The Scout Laws were developed at the very founding of the Boy Scouts of America. Values that are universal across religions, ethnicities, economic position and geography, the Scout Laws are a guide for youth to understand their own behaviors and work toward being a good person, friend, citizen and leader. That’s a heavy load for a 5 year old Cub Scout.
So why do we spend so much time on the Scout Laws? Kids are sponges – they soak up knowledge and experience at such a rapid pace. At a time that our children spend more time in front of a screen instead of climbing up a tree the struggle to control the messaging that our children receive is a daily battle.
Scouting is about FUN – first and foremost. If the program is not fun, youth will lose interest. Scouting is challenging because we give youth an opportunity to lead, present, be themselves and the best they can be. Scouting is a character and leadership development program that can guide a child through his or her entire life into adulthood and beyond. Scouting can guide children toward better behaviors as they get older and face peer pressure to use poor language, be flippant and rude to others, even deal with the emotional roller-coaster of transitioning from a young boy or girl into a confident and healthy young man or woman.
The Laws are important as are laws in society; they provide structure and meaning, words after all are only words unless they are given meaning. So the Scout Laws start with a big one – A Scout is Trustworthy.
able to be relied on as honest or truthful.
Honesty is something many people lose as we age. We call it “perspective” or “points of view” and dishonesty is a fast track to losing trust. People who are dishonest and not truthful will find a harder way forward in life because friendships and lasting, caring relationships are built on truth and honesty. A simple concept for a Cub Scout who often cannot even clearly say the word Trustworthy, but knows what it is to be honest and truthful, sometimes to a fault!
As your child embarks on a path forward in Scouting, there may be people who ridicule the uniform, their may be people who think “it’s a waste of time” or who think “athletes are better leaders.” Always keep in mind the Scout Laws and Scout Oath and you will realize your Scout is an athlete to be “physically strong” and it is not a waste of time to give your Scout good values so they can live “morally straight” and to be curious and adventurous in this great big world of ours so they remain “mentally awake.” Scouting is the best youth development program in the country. Trust Me.