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Scout Law

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Since the publication of Scouting for Boys in 1908, all Scouts and Guides around the world have taken a Scout Promise or oath to live up to ideals of the movement, and subscribed to a Scout Law. The wording of the promise and law have varied slightly over time and from Scouting organization to Scouting Organization.

History

When writing Scouting for Boys, General Baden-Powell drew inspiration from the work of Ernest Thompson Seton, who founded the Woodcraft Indians in 1902 and later became instrumental in spreading Scouting throughout North America. Like Seton, Baden-Powell chose to use a set of affirmative laws, in contrast to Old Testament-like prohibitions.

The original Scout Law appeared with the publication of Scouting for Boys in 1908 and is as follows (sic, capitalization, numbering, etc by Baden-Powell):[1][2][3]

1.   A SCOUT'S HONOUR IS TO BE TRUSTED. If a scout says "On my honour it is so," that means it is so, just as if he had taken a most solemn oath. Similarly, if a scout officer says to a scout, "I trust you on your honour to do this," the Scout is bound to carry out the order to the very best of his ability, and to let nothing interfere with his doing so. If a scout were to break his honour by telling a lie, or by not carrying out an order exactly when trusted on his honour to do so, he would cease to be a scout, and must hand over his scout badge and never be allowed to wear it again---he loses his life.
2. A SCOUT IS LOYAL to the King, and to his officers, and to his country, and to his employers. He must stick to them through thick and thin against anyone who is their enemy, or who even talks badly of them.
3. A SCOUT'S DUTY IS TO BE USEFUL AND TO HELP OTHERS. And he is to do his duty before anything else, even though he gives up his own pleasure, or comfort, or safety to do it. When in difficulty to know which of two things to do, he must ask himself, "Which is my duty?" that is, "Which is best for other people?"---and do that one. He must Be Prepared at any time to save life, or to help injured persons. And he must do a good turn to somebody every day.
4. A SCOUT IS A FRIEND TO ALL, AND A BROTHER TO EVERY OTHER SCOUT, NO MATTER TO WHAT SOCIAL CLASS THE OTHER BELONGS. If a scout meets another scout, even though a stranger to him, he must speak to him, and help him in any way that he can, either to carry out the duty he is then doing, or by giving him food, or, as far as possible, anything that he may be in want of. A scout must never be a SNOB. A snob is one who looks down upon another because he is poorer, or who is poor and resents another because he is rich. A scout accepts the other man as he finds him, and makes the best of him -- "Kim," the boy scout, was called by the Indians "Little friend of all the world," and that is the name which every scout should earn for himself.
5. A SCOUT IS COURTEOUS: That is, he is polite to all--but especially to women and children and old people and invalids, cripples, etc. And he must not take any reward for being helpful or courteous.
6. A SCOUT IS A FRIEND TO ANIMALS. He should save them as far as possible from pain, and should not kill any animal unnecessarily, even if it is only a fly---for it is one of God's creatures.
7. A SCOUT OBEYS ORDERS of his patrol-leader, or scout master without question. Even if he gets an order he does not like, he must do as soldiers and sailors do, he must carry it out all the same because it is his duty; and after he has done it he can come and state any reasons against it: but he must carry out the order at once. That is discipline.
8. A SCOUT SMILES AND WHISTLES under all circumstances. When he gets an order he should obey it cheerily and readily, not in a slow, hang-dog sort of way. Scouts never grouse at hardships, nor whine at each other, nor swear when put out. When you just miss a train, or some one treads on your favourite corn---not that a scout ought to have such things as corns--- or under any annoying circumstances, you should force yourself to smile at once, and then whistle a tune, and you will be all right. A scout goes about with a smile on and whistling. It cheers him and cheers other people, especially in time of danger, for he keeps it up then all the same. The punishment for swearing or bad language is for each offence a mug of cold water to be poured down the offender's sleeve by the other scouts.
A SCOUT IS THRIFTY, that is, he saves every penny he can, and puts it in the bank, so that he may have money to keep himself when out of work, and thus not make himself a burden to others; or that he may have money to give away to others when they need it.

These were written for the Scouts in the whole world, yet of course firstly focused on Scouting in the United Kingdom. As other groups started up Scouting organizations (often in other countries), each modified the laws, for instance 'loyal to the King' would be replaced by the equivalent text appropriate for each country.

During the years, Baden-Powell himself edited the text numerous times, notably in 1911 adding:

  • A SCOUT IS CLEAN IN THOUGHT, WORD AND DEED. Decent Scouts look down upon silly youths who talk dirt, and they do not let themselves give way to temptation, either to talk it or to do anything dirty. A Scout is pure, and clean-minded, and manly.

Australia

Scouts Australia

  1. A Scout is trustworthy
  2. A Scout is loyal
  3. A Scout is helpful
  4. A Scout is friendly
  5. A Scout is cheerful
  6. A Scout is considerate
  7. A Scout is thrifty
  8. A Scout is courageous
  9. A Scout is respectful
  10. A Scout cares for the environment

Guides Australia

  1. A Guide is loyal and can be trusted.
  2. A Guide is helpful.
  3. A Guide is polite and considerate.
  4. A Guide is friendly and a sister to all Guides.
  5. A Guide is kind to animals and respects all living things.
  6. A Guide is obedient.
  7. A Guide has courage and is cheerful in all difficulties.
  8. A Guide makes good use of her time.
  9. A Guide takes care of her own possessions and those of other people.
  10. A Guide is self-controlled in all she thinks, says and does.

Bangladesh

Bangladesh Scouts

  1. A Scout's honour is to be trusted.
  2. A Scout is a friend to all.
  3. A Scout is courteous and obedient.
  4. A Scout is kind to animals.
  5. A Scout is cheerful at all times.
  6. A Scout is thrifty.
  7. A Scout is clean in thought,word and deed.

Brazil

Federação de Bandeirantes do Brasil - Brazil Guides

A Guide...

  1. - Is trustworthy.
  2. - Is loyal and respects truth.
  3. - Helps others on all occasion.
  4. – Esteems and cherishes friendship.
  5. - Is kind and courteous.
  6. - Sees God in creation and protects nature.
  7. - Knows how to obey.
  8. - Faces all difficulties cheerfully.
  9. - Uses resources wisely.
  10. - Acts, thinks, and is coherent with moral values.

Brazilian Scouts Association

  1. O Escoteiro tem uma só palavra; sua honra vale mais do que a própria vida.
    A Scout is to be trusted; his honor is of greater value than his life.
  2. O Escoteiro é leal.
    A Scout is loyal.
  3. O Escoteiro está sempre alerta para ajudar o próximo e pratica diariamente uma boa ação.
    A Scout is always prepared to help his fellow man and practices a good turn every day.
  4. O Escoteiro é amigo de todos e irmão dos demais Escoteiros.
    A Scout is a friend to everybody and a brother to every other Scout.
  5. O Escoteiro é cortês.
    A Scout is courteous.
  6. O Escoteiro é bom para os animais e as plantas.
    A Scout is good to animals and plants.
  7. O Escoteiro é obediente e disciplinado.
    A Scout is obedient and orderly.
  8. O Escoteiro é alegre e sorri nas dificuldades.
    A Scout is happy and smiles in difficulties.
  9. O Escoteiro é econômico e respeita o bem alheio.
    A Scout is thrifty and respects the property of others.
  10. O Escoteiro é limpo de corpo e alma.
    A Scout is clean on body and soul.

Canada

Scouts Canada

A Scout is
Helpful and trustworthy,
Kind and cheerful,
Considerate and clean,
And wise in the use of all resources.

Girl Guides of Canada/Guides du Canada

The Guiding Law challenges me to:

  1. be honest and trustworthy
  2. use my resources wisely
  3. respect myself and others
  4. recognize and use my talents and abilities
  5. protect our common environment
  6. live with courage and strength
  7. share in the sisterhood of Guiding.

Chile

  1. The Scout places his honor in being worthy of trust.
  2. The Scout is loyal.
  3. The Scout is useful and helps others, without thinking of compensation.
  4. The Scout is a friend to all and a brother to any Scout.
  5. The Scout is courteous and gentlemanly.
  6. The Scout loves Nature and protects animals and plants.
  7. The Scout smiles and sings in difficult times.
  8. The Scout is obedient.
  9. The Scout is thrifty.
  10. The Scout is clean and pure in thought, word and deed.

Colombia

  1. La Guía ama la verdad y la vive.
  2. La Guía es leal y digna de confianza.
  3. La Guía es útil a la comunidad.
  4. La Guía es amiga de todos y hermana de las demás Guias.
  5. La Guía está abierta al diálogo y respeta las convicciones de los demás.
  6. La Guía ama la vida y la naturaleza y al ver en ellas la obra de Dios, procura su conservación y progreso.
  7. La Guía es responsable.
  8. La Guía es alegre y optimista ante las dificultades.
  9. La Guía cuida sus cosas y respeta las de los demas.
  10. La Guía es disciplinada y consciente de lo que piensa, dice y hace.

Costa Rica

Asociación de Guías y Scouts de Costa Rica

  1. A Scout shows his honour by being worthy of trust.
  2. A Scout is loyal to God, his nation, his parents, his bosses, and his subordinates.
  3. A Scout is useful and helps others without thinking of rewards.
  4. A Scout is everybody's friend and brother/sister of all Scouts, without distinction of creed, race, nationality, or social class.
  5. A Scout is courteous and well mannered.
  6. A Scout sees God's work in nature. He or she protects animals and plants.
  7. A Scout obeys rationally and does things in an orderly and complete manner.
  8. A Scout smiles and sings through difficult times.
  9. A Scout is economic, hard-working, and careful of others' well being. (The original Spanish phrase, cuidadoso del bien ajeno, can also mean "being careful/respectful of others' properties".)
  10. A Scout is clean and healthy; pure in his thoughts, words, and actions.

Czech Republic

  1. A Scout speaks the truth
  2. A Scout can be trusted and is loyal
  3. A Scout is useful to society and helps others
  4. A Scout is a friend to all people of good will and a brother/sister to all Scouts and Guides
  5. A Scout is courteous
  6. A Scout protects nature and valuable human products
  7. A Scout obeys his/her parents, superiors and Scout/Guide leaders
  8. A Scout is of cheerful mind
  9. A Scout is thrifty
  10. A Scout is pure in thought, word and deeds

Guatemala

  1. The Scout bases his honor on being trustworthy.
  2. The Scout is patriotic and loyal.
  3. The Scout is useful and helps others without thinking of a reward.
  4. The Scout is friend to everyone and brother to any Scout, without distinction of race, creed, social class, or nationality.
  5. The Scout is courteous and chivalrous.
  6. The Scout sees in nature the work of God; he protects animals and plants.
  7. The Scout is obedient and does things in order and completely.
  8. The Scout smiles and sings in his difficulties.
  9. The Scout is thrifty, a hard worker, and careful with others' goods.
  10. The Scout is clean and healthy, pure in thought, word, and deed.

Hungary

  1. A Scout is upright and always tells the truth.
  2. A Scout does his/her duties to God, his/her Country and his/her fellow people.
  3. A Scout helps whenever he/she can.
  4. A Scout is a brother/sister to all Scouts.
  5. A Scout is gentle with others, but strict to him/herself.
  6. A Scout loves nature, is kind to animals and takes care of plants.
  7. A Scout obeys his superiors willingly and wholeheartedly
  8. A Scout is cheerful and considerate.
  9. A Scout is thrifty.
  10. A Scout is clean in body and soul

Iceland

  1. A scout always tells the truth and does what he says.
  2. A scout is a trustworthy companion and a good friend.
  3. A scout is clean in thoughts, words, and deeds
  4. A scout is obedient
  5. A scout is cheerful
  6. A scout is helpful to everyone
  7. A scout is courteous
  8. A scout uses what he can and has
  9. A scout is thrifty and clean and shows respects to other people's belongings
  10. A scout loves the nature

India

  1. A Scout/Guide is Trustworthy
  2. A Scout/Guide is Loyal
  3. A Scout/Guide is a friend to all and a brother/sister to every other Scout/Guide.
  4. A Scout/Guide is courteous
  5. A Scout/Guide is a friend to animals and loves nature.
  6. A Scout/Guide is disciplined and helps protect public property.
  7. A Scout/Guide is courageous.
  8. A Scout/Guide is thrifty.
  9. A Scout/Guide is pure in thought, word and deed.

Indonesia

  1. Believe in God the Almighty
  2. Preserve nature and love each other
  3. Be an affable and knightly patriot
  4. Be obedient and collegial
  5. Help others with compliance and resilience
  6. Be diligent, skilled and cheerful
  7. Be provident and simple
  8. Exercise discipline, be brave and faithful
  9. Be accountable and trustworthy
  10. Have purity in mind, word and act

Ireland

Scouting Ireland

  1. A Scout is loyal
  2. A Scout is trustworthy
  3. A Scout helpful
  4. A Scout friendly
  5. A Scout courteous
  6. A Scout kind
  7. A Scout obedient
  8. A Scout cheerful
  9. A Scout thrifty
  10. A Scout is pure in thought, word and deed
  11. A Scout does all for the glory of god[4]

Italy

AGESCI

La guida e lo scout:
The guide and the scout:

  1. pongono il loro onore nel meritare fiducia
    put their honour in being trustworthy
  2. sono leali
    are loyal
  3. si rendono utili ed aiutano gli altri
    make themselves useful and help others
  4. sono amici di tutti e fratelli di ogni altra guida e scout
    are friend of anyone and brothers to any other guide and scout
  5. sono cortesi
    are courteous
  6. amano e rispettano la natura
    love and respect nature
  7. sanno obbedire
    know how to obey
  8. sorridono e cantano anche nelle difficolta'
    smile and sing also in difficulty
  9. sono laboriosi ed economi
    are hard workers and thrifty
  10. sono puri di pensieri, parole ed azioni
    are pure in thoughts, words and deeds

AGESCI - Statuto 2007.

ASCI

  1. Lo Scout considera suo onore meritare fiducia
  2. Lo Scout è leale (verso la Patria, i genitori, i capi, i suoi datori di lavoro e i suoi dipendenti)
  3. Lo Scout è sempre pronto a servire il prossimo
  4. Lo Scout è amico di tutti e fratello di ogni altro scout (a qualunque paese, classe sociale o religione esso appartenga)
  5. Lo Scout è cortese e cavalleresco
  6. Lo Scout è buono anche con gli animali, creature di Dio
  7. Lo Scout ubbidisce prontamente (agli ordini dei suoi genitori, del suo caposquadriglia, dei capi)
  8. Lo Scout sorride e canta anche nelle difficoltà
  9. Lo Scout è laborioso ed economo
  10. Lo Scout è puro di pensieri, di parole, di azioni

CNGEI

  1. La parola dell'Esploratore/trice è sacra
  2. L'Esploratore/trice è leale, forte, coraggioso/a
  3. L'Esploratore/trice è buono e generoso
  4. L'Esploratore/trice è amico/a di tutti e fratello / sorella di ogni altro/a Esploratore o Esploratrice
  5. L'Esploratore/trice è cortese e tollerante
  6. L'Esploratore/trice rispetta e protegge i luoghi, gli animali, le piante
  7. L'Esploratore/trice è coscientemente disciplinato/a
  8. L'Esploratore/trice è sempre sereno/a anche nelle difficoltà
  9. L'Esploratore/trice è sobrio/a, economo/a, laborioso/a, perseverante
  10. L'Esploratore/trice è puro di pensieri, corretto nelle parole e negli atti

AIGSEC-FSE

Legge dello Scout:

  1. Lo Scout considera suo onore il meritare fiducia
  2. Lo Scout è leale (verso il suo paese, i suoi genitori, i suoi capi e i suoi subordinati)
  3. Lo Scout è sempre pronto a servire il prossimo
  4. Lo Scout è amico di tutti e fratello di ogni altro Scout (a qualunque paese, classe sociale o religione esso appartenga)
  5. Lo Scout è cortese e cavalleresco
  6. Lo Scout vede nella natura l'opera di Dio: ama le piante e gli animali
  7. Lo Scout ubbidisce prontamente
  8. Lo Scout sorride e canta anche nelle difficoltà
  9. Lo Scout è laborioso ed economo
  10. Lo Scout è puro di pensieri, parole e azioni

Japan

Scout Association of Japan

  1. A Scout is faithful.
  2. A Scout is friendly.
  3. A Scout is courteous.
  4. A Scout is kind.
  5. A Scout is thrifty.
  6. A Scout is courageous.
  7. A Scout is thankful.

Girl Scouts of Japan

  1. I am cheerful and courageous at all times.
  2. I respect all living things.
  3. I am a friend to all, and a sister to every Girl Scout.
  4. I am courteous
  5. I use time and resources wisely.
  6. I think and act on my own.
  7. I am responsible for what I say and do.
  8. I try to be sincere.

Malaysia

Persekutuan Pengakap Malaysia

(translated from Malay):

  1. A Scout is to be trusted and has self dignity.
  2. A Scout is loyal towards the King and other Rajas, towards the Scout Masters, parents, employer and the people under him.
  3. A Scout is to make himself useful and helpful at all times.
  4. A Scout is a friend to all of any States, rank or any other religion.
  5. A Scout is good and kind and will always do good.
  6. A Scout is good and kind to animals.
  7. A Scout always follow his parents',Leaders' orders without any questions.
  8. A Scout is always patient and smile during difficulties.
  9. A Scout is thrifty.
  10. A Scout is clean and pure of thoughts, words and actions.

Persatuan Pandu Puteri Malaysia

(translated from Malay):

  1. A Guide's honour is to be trusted.
  2. A Guide is loyal.
  3. A Guides's duty is to be useful and help others.
  4. A Guide is friend to all and a sister to every other guide.
  5. A Guide is courteous.
  6. A Guide is a friend to animals and care for all living things.
  7. A Guide obey orders.
  8. A Guide smiles and sings under all difficulties.
  9. A Guide is thrifty.
  10. A Guide is pure in thought, word and in deed.

Netherlands

A Scout explores the world together with others and tries to improve it.
He is honest, loyal and doesn't give up easily.
A Scout is efficient and sober,
takes good care for nature
and respects himself and others.

Norway

  1. A Scout is open to God and His word;
  2. A Scout accepts responsibility for him/herself and others;
  3. A Scout is helpful and considerate;
  4. A Scout is a good friend;
  5. A Scout is honest and trustworthy;
  6. A Scout knows and protects the Nature;
  7. A Scout thinks and acts independently, and tries to understand other people;
  8. A Scout does his/her best in difficulties and troubles;
  9. A Scout is thrifty;
  10. A Scout works for peace and understanding between people.

Portugal

  1. A Scout speaks the truth and his word is holy.
  2. A Scout is loyal.
  3. A Scout is trustworthy.
  4. A Scout is a friend to everybody and a brother to other Scouts.
  5. A Scout is courteous.
  6. A Scout is kind to animals and good to plants.
  7. A Scout is obedient and well disciplined.
  8. A Scout is joyful and smiles in times of difficulties.
  9. A Scout is thrifty and respects the possessions of others.
  10. A Scout is pure in thought, word and deeds.

Singapore

The Singapore Scout Association

  1. A Scout is to be trusted
  2. A Scout is loyal
  3. A Scout makes friends, establishes and maintain harmonious relations
  4. A Scout is disciplined and considerate
  5. A Scout has courage in all difficulties.

Girl Guides Singapore

  1. A Guide is loyal and can be trusted
  2. A Guide is useful and helps others
  3. A Guide is polite, considerate and respects her elders
  4. A Guide is friendly and a sister to all Guides
  5. A Guide is kind to all living things
  6. A Guide is obedient
  7. A Guide has courage and is cheerful in all difficulties
  8. A Guide takes care of her own possessions and those of other people
  9. A Guide is thrifty and diligent
  10. A Guide is self-disciplined in what she thinks, says and does

South Africa

  1. A Scout's honour is to be trusted
  2. A Scout is loyal
  3. A Scout's duty is to be useful and to help others.
  4. A Scout is a friend to all and a brother to every other Scout
  5. A Scout is courteous
  6. A Scout is a friend to animals
  7. A Scout obeys orders
  8. A Scout smiles and whistles under all difficulties
  9. A Scout is thrifty
  10. A Scout is clean in thought, word and deed

Sweden

  1. A Scout is reverent to God and His word.
  2. A Scout is honest and trustworthy.
  3. A Scout is friendly and helpful.
  4. A scout is considerate and a good companion.
  5. A scout overcomes difficulties with humor.
  6. A Scout learns to know and protects the Nature.
  7. A Scout accepts responsibility for herself/himself and others.

Switzerland

  1. A scout is honest towards him/herself and the others
  2. A scout stands to his/her belief and respects the belief of others.
  3. A scout takes care of the nature and all living beings
  4. A scout helps wherever he/she can
  5. A scout is a good companion
  6. A scout keeps his/her self-control
  7. A scout can integrate him-/herself in the community
  8. A scout overcomes difficulties with humor
  9. A scout can renounce
  10. A scout is ready [willing] to take responsibility.

United Kingdom (UK)

The Scout Association

  1. A Scout is to be trusted.
  2. A Scout is loyal.
  3. A Scout is friendly and considerate.
  4. A Scout belongs to the worldwide family of Scouts.
  5. A Scout has courage in all difficulties.
  6. A Scout makes good use of time and is careful of possessions and property.
  7. A Scout has self-respect and respect for others.

Girlguiding UK

  1. A Guide is honest, reliable and can be trusted.
  2. A Guide is helpful and uses her time and abilities wisely.
  3. A Guide faces challenge and learns from her experiences.
  4. A Guide is a good friend and a sister to all Guides.
  5. A Guide is polite and considerate.
  6. A Guide respects all living things and takes care of the world around her.

United States of America

Boy Scouts of America

A Scout is:
  1. trustworthy,
  2. loyal,
  3. helpful,
  4. friendly,
  5. courteous,
  6. kind,
  7. obedient,
  8. cheerful,
  9. thrifty,
  10. brave,
  11. clean, and
  12. reverent.

Girl Scouts of the USA

I will do my best to be
honest and fair,
friendly and helpful,
considerate and caring,
courageous and strong, and
responsible for what I say and do,
and to
respect myself and others,
respect authority,
use resources wisely,
make the world a better place, and
be a sister to every Girl Scout

See also

References

  1. Baden-Powell, C.B., F.R.G.S., Lieut.-General R. S. S. (1908). Scouting for Boys (Part I ed.). Windsor House, Bream's Buildings, London E.C.: Horace Cox. pp. page 49. 
  2. "The British Boy Scouts Pledge and Law an historical survey". Scout History Association. http://www.netpages.free-online.co.uk/sha/law.htm. Retrieved 2006-05-22. 
  3. "Young Knights of the Empire". Gutenberg project. http://www.gutenberg.net/catalog/world/authrec?fk_authors=2144. 
  4. The Scout Badgebook, 3rd revision 1997. National Scout Team (Ireland)
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