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.