Demonstrate Scout Spirit

November 19th, 2008

Demonstrate Scout Spirit by living the Scout Oath (Promise) and Scout Law in your everyday life.  Where have you heard these words before?  It is a requirement to advance for every rank above Tenderfoot.  But what does it mean?

A young Scout participated in the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program at 6th grade school.  Near the end of the program each student was to write a story, poem, or essay about what they learned in the program.  The writings would be judged by the police officer who taught the program and the top writing would be read by the winner during the graduation ceremony later that week.  The Scout chose to write a poem.  The day before it was due he asked his Dad for help finding a word that would rhyme with one he already had in the text.  The Dad made several suggestions and the Scout chose one and went on to complete the project.  The next day his poem was announced the first place winner and he beamed with pride.  Later, that morning as he was discussing it with friends, it was mentioned somehow that his Dad had given him a suggestion in an early draft of the poem.  A student who overheard the discussion complained to their parents who subsequently called the principal and demanded that his poem be disqualified (the project was supposed to have been his effort, and his alone).  The principal summoned the young Scout to her office.  "Did your father help you write this poem?"  she inquired.  He answered "Yes."  To which he was told his entry would have to be disqualified.  As he was leaving, she found herself overcome by his honesty and sincerity.  She stopped him and asked why he had responded so truthfully.  If he had said "No," she would have simply dismissed the matter altogether.  With tears in his eyes, he responded, "Don't you know?  A Scout is always truthful!"  She was so struck by his response that she called the Dad at work to tell him this story.  The Dad was never more proud of his son in his life.

Why do I tell you this story?  The young Scout demonstrated Scout Spirit.  He lived the Scout Oath (Promise) and Scout Law in his everyday life.  At 11 years old he completely internalized their meaning and ideals.  Next time you prepare for a Scoutmaster conference, ponder how you would answer the question, "How have you demonstrated Scout Spirit by living the Scout Oath (Promise) and Scout Law in your everyday life?"

Good night, gentlemen.