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Scout Promise

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Since the publication of Scouting for Boys in 1908, all Scouts and Guides around the world have taken a Scout (or Guide) promise or oath to live up to ideals of the movement, and subscribed to a Scout Law. The wording of the Scout Promise (or Oath) and Scout Law have varied slightly over time and from country to country. Some national organization promises are given below. Although most Scouting and Guiding organizations use the word 'promise', a few such as the Boy Scouts of America tend to use 'oath' instead. Typically, Scouts and Guides will make the three-fingered Scout Sign when reciting the promise.

Contents

Original 1908 text

In his original book on boy scouting, General Baden Powell introduced the scout promise, as follows [1] :

Before he becomes a scout, a boy must take the scout's oath, thus:
On my honour I promise that---

  1. I will do my duty to God and the King.
  2. I will do my best to help others, whatever it costs me.
  3. I know the Scout Law, and will obey it.

While taking this oath the scout will stand, holding his right hand raised level with his shoulder, palm to the front, thumb resting on the nail of the little finger and the other three fingers upright, pointing upwards:--- This is the scout's salute and secret sign.

World Organization of the Scout Movement requirements

The form of the promise has varied slightly from country to country and over time, but must fulfill the requirements of the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) to qualify a National Scout Organization for membership. Together with clarifying its Scout Law, the Constitution of WOSM states:[2]

Article II, paragraph 2: "Adherence to a Promise and Law"

All members of the Scout Movement are required to adhere to a Scout Promise and Law reflecting, in language appropriate to the culture and civilization of each National Scout Organization and approved by the World Organization, the principles of Duty to God, Duty to others and Duty to self, and inspired by the Promise and Law conceived by the Founder of the Scout Movement in the following terms:

The Scout Promise

On my honour I promise that I will do my best—
To do my duty to God and the King (or to God and my Country)
To help other people at all times
To obey the Scout Law.

In order to accommodate many different religions within Scouting, "God" may refer to a higher power, and is not specifically restricted to the God of the monotheistic religions. The WOSM Constitution explains "Duty to God" as "Adherence to spiritual principles, loyalty to the religion that expresses them and acceptance of the duties resulting therefrom."

The World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), which is a sister organization to WOSM, has the very same wording in their constitution (Part I, Article 2: Original Promise),[3] and follows similar policies.

Alternative Promises

Although the Constitution of WOSM states that the Promise should include a reference to Duty to God [2], six countries (Belgium, Czechoslovakia, France, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, and Finland) were granted the right in the 1920's to additionally use an alternative promise without a reference to God [4]. Two of these countries still offer this alternative promise (The Netherlands and Czech Republic), where others have abandoned it. WOSM stated in 1932 that no new exceptions will be made and has expressed the hope that the few remaining countries will stop using any promise lacking a reference to Duty to God.

The Israeli Scouts though founded in 1919/1920 and joining WOSM in 1951 and WAGGGS in 1963 also have no 'duty to God' or apparent equivalent in their promise.

Non-WOSM Scouting

Scout sections that follow traditional scouting, such as Baden-Powell Scouts within the WFIS, use several promises including the original scout promise above that includes the reference to God.[5] Some, however, for example the 1st Tarrant Scout Group in Fort Worth, Texas use a blend of the original promise[6] and the "Outlander Promise" which, "according to tradition", B-P wrote for scouts that had to omit the reference to God or a monarch for reasons of conscience.[7]

National Scout/Guide organization promises

Many of these are translations from the native languages of a particular organization and translations of the same words by different people can vary.

Australia

Scouts Australia

On my honour
I promise that I will do my best
To do my duty to my God, and
To (the Queen of) Australia
To help other people, and
To live by the Scout Law

  • The reference to the Queen can be omitted in some cases

Guides Australia

I promise that I will do my best:
to do my duty to God, to serve the Queen and my country;
to help other people; and
to keep the Guide Law.

Austria

Pfadfinder und Pfadfinderinnen Österreichs

I promise on my duty
To do my best
To serve God and my country
To help my fellow people
And to live according to the Scout/Guide Law.

Bangladesh

Bangladesh Scouts

On my honour I promise that, I will do my best to do my duty
- To God and my country,
- To help other people at all times and
- To obey the Scout Law.

Belgium

FOS Open Scouting

I promise, on my honour, to try:
To be loyal to a higher ideal, our group and democracy
To obey the guides/scouts law
To help where possible

Europascouts en Gidsen - België

I promise, on my word of honour,
With Gods mercy and to best capacity,
To serve God, Church, King, country and Europe,
To help my fellow man in all circumstances,
To obey the scouts law.

Brazil

União dos Escoteiros do Brasil

I promise, on my honour
To make the best I can do my duty to
My God and my country,
Help the other in any opportunity,
And, live by the Scout Law.

Federação de Bandeirantes do Brasil

I promise, under my word of honour, to do my best to:
Be loyal to God and my country,
Help other at any occasion and
Obey the Guiding Law.

Canada

Scouts Canada

On my honour,
I promise that I will do my best,
To do my Duty to God and the Queen,
To help other people at all times,
And to carry out the spirit of the Scout Law

Girl Guides of Canada/Guides du Canada

I promise to do my best,
To be true to myself, my God/faith* and Canada;
I will help others,
And accept the Guiding Law.

  • Choose either the word God or the word faith according to your personal convictions.

Association des Scouts du Canada

Je m'engage sur mon honneur à vivre selon la Loi scoute pour mieux servir Dieu et les autres. (I pledge on my honor to live according to Scout Law to better serve God and others)

Chile

Asociación de Guías y Scouts de Chile

Por mi honor prometo
hacer todo cuanto de mí dependa
para cumplir mis deberes con dios y la patria,
ayudar al prójimo en toda circunstancia
y vivir fielmente la ley scout.

I promise on my honour
To do all that I can to do my duty to God and my country,
To help others at all times
And to obey the Scout Law

Colombia

Asociación de Guías Scouts de Colombia

Con las gracias de Dios, yo ... prometo por mi honor, hacer todo cuanto de mi dependa para cumplir mis deberes para con Dios, mi Patria y mi Familia, ser útil al prójimo en todas las circunstancias y obedecer la Ley Guía.

Costa Rica

Asociación de Guías y Scouts de Costa Rica

Por mi honor y con la ayuda de Dios,
prometo hacer todo lo posible por cumplir mis deberes para con Dios y la patria,
ayudar al projimo en toda circunstancia,
y cumplir fielmente la Ley Guía y Scout.

By my honour and with God's help,
I promise to do everything possible to obey all my obligations with God and my nation,
help my neighbour in all circumstances,
and loyally obey the Law of Scouts and Guides.

Czech Republic

Junák

On my honor I promise that I will do my best,
to serve the highest Truth and Love faithfully at all times,
to fulfill my own duties and to observe the Scout/Guide laws,
to be prepared to help my country and my neighbors with all my soul and body.
(May God help me so.)

  • The reference to God is optional in the Czech Republic. See introduction above for explanation.[1]

Finland

Suomen Partiolaiset

I will love my God and my neighbour,
my native country and mankind
by fulfilling the Guide and Scout ideals in my life.

Germany

Due to the huge number of different Scout associations in Germany, there is no common Scout Promise in Germany. For details on the individual promises, see also Scouting in Germany.

Greece

Scouts of Greece

On my honour, I promise
To do my duty to God and the country,
To help every person in every circumstance,
And, to obey the Scout Law.

Hong Kong

The Scout Association of Hong Kong

On my honour, I promise that I will do my best
to do my duty to God and to my Country
to help other people
and to keep the Scout Law

Hong Kong Girl Guides Association

I promise to do my best
to be true to myself, my God/faith*, and my country,
to help others, and
to keep the Guide Law

  • choose either the word God or the word faith according to her personal convictions

Hungary

Magyar Cserkészszövetség

I, … promise that I’ll do my duties
to God, my Country and my fellow people loyally.
I’ll do my best to help others.
I know the Scout Law and keep it always.

Iceland

Bandalag íslenskra skáta

I promise to do what ever I can
to do my duties to god and the homeland
to help others
and obey the Scout Law

India

The Bharat Scouts and Guides

On my honour, I promise that I will do my best
to do my duty to my Dharma* and my country,
to help other people and to obey the Scout/Guide Law

  • The word "Dharma" may be substituted for the word "God" if so desired.

Indonesia

Gerakan Pramuka

On My Honour , I promise to

  • Fulfill my obligation to the God , to the Republic of Indonesia, and to obey Pancasila
  • Help Other people and get involved in build the community
  • Obey The Scout Law.

Israel

Hitachdut Hatsofim Ve Hatsofot Be Israel

I promise to do my best
to fulfill my duties to my people,
my country and my land,
to help others at all times
and to obey the Scout Law.

Italy

Associazione Guide e Scout Cattolici Italiani

With God's help, I promise on my honour to do my best
To do my duty to God and my country
To help others in every circumstance
And to observe the Scout Law.

Corpo Nazionale Giovani Esploratori Italiani

I promise on my honour to do my best
To do my duty to God, country and family
To always act with unselfishness and loyalty
And to observe the Scout Law.

Japan

Scout Association of Japan

I swear on my honor to uphold the following three practices:
1. To act in good faith towards God (Buddha) and my country, and uphold the [Scout] law.
2. To always help other people.
3. To strengthen my body, to make sound my mind, and to cultivate virtue.

Girl Scouts of Japan

I promise to:
Do my duty to God (Buddha):*</br> Be responsible for my community,
My country and the world;
Try to be helpful to other people;
and
Live by the Girl Scout Law.

  • God (Buddha) in Japanese is Kami (Hotoke)

Malaysia

Persekutuan Pengakap Malaysia

Bahawa dengan sesungguhnya saya berjanji dan bersetia, yang saya dengan seberapa daya upaya, akan:

  1. taat kepada Tuhan, Raja dan Negara
  2. menolong orang pada setiap masa
  3. menurut undang-undang penangkap

(translated from Malay):
On my honour I promise that I will do my best,

  1. to do my duty to God, King and country
  2. to help others at all times
  3. to obey the Scout Laws

Persatuan Pandu Puteri Malaysia

(translated from Malay):
On my honour I promise that I will do my best

  1. to God, King, and my Country Malaysia
  2. to help people at all times </br>
  3. and to obey the guide laws.

The Netherlands

Scouting Nederland

I promise to do my best (with the help of God) to be a good Scout,
to help everybody whenever I can
and to follow the Scout Law.
You can count on me.

  • The reference to God is optional in The Netherlands. See introduction above for explanation.[2]

New Zealand

Scouting New Zealand

On my honour,
I promise to do my best,
To do my duty to my God,
To the Queen and my Country,
To help other people,
And to live by the Scout Law.

Guides New Zealand

I promise, with the help of my God,
to be true to myself,
to do my best to help my country,
and to live by the Guide Law

Norway

Norges Speiderforbund

Jeg lover etter beste evne å være åpen for Gud,
hjelpe andre og leve etter speiderloven.

English Translation: I promise to do my best to be open for God,
help others and live according to the Scout Law.

Portugal

Associação dos Escoteiros de Portugal

On my honor I promise to do my best
to fulfill my duties to my faith and my country,
to help my fellow man in all circumstances,
and to live according to the Scout Law.

Poland

Związek Harcerstwa Polskiego

I promise that I will do my best
to to serve God and Poland
to help other people
be faithful to the Scouts Law.

Singapore

Singapore Scout Association

On My honour, I promise that I will do my best;
To do my duty to God, and to the Republic of Singapore,
To help other people;
And to keep the Scout Law.

Girl Guides Singapore

I promise to do my best,
To do my duty to God,
To serve my country
and help other people,
and to keep the Guide Law

South Africa

South African Scout Association

On my honour, I promise that I will do my best -
To do my duty to God, and my Country;
To help other people at all times;
To obey the Scout Law.

Girl Guide Association of South Africa

I promise to do my best
To do my duty to my God
And to my country
To help other people
And to keep the Guide Law

Uganda

The Uganda Scouts Association

On My honour, I promise that I will do my best;
To do my duty to God, and my Country,
To help other people at all times;
To obey the Scout Law.

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka Scout Association

On my honour, I promise to do my best,
to do my duty to my religion and country,
to help other people at all times
and to obey the Scout Law.

Switzerland

Swiss Guide and Scout Movement

With your help and happily I Promise to do my best:
or
With the help of God, with your help and happily I promise to do my best:

  • To study in detail the values of our Scout Law
  • To search for the meaning of my life
  • To be involved in the community where I live

Taiwan (Republic of China)

Scouts of China

I wish to join Boy Scouts of China, and on my honor,
I promise that I will obey the Scout Law,
and all my life I will do my best.
To do my duty to God, be friendly to the people and
become a righteous Chinese citizen.
To help others and serve the public at all times.
To strive to make myself rich in knowledge, perfect
in character, and healthy in physical constitution.

Thailand

The National Scout Organization of Thailand

On my honour I promise
that I will be loyal to the Nation,
the Religion and the King;
help other people at all times;
and obey the Scout Law.

Turkey

Türkiye İzcilik Federasyonu

On my honour, I will promise,
To do duties to God and my country,
To help others at all time
To obey the scouting laws,
To be physically strong, mentally awake and morally strong.

United Kingdom

The Scout Association

The promise as made by all members of The Scout Association over the age of 10 years is as follows:

On my honour, I promise that I will do my best,
To do my duty to God and to the Queen,
To help other people,
And to keep the Scout Law.

Beaver Scouts (6 to 8 years) have a much simplified version of the promise:

I promise to do my best,
To be kind and helpful,
and to love God.

Cub Scouts (8 to 10 years) use a version which is quite close to the standard:

I promise that I will do my best,
to do my duty to God and to the Queen,
to help other people
and to keep the Cub Scout Law.
  • Variations to the wording are allowed to take into account the different religious obligations of its Members according to Rule 1.1:[3]

United States of America

Boy Scouts of America

On my honor, I will do my best
To do my duty To God and my country
To obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.

Girl Scouts of the USA

On my honor, I will try:
To serve God* and my country,
To help people at all times,
And to live by the Girl Scout Law.

  • The word "God" can be interpreted in a number of ways, depending on one's spiritual beliefs. When reciting the Girl Scout Promise, it is okay to replace the word "God" with whatever word your spiritual beliefs dictate.

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 40. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "WOSM Constitution and By-Laws". World Scout Bureau. July 1983, April 2000. http://www.scout.org/en/content/download/3271/30808/file/WOSM_constitution_EN.pdf. Retrieved 2007-03-10. 
  3. "WAGGGS Constitution and Bye-Laws". WAGGGS World Bureau. December 1936, June 2005. http://www.wagggsworld.org/en/grab/1109/1/1ConstitutionbookletEnglish.pdf. Retrieved 2007-03-10. 
  4. "Report on the Discussion on the Fundamental Principles of WAGGGS and WOSM". WOSM. http://www.euro.scout.org/satw/wosm_wagggs/fundprin_e.pdf. Retrieved 2006-12-24. 
  5. "BP Scouting". BP Scouting. http://www.bpscouting.org/. Retrieved 2007-03-10. 
  6. "B-P Scouts Introduction". 1st Tarrant Baden-Powell Scouts. http://www.1sttarrantbpscouts.org/Intro.html. Retrieved 2007-03-10. 
  7. "B-P Law & Promise". Inquiry Net. http://www.inquiry.net/ideals/b-p/law.htm. Retrieved 2007-03-10.