Things Truly Scouting

"A human being should be able to heal a wound, plan an expedition, order from a French menu, climb a mountain face, enjoy a ballet, balance accounts, roll a kayak, embolden a friend, tell a joke, laugh at himself, cooperate, act alone, sing a children's song, solve equations, throw a dog a stick, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, love heartily, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects." -- Lew Hitchner

        Here is a collection of things I've run across over the past several years that express what Scouting is really all about. Some of these have made me feel small in a big picture and humble in the light of great purposes. They have all made me feel important in the time and effort I put in as a Scouter, and how we can make a difference in this world. I hope you enjoy them also. You might even find something in here written by the MacScouter. If you have something wonderful that you would like to share, send it my way and I'll include it here.

Table of Contents

About Scouts --

About Scouters --

Inspirational --

About Scouts

Blessed are the Cub Scouts

Mike Floyd wites: Several weeks ago my son and I attended the Fun with Son at Camp Rainey Mountain in the Northeast Georgia Council. We had a great time. The Sunday morning devotional was done by Wayne Ewing, Cubmaster from Pack 535 in Loganville, Ga. I asked his permission to share part of his devotional.

Blessed are the Cub Scouts who are taught to see beauty in all things around them...

For their world will be a place of grace and wonder.
Blessed are the Cub Scouts who are led with patience and understanding...
For they will learn the strength of endurance and gift of tolerance.
Blessed are the Cub Scouts who are provided a home where family members dwell in harmony and close communion...
For they shall become the peacemakers of the world.
Blessed are the Cub Scouts who are taught the value and power of truth...
For they shall search for knowledge and use it with wisdom and discernment.
Blessed are the Cub Scouts who are guided by those with faith in a loving God...
For they will find Him early and will walk with Him through life.
Blessed are the Cub Scouts who are loved and know that they are loved...
For they shall sow seeds of love in the world and reap joy for themselves and others.


-- Thanks to Mike Floyd, "and if I may add; blessed be the father/mother/scout leader who sets the example to scouts.........."

A Boy's Eyes

"I'd like to be a Cub Scout -----"
(His eyes were deepest blue)
"I'd like to learn, and play, and build
Like Jim and Freddy do."

"I know how to use a hammer;
I can drive a nail if I try.
I'm eight years old, I'm big and strong
And hardly ever cry."

I gave him the application
And parent participation sheet.
(His eyes were filled with sunshine
As he left on dancing feet.)

Next day, my friend was back again,
A dejected little lad.
"I guess I'll skip the Cub Scouts."
(His eyes were dark and sad.)

"My Mom is awful busy,
She has lots of friends, you see.
She'd never have time for a den;
She hardly has, for me."

"And Dad is always working ----
He's hardly ever there.
To give them any more to do
Just wouldn't be quite fair."

He handed back the papers
With the dignity of eight years,
And, smiling bravely, left me
(His eyes were filled with tears.)

Do you see your own boy's eyes
As other people may?
How he looks when you're "too busy"
Or "just haven't time" today?

A boy is such a special gift ----
Why don't you realize,
It only takes a little time
To put sunshine in his eyes.

(Credit given to Pat Beardslec, Den Mother, Hawthorne, California)

I Wish I Was That Brother

A Scoutmaster's Minute, from the SCOUTS-L Youth Groups Discussion List

Here's a story I heard this weekend that would make a great SM's minute! It was told verbally to me so I may not have quoted it perfectly. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! It was a great object lesson for my son who is going into Webelos.

Upon graduation from college, a few years back, a young man received a gift from his older brother. It was a shiny brand new Packard. The car of his dreams! One morning as he approached the car he saw a young lad of 12 peering through the windows into the car! Obviously enthrawled with the car, the lad didn't hear the young man approach. "Is this your car?" the lad asked when he noticed the man. "Yes it is!" the man responded! "Wow! This is a nice car!" remarked the lad, "How much did it cost?" "I don't know!" answered the man. "It's your car, but you don't know how much it cost?" exclaimed the young lad. "No," stated the man, "you see, my brother bought it for me!"

"I wish...I wish...I wish" stuttered the lad. The man thinking he's going to say, I wish I had a car like this. "I wish I was like that brother!" finished the boy! Amazed at the lads response he offerred to drive him around the block! As they were driving, the lad requested if he would drive him home. Thinking he wanted to show off that he was riding in a new car to his friends, the man agreed! They drove more than a few blocks to where the boy lived and as he turned onto the street the man noticed that it wasn't the best kept neighborhood! The houses were dirty and broken. He pulled up in front of the boys house. "Please wait," the boy yelled as he ran into the house! "Oh, he's probably going to get his family to show off the new car", the man thought to himself. The door to the front door opened and out came the young lad. In his arms he carried a small boy, crippled from birth! The lad brought him out to the car and stated as he hugged his younger brother, "See just like I told you! It's a brand new car! And someday, I'm going to buy you one just like it!"

How unselfish this boy be the kind of brother that looked after the other first! What kind of Scout are you...Are you like the older brother!

-- Thanks to Peter Van Houten

What is a Scout

He enjoys a hike through the woods more than he does a walk over the city streets.

He knows the stars by name and can find his way by them.

When he walks through the woods, he sees things others do not see.

He speaks softly and answers questions modestly.

He knows a braggart but does not challenge him.

His sense of honor is his only taskmaster, and his honor he guards as jealously as did the knights of old.

A Scout practices self-control, for he knows that men who master problems in the world must first master themselves.

A Scout never flinches in the face of danger. He must be alert to preserve his safety and that of others.

He desires a strong body, an alert mind, and an unconquerable spirit.

Always to "Be prepared".

-- Thanks to Charles Nusbaum

Within My Power

by Forest Witcraft

I am not a Very Important Man, as importance is commonly rated, I do not have great wealth, control a big business, or occupy a position of great honor or authority.

Yet I may someday mold destiny. For it is within my power to become the most important man in the world in the life of a boy. And every boy is a potential atom bomb in human history.

A humble citizen like myself might have been the Scoutmaster of a Troop in which an undersized unhappy Austrian lad by the name of Adolph might have found a joyous boyhood, full of the ideals of brotherhood, goodwill, and kindness. And the world would have been different.

A humble citizen like myself might have been the organizer of a Scout Troop in which a Russian boy called Joe might have learned the lessons of democratic cooperation.

These men would never have known that they had averted world tragedy, yet actually they would have been among the most important men who ever lived.

All about me are boys. They are the makers of history, the builders of tomorrow. If I can have some part in guiding them up the trails of Scouting, on to the high road of noble character and constructive citizenship, I may prove to be the most important man in their lives, the most important man in my community.

A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove. But the world may be different, because I was important in the life of a boy.

-- Dr. Forest E. Witcraft (1894 - 1967), was a scholar, teacher, and Boy Scout administrator. This essay was first published in the October 1950 issue of Scouting magazine (Scouting, October 1950, p. 2) and has been quoted often ever since. [Note: It drives me crazy that people take the last paragraph of "Within My Power" out of the context of the whole piece, and then don't even attribute it to the author. So, humor me, and at least attribute it correctly to Dr. Witcraft. -- the MacScouter]

Boys Grow Best When ...

They are with adults who are at ease with them and who seem to enjoy them most of the time...

They are permitted to make mistakes, which will not harm them unduly, and are permitted to live with adults who do not pretend to be perfect...

Those about them believe in them and express confidence through word and through giving them freedom...

Those about them understand what they are trying to do and support them in their endeavors...

Those about them permit them to express doubts, to raise questions, to try their own ideas...

They understand the limits of the freedom within which they can make decisions, and when this freedom is limited to the responsibility they feel they can carry at their stage of development...

Those about them deal with them firmly and consistently...

Adults around them behave as adults and show what the adult way is like...

Those about them help them to succeed when they need help, but let them struggle when they are winning by themselves...

Those around them gear their expectancy of a child's behaviour to his capacity for that behaviour...

Those about them understand how they grow, and encourage sound growth...

They feel strong within themselves, when they feel they are just the kind of person wanted by their family and friends, and their nation...

There is an atmosphere of friendliness and warmth whether with adults or children...

They meet actual life situations, emotionally charged, and deal with them successfully, with or without adult help...

Their performance expectancy is related to themselves and not to others...

They are interested in what they are doing for it's own sake. They will be interested when it has meaning for them. Boys who are forced to perform at tasks they are not interested in are not learning, but are actually blocked. This attempt of battery against human nature will lose in the end...

-- Thanks to the Scout Association of Australia

A Scout's Prayer

From Scouting in New South Wales

We have hiked along life's pathway,
Our packs upon our backs,
We have pitched our tents and rested
Here and there along the tracks.
We have used our compass wisely
To guide us on our way
And hope to reach the campsite
Of our Great Chief Scout some day.

We have tried to be trustworthy -
Kept our honor high and clean,
We have been as loyal as any
To our Country and our Queen.
We have done our best at all times -
Kept our Promise - been prepared,
And hope our good deeds please Him
When at last our souls are bared.

We have lightened others' burdens,
With our smiles along the way,
We have kept our hand in God's hand,
Walked beside Him day by day.
And when our span of life runs out,
We'll make this gentle plea -
May we sit around His Campfire
At the Final Jamboree.

-- Thanks to Michael F. Bowman, DDC-Training, GW Dist. Nat Capital Area Council

A Little Fellow Follows Me

by Lee Fisher

A careful leader I want to be
A little felow follows me;
I do not dare to go astray,
For fear he'll go the same way.

I cannot once escape his eyes,
Whate'er he sees me do, he tries
Like me, says he's going to be...
The little chap who follows me.

I must remember as I go,
Through summer's sun and winter's snow;
I am builder for years to be,
That little chap who follows me.

A Little Scout Follows Me

Adapted by Merl Whitebook, from "A Little Fellow Follows Me" by Lee Fisher

A careful Scouter I ought to be,
A little Scout follows me.
I do not dare to go astray,
For fear he will go the same way.

Not once can I escape his eyes,
Whatever he sees me do, he tries.
Like me he says he's going to be,
That little Scout who follows me.

He thinks that I am good and fine,
Believes in every word of mine,
The bad in me he must not see,
That little Scout who follows me.

I must remember as I go,
Through summer sun and winter snow,
I'm building for the years to be,
That little Scout who follows me.

A Comer

by Edmund Leamy, as Adapted by Merl Whitebook

He may be now a Tenderfoot, A messenger, or clerk, The lowest rank, always under foot But if he toils with willingness And wears a cheery grin, He's on the roadway to success, That chap is bound to win! No power can keep that fellow down; He'll leave them all behind, The higher rank who leer and frown And tell him he is blind To do more than he's asked to do And not to ever shirk; Who say: "At five o'clock I'm through With this miserable work!" Not long he'll be a Tenderfoot; Leaders quickly see Who works because the task is joy And not just for his fee; And others too will help him climb To far heights of success -- The Eagle will be his in time, He who works with willingness.


About Scouters

Desiderata for Cub Leaders

Go placidly amid the noise and excitement of your meeting,
And remember that this is one sign of good Scouting.
As far as possible without surrender
Be on good terms with all your fellow leaders.
Plan your programs carefully and cheerfully;
And listen to others,
Even the youngest Wolf Cub;
He will give you many moments of Joy.
Avoid loud and aggressive gatherings of Scouters,
Except when you're part of one.
If you compare your pack with others,
Do not become vain or bitter;
For success can only be judged by the smiles on their faces.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep in mind the Aim of the movement,
However hard to understand at times,
It is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution with your pack funds;
For a Cub works hard for his dues.
But let this not blind you to what Scouting is all about..
Baden-Powell wrote it himself; Camping and the Outdoors.
Be yourself.
Especially, have fun.
Neither burn out too soon;
For in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
Those boys are depending on you.
Take kindly the counsel of your Service Team,
They will help you all that they can.
Nurture strength of spirit in case of a failure
But do not blame yourself... you have done your best,
And what you think of as failure may be super fun to your Cubs.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
Be gentle with yourself.
You are the most important person in Scouting;
We need more adults like yourself
To help the youth of this world.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
You are molding the future of this country.
Therefore, be at peace with God,
Whatever you conceive Him to be,
And whatever your labours and aspirations,
In the noisy confusion of your meeting
Keep peace with yourself.
With all its hard work and sometimes frustration,
It is still a wonderful movement.
Be cheerful
Strive for good Scouting ...

-- Thanks to Jim Speirs

Ten Commandments of Leadership

Excerpts from a speech given by Eddie Snow, Oakland #3, at the District Assembly May 18th, "If You Were Arrested For Being A Rotarian, Would There Be Enough Evidence To Convict You?" These are St. Edward Wrestling Coach Howard Ferguson's "Paradoxical Commandments of Leadership."

1. People are illogical, unreasonable and self-centered.
Love them anyway

2. If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

3. If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

4. The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

5. Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable .
Be honest and frank anyway.

6. The biggest men with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest man with the smallest mind.
Think big anyway.

7. People favor underdogs, but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

8. What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

9. People really need help, but may attack you if you do help them.
Help them anyway.

10. Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best your have anyway.

100th Psalm of Scouting

Make a joyful noise unto the world, all ye Scouters;
Serve Scouting with gladness, and join the circle of Scouting with singing.
Know that Scouting is the way;
Its lessons have made us and we are grateful;
We are its leaders, guiding young Scouts.
Enter its programs with a cheerful spirit, and offer boys your praise.
For Scouting is good!
Its lessons endure forever, and its truths to all generations.

-- Thanks to J. Corpening, ASM Troop 226, Wilmington, NC

23rd Psalm of Scouting

Scouting is my life, I shall not want;
It helps me camp in green pastures, and hike beside still waters;
It restores my soul.
It leads me in paths of learning, for the sake of myself and others.

Yea, even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of the Woodbadge Staffer,
I have no fear;
My patrol, my friends, are with me;
Their wit and their smiles, they comfort me.
We have prepared tables in short time at the insistence of staffers;
Scouting fills my head with knowledge, my brain overflows.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me home tonight,
And I shall dwell in the house of Scouting forever.

-- Thanks to J. Corpening, ASM Troop 226, Wilmington, NC

Top 10 Reasons Why I'm In Scouting

#10 -- My basement was empty, and needed remodeling anyway.

#9 -- I get to wear a uniform with a neat hat.

#8 -- I like the smell of calamine lotion.

#7 -- I enjoy going to the bathroom in the woods.

#6 -- I'm in it for the crafts.

#5 -- I'm allergic to house chores (Needed something to fill the void)

#4 -- I get quality time with my son and 30 of his closest friends.

#3 -- It's a great way to collect coffee mugs.

#2 -- I needed a tax write off.

#1 -- It only takes an hour each week.

-- Thanks to David Pardoe

The Green Angel

I dreamed I went to Heaven
And saw among the dead
An angel dressed in green
A hallo 'round her head
And she looked kind of funny
Midst all the glaring white
The others asked her jealously
What gave her such a right.
(She answered...)
I'm a Girl Scout Leader
And I lay no hold to fame,
But being such a person
Means more than just a name.
My jobs on earth are many;
Praises and thanks are few,
I did more work in one day
Thean ten people ought to do.
I've been a nurse, a tin can cooker
A hiker, a pathfinder,
I've also been artist,
A sailor and a bookbinder.
I taught Jills to dance,
I taught parrots to sing,
I made saints out of hoodlums,
While mama had her fling!
I walked the streets 'till my feet
Felt like a ton of brick,
Helping to sell Girl Scout cookies 'till
The mere thought made me sick.
But still it was a lot of fun;
Life was never a bore.
See, this role isn't new to me.....
"I've been an angel before."

-- Thanks to Starlite Sue - Akron, Ohio


How to Grow a Scout Leader

First plant seven rows of P's:
Promptness, perserverance, preparation, participation, presence, purity, and performance.

Next, plant three rows of squash:
squash unfairness, squash criticism, squash indifference

Then plant seven rows of lettuce:

  1. Let us delegate responsibility

  2. Let us give assistance whenever necessary

  3. Let us recognize the importance of pooling ideas and encourage full and free ideas and encourage full and free discussion before decisions are made.

  4. Let us appreciate and respect the attitudes of other people

  5. Let us encourage cooperation

  6. Let us arrive in advance of scheduled meetings, with all materials needed

  7. Let *us* be prepared

No garden is complete without turnips:
Turn up for meetings
Turn up with enthusiasm
Turn up with new ideas
Turn up with a smile

The harvest is one teriffic Scout Volunteer

-- Thanks to Beverly "Sarge" Benner, Ozark Area Girl Scout Council



By Ron Brown, Eagle District,, Alamo Area Council San Antonio, TX

This is a poem written by a scouter in our district, it's not exactly Jambo stuff but I thought it was pretty good and got his permission to share it. Feel free to distribute it with his permission, but please give credit where credit is due. -- David Roper

When I was a child, I spake as a child,
And acted in childish ways;
When I grew up, I put away
The trappings of childhood days.

But then, without asking permission,
A little boy entered my life,
And noisily garnered attention
From me and his mother, My wife;

And magically, that little boy
Got me to sit on the floor,
To play with the toys of my childhood,
That I had abandoned before.

So that little boy has a playmate
Who's grown up and taller than he,
And I have this sneaking suspicion
A litte boy still dwells in me!

So, I got my son to join Cub Scouts,
Ostensibly for his own sake,
And we do achievements together,
(Though Pinewood cars I mostly make)!

When we go to Den and Pack meetings,
His friends think that I'm a great dad,
'Cause I volunteered as a leader;
(I downplay how much fun I've had!)

I know, God chose to make me a person'
My folks helped with guidance they gave;
My wife made me husband and father,
And my boss turned me into a slave - -

But my little boy made me a Scouter,
Like his friends wish their dads did for them,
And that little boy deep down inside me knows
That I also do it for him!

A Leader's Pledge

I will do more than care - I will help.
I will do more than belong - I will participate
I will do more than believe - I will practice.
I will do more than be fair - I will be kind.
I will do more than dream - I will work.
I will do more than teach - I will inspire.
I will do more than earn - I will enrich.
I will do more than give - I will serve.

-- Thanks to Vickie Struckmann


A Leader

from Witter Brynner's translation of Laotzu's Book of Toa, 600 BC

A leader is best
When people barely know that he exists,
Not so good when people obey and acclaim him,
Worst when they despise him.
"Fail to honor people, they fail to honor you,"
But of a good leader, who talks little,
When work is done, his aim fulfilled.
They will all say, "We did this ourselves."


The Knight of Today

by Walter MacPeek

I envy not the Knight of old
Who lived for honor true,
Who rode away to distant lands
His Great Good Turn to do.

I envy not the soldiers brave
Who kept our country free.
For chances here will prove my strength,
They ever challenge me.

I shall not long for days gone by,
My chance to serve is here.
And with my motto "Be Prepared"
My duties written clear.

The Campfire

by R. L. Stevenson

Did you ever watch the campfire
When the moon has fallen low,
And the ashes start to whiten
'Round the embers' crimson glow,
When the night sounds all around you
Making silence doubly sweet,
And a full moon high above you
That the spell may be complete?
Tell me, were you ever nearer
To the land of heart's desire,
Than when you sat there thinking
With your face turned toward the fire?

Magic Rope

by David H. McKenzie

I picked some scraps of rope apart
To see how they were made.
Most of it was twisted hemp
Yet some was cotton braid.

And from the stuff I played with
I thought aloud: "Rope size runs
To hawsers that hold battleships
of fifty thousand tons."

But there's another kind of rope
Not made by a machine
Stronger than the best steel cable.
Yet so fine it can't be seen.

I'm not talking of the kind of rope
That anybody buys
But the magic line of friendship
That holds two friendly guys.

I learned a lot of things at camp
But the best trick that I got
Was to take that line of friendship
And tie the proper knot.

Prayer of the Sportsman

by Brayley

Dear Lord, in the battle that goes on through life,
I ask but a field that is fair;
A chance that is equal with all in the strife,
A courage to strive and to dare.
If I should win, let it be by the code
With my faith and my honor held high,
If I should lose, let me stand by the road
And cheer as the winners go by.

Stick to It

by Rulon B. Stanfield

It matters not if you try and fail,
And fail, and try again;
But it matters much if you try and fail,
And fail to try again.

No Difference

Author unknown

Small as a peanut,
Big as a giant,
We're all the same size
When we turn off the light
Rich as a sultan,
Poor as a mite,
We're all worth the same,
When we turn off the light.
Red, black or orange
Yellow or white,
We all look the same ,
When we turn off the light.
So maybe the way
To make everything right
Is for god to just reach out
And turn off the light!

Akela, Make Me an Eagle

by Harlan G. Metcalf, adapted by Merl Whitebook

Give me the strength to stand for right
When other folks have left the fight,
Give me the courage of the eagle
Who knows that if he will, he can.
Teach me to see in every face
The good, the kind, and not the base.
Make me sincere in word and deed,
Blot out from me all shame and greed,
Help me to guard my troubled soul
By constant, active, self-control.
Clean up my thoughts, my speech, my play,
And keep me pure from day to day.
O, Akela, make of me an Eagle!


by Rudyard Kipling, with a small adaptation by Merl Whitebook

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream--and not make dreams your master;
If you can think--and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings--nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run--
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And--which is more--you'll be a Scout, my son!

Scout Indian Prayer

Morning Star wake us, filled with joy.
To new days of growing to man from boy.
Sun, with your power, give us light.
That we can tell wrong and do what is right.
South Wind, we ask, in your gentle way.
Blow us the willingness of obey.
North Wind, we ask, live up to thy name.
Send us the strength to always be game.
East Wind, we ask, with your breath so snappy.
Fill us with knowledge of how to be happy.
West Wind, we ask, blow all that is fair.
To us, that we may always be square.
Moon, that fills the night with red light.
Guard us well while we sleep in the night.
Akela, please guide us in every way.
We'll follow your trail in work or play.

Do Something

by Baden Powell

"You should not be content with sitting down to defend yourselves against evil habits, but should also be active in doing good. By 'doing good' I mean making yourselves useful and doing small kindness to other people - whether they are friends or strangers.

It is not a difficult matter, and the best way to set about it is to make up your mind to do at least one 'good turn' to somebody every day, and you will soon get into the habit of doing good turns always.

It does not matter how small the 'good turn' may be - even if it is only to help an old woman across the street, or to say a good word for somebody who is being badly spoke of. The great thing is to do something."

Real Genius

Author unknown

Everyone has a spark of genius in them just waiting to be lit.
If they'll jump into things and not just sit.
Although we may not go down in history as the genius of our day.
We can help others in this world to travel life's way.
By sharing our sparks of genius with others that we know.
Thus helping ideas, along the way to grow and glow.
Remember the spark of an idea we may share with a friend.
Can be added to by others and become a genius idea in the end.
we can be happy because we helped in our small way,
And have each had a part in this thought for the day.

This Moment

Author unknown

I may never see tomorrow; there's no written guarantee,
And things that happened yesterday belong to history.
I cannot predict the future, and I cannot change the past,
I have just the present moment; I must treat it as my last.
I must use this moment wisely for it soon will pass away,
And be lost to me forever as a part of yesterday.
I must exercise compassions, help the fallen to their feet,
Be a friend unto the friendless, make an empty life complete.
I must make this moment precious for it will not come again,
And I can never be content with things that might have been.
Kind word I fail to say this day may never be unsaid,
For I know not how short may be the path that lies ahead.

The unkind things I do today may never be undone,
And friendships that I fail to win may nevermore be won.
I may not have another chance on bended knee to pray,
And thank my God with humble heart for giving me this day.
I may never see tomorrow, but this moment is my own.
It's mine to use or cast aside; the choice is mine, alone.
I have just this precious moment in the sunlight of today,
Where the dawning of tomorrow meets the dusk of yesterday.



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.

Just forty words. The Scout Oath is just forty words long, but in these concise phrases are the values and ethical standards that have molded generations of boys into a special breed of men; responsible and responsive, capable of leadership, yet trained in teamwork, able to adapt and face the changing challenges of their times. The unique strength of the Scout ethic is that it remains as relevant today as it was in 1910. And, if ever there was a need to develop men who can overcome challenges, it is now. Our world is changing faster than ever before, for both good and bad. The seeds of the future are already sewn.What the BSA does for each boy, it does for the man he will become. In doing so, Scouting paves the way for individuals along the road of life.

-- Thanks to Matthew Byerly, ASM, T906, Valparaiso, IN

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