I completed my Rover Squire Vigil on Sunday night, October 20th, 2019. After completing the Vigil Questionnaire, I backpacked out to a remote area in the nature preserve behind my neighborhood. I've lived there 20 years and always wanted to spend a quite night alone there...no campground...no other people...just nature and me, contemplating life and the journey, with Scouting as the Light and Guide. Discussion includes observations about the local natural environment, consideration of the Vigil questions, and sharing reactions to Robert Baden-Powell's landmark book for young adults "Rovering to Success." Thanks fellow Rover Scouts for sharing the journey!
Chief Rover Scout, Ken Pataky
Dear Rover Scout Members of R4LA, I’m hoping that my sharing of my answers to my Rover Squire Vigil questions as I prepare to be invested as a Rover Scout/Knight will help you and your Rover Crew Brothers & Sisters in your journeys!
ROVER KNIGHT VIGIL QUESTIONS
Name of Rover Squire: Ken Pataky
Date of Vigil: 10/20/2019
1) Am I making the best use of the life that I have been given? I am not sure, but I strive to always. I constantly pray about that, for guidance and support from the Universe, from God and all positive Beings, to help me determine what is the best path to achieve happiness, peace, and be of greatest service to our species and the planet. I have been offered an opportunity to move far away and help a tribe of people I feel are more like me than my current location, but I am struggling with loyalty issues to my current community. I am praying hard for guidance on that now. I don’t want to use the excuse of loyalty to cover up potential fear of change which may deny me a great opportunity. I am exploring whether I can live and serve in both places, which would be ideal. I am also trying hard to develop more time & energy to complete my PhD, which is primarily a remote, self-study program.
2) Am I frittering it away, in doing nothing that counts, that is, wasting it? I don’t believe so.
3) Am I working at things that are not doing any good to anybody? Occasionally, but not often.
4) Am I seeking too much for my own enjoyment, moneymaking, or promotion without trying to help other people? I don’t believe that is me.
5) Whom have I injured or hurt in my life? Can I make amends? I have done my best to make amends and peace with all whom I have injured. I have forgiven all whom have harmed me, and I have forgiven myself for my own shortcomings. My marriage is a constant training ground to move forward w/o hurting each other emotionally due to our weaknesses, yet I/we do our best to make amends day-to-day.
6) Whom have I helped in my life? Is there anyone else I can help? I have helped many people in my life for over 3 decades, in my professional roles as manager, teacher, counselor…in my volunteer roles as Scouting leader, athletics coach, church group leader…and in my personal role as husband, father, son.
7) Am I joining Rovering only for the fun that I can get out of it? That is part of it…but a better part of it is that I enjoy being of service, being a leader, leading by example, helping others, helping leave the world better than I found it. Without that, being a Rover would mean little to me.
8) Am I determined to put real self-sacrificing Service into it? Absolutely, but never losing sight of who I am and what I need to stay happy, peaceful, and in balance. Holistic health is central to my life, and I constantly strive to stay in balance.
9) What do I mean by Service? Service to me means helping others the way THEY feel they need to be helped, as long as that is a healthy and ethical need/goal. It means sometimes doing things that are not convenient and that are not compensated, other than the joy or positive feeling of being of service. It means doing my best to serve in the best way I know how when I am needed…and to ask for feedback, to make sure the party receiving the service is benefiting from THEIR point of view.
10) Do I really think of others, rather than myself, in my plans or undertaking? I try to. I have built my life around doing that. Yet, I am strong-minded in my plans for my own life and don’t like to limit those on account of others. I have a dream and vision that I truly want to live out in this world. This dream is about helping others and contributing to make the world a truly better and healthier place for us all.
11) What kind of Service am I best suited to do? At home? At work? In my spare time? I think I was born to be a leader, but less a manager/director than a teacher/counselor. I can manage if I need to, but it’s not my preference. For example, I prefer to be a Crew Advisor rather than a Troop Scoutmaster. I am great at planning & organizing, teaching & leading by example, encouraging & supporting people. Health & wellness—physical, emotional & spiritual—is my specialty. I am well-trained in the Outdoors and hope to inspire others to leave their technology behind and join me in exploring how beautiful, sacred and healing our natural world is…and to fight to protect and preserve it!
12) Am I determined to give up bad habits acquired in the past? I am. As long as I can remember, I have tried to constantly improve my character and strive to be the best person I can be. I have a lot of self-discipline, and I ask for the guidance and feedback of God and the intelligent Universe daily.
13) What are the weak points in my character? At times, I go to sleep too late, mostly due to interacting with media, and occasionally lose my patience & temper, and occasionally use foul language.
14) Am I absolutely honorable and trustworthy? I can say that I am a most honorable & trustworthy person. No one is perfect, so absolute is a strong word.
15) Am I loyal to God and/or my conscience, my country, my employers, those under me, the Scout Movement, my friends, family, and myself? I try to be, yes. I choose not to have an employer, because I don’t want to compromise my integrity, working under others who are determining what I do and what the company does. It’s one of the best decisions I’ve made. Yet, my clients are my employers now, and I am loyal to them. I am loyal to my family and help them whenever asked and beyond that, too. I love the idea of my country, but I am deeply dissatisfied with the corrupt leadership, corporations, and uber-wealthy which have taken over and constantly deprive the majority of our fellow citizens (and those of other countries) of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We have been at war for 227 of our 243 years as a nation, and we have become primarily an imperialist nation, aggressively invading and pillaging poorer, weaker countries for the wealth of a tiny majority—including members of this cabal who are not American citizens—and are throwing the lives of our young, innocent soldiers under the bus in doing so. It is very difficult to be loyal to such a country. So, I am loyal to the PEOPLE of my country, but not to its corrupt government, military, corporations, or banks. I am loyal to those in the Scouting movement who understand what I am talking about and who share my passion to return freedom to the 99.8% of American people currently under siege and to release the world from the tyranny of the 0.2%. I am loyal to myself most of the time, except when I allow myself to not get enough rest.
16) Am I good tempered, cheery, and kind to others? I try to be and succeed most of the time, but not always. Sometimes, I become discouraged and disillusioned with the state of our world, which I why I regained the Scouting movement. I feel as I’ve become happier and more peaceful, grateful for my life, these moods have decreased in frequency and duration. It helps to be living consistently under the Scout Law & Oath again, making these a part of my daily life.
17) Am I sober, clean living, and clean speaking? For the 1st two, I can say yes with confidence. For the last one, I do occasionally use foul language, which I regret and which I am trying to change. I am committed to doing so, especially with the support of the Scout Law & Oath and reading the works of Baden-Powell and actively committing to these ideals daily.
18) Have I courage and patience to stick it out when things are going against me? I do have incredible endurance & perseverance and greater than average patience, though at times, especially when I am not well rested, I do become impatient. I rarely give up, unless I feel the process I’m struggling with is actually hurting me or someone else.
19) Have I a mind of my own, or do I allow myself to be carried away by the persuasion of others? I would say that having a mind of my own has always been one of my greatest strengths, and I have at times suffered for it…though I won’t change it, though I strive not to harm others or be arrogant.
20) Am I strong minded enough to ward off the temptations to abuse drugs, alcohol, or to harm other people? Yes, without a doubt.
21) Am I weak in some of these things? Do I resolve here and now to do my best to correct them and give them up? I resolve here and now to do my best to correct all things mentioned here.
22) May I have the strength to go forward henceforth a complete person, a true citizen, and a credit to my country and to Scouting? That is my absolute goal, from this moment forward, strengthened and buttressed by this Vigil and by being active again in Scouting, as a Rover and Scouter. I treasure this opportunity, and am so glad that the Rovering program exists, so I can continue the work began as a young Scout decades ago…now with much greater maturity, self-awareness, and wisdom to improve myself and the world.
Chief Rover Scout, Ken Pataky
Dear Rover Scout/Knights working to earn their Practical Training Strip. Please enjoy this training video demonstrating knots & hitches required for Rover Practical Training!
Chief Rover Scout, Ken Pataky
[Note, these thoughts are mine and don’t necessarily represent the views of any Scouting organization directly, just my interpretation. It is important that all Scouts contemplate the importance of inclusivity and diversity themselves and make up their own minds about this issue. If you think your views might inspire others, you might want to share as I have. If you’d rather express your views privately to your Rover Scout Leader, you are most welcome to do that. I hope my comments are helpful as just one person’s perspective who’s had a bit of experience along the Way.]
Good day, fellow Brother & Sister Rovers! I'm writing here to publicly express my views about inclusivity and Scouting. As many of you know, traditional Scouting was founded originally in 1970 in England as a reaction to Scouting becoming less like the vision of its founder, Robert Baden-Powell. B-P envisioned Scouting to be "cheerful service in the open air" and worked hard to promote international understanding and Brotherhood/Sisterhood, himself traveling often to develop Scouting in less developed nations and promoting many World Jamborees. By the 1960s, over 20 years after his death, Scouting had changed, with many countries like the US shifting their focus inwards away from other nations (not hosting a World Jambo from 1967 to 2019!) and with the program becoming more indoor-oriented in many ways around corporate leadership models, with Scouts becoming a far less vital force in their communities than years past. By the time traditional Scouting made its way to the US in the early 2000s, it was fueled by the struggle BSA and GSA were having with inclusivity, barring members of other genders, non-mainstream sexual preferences, and non-mainstream religious views. It seemed like these organizations were moving at a snail's pace to keep up with changes in the world. Fortunately, traditional Scouting helped lead the way, modeling inclusivity from its origins here.
I personally am proud to be a part of Scouting organizations--such as the Rovering 4 Life Association, the International Scout Fellowship, and the World Federation of Independent Scouts--that aim towards minimizing bias and prejudice of any kind and teaches Scouts how to think more openly and naturally (as they would if they were not brainwashed) about those who are different than they are (which is everyone, really). Truly, we are all different. I like to say there are as many religions or spiritualities as there are people in the world. No one face is alike. There are many, many shades of skin tone, all of them a version of brown...ditto with hair color. Each gender is beautiful and powerful in its own right and brings gifts and strengths that the “other” gender needs to recognize and admire with gratitude, rather than either trying to control the other or make the other more like them. And then there are those who are “in-between,” who have a balance of male and female energy, or who feel more masculine but have a woman’s body or the reverse. There is so much wondrous variety in our world...and it is BY DESIGN. Look around. There are 1000s of species you don’t even realize exist...in the depths of the ocean...in the depths of rain forests. So many options, so many varieties...and all serve to move our world forward in its glorious evolution.
Why do so many hate what they don’t understand? What is different from themselves (again, which is everything else that is not them, ultimately)? Fear and ignorance come from a lack of understanding, a lack of experience, a lack of empathy, a lack of positive role models, a lack of love and support while growing up. These are also spread by the small minority holding power over the majority, as a way to throw them off the scent of how their happiness and prosperity are being swindled by those who would help them “see” that their enemies are those who are different, rather than those who would lie, control, harm and exploit. Look around you...look into the eyes of the Brothers and Sisters of this world, all here on the same journey to find meaning, peace, love, and happiness...just like US. When we hurt someone else...we hurt ourselves. Karma is real. There are no freebies. We earn and reap what we sow, period. When 1 person or people is exploited at the expense of another, the human race suffers...the world suffers.
We absolutely need to change direction as a species, before our world is destroyed. There is literally no more time for us to hate others, to refuse to work together, to refuse to care how our actions effect others in this world...other humans, other animals, other plants, other ecosystems...in short, our planet. We need to work together and embrace each other and our differences, to improve and truly save this world from destruction...destruction from global warming, from pollution, from war and genocide, from destruction of our primal ecosystems, from depletion of the nutritional value of our soil...from ignorance, exploitation, and abuse.
How, you might ask? Well, I can only use myself as an example. I have dedicated myself to serving others during my career working for the government, for the schools, for counseling agencies, and now as a counselor and coach in private practice. In my practice, I am open to others of different races, cultures, ethnicities, religions or spiritualities, genders, sexual orientation, etc. I have chosen to attend and graduate from a Historically Black College & University (HBCU). I have chosen to marry a woman from another country, far away from my own, a different religion, and a different culture. I have chosen to work for a small company, owned by a lesbian female couple, who promoted diversity in the workplace and served people with severe mental and physical disabilities, going out into their homes and communities, often in severely impoverished neighborhoods, where it was not pleasant or safe to work. I have chosen to become an Interfaith Spiritual Minister, promoting and supporting all religions and spiritualities in my counseling and coaching work. I have chosen to disassociate myself from both major political parties, recognizing that both are corrupt at their cores and only promote candidates who have sold their souls for money and power. I only vote for candidates I believe are good people as well as politicians, and I only send money directly to them, not to parties. I support Progressive candidates who respect all life, prioritize green, sustainable energy, commit to doing our best to slow down climate change and clean up our Earth, preserve our natural parks, forest, and natural resources, and reduce pollution, wars, and genocide of humans and animals globally. I decided 34 years ago to become a vegetarian, to reduce endless suffering and violence in the world, and to promote sustainability and reduce pollution and global destruction, and have for the past decade been mostly vegan. I compost, recycle, and try to eat simple food, mostly plants, grown from the earth around me. I plan in the future to become a smart farmer, growing much of my own food. I also plan to transition to renewable energy (solar and wind), catch and filter my own water, and continue to reduce my footprint as much as possible...and to teach others to do the same. You can do all of this yourself...or do it in another way that is just as meaningful and helpful to others and the world.
Back to inclusivity. Loving ourselves well means loving the world well, means loving all of its inhabitants well also. Remember a wise person once said, “Do unto others as you would have done unto yourself,” or more wisely in other cultures, “Don’t do to others what you don’t want done to yourself.” Or in yet another, “We are all one. There is no other.” Simply put, BE A GOOD PERSON. Lead with love, forgiveness, openness, and a sense of curiosity, holding a space for everyone around you that is different...for that includes every single thing.
So, how does this tie into Scouting? Well, again, historically, diversity and World Brotherhood & Sisterhood were centrally important to Scouting’s founder, B-P. He imagined Scouting as a kind of protection against world war, and was devastated by the two World Wars he experienced, after Scouting had been created, and pondered often how Scouting had “failed” to prevent these wars. Myself, I see the reason. Scouting has too often been used as a tool by the government to promote the military, to create young soldiers for its ranks, in the case of the US and its western allies, to basically invade and exploit other poorer, weaker countries. This is deeply shameful. The USA has been at war for 227 of its 243 years as a nation. Fighting for democracy and freedom? NO! Fighting for hegemony, power, wealth, and control. Study history well, and you will find a different story than the one told in school textbooks, for another wise person said, “History is written by the victors,” to justify themselves in their slaughter and theft. Scouting must NEVER be a tool to promote militarism and war! This starts at home, with each and every Scouting group, with each and every leader and his/her modeling and teaching. This starts with US.
My mission in Scouting is, like B-P, to promote World Brotherhood & Sisterhood, with the ultimate goal being world peace and the preservation of the planet. Inclusivity is absolutely central to that goal, because it assumes that everyone has the right to be who they are, without prejudice and discrimination. And prejudice and discrimination are the major tools used to justify war and genocide, as well as corruption of the world’s ecosystems. And it all starts with teaching youth in Scouting and modeling this for them as Rovers, for youth are much more open to inclusivity and usually do it on their own until they are discouraged by adults. Let’s open our hearts and minds together to the critical importance of inclusivity, of diversity, of world peace and preservation of our planet, of a true Brotherhood & Sisterhood of Service in the Open Air! Let’s make Scouting a vital and central organization and experience to make this happen, together, ALL. Shall we?
Chief Rover Scout, Ken Pataky
BP’s Challenges for Rovers
Adapted by Liam Morland, 1996
Rovering is the carrying out of Scouting into every department of a person's life. It aims at creating nobler citizenship by introducing the Scout Promise and Law into daily life.
The Scout Law, viewed by a Rover, expands into Quests of Scouting. When looking at the quests, it soon becomes obvious that such Questing carries the spirit and practice of Scouting into daily life. Rovering and Rover Questing are not spare time activities, but ways of approaching at life.
"Have fun and enjoy your lives, but also look widely, beyond your surroundings. Look high and above them."
Here then, are the ten Quests that Rovers can be encouraged to pursue to fulfill their commitment to Scouting. Each Quest has a description which the Rover has to interpret then design a challenge for themselves around. A Rover should announce that they is leaving on a Quest then later provide a log of the activities undertaken; Service rendered; and attitudes, skills, and knowledge gained during the Quest. This log is reviewed by the Crew and accepted or sent back for revision. Completed Quests are indicated on the uniform by one diamond knot each tied in a leather Progress Thong worn around the left shoulder. The version below is adapted from Baden Powell's work to be gender-inclusive.
The Quest Of Truth. Out in the world, Rovers, as they grow up, find too often that Honour is held to be of less account than material gain. They sometimes hear dishonourable methods approved if they bring material gain, and they are tempted strongly to forget their ideals, since they do not appear to pay in the struggle to get on. Rovers need not only to be reminded of their ideals, but to be given expert advice and definite assistance in their trouble. Here is the opening for Rovers who dare to accept the challenge of the Quest of Truth. They set out to make life honourable in their corner of the world, in the Scout sense, by fighting in the right way to win greater respect for truth, conscientiousness in business dealing, the keeping of promises, and straight conduct of all kinds. A very high sense of personal honour has to be cultivated and required from others.
The Quest Of World Scouting. No Rover can serve their country better than by helping to spread the highest Scout Ideals through it. The Rover's loyalty to their country takes the form of working to extend and improve the organization of the Scout Movement so that the number of Questing Rovers may be increased to form a leaven in the citizenship of the country and training themselves in public citizenship so that they may later carry the ideals of Scouting into municipal councils, philanthropic societies, and other public bodies.
The Quest Of Rover Errantry. Rovers, as the modern equivalent of the ancient knights, go out on Quests to help people out of their difficulties. A very wide field for adventure lies open before them.
The Quest Of The Younger Sibling. Rovers, working in the Scout Group help to train the character of their younger sibling for citizenship. From the Rover's friendship, example, and instruction, Scouts learn the Spirit of Scouting.
The Quest For Beauty. Starting with the grace of courtesy which confers beauty on human relationships, Rovers seek beauty in other ways of Life. Acknowledging gratefully their debt to the rather limited chivalry of the ancient knights, they pass on to a wider and truer chivalry which honours all that is honourable, wherever found.
The Quest Of Kindness To Animals. Rovers undertake Quests of kindness to animals, realizing that we and they are mutually comrades in the Service of God in carrying out the evolution and order of Nature.
The Quest Of Conscience. Rovers obeys orders of their conscience without question. Older Scouts passing out of the narrower circle of home and school life, have to Learn to recognize and submit unquestionably to the orders of a new authority - their Conscience. Recognizing that conflicting orders and duties are common in life, they strives to make their Conscience so sensitive that in any clash they will recognize and obey the order which comes nearest to the mind of God. Conscience must be rather the voice of God than the call of fear or sentiment. Thus there may be a clash between the claims of their home and those of their outside Lives, between their own getting on in the world and their Duty to Others; or again there may be a conflict between their obligations to an employer and to a trade union. They cannot escape the distress and uncertainty thus caused, and they have to learn that they are an important part of their training for Higher Service. They must strive to reason with increasing wisdom, then there will come into their life an authority which they can obey without question, and they will respect the conscientious scruples of others, even when they cannot agree with them.
The Quest Of Happiness. Rovers go on Quests to make new opportunities for other people to smile and whistle. They takes a spirit of personal cheerfulness with them into all their occupations, and brighten thus the lives of others. They sows the seeds of future happiness for them, and thus lay part of the foundation of a happier world. What they gives out of happiness to others repays itself with a return of greater happiness to themselves.
The Quest For Personal Efficiency. Thrift means wise spending; this includes wise saving. Moreover, the rule of the Knights about thrift had a twofold object: to avert poverty from themselves, and to help others in need. Rovers, taking stock of their worldly equipment, consider the acquiring and due use of money, but also the acquiring and due use of muscle and mind power, so as to become personally efficient, and to be able to help others better. They increase their stock of Muscle, Mind, and Money by wise spending of these as well as by wise storing. Some will look wider still, and determine to add new knowledge to the world, and new sources of health and wealth.
The Quest Of The Spiritual. Rovers on this Quest look with slowly but steadily clearing vision through the mystery of the Cosmos on the Majesty and Love of the Divine, steadying themselves by self-control.
Chief Rover Scout, Ken Pataky
Developing a deep respect for the plants, animals, land, water, and other essential parts of Nature and the Outdoors as well as protecting and preserving our natural world are fundamental aspects of Scouting...from its origin. The following pledges guide Scouts as they encounter the Outdoors to be sustainable and “leave no trace” or “leave it better than they found it.”
The Outdoor Code (originated in BSA Handbook, 1955)
As an American, I will do my best to --
Be clean in my outdoor manners. I will treat the outdoors as a heritage. I will take care of it for myself and others. I will keep my trash and garbage out of lakes, streams, fields, woods, and roadways.
Be careful with fire. I will prevent wildfire. I will build my fires only when and where they are permitted and appropriate. When I have finished using a fire, I will make sure it is cold out. I will leave a clean fire ring or remove all evidence of my fire.
Be considerate in the outdoors. I will treat the land and other land users with respect. I will follow the principles of outdoor ethics for all outdoor activities.
Be conservation-minded. I will learn about and practice good conservation of soil, waters, forests, minerals, grasslands, wildlife and energy. I will urge others to do the same.
The Land Ethic (Aldo Leopold in “A Sand County Almanac”)
The 7 Leave No Trace Program Principles
Chief Rover Scout, Ken Pataky
Learn more at:
The Scout Law is the moral guide to ethical conduct for all Scouts. It is a pledge all Scouts make to live by when they first join Scouting, at most meetings and gatherings, and in their personal lives every day. It was first published by Robert Baden-Powell in his 1908 book, “Scouting for Boys.” The original law in the Boy Scouts Association (UK) and Boy Scouts of America (BSA) had 9 points. It was edited by B-P in 1911 to add a 10th (which is still the official version of the WOSM or World Organisation of the Scout Movement), but now only has 7 points in the UK. The BSA in the US added 3 points (making 12 total) in 1911 which it continues to the present day. The Baden Powell Scouts/Service Association worldwide generally follows the 1911 UK version. Here are some of it’s iterations:
Boy Scouts Association (UK, short form, 1908, updated 1911): A Scout is Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, and Clean.
Boy Scouts Association (UK, long form, 1908, updated 1911, current WOSM version):
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. (Added in 1911)
Boy Scouts of America (short form, 1910, updated 1911): A Scout is Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean & Reverent.
Boy Scouts of America (long form, 1910, updated 1911):
A Scout is:
TRUSTWORTHY. A Scout tells the truth. He keeps his promises. Honesty is part of his code of conduct. People can depend on him.
LOYAL. A Scout is true to his family, Scout leaders, friends, school, and nation.
HELPFUL. A Scout is concerned about other people. He does things willingly for others without pay or reward.
FRIENDLY. A Scout is a friend to all. He is a brother to other Scouts. He seeks to understand others. He respects those with ideas and customs other than his own.
COURTEOUS. A Scout is polite to everyone regardless of age or position. He knows good manners make it easier for people to get along together.
KIND. A Scout understands there is strength in being gentle. He treats others as he wants to be treated. He does not hurt or kill harmless things without reason.
OBEDIENT. A Scout follows the rules of his family, school, and troop. He obeys the laws of his community and country. If he thinks these rules and laws are unfair, he tries to have them changed in an orderly manner rather than disobey them.
CHEERFUL. A Scout looks for the bright side of things. He cheerfully does tasks that come his way. He tries to make others happy.
THRIFTY. A Scout works to pay his way and to help others. He saves for unforeseen needs. He protects and conserves natural resources. He carefully uses time and property.
BRAVE. A Scout can face danger even if he is afraid. He has the courage to stand for what he thinks is right even if others laugh at or threaten him.
CLEAN. A Scout keeps his body and mind fit and clean. He goes around with those who believe in living by these same ideals. He helps keep his home and community clean.
REVERENT. A Scout is reverent toward God. He is faithful in his religious duties. He respects the beliefs of others.
A more modern version is the current version by Scouts Australia:
Be friendly Care for others and the environment
Do What is Right
Be trustworthy, honest and fair Use resources wisely
Believe in Myself
Learn from my experiences Face challenges with courage
Another excellent modern take is the current UK Scouts Association version (long form, short form omits non-bold text):
A Scout is to be trusted: Always keep your promises; if you agree to do something, then make sure that you do it.
A Scout is loyal: As a Scout, you are dedicated to Scouting, your family, friends and your work.
A Scout is friendly and considerate: As a Scout you must always think about how what you do may affect others (including people that you do not know). This includes things such as not making noise which could upset your neighbours and always disposing of your litter carefully.
A Scout belongs to the world-wide family of Scouts: The Scout movement is like a large family, and as such you will find that you can share in Scout activities throughout the world.
A Scout has courage in all difficulties: When things get tough you will do your best to overcome any difficulties.
A Scout makes good use of time and is careful of possessions and property: Plan what you are going to do and when. For example, when you get home from school, plan your evening, do your home-work first! Always look after the items you own and the things you use, and everyone else’s for that matter. When you are at school, look after the books and equipment you are given to use.
A Scout has self-respect and respect for others: Look after yourself, don’t rely on someone else to tell you when to do things. For example, your parents will not always be with you to tell you to get washed in the morning, or dress smartly. You may not always agree with other people, but you should always be willing to listen to what they have to say, and you should respect their views and opinions even when they do not match your own point of view.
The Rover Scout should choose a version of a WFIS or WOSM/WAGGGS Scout Law that resonates with them and live by it every day in thought, speech, and action.
Finally, here is the Interpretation of the Scout Law for Rover Scouts, by the Founder:
The term "Rover Scout" stands for a true man and a good citizen. The Law for Rover Scouts is the same as for Scouts, in wording and principle, but has to be viewed from a new standpoint-that is, from that of an adult. In both cases the principle underlying the Scout Law knocks out Self and shoves in Good will and Helpfulness to others. Don't take this as instruction in Piety, but as direction to Manliness.
A Scout's Honour is to be trusted
As a Rover Scout, no temptation, however great or however secret, will persuade you to do a dishonest or a shady action, however small. You won't go back on a promise once made.
"A Rover Scout's word is as good as his bond."
"The Truth, and nothing but the Truth for the Rover Scout."
A Scout is loyal to the Queen, his Country, his Scout Officers, his parents, his employers, and to those under him.
As a good citizen you are one of a team "playing the game" honestly for the good of the whole. You can be relied upon by the Queen, as head of the Commonwealth, by the Scout Movement, by your friends and fellow-workers, by your employers, or employees, to do your best for them-even though they may not always quite come up to what you would like of them. Moreover, you are loyal also to yourself; you won't lower your self-respect by playing the game meanly; nor will you let another man down-nor a woman, neither.
A Scout's Duty is to be useful and to help others
As a Rover Scout your highest aim is Service. You may be relied upon at all times to be ready to sacrifice time, trouble, or, if need be, life itself for others. - "Sacrifice is the salt of Service."
A Scout is a friend to all, and a Brother [or Sister] to every other Scout, no matter to what country, class or creed the other may belong.
As a Rover Scout, you recognize other fellows as being, with yourself, sons of the same Father, and you disregard whatever may be their difference of opinion, or caste, creed, or country. You suppress your prejudices and find out their good points; any fool can criticise their bad ones. If you exercise this love for people of other countries you help to bring about international peace and good will, that is God's Kingdom on earth. "All the world's a Brotherhood."
A Scout is courteous
Like a knight of old, as a Rover Scout you are, of course, polite and considerate to the weak. But more than this, you are polite also even to those in opposition to you.
"Whoso is in the right need not loses his temper;
Whoso is in; the wrong cannot afford to."
A Scout is a friend to animals
You will. Recognise your comradeship with God's other creatures placed, like yourself, in this world for a time, to enjoy their existence. To ill-treat an animal is therefore a dis-service to the Creator.
"A Rover Scout has to be big-hearted."
A Scout obeys orders of his Parents, Patrol Leader or Scoutmaster without question.
As a Rover Scout you discipline yourself and put yourself readily and willingly at the service of constituted authority for the main good. The best disciplined community is the happiest community, but the discipline must come from within, and not merely be imposed from without. Hence the greater value of the example you give to others in this direction.
A Scout smiles and whistles under all difficulties
As a Rover Scout you will be looked to as the man to keep your head, and to stick it out in a crisis with cheery pluck and optimism.
"If you can keep your head when all about you, are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
…You'll be a man, my son."
A Scout is thrifty
As a Rover Scout you will look ahead and will not fritter away time or money on present pleasures, but rather make use of present Opportunities with a view to ulterior success. You do this with the idea of not being a burden, but a help to others.
A Scout is clean in Thought, Word and Deed
As a Rover Scout you are expected to be not only clean-minded, but clean-willed; able to control any sex tendencies and intemperances; to give an example to others of being pure and above-board in all that you think, say and do.
There is to the Scout Code the eleventh Law, an unwritten one, namely, "A Scout is not a fool.'' But this, I should hope, would be unnecessary, as a code for Rover Scouts. Still, as a Rover Scout, you have to remember that in crossing the threshold from childhood into being an adult you are no longer learning to carry out the Scout Law, but are actually using it for guidance of your conduct in life. More than this, you are now in the responsible position of giving an example to others, which may lead them to good or evil, according to whether or not you model your conduct on the Law, and how far you carry out that Promise which you have made, on your honour, as a Rover Scout, to give out good will and help to all.
Chief Rover Scout, Ken Pataky
The Scout Promise or Oath is the honor code accepted by all Scouts upon joining any Scouting group worldwide, is recited at most events and meetings, and is followed by the Scout every day of his/her life. It was created by Robert Baden-Powell in the UK in his 1908 book, “Scouting for Boys.” There are some versions of this book that call it the Promise and some the Oath. It is called the Scout Promise in the UK and many other countries today. It is called The Scout Oath in the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) where a 2nd part was added, giving more specific guidelines about living a life of honor. There are many versions all over the world, respecting the cultures of the various countries where different groups exist.
Scout Promise, Original 1908 Boy Scouts Association (UK) version:
On my honour I promise that---
On my honour I promise that I will do my best--
To do my duty to God and the King/Queen (or to God and my Country)
To help other people at all times and
To obey the Scout Law.
Scout Oath, current Boy Scouts of America version (since 1911):
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.
A more modern version, which avoids specific religious or political commitment, is the current Scout Promise of
On my honour, I promise
To do my best,
To be true to my spiritual beliefs,
To contribute to my community and our world,
To help other people,
And to live by the Scout Law.
It is important that a Rover chooses the version of the Oath/Promise used by a WFIS or WOSM/WAGGGS organization resonates with him/her and then most importantly lives by it every day in thought, speech, and action. This chosen version, shared with the RSL, shall be spoken by the Squire upon Reception and the Rover/Knight upon Investiture.
Finally, here is the Interpretation of the Scout Promise for Rovers, by the Founder:
On my Honour
Your honour must be a very sacred thing to you, a thing that will rule your conduct as a man [or woman]. It means that you can be trusted implicitly to do what you know is right or what you agree to undertake.
This particular promise is a solemn undertaking, not to be made lightly even by a young person, still less so by an adult. Therefore, think it over carefully before embarking on it.
That I will do my best
This means that though circumstances may hinder you from doing it as completely as you would wish, you will, at any rate, try your utmost.
To do my duty to God
What is your duty to God? To put it briefly, it would seem to be to try in the first place to realise the nature of God, and, secondly, to develop and use, for good purposes only, the body which He has entrusted to you. To develop the talents of mind and intelligence with which He has endowed you and, especially, to cultivate by continual practice the spirit of love and good will to others, the part of Him which is within you, that is, your soul.
And to the Queen
That is, to your country, under the leadership constituted by the will of the majority.
To help other people at all times
This putting into constant and active practice the divine law of loving your neighbour as yourself.
To obey the Scout Law
To obey the Scout Law does not mean to sit down passively in a state of goodness, but to improve your own character and actively to practise Love (which underlies the Law) in all your daily doings.
Chief Rover Scout, Ken Pataky
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