Road test: Can you figure out the Scouting message in this license plate number?

Courtesy of Cindy deRosier

When heading out behind the wheel for an evening errand or weekend adventure, remember to follow the Scout Motto and BPRPRD. If you spot a motorist in distress, try to keep in mind the Scout Slogan and DAGTD.

Do all those things, and your fellow travelers won’t be surprised to see you’re an EGLSCT, EGLMOM or EGLDAD.

In the universe of Scouting-themed personalized license plates, some four- to seven-character combos are pretty easy to figure out. Even with some letters removed, we still quickly recognize phrases like Be Prepared, Do a Good Turn Daily, Eagle Scout, Eagle Mom and Eagle Dad.

But others take a bit more cleverness to decipher.

Last month, Cindy deRosier and her son Trevor were brainstorming ideas for a license plate-themed puzzle that Trevor could present at a future virtual troop meeting.

Trevor is a Life Scout in Troop 482 of Fairfield, Calif. (Golden Gate Area Council), and Cindy is a committee member and merit badge counselor.

Trevor and his mom came up with the mock license plate number pictured at the top of the post. Cindy created the image using PicMonkey, adding scouting.org where the state name goes and “Be Prepared” at the bottom.

But what do the characters mean? Can you figure out the message?

Decoding the message

Did you figure it out?

If not, here’s a clue: What’s the highest rank in Scouts BSA? Yes, it’s Eagle Scout, which is represented on the license plate with the letter E.

Got it yet?

Ready for the answer?

Last chance before we spoil!

The answer: The letters represent the ranks of Scouts BSA in order: Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life and Eagle. ST21SLE.

“I wonder if anyone has ever gotten this as a personalized license plate,” Cindy wrote on her blog, which she agreed to let me excerpt here. “It’d be an awesome choice and one that would probably stump a lot of people.”

Specialty license plates

After bumper stickers and window decals, the best way to show off your BSA pride on the road is through a personalized license plate.

You could personalize the actual combination of numbers and letters in some sort of Scouty way, purchase a Scouting-themed specialty plate from your state or do both.

Those special organization plates often benefit local Scouting, which makes that a win-win for all involved. In Arizona, for example, $17 of the $25 fee goes to the Grand Canyon Council.

Looking for Scouting-themed license plates in your state? We’ve compiled these links below. Every state is here, but there were some with no BSA-themed plate available.

After spending way too much time on the website for each state’s department of motor vehicles, we found BSA plates in 24 of the 50 U.S. states. We marked those still lacking with “none found.”

Do you live in one of the “none found” states? Check with your state to learn more about the process for requesting a specialty plate. In the state of Washington, for example, a nonprofit organization must obtain 3,500 signatures from people saying they’ll purchase the plate.

An update on Cindy deRosier

One more quick note.

You might remember Troop 482 committee member Cindy deRosier from this July 2020 Bryan on Scouting post about a “Mystery Hike” activity for Scouts and their families.

In the seven months since that post went live, Cindy has heard from dozens of Scouters from across the U.S. who were inspired to create mystery hikes of their own.

“A Scoutmaster in Albuquerque sent me the digital version of his,” she says. “It was so fun to solve someone else’s hike and be on the other side of things.”

Scouting on the road

How do you show off your Scouting spirit when behind the wheel? Leave a comment (or photo!) below with details.

About Bryan Wendell 3143 Articles
Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is the founder of Bryan on Scouting and a contributing writer.