Archive for the ‘Scout Law’ Category


Where has the time gone? I just realized that it has been over twelve years since I threw a troop tee shirt on a puppet I own and created Buttons, the radical Boy Scout. It honestly does not seem that long ago.

On April 17, 2006, I posted a video on YouTube featuring Buttons reciting the Scout Law. Little did I know at the time that he would actually get a small following on the Melrose Scouting Productions channel and my podcast. For the next few years I created more videos featuring the puppet. There were nineteen videos of Buttons by the time I ended creating them.

The videos began very simply with Buttons reciting the Scout Law, Oath, or Outdoor Code. They were getting more elaborate toward the end of the run. There was a video of him exercising. There were videos of Buttons interviewing people involved in Scouting. There were a few videos of him explaining when you know you have been in Scouting too long. There were even videos of Buttons and other puppets telling jokes.

I still Buttons out occasionally to take a few pictures of him in different situations. Last summer I had him on the local disc golf course since Buttons has always stated on the Around The Scouting Campfire podcast that he likes disc golf. I recently posted a few of those pictures in the disc golf subheading on Reddit and surprisingly got a mixed reaction from people. Some people thought it was good fun. Others thought he was wierd. A few did not like him at all.

A couple of the Boy Scouts of Troop 68 think I should create some new videos with Buttons this summer. They even offered to help make the short films. Maybe if we can come up with a few good ideas it just might happen.

Do you think we should create some new videos featuring Buttons, the radical Boy Scout? Leave a comment and let me know. In the meantime, have fun watching the very first video featuring the radical puppet.

kindergarden funThe regular meeting of Boy Scout Troop 68 began its usual way Monday night. The Scouts had an opening and then began the skill development session of the meeting. The theme was the Scout Law. It was time to review the twelve points and their meanings. Daniel, a Life Scout, lead the discussion. Scoutmaster Jim finished it by informing the Scouts they would have the chance to use several of these points during a good turn that would happen in several minutes.

The troop meets at St. Mary’s School gym during the cold weather months, October through April. Monday night was the first meeting for this season held at the gym. The principal of the school had asked the scoutmaster if the troop could help with a little project. A meeting for the Kindergarten children and their parents was also being held at the school that evening. The teacher was hoping for several minutes to meet with the parents alone. Could the Boy Scouts keep these young children entertained for ten minutes during that meeting?

When Mr. Doyle escorted the small students into the gym the Boy Scouts where ready to begin the game session. I thought there would be maybe a dozen kids, but they kept coming in. More and more. The line stopped when 24 Kindergarteners walked into the gym. You could tell several of them were a little frightened by the big Boy Scouts. We did not let them think about it before breaking them up into five smaller groups and starting the game.

It was a very simple game. The kids took turns rolling balls into three bowling pins, trying to knock them over. The Boy Scouts acted as the pin setters, the ball return, and the helpers to lead the youngsters to do well. The Scouts were quite excited. When one of the little ones knocked all three pins over the older boys were the first ones to cheer and get a high five from the successful youngster. Several of the youngsters were really getting into the game. A few stayed a little shy and reserved. I think they all had fun. To tell the truth, after a few minutes it was hard to tell who was having more fun, the Boy Scouts or the Kindergarteners.

I immediately saw the photo opportunity going on so I quickly grabbed my iPad. I was busy snapping photos and even took a couple videos. I look forward to sharing the photos with the troop and the school.

After the children left and the meeting returned to normal, the scoutmaster gathered the Scouts and held a short discussion about what just occurred. Which points of the Scout Law did the Scouts practice during this visit? How did they feel about playing with this age group? Was it a good Good Turn?

I think the Boy Scouts of Troop 68 will remember this evening for quite awhile.

In addition to reciting the Scout Oath, Scout Law, or the Outdoor code as an opening for their troop meetings, the patrol leader council of Troop 68 has looked toward other ways to start their meetings. One code that seemed to make its way into a meeting every month or two is a little thing found in the ninth edition of the Boy Scout Handbook. If you have a copy of the book turn to page 42 and you will find something called the Knight’s Code.

To quote the handbook – “Baden-Powell got the Scout Motto and developed the Scout Law from the code of the knights of old.” This code is:

Be always ready with your armor on, except when you are taking your rest at night.
Defend the poor, and help them that cannot defend themselves.
Do nothing to hurt or offend anyone else.

Be prepared to fight in the defense of your country.

At whatever you are working, try to win honor and a name for honesty.

Never break your promise.

Maintain the honor of your country with your life.

Rather die honest than live shamelessly.

Chivalry require that youth should be trained to perform the most laborious and humble offices with cheerfulness and grace; and to do good onto others.

I think this is a pretty good code to even live by in today’s world. Other then wearing that heavy armor, that is.

Think about it. It is truly amazing. We spend a lot of our lives in line or lanes. We wait in line at the bank. We wait with our shopping cart at the store. We drive in lanes, sometimes one wide, sometimes two wide. These lanes and lines help us to get where we are going and help us to stay organized in our community.

What I find truly amazing is that many of these lines and lanes are nothing more than a line painted on the floor or road. Sometimes they exist only in our minds. We “create” the line, and then we and the people around us, follow it. And we all live happily ever after…

Until someone does not follow the line. It irritates us when someone cuts into the line at the store or theater. Tempers rise and words are said. People become unfriendly. When someone incorrectly crosses the line on a road doing seventy miles an hour accidents can happen and people can be killed.

We also have lines to follow in Scouting. Using a map and compass we follow an imaginary line to get to where we wish to go, possibly our campsite for the night. We stand in line to get a plateful of food, or to participate in an activity at a camporee.

The Scout Oath and the Scout Law represent two lines that a boy and adult agree to follow when they join a Boy Scout troop. When an adult follows these lines he sets a good example for the Scouts in his troop. When a boy follows these lines he has a good start on growing into a man of strong character. He will be an asset to his community. People will look up to him. He will be respected.

Of course, when a boy (or an adult leader) drift away from the line of behavior set by the Scout Oath and Law, the chances increase that he will find himself in trouble. The news is full of boys and men who have strayed from the line of good behavior. Too many times they find themselves in a small room looking out through vertical lines that keep them in place.

Which lines have you chosen to follow?

I am veering away from the usual song or skit video found on the Melrose Scouting Productions Podcast to bring you something created by Eagle Scout Doug Gray. A couple years ago Doug’s father, Fred, asked me for some assistance in finding some Scouting videos that his council could not find for him. Fred recently wrote me to share a few videos created by his son. Here is a portion of that email:

My son just completed his Gold Palm and put together some videos. One of the DVD presentations was for this spring’s Buckeye Council NYLT. He is going to be JASM and will present “The Leading Edge, How To Be An Effective Leader.” Doug made an interactive DVD presentation in which he (as Napoleon on stage) interviews Napoleon on the screen. For Youtube he filmed both parts and put them into a complete presentation. Doug spent months on the project and then broke the presentation into four parts (he left out the first segment about Storming, Forming, Norming, etc because only NYLT people would understand that). The parts on Youtube Doug made because he felt that the National canned presentation was too much “how” and not enough “what” as far as leadership for 14 year old kids.
The best part of the whole presentation was about the Scout Law according to Great Leaders – Doug made that into a separate Youtube video. He is going to use it at his Eagle Palm presentation in a month.

I watched both videos and was very impressed with Scout Law video. After a quick email of my own, I received permission to share Doug’s video through this podcast. Fred wrote that Doug made the videos to share, so if you have an opportunity to use this within your troop, council, or district than do so.
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It is time for the scoutmaster conference for the Boy Scout’s latest rank advancement. We sit down and review his progress. When we get to Scout Spirit I ask him to repeat the Scout Oath or the Scout Law. The Scout suddenly looks confused. Confusion slowly becomes panic. He has become so nervous he can not remember which one is which.

If you are a scoutmaster I am sure you have had this happen once or a dozen times. When this happens we do our best to calm the Scout, put him at ease, and help them remember. They usually know it but just can’t remember it at that moment.

Over the years I have come up with a little trick to help some boys remember which one is the Oath and which one is the Law. The word Oath begins with the letter O. The first word of the Scout Oath is On, which also begins with the letter O. The Law has an A as it’s only vowel. The Scout Law begins with “A Scout is…” This seems to work well with some of the boys. It gives them a reference point.

Learning the twelve points of the Scout Law can be very challenging to a new young Scout. There may even be some words in there that the boy is not familiar with using. I have found that some boys learn the points easier when they lean them in groups of three: trustworthy, loyal, helpful – friendly, courteous, kind – and so on. Of course after reciting it for a year during troop meetings they usually do not have a problem.

The Scout Motto only has two words, Be Prepared. The word Motto has two syllables, two O’s, and two T’s. Coincidence? I think not! If a Scout remembers that the Outdoor Code has the four C’s (clean, careful, considerate, and conservation) he can usually remember them all, albeit maybe not in the right order.

So, there are my helpful hints for the day. Will they work for your Scouts? I do not know. But they have worked well for mine.

I belong to several internet groups and forums that deal with Scouting topics. Once in a while I someone posts something that is a true gem. Recently, CrewMomma posted a article on the Scouter.com forums that I thought was awesome, and I want to share it with you:

A different way to view the BSA…

We still deliver the character traits found in the Scout Oath and Law. With those values in mind, today we are very much a part of workforce development! Employers tell me that they always need kids with a good education. But, what they would really like is people who come to work on time, don’t lie, and don’t steal from the company and who will give a full day’s work for a full day’s pay. Those are character issues, not educational issues.

People are seldom fired over reading, writing, and arithmetic… educational issues. People get fired over character issues… trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent. Your education is what gets you the interview. Your education is what is required to get the job you want. However, it is your character by which you keep that job.

Let’s get personal… Families don’t break up over educational issues. Relationships break up over character issues… trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind,… etc.

So… is character important? Tell me how football, baseball, and soccer will help a person keep his job. Tell me how sports reinforce traits that contribute to a successful marriage, business, or employment relationship. Scouting reinforces traits that are fundamental to being a successful parent, employee, employer, citizen, or partner in any relationship.

by John Thurston, retired Scout Executive from Corpus Christi, Texas
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One month ago I wrote about a little song that caught my attention nearly a year ago called The Scout Law. I thought, and still think, it is a cute song that nicely pokes a little fun at Boy Scouting, and yet teaches the Scout Law and the meaning of the twelve points (kind of). This song is available as a free download provided by the two man group The Croutons at http://music.download.com/thecroutons/3600-8592_32-100115552.html

When I wrote that blog post on May 4, the song had received 241 listens since it was posted on that site on April 6, 2004, over four years ago. During the last month, after writing about it on this blog and a couple of Yahoo Scouting groups, and recently talking about it during the PTC Media audio podcast A Leader’s Campfire, there have been quite a few visits to the site and listens to the song. I checked out the site today and it shows a total of 327 listens. That is a 36% increase of the amount of listens during a one month period. While I do not take all the credit for that increase, I would like to think that I helped a little to get the word out about it.

Now that some of you have listened to the song, I would like to hear what you thought about it. Leave a comment by clicking on the link below.