cub-salute

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. Some of our officers discussed this last night and emailed me this morning. They decided that this not really going to affect them. They have their own uniforms, not the BSA Venturing uniforms. They want to continue using the existing Venturing Oath because it is more suited to them, and it doesn’t use the term “Scout”.

    Our Crew is comprised of about a third of females, a third of males who are also Boy Scouts and a third of males that quit Boy Scouts. They all joined Venturing because it wasn’t Boy Scouts. We are not associated with a Troop, neither is our Chartered Organization. In the last six years, we have put out an equal amount of Eagle Scouts as the Troops in town. We actively use the Venturing awards as well.

    I wish the BSA would give more support and resources to Venturing instead of trying to turn it into “Senior Boy Scouts with girls”. It’s a great program and alternative to Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts.

  2. This is excellent! The Scout Oath and Scout Law are solid principles that can apply to all ages. I like it.

    I also was confused when I was in my Venturing uniform and reciting the Scout Oath. Is it the 3 finger of full hand sign. Simple and easy. I like that. :-)

    I have always found the Scout Oath and Law to be my favorite and most meaningful even when involved with Cub Scouts and Venturing.

    Well done decision makers.

  3. I am quite pleased by the few commenters that are correcting erroneous uses of Venture Scouts when people are referring to Venturing.

    In a small way this illustrates how unknown many aspects of the Venturing program are to the rest of the BSA.

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  6. As a Webelos II den leader and Scoutmaster, I fully support this initiative. We are spending time to memorize the scout oath an law for the arrow of light. If this was done earlier, I could be using that time to better prepare my guys for the differences in mechanics of the meetings, outings, advancements, etc. This would make for a much smoother transition into the Troop. In my opinion, Bobcats, Tigers, Wolves, and Bears should need to be able too explain what the oath and law mean and reciting from memory should be a Webelo badge requirement. There could be a special patch for cubs who can recite it in the earlier ranks.

  7. In the beginning, there was just Boy Scouting. The original principles were captured in the Oath, Law, and Promise. Regardless of your age or whether you walk, float or fly, these principles are at the core of the organization. I think this is a good thing obviously.

    • I agree with Steve. What I have a problem with is keeping the “Boy Scouts of America” as the overall name. We are including girls in our membership. Why not adopt the name: “Scouts of America” or “Scouting America” or “American Scouting”.
      We need a generic name. One name, one purpose, one oath, one promise, one sign, one handshake. One strong, unified organization.

  8. I need to add to the above comment…I’m an over 65 year veteran of Scouting.
    I started in Scouting, then became an Assistant Explorer Advisor. Professionally I have experience in “branding”. I know what is needed to unify or tie together various
    units of an organization. National has much more important business to attend to at this time, so as to ensure public support, confidence and funding present and future!

  9. Due to the fact that most of the cub cannot read even the 2 promise of the cub it took them long time before they can memorise.How can you placed them on 10 scout promise which has alot of contradiction.Laws 2 contradict law 7 etc.

    • I’m not sure I understand your comment. I don’t think the laws contradict each other.

      My problem is NOT that they are changing everything over. My problem is that there will be no appropriate “transition.” The official transition will be when the new books are published. In the meantime, how do we proceed? To be fair to the boys, I would want to start transitioning now, but the books will continue to say that the boys need to learn the Cub Scout promise and law to receive their Bobcat. This seems to be where the biggest problems will come (in my opinion). I have no doubt that the boys are capable of learning the information, just that the next few years will cause confusion.

  10. Keep it the way it is now regarding the Cub Scouts. Let them have their own program. Let them be little boys. I think this is pushing them, and many kids are already under pressure to be pushed ahead (grow up too soon) in school and in the media.

  11. I think that Cubbies learning Scout Oath and Law is important and a great move. They still have their own salute, motto, handshake, etc… The Law of the Pack is okay, but Scout Law is much more what scouts is all about, Trustworthy, Helpful, Friendly… All of these values are taught throughout the Cub program (my son joined as a Tiger, is currently a Web 1) and teaching Scout Oath/Law off the bat means less of a learning curve in Webelos. Their program is changed quite a bit as it is, and it’s complicated for them to learn something new, that they haven’t practiced for three years. Go BSA! I think it should have been this way from the beginning.

  12. I’m definitely in favor of this; I’ve hated the Cub Scout Promise, ever since I was actually a Cub Scout, the Oath isn’t much better. The only problem I see, is that there are lots of Boy Scout units that don’t do the Oath correctly as it is. It is properly broken down into three parts:
    1. On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law;
    2. to help other people at all times;
    3. to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.

    The Venturing Oath is just badly written – it’s an attempt to re-state the Scout oath principles, but just make it sound differently I actually think that they should also retire the two-finger cub salute and sign while they’re at it. The three-fingered salute and sign is the universal symbol of Scouting, and really, there’s nothing that looks sillier than an adult Cub leader saluting with two fingers. (IMHO).

    Both the Cub Scouts and Venturing are outgrowths of, and rely on, the Boy scout program. One of the problems we have, is that the different types of units – even when they have the same sponsor – often have little or no contact with each other. This move will – in my opinion – help to foster a common spirit of camaraderie, and lead to greater cohesion and a smoother transition as boys move from one program to another.

    Mick Wagner
    Unit Commissioner
    Thunderbird District, Cascade Pacific Council, BSA

  13. It is very important to look at Scouting from a somewhat different standpoint. It is not about what adults like or think it should be about, it is about what has been determined to be the most appealing and effective program proven to be best for the youth and what is most likely to inspire them to enjoy and remain active in the program.

    Scouters need to be committed to that concept and not to their own opinions and preferences. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and if something doesn’t seem to be working, then suggestions through appropriate channels are always welcome which is what helps the program grow and appeal to youth. Some ideas may be appropriate and useful, and others may not.

    , Venturing, Sea Scouts, Exploring and Cub Scouts are not outgrowths of traditional Boy Scouts programs, nor should they be labeled as such,. merely because Boy Scouts were the first element of the program developed by Baden-Powell, The Boy Scout program was designed to be age appropriate for 11-14 year olds. After that, Venturing, Sea Scouts and Exploring are age appropriate for 13 through 20 year olds, and similarly Tiger Cubs and Cub Scouts are age appropriate for those youth under age 11. In the 1950′s Boy Scouts who reached age 14 were automatically transferred to Explorer Posts and wore the forest green uniforms, so there were no Boy Scouts older than 14. This was an incentive for younger Scouts to become Explorers and do more challenging activities. Posts and Troops worked together and Explorers helped the younger Scouts. .

    Today, the largest attrition for traditional Boy Scout troops is at age 14 when youth enter high school. If these young men could be directed into a coed Venturing, Sea Scout and Exploring program, there is a good chance they would remain in Scouting, but there is generally little effort made by Scouters and local councils to facilitate such opportunities so the youth often leave Scouting entirely.

    Scoutmasters sometimes fear that Venturing will “steal their older youth leadership” leaving them without help from older Scouts. However if Scouters would facilitate forming a Venturing Crew or Sea Scout Ship associated with the Troop they would find that the youth will remain active because they now have their own program that meets their interests and needs. Our Troop did this more than 20 years ago and kept the older youth interested and active through high school so it is a proven method.

    Lord Robert Baden-Powell and his wife Lady Olave Baden-Powell recognized the need for extending Scouting to both young girls and boys and similarly for young men and women until they become adults, with the hope that they will at some point then return the favor to Scouting by becoming adult leaders.

    Sea Scouts are the second oldest young adult program of the BSA which was formed in 1912, followed by Cub Scouts, next by Air Scouts, and then Exploring, and finally Venturing. ALL are a part of the SCOUTING FAMILY of the BSA. Each program division contributes unique and appealing offerings to different age groups of youth which cannot be effectively or appropriately met by the other divisions, despite claims to the contrary. Also as previously noted, the vast majority of Venturers and Sea Scouts, as well as Explorers HAVE NEVER BEEN BOY SCOUTS. This sadly indicates the nearly total lack of transition to what should be “Scouting’s Next Step”.

    As i noted in an earlier post, BSA actually changed the organization name in the 1970′s to SCOUTING USA. and changed the logo and brand designs. This was done in possible anticipation of merging with the Girl Scouts of the USA and other Youth organizations such as Campfire, et al. Regrettably when this did not
    work out, the organization went back to the original BSA name. It might be well to reconsider changing the organization name back to SCOUTING USA and try again for such reconciliation with other youth groups.

    If traditional Boy Scout Troops could meet all these needs and appeal to all those age groups, then there would be no need for Cub Scouts and for Venturing, Sea Scouts, and Exploring. Clearly that need exists as is evidenced by the shrinking numbers of traditional Boy Scouts nationally. Venturing remains as the fastest growing program of the BSA, but it does not get anywhere near the level of support and promotion that it should from Scouters, the local councils or even the national organization. If it did, the overall growth of youth members in BSA would very likely be exponential. rather than declining

    The values and traditions of Scouting are expressed in age appropriate terms in the existing Cub Scout Oath and Promise, and in the Venturing Oath and Code [just as they were in the previous and identical Exploring Code], but in terms that are age appropriate to the maturity of young boys, and of young men and women respectively. Homogenizing those and other program elements into a “one size fits all” Boy Scout Troop format is simply inappropriate and unnecessary.

    The traditional Boy Scout program is by no means a “one-size fits all” program because it does not appeal to the vast majority of young men and women between the ages of 13 through 20. Venturing, Sea Scouts and Exploring fulfill the age appropriate needs of that age group by welcoming both male and female teens and giving them the finest leadership skills, challenging high adventure outdoor opportunities and career orientation opportunities ever offered in the BSA. Even the Boy Scouting Division copied venturing’s leadership skills training programs as they were vastly superior to what the Boy Scout program was offering.

    It is essential to behave as a “Scouting Family” to mutually support and embrace all of the program divisions and try to make sure that youth can join and get the advantages and outcomes that each program division can offer as the youth travel through the Scouting Experience until they reach adulthood. The journey is far more important than the destination because as a youth, they “will only pass this way but once.”

  14. I have to say that my youngest son had no trouble memorizing the Scout Law. He learned it while his big brothers worked on it when he was in kindergarten. He started Tigers, and had to learn the Cub one instead. He had far more trouble with the whole Akela concept than he did with understanding any of the words of the Boy Scout law.

    I think we are seriously underestimating our boys if we think that they can’t grasp the meaning of words like trustworthy at the age of 6.

    I like that Tigers won’t have to memorize it, though. It is a bit like American Heritage Girls then. They have a 12 point creed and the youngest girls (up through 3rd grade) only have to understand it. It isn’t until 4th grade that they have to memorize it. I’m grateful for that. It means I have three years until I need to learn it (I’m positive my first grade daughter could master it now, but *I* will get it confused with the BSA one.)

    If AHG feels that 6 year old girls can understand words like perseverant (!!) it seems crazy that so many worry that 6 year old boys can’t grasp words like courteous.

    • The Tiger scout promise is only two sentence longer. As a Tiger Scout Leader I feel that starting now and proper leadership they will do well. As do I have a Daisy Scout there promise is almost identical as the cub scouts and boy scouts. The Scout Law is much shorter than the Girl Scout Law. Again, it is the leadership that will make or break our scouts.

  15. With the change to the Law and Oath and the affective date for cub scouts being the mid 2015 as leaders we should start teaching the Cub scouts of all levels noe as this will allow a seemless transition to the changes. By the time the current tigers reach weblos they will have a head start with the changes. We need to continue teaching the new cub scouts every year from now until 2015. The change may be upsetting to some but the Girl scouts have had the same law and promise for all levels of girl scouting for a long time. As a eagle scout that started as a Bobcat meny years ago I see this as a good change this will ease the transition between the levels of scouting.

  16. Personally, I think this is a good move. But, it also doesn’t go far enough.

    The current structure (IMHO) needs to be more fully integrated using the existing programs.

    Tigers for fun, Cubs for fun and learning, Scouts for further development of scouting skills, and Venturing having a more challenging environment for adventure. With each program building upon the next while retaining the Arrow of Light, Eagle, and Venturing their Awards.

    Oh, one small thing… we in the USA should take a long hard look at what they’ve done in the UK… Girl Guides are still around, but full co-ed is now the way Scouting works in England.

    Leadership would be more difficult. But if not Co-Ed, we need to find a way to help the young females. Girl Scouting has become mostly irrelevant and a far departure from what “Girl Guides” was intended for. Campfire is all but gone.

    Many of us Scouter’s and Parents have daughters that we wouldn’t let near the Girl Scout program, American Heritage Girls just isn’t available, and there arn’t many other options.

    And this is a discussion we need to start having now, rather than later.

    • Why isn’t American Heritage Girls available? If you don’t have one in your area, start one. AHG is growing extremely fast and is available in all of the US and some other countries and troops are starting daily. Go to ahgonline.org to find out about AHG and how to start a troop.

  17. As a Scoutmaster for 50 yrs with 103 Eagle scout we need some changes, but not to far from center of what we are trying to do. Recruiting has become an issue with boys and parents as to the leadership styles with their boys. Large group of scout are not corrected at home on their action, so it’s up to us to guide their direction.

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  19. This is seriously stupid and the fact two separate task forces came to this conclusion makes me wonder what kind of self-reinforcing lunacy we have down at National. Scouting has been somewhat of a bulwark against the steady degradation of standards in contemporary society but this is just one more example of our slow decline.

    Ease the transition? Why have so many years worth of Cubs not had a problem learning their own oath and law and then transitioning when they crossed over but we suddenly have issues with this? Most I’ve seen in 25 years as an adult leader enjoyed the chance to show a distinction between being a Cub and a Boy Scout.

  20. They changed the Cub Scout promise in the late 60′s, right before I became a Cub Scout, replacing the phrase “To be square”, with “To help other people”, to replace what had become a negative colloquial expression with a phrase that more closely parallels the Boy Scout Oath, which hasn’t changed since its inception. I am a Cub leader now and do not see a problem with the change. Kind of wish they had done it 50 years ago.

    The Law of the Pack has always seemed kind of dumb to me.

    BTW, the BSA also changed the Cub Salute in the late 30′s. It was formerly an outstretched hand, which seemed to invoke a Nazi salute. So . . . change isn’t always bad.

    In about 40 years of being in Scouting, I have noticed that once you do something a couple of times, it becomes “the way we have ALWAYS done it.”

  21. Why change… I had no problem as a Cub Scout or Boy Scout and the change between them. Also, the requirements were over all tougher to accomplish “way back when” This transition and “easing” the boys along is right up there with the dumbing down of society. Kids need challenge, not coddling.

    • Damn straight requirements were tougher “way back when.” I’ve noticed that most merit badges and advancement requirements have been modified to allow completion in a weekend or a week at summer camp.

      For example, the signaling requirement. Sure Morse code isn’t used much but it is a fun skill to know BUT it can’t be mastered in a day or two so it fell by the wayside.

      • Scouting is always working to remain relevant. While some believe signaling and the Morse Code to be fun skills they are not relevant to the vast majority of today’s youth. Irrelevant skills are dropped. At the same time skills and traits that will help our youth make ethical and moral decisions over the course of a lifetime are enhanced.

        • Map reading and knots aren’t really relevant either. Hey, those were dropped for the most part too. As I said before, anything that can’t be mastered in a weekend has been dropped.

          I’m curious, what skills are being taught that help our youth make ethical and moral decisions?

        • Most of Scouting has never been relevant but the skills were taught for the boys to learn self-reliance and to give the boys a sense of accomplishment when the skill was mastered. Trees? Not relevant. Animals? Who cares? Signalling was never really relevant. Neither was tracking. Axmanship? Nah.

          I haven’t been a Scouter for 50 years like some but, in more than a decade, I’ve seen more than a few boys from more than a few troops. I can’t think of many who were excited about any of the stuff that they were doing. I can only remember one who thought that making First Class was the shizzle. The rest were all ho-hum about it. Why? Mostly because nothing really required any effort on their part.

  22. I am excited for the change. I’m ready for it now! As a committee member of all units in my chartered organization, I have struggled learning all the different oaths, as I have noticed the boys have too. They usually focus on the Boy Scout Oath and Law. My youngest son, who has 2 older brothers, had both the Scout Oath and Law memorized when he turned 7.

  23. I learned the Cub Scout Oath and Law of the Pack in 1962, went on the learn the Boy Scout Oath and Law in 1965, and finally the Sea Scout Oath and Law of the Sea in 1968. We went from saluting with two fingers (Cubs), to three (Boy Scouts), to the full military-style salute in Sea Scouts. Why change the way it is. It sounds like all National cares about is taking advantages away from the boys as they grow older and get near the next level.

    Why not go all the way and put everyone in the same uniform. National doesn’t care about what the boys or adults have to wear, which is noted by the unfashionable, ill-fitting uniforms now forced on us to wear. A lot of boys in our council would rather go without wearing; uniforms or trying to find more of the older style ones to wear. Way to go, Irving, TX. Talk to more people in the field and not just a few “special friends” like now.

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  25. At first I was annoyed at the idea for the change, but after reading about the specific changes and thinking about it, I am personally OK with it. The Oath and Promise are so very closely related that settling on one is not a big issue. Besides, “I, [state your name], promise to…” is awkward to say together in a group and confusing to young scouts who are trying to learn it. As well I am glad to jettison the Law of the Pack for the Cub Scouts. Although only a 4-line stanza, it is also awkward to recite and basically abstract and meaningless to the young Cub Scouts. Having them rather focus from early childhood on the values-supporting themes of the Boy Scout Law and Oath is wonderful for a lifetime of memorizing and assimilating these character-building ideals. Starting early and allowing their leaders plenty of time to develop on the meaning of these higher-abstract terms is necessary. Because I know of a few Boy Scouts, even Eagle candidates, who still can’t tell you what “A Scout is Reverent” means… [I am sure that could be a whole new discussion thread!]

    • I have been involved in Scouting for 26 years I think it is a great idea! I have always felt it is hard for the young Cub Scouts to learn one thing and then turn around and have to relearn something different in just a few years. When the Tiger Cubs were created and they then had to learn something yet totally different I thought it was crazy! Our youngest boys were learning something different three times (Tiger Cub, Cub Scout, Weblos = Boy Scout) in the first four years of the program. What were we thinking! It will be nice to teach them one thing and they will memorize that for life! I have helped conduct several Eagle board of revieves and you are quite right there are many who can not tell the meaning of “A Scout is Reverent”. Yes that is a totally new discussion thread….

  26. “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.”

    Huh? I learned that when I was seven or eight and I didn’t have any problem understanding it. They keep saying that kids are getting smarter but then they keep telling us that kids can’t understand concepts that were understood by kids fifty years ago.

    • I’ve been doing this unofficially for years. I’ve always had Den Chiefs in my dens. During our opening, we do the Pledge of Allegiance, the Cub Scout Promise, the Law of the Pack, followed by the Den Chiefs reciting the Boy Scout Oath and Law. Once a month, we take one of those aspects of the Law and use it for a discussion and wherever possible tie in into something they are doing. For example, our Church holds a Scout Sunday service in February. That month, “A Scout is Reverent” is what we discuss and weave through our activities. When we sell popcorn, I use that as a time to go over a “A Scout is cheerful” when discuss how to approach people and “A Scout is thrifty” when working with money. The Oath and Law should be woven throughout the entire tapestry of Scouting, from Tigers to Eagle so that it becomes part of a Scout’s DNA.

  27. ” I have always felt it is hard for the young Cub Scouts to learn one thing and then turn around and have to relearn something different in just a few years. ”

    Yeah, learning new things is always so difficult for kids. Like playing baseball and going from no lead offs to being allowed to steal bases. That’s really hard.

    The real problem is that kids just don’t use their brains independent thought anymore.

  28. Dean said, ” In the 1950′s Boy Scouts who reached age 14 were automatically transferred to Explorer Posts and wore the forest green uniforms, so there were no Boy Scouts older than 14. This was an incentive for younger Scouts to become Explorers and do more challenging activities.”

    Not necessarily true. That was a possibility but not mandatory according to my old Scout handbooks, Scoutmaster handbooks and Explorer handbooks. Some troops had “explorer patrols” much like Venture Patrols are encouraged in troops.

    If you read the old books, the program was designed to keep boys involved until they aged out. The first couple years were spent mastering the basics of Scouting and First Class took more than a year to year AND you couldn’t work on merit badges until you reached First Class (if my memory serves). There wasn’t the headlong rush for rank and Eagle back in the old days.

    Look at the way that troop were run in the old days, some patrol leaders were in place for years because their patrols liked them. Now many troop have mandatory position changes every six months “to allow boys to advance.” I recall a parent screaming at my son’s SM that the SM needed to kick a boy out of a position so his son could have it for advancement.

    I used to listen to adults saying crap like “We need to run these boys through knot training so they can get . . .” What happened to the boys wanting to learn their knots so they could advance instead of being driven by their parents. And the training consists of “This is how you tie a square knot, now do it.”

    Boys drop out of Scouting because the whole thing has become parent run. We preach boy led but it isn’t practiced. What satisfaction is there for a Scout to be SPL when the SM plans the meetings and outing and the SPL just shows up and leads the Oath?

    The program is still designed to keep boys involved until they reach 18, if only the adults would follow the program.

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