Seventy-six years before Mark Zuckerberg was even born, the original Scout Law appeared in Baden-Powell’s Scouting for Boys.
No need for a new set of 12, though. Turns out those words — which the BSA adapted and adopted in 1911 — still apply as 2013 nears.
That’s why the Boy Scouts of America just released a new pledge called “The Scout Law and Cybersafety/Cyberbullying” to be signed by a Scout, his/her parent, and a leader.
Consider it a new interpretation of those 12 points for the generation growing up with (deep breath) Facebook, Google, Skype, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Foursquare, SMS, MMS, and OMGs.
Check it out:
The Scout Law and Cybersafety/Cyberbullying
Trustworthy. Be truthful with others online, and be very careful of the information you share. Do the right thing when sharing other people’s words or pictures. Make sure you have the owner’s permission before sharing them.
Loyal. Share information about others only if you have their permission to share it. Uphold appropriate agreements you make with friends when you play games with them.
Helpful. Alert others to scams, cheats, and suspicious sites. Point them to reliable and accurate sources of information. Encourage people to report bad behavior online.
Friendly. Support others who are doing good things, like posting quality creative works. Support those who are bullied.
Courteous. Be polite and respectful. When you use other people’s work, be sure to ask permission, follow fair use standards, and give credit to the people who created and own the work.
Kind. Treat people with respect when you are on social networks, playing games, talking or texting, or in other digital activities.
Obedient. When using digital devices, follow the rules set by your parents/guardians, teachers, and Scout leaders. Abide by the rules established by sites, services, devices, and games.
Cheerful. Use games, messaging tools, and social forums to build your relationships with others while having fun.
Thrifty. Be a smart consumer. Know your voice, text, and data plans and use them wisely. Be sure to study digital devices and services you want. Before buying them, make sure you’re not overspending on functions and features you won’t need. Be careful not to run up charges on apps and sites.
Brave. Stand up for what is right. Do not participate in mocking and bullying others, even if your friends are doing it. Report suspected abuse to a trusted adult, like your parent or leader; call 911 as appropriate or call the Cyber Tip line at 1-800-843-5678. If the incident involves any part of the Scouting program, call your council Scout executive immediately or email email@example.com.
Clean. Use clean language and discuss only appropriate topics when using digital devices to communicate with others.
Reverent. Respect the feelings of other people. Do not use digital devices to spread irreverent ideas.
Print the Pledge
Download this PDF, and share it with your Scouts. Ask them to sign it, and notice the spot for a parent and a Scouter to leave their John Hancock.
What do you think?
How else can the Scout Law be applied to issues relevant to today’s teens?