Room for one more? Your ideas for the 13th point of the Scout Law

Don’t panic! The Scout Law isn’t changing.

Why mess with something that’s been guiding Boy Scouts in this country since 1911?

The BSA’s version  — one of several variations from around the world — is a slight tweak from the 10 original points Baden-Powell published in his Scouting for Boys in 1908.

We all know it well, right? Say it with me: A Scout is Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent.

Sounds good. But 100-plus years after it was written, it’s fun to think about what — if anything — is missing from the list. What would make a good 13th point for the Scout Law?

I turned to our Facebook friends, and many said they use this same question in Eagle Boards of Review.

Here are the top responses, sorted by number of mentions:

Hungry (19)

Chuck H. says, “There already is a 13th point to the Scout Law … A Scout is Hungry! I’ve known that since I was a Boy Scout 52 years ago!”

Humble (9)

David H. says, ” I have always said it should be ‘A Scout is Humble’ — Proud but not arrogant, confident yet open-minded and grateful for all that has and will come his way.”

Respectful (9)

Melony L. says, “My boys added Respectful onto theirs. They had a boy that talked back to his mother in front of them and they have added it on ever since.”

Tolerant (5)

Tara B. says, “I like Tolerant.”

Honest (4)

Mark W. says, “Odd that Honest isn’t in there, eh? So much is covered by the others though…”

Resourceful (4)

Janette H. says, “Resourceful, but not sure if that could be included in Thrifty … Making do with what you have.”

“Not a fool” (3)

James R. says, “Baden Powell said ‘the Scout is not a fool.’ How can one argue with B-P?”

Diligent (3)

Bill S. says, “A scout is Diligent, in his pursuits, passions, and beliefs.”

Punctual (3)

Mat D. says, “Punctual – a lost trait in this world.”

“Clean… but not afraid to get dirty”

Thanks to Mike Rowe for that one!

Others receiving votes

Aware, Conservation-minded, Curious, Grateful, Patient, Thankful, Adventurous, Athletic, Charitable, Confident, Courageous, Dedicated, Disciplined, Forgiving, Generous, Honorable, Integral, Lucky, Outgoing, Prepared, Safe, and Tucked (“as in uniform shirts”).

One more to consider

Lillian P. says, “Hydrated … Sincerely, your local camp medical officer.”


Related posts

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The Scout Law in the Workplace: Values that really work at your office

What do you think?

What, if anything, would you add to the Scout Law? Leave your idea below.


Photo by Flickr user mjrindewitt