John Wayne: What the Scout Law means to me...
A great American, John Wayne, passed away many years ago. One of his last public appearances was at a dinner. He was riddled with cancer and knew he was close to death. The purpose of the dinner was to benefit a land purchase for a Scout Reservation called John Wayne Outpost Camp.
At this dinner, Wayne recited the Scout Law. Then he did something unusual, he said the twelve points of the Scout Law are “nice words”. “Trouble is” he continued, “we learn them so young we sometimes don’t get all the understanding that goes with them. I take care of that in my family. As each boy reaches Scout age, I make sure he learns the Scout Law. Then I break it down for him, with a few things I have picked up in more than half a century since I learned it.”
Then Wayne proceeded to explain the importance of the Scout Law, breaking it down for the guests at the dinner; much like he would have for his grandson.
John Wayne then thanked those at the dinner for putting his name on the outpost camp and said, “I would rather see it here than on all the theater marquees the world over.”
|The badge of honesty. Having it lets you look at any man in the eye. Lacking it he won’t look back. Keep this one at the top of your list. |
|The Very word is life itself, for without loyalty we have no love of person or country |
|Part sharing, part caring. By helping each other, we help ourselves, not to mention mankind. Be always full of help — the dying man’s last words. |
|Brotherhood is part of that word. You can take it in a lot of directions – and do – but make sure and start with brotherhood. |
|Allow each person his human dignity which means a lot more than saying, “yes ma’am” and “thank you sir”. It reflects an attitude that later in life you wish you had honored more… earlier in life. Save yourself that problem. Do it now. |
|This one word would stop wars and erase hatreds. But its like your bicycle, its just no good unless you get out and use it. |
|Starts at home. Practice it in your family. Enlarge it in your friends. Share it with humanity. |
|Anyone can put on a happy face when the going is good. The secret is to wear it as a mask for your problems. It might surprise you how many others do the same thing. |
|Means a lot more than putting pennies away, and it is the opposite of cheap. Common sense covers it just about as well as anything. |
|You don’t have to fight to be brave. Millions of good, fine, decent folks show more bravery than heavyweight champs just by getting out of bed every morning, going out to do a good day’s work and living the best life they know how against the law of odds. Keep the word handy every day of your life. |
|Soap and waters help a lot on the outside. But it is the inside that counts and don’t ever forget it. |
|Believe in anything that you want to believe in, but keep God at the top of it. With Him, life can be a beautiful experience. Without Him, you are just biding time. |
|As an American, I will do my best to: |
Be CLEAN in my outdoor manners,
Be CAREFUL with fire,
Be CONSIDERATE in the outdoors, and
Be CONSERVATION minded.
|Be Prepared! |
|Do a Good Turn Daily! |
|On my honor, I will do my best |
To do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.
————————————————————————-Note that the Boy Scout Oath has traditionally been considered to have three promises. Those three promises are delineated by the semicolons in the Oath, which divide it into three clauses. The three promises of the Scout Oath are, therefore:
- Duty to God and country,
- Duty to other people, and
- Duty to self
DUTY TO GOD AND COUNTRY: Your family and religious leaders teach you to know and serve God. By following these teachings, you do your duty to God.
Men and women of the past worked to make America great, and many gave their lives for their country. By being a good family member and a good citizen, by working for your country's good and obeying its laws, you do your duty to your country. Obeying the Scout Law means living by its 12 points.
DUTY TO OTHER PEOPLE: Many people need help. A cheery smile and a helping hand make life easier for others. By doing a Good Turn daily and helping when you're needed, you prove yourself a Scout and do your part to make this a better world.
DUTY TO SELF: Keeping yourself physically strong means taking care of your body. Eat the right foods and build your strength. Staying mentally awake means learn all you can, be curious, and ask questions. Being morally straight means to live your life with honesty, to be clean in your speech and actions, and to be a person of strong character.
The three points of the trefoil stand for the three parts of the Scout Oath.
- The shape of the Scout badge means that a Scout can point the right way in life as truly as does a compass in the field.
- There are two stars on the badge. They symbolize truth and knowledge.
- The eagle and shield stand for freedom and a Scout's readiness to defend that freedom.
- The scroll bearing the Scout motto is turned up at the ends as a reminder that a Scout smiles as he does his duty.
- The knot at the bottom of the scroll serves as a reminder of the Scout slogan, Do a Good Turn Daily.
Origin of the World Scouting Symbol - "Fleur-de-Lis"
In Scouting's early years, critics accused Baden-Powell of trying to turn boys into soldiers, holding up as evidence the Scout symbol, which they called "a spear-head, the emblem of battle and bloodshed". The Founder quickly replied, The crest is the "Fleur-de-Lis", a lily, the emblem of peace and purity.
In truth, he had chosen as Scouting's emblem the sign for the North Point, universally shown on maps, charts and compass cards, because "it points in the right direction (and upwards), turning neither to the right nor left, since these lead backward again..." Lady Baden-Powell added later, "It shows the true way to go."
Baden-Powell explained the origins of this sign. In the Middle Ages, mariner Flavio Gioja designed it to make the seaman's compass more reliable. In Italian, North was "Tramontana". Gioja used a capital "T" to mark it, and in deference to King Charles of Naples, whose crest was the Fleur-de-Lis, combined the letter with that emblem.
To explain the meaning of the Scout emblem, Baden-Powell said, "The two stars on the two side arms stand for the two eyes of the Wolf Cub having been opened before he became a Scout... The three points of the Fleur-de-Lis remind the Scout of the three points of the Scout's Promise..."
In the World Scout emblem, the Fleur-de-Lis is surrounded by a circle of rope tied with a reef knot to symbolize the strength and unity of the world brotherhood of Scouting: "Even as one cannot undo a reef knot, no matter how hard one pulls on it, so as it expands, the movement remains united."
The three tips of the Fleur-de-Lis represent the three main parts of the Scout promise: duty to God, obedience to the Scout Law, and service to others. The two five-point stars stand for truth and knowledge, and the 10 points on the stars remind us of the 10 points of the Scout law. The ring holding the emblem together represents the bond of brotherhood.
The symbol is white on a royal purple background, colors Baden-Powell chose because, in heraldry, white stands for purity and purple for leadership and helping others.
Since Scouting began, over 200 million Scouts have worn the Scout symbol, making it one of the more highly recognized emblems in the world. Today, over 150 World Scouting countries and territories, more than 16 million members continue to wear it with pride.
Scout Handshake / Sign / Salute
Our Scout salute and handshake are ancient signs of bravery and respect. During the colonial period of our country, many men carried weapons for protection.
Sometimes when they met one another, there was an uneasy moment as each man watched the others right hand. If it went to his sword or his gun, there might be a fight. But if it went to his hat, it was a salute of friendship and respect.
The left handshake comes to us from the Ashanti warriors whom Lord Baden-Powell, the founder of Scouting, knew almost 100 years ago in West Africa. He saluted them with his right hand, but the Ashanti chiefs offered their left hands and said, "In our land only the bravest of the brave shake hands with the left hand, because to do so we must drop our shields and our protection."
The Ashantis knew of Baden-Powell's bravery because they had fought against him and with him, and they were proud to offer the left hand of bravery.
When you use the Scout salute and handshake, remember that they are signs of respect and courage.
The left hand is also closer to the heart...
The Scout sign shows you are a Scout. Give it each time you recite the Scout Oath and Law. When a Scout or Scouter raises the Scout sign, all Scouts should make the sign, too, and come to silent attention.
To give the Scout sign, cover the nail of the little finger of your right hand with your right thumb, then raise your right arm, bent in a 90-degree angle, and hold the three middle fingers of your hand upward. Those fingers stand for the three parts of the Scout Oath. Your thumb and little finger touch to represent the bond that unites Scouts throughout the world.
The Scout salute shows respect. Use it to salute the flag of the United States of America. You may also salute a Scout leader or another Scout.
Give the Scout salute by forming the Scout sign with your right hand and then bringing that hand upward until your forefinger touches the brim of your hat or the arch of your right eyebrow. The palm of your hand should not show.
Our Scout salute and handshake are ancient signs of bravery and respect.