Scouter (Paid or Volunteer) and thier years of membership and/or service.

      • The BSA already has Venturing and Exploring which both allow female youth participants. Are you suggesting that the BSA drop these programs?

        And actually, the fact that the national organization is called the Boy Scouts of America while Boy Scouting is only one of many programs within the BSA is one of the reasons I’m not a fan of calling it the BSA.

        • Actually I was suggesting that people give their background in the program so we can tell who is a new player in the game or have invested many years to the program. Often newer participants come in like the “new idea fairy” of how tomchangenthe program that they JUST joined……

        • In regards to your idea to tell where people are coming from:
          Ex-Cub Scouting Summer Camp Staff, Ex-National High Adventure Base Staff, Ex-Boy Scouting Assistant Scoutmaster, Venturing Advisor, District Activities Committee, Council Camp Properties Committee

          My comment was referring to your initial sentence expressing disdain for allowing female youth in the BSA. The BSA has allowed female youth for decades. Are you okay with this fact or do you want to remove these two programs from the BSA?

      • I was a Cub Scout and then a Boy Scout. I’m an Eagle and Order of the Arrow, now the Advisor for a Venturing Crew. Active since 18 years as an adult leader. Also involved with Alpha Phi Omega (founded by Eagle Scouts) on a National level. I understand some of the objections to having girls join, but I don’t agree with many of them. If we want our boys and girls to be able to work together, early adolescence is the time to start preparing them. I would be happy to remove the B in BSA and just be Scouts of either gender.

        • Actually, most of us don’t care that it’s the BSA. We respect that it was a program for young men first, and when we try to explain Venturing to others the look of shock on there faces when you start with, “I’m basically a Boy Scout”, is rather amusing. People don’t understand when you try and explain the co-ed programs, but they know the BSA, so we fall on identifying with that.

      • Venturing is a great co-ed program, but I do agree that girls should be separate from the boys through the Cub and Boy Scout ages. giving them a chance to develop and grow with their own gender and without the pressure of competition, antagonism, and expectations from the other gender. But the name, is just a name. Girls have been able to join Explorer Posts since 1969.

      • My daughter and several other girls in our Den/Pack attend just about every single Cub Scout activity. They go to Fall Family Campout. The Spring Family Campout. The bike rodeo. Every single go-see-it. Some come to our Den meetings and watch. They do cars in the sibling bracket in Pinewood Derby. But they can’t put on a uniform? I’m taking my daughter to Camp Snyder Expo this weekend in Va so she can do some of the fun activities the boys did during camp – where mind you girls and women were at.

    • Agreed. Or, just join Baden Powell Service Association,, where there is no discrimination against anyone for any reason. And with a great focus on outdoor skills and community service.

  18. Will 1st grade Tiger Cubs have to recite the Scout Oath & Law to receive their Bobcat badge? That is going to be very frustrating for all levels of new Cub Scouts. How will the Bobcat requirements be altered?

    • It will be very interesting to see how the Bobcat requirements will change as this change takes place. I am really curious since they have to be able to recite the current promise and law of the pack, but now they are saying they do not have to memorize the Law, but do the Oath. The Oath is more difficult.

      • for me, it’s not the difficulty in the words, it is the loss of the Akela portion of Cub Scouting. Cub Scouting is a FAMILY program – at least it is in my District and Council. I think there is value in the Cub Scout Promise and Law and do not see why having them the same is a benefit… just EASIER! I was brought up that the easy way is not always the best way!

  19. Oh come on, curmudgeons, it’s a good move not a slippery slope. Cubs that move into Boy Scouts have to learn the new oath anyway, and any time you have both groups together, it’s inevitable that there will be that awkward, “oh no, which one do I say!” moment for cubs leaders & parents.

    Remember, the cub scout motto is “do your best”. Our young boys will trip over it, but that’s fine. They’ll get the hang of it and it gives you time to slow down and teach the meaning of each tenet. Great move, wish it went into effect before 2015.

    • Venturers enjoyed the bit of difference. Now they want to make us all the same…our group will continue as is. We will not embrace this travesty.

    • Cubs Moving into Boy Scouts are the oldest boys in the Pack. My concern is with the youngest. I don’t believe this is a good move for them, and as a mother of a Cub and having served as a Tiger, Wolf and Bear den leader I know that the comprehension level of these boys isn’t ready for the Scout Law. Plus, as the article clearly states, they aren’t Boy Scouts, they are Cubs, so they should still have their own Promise and Law to take ownership of.

    • I agree with the changes to the Cub Scouts. However, I disagree with the changes to the Venturing side of things. I know our Crew will not embrace the changes as it is not in their best interest.

  20. Pingback: One Oath & Law for All – Scouting the Fox!

  21. I agree with several of the positive comments. I believe this aligns the programs more closely to the values and mission of the BSA and Scouting in general. As much as society is trying to tear the programs down, I believe this will strengthen the programs, provide continuity throughout the continuum, and deliver a compeling message regarding the vision, values, and mission of the BSA.

  22. My questions concern Venturing…

    1. Will the Venturing program be completely dismantled, now that the Oath & Code are being abolished?

    2. Will young ladies be banned from BSA Scouting?

    3. Who were the volunteers who were asked their opinions? I was never asked for mine.

    I have deep concerns here. The Venturing program has never seemed to have any support (other than lip service) from the National level. Even closer to home, my own council doesn’t even want to acknowledge that Venturing exists. This, I fear, will be the final nails in the coffin…

    • Jim, thanks for putting your questions out there. Here’s the deal:

      1. No!
      2. No!
      3. National Venturing Task Force includes experienced Venturing leaders and youth. Many of the task force were involved in the creation of the program.

      The Task Force is seriously considering actions that can be taken to address your final comment. Too early to say what the outcome will be but your comments are heard.

    • “3. Who were the volunteers who were asked their opinions? I was never asked for mine.”

      Good question. No one knows. No one in the on-line Venturing community knows who was on this committee. Why the secrecy?

      How where they picked? Did they get people who were very knowledgeable about Venturing?

      How diverse was the group? People from a wide range of crew types, different gender, ethnic background. I heard there were NO adult female leaders involved.

    • 3 – Theoretically, all Venturers were asked for their opinions. When I first heard about the Venturing Task Force over a year ago, it was from an email that started at the Area level, was sent down to the Council level, and was then sent to all of the unit leaders. It seems that this communication did not goes as smoothly elsewhere.

  23. Being an Eagle scout, I fully support this decision. I already teach the kids in my pack the scout oath and in particular the scout law.

    they after all, are words to live by!

  24. I disagree with this move. Cubs and Boy Scout programs ARE different, yet similar in goals. But age appropriateness is the concern. The Cub Promise is a cut down version of the Scout Oath. Easier for the 1st graders to comprehend it’s meaning. The Boy Scout Oath enlarges the meaning and is appropriate for boys who are entering into an age of maturity. And have better knowledge to understand it’s full meanings.
    Now if you want to rewrite the Law of the Pack, keep in mind that one purpose of it is to keep kids focused on following leaders and how it will help them and help each other to develop and grow. Very important for prepubescent minds that tend to wander off course quite easily.
    But one oath and law for all, is a mistake.

    • One of the Methods of Scouting is adult association. Adults must help the Cub Scouts understand the current Cub Scout Promise. Those same adults will be able to help the Cub Scouts to understand the Oath and Law that will be used across all traditional Scouting programs. Cub Scouts have the ability to understand the Oath and Law.

      • Bing! You’ve got it Steve!! Research done on this subject indicates that NEITHER the Cub Scout Promise nor the Scout Oath are developmentally suited for Cub Scouts WITHOUT ADULTS GUIDING THEM TO FULL UNDERSTANDING. Same applies to the Scout Oath for Boy Scouts.

        • But that is the WHOLE point of the Law and Promise! “The Cub Scout follows AKELA”. “Obey the Law of the Pack”. Do we loose this connection? My boys understand what this means. There is no issue with it because they have been taught by their Akela’s. I’m not saying they could not learn the Boy Scout Law and Oath. That is not my issue. I am concerned with the loss of meaning to the Cubs.

        • “The Cub Scout follows AKELA” – This falls under “A Scout is Obedient” and can easily be expanded on during discussions of what obedient means, as in they listen to the pack and follow Akela.

          “Obey the Law of the Pack” – This falls under “A Scout is Loyal”, they would indeed obey the law of the pack if they are loyal.

          IMO, It’s really all in how it is explained and initially learned.

        • I agree. I’ve got no issue with the change personally and think it’s a good thing. Will cub scouts simply memorize it the best they can? Sure.. It may be that… But that is the case in younger boy scouts, too. Without proper adult guidance and discussion on it, they simply will not grasp it.

          My thought for helping to learn the Boy Scout Law is to print it out on a single sheet of paper, nice and large, one word per sheet and then flip through them like flash cards as you recite the law. [ Think Bob Dylan - Subterranean Homesick Blues ]

          Once they get a handle on reciting it, then you can dig further. Pick one word a meeting and set it to the side, on the back of that paper have the meaning down and explain it. Then discuss it.

          Make sure to keep it short. Anything past 5 minutes and you will lose mental engagement.

          But at any rate, guidance is always the key. This comes in as both the den leaders as well as the parents.

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