Polish Scout Law - St. Martin's church in Warsaw, Poland
Since the publication of Scouting for Boys in 1908, all Scouts and Guides around the world, as well as members of the affiliated Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity, 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 among Scouting organizations.
The origin of the Scout Law derives from the parallel and closely connected development of the North American and British youth outdoor programs. When writing Scouting for Boys, General Baden-Powell drew inspiration from the work of Ernest Thompson Seton, who had founded the Woodcraft Indians in Canada and the U.S. in 1902, and later was instrumental in spreading Scouting throughout North America. Baden-Powell, on encouragement from Seton in 1904, began forming his Boy Scouts in England. Seton's laws in his 1907 Woodcraft guide (The Birch-Bark Roll) seem unrelated to the Scout Law, being more a list of practical injunctionse.g., "Don't rebel," "Don't kindle a wild fire," etc.) than the affirmative, high-minded ideals of the eventual Scouting version. Still, in this primitive form was the source of the idea of a set of codes.
The first list resembling the current form appeared the following year in Baden-Powell's 1908 Scouting for Boys. It is so far unclear to what degree Seton and Baden-Powell collaborated in developing the nine essential points common to nearly all worldwide Scouting programs. The Boy Scouts of America's 1910 version was virtually identical to the original nine British points of 1908, and the BSA's Handbook for Boys (1911), Seton's admixture of Scouting for Boys and his own Woodcraft guides, uses these nine. By 1912 Seton's The Book of Woodcraftstudied the qualities of Native American Indians using a list identical to the full 12 points of the 1911 U.S. Scout Law, only in reverse order, indicating the parallel development of the two manuscripts. Similarly, Seton's formulation years later of a 12-point Woodcraft law was much closer to the current U.S. Scout Law and even more elaborate (cf. his Fourfold Fire and Sandpainting of the Fire in Woodland Tales). Somewhere during this period, Scouting programs in the British Isles and colonies added a 10th point regarding spiritual and bodily cleanliness similar to Seton's 11th point.
According to the original U.S. handbook,which elaborated on the British version, the founders drew inspiration for the Scout Law from the Bushido code of the Japanese Samurai (Baden-Powell and Seton), laws of honor of the American Indians (Seton), the code of chivalry of European knights (Baden-Powell), and the Zulu fighters Baden-Powell had fought against (Baden-Powell).
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.||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.|
|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.|
|9.||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 version of the Guide law, hand-written by Baden-Powell is displayed at Foxlease.
The Scout movement, also known as Scouting or the Scouts, is a voluntary non-political educational movement for young people open to all without distinction of gender, origin, race or creed, in accordance with the purpose, principles and method conceived by the founder, Lord Baden-Powell. The purpose of the Scout Movement is to contribute to the development of young people in achieving their full physical, intellectual, emotional, social and spiritual potentials as individuals, as responsible citizens and as members of their local, national and international communities. During the first half of the twentieth century, the movement grew to encompass three major age groups for boys and, in 1910, a new organization, Girl Guides, was created for girls. It is one of several worldwide youth organizations.
Lieutenant General Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell,, was a British Army officer, writer, founder and first Chief Scout of the world-wide Scout Movement, and founder, with his sister Agnes, of the world-wide Girl Guide / Girl Scout Movement. Baden-Powell authored the first editions of the seminal work Scouting for Boys, which was an inspiration for the Scout Movement.
Ernest Thompson Seton was an author, wildlife artist, founder of the Woodcraft Indians in 1902 and one of the founding pioneers of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) in 1910. Seton also influenced Lord Baden-Powell, the founder of one of the first Scouting organization. His notable books related to Scouting include The Birch Bark Roll and the Boy Scout Handbook. He is responsible for the appropriation and incorporation of what he believed to be American Indian elements into the traditions of the BSA.
The Scout Motto of the Scout movement, in various languages, has been used by millions of Scouts around the world since 1907. Most of the member organizations of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) share this same motto.
Woodcraft League of America, originally called the Woodcraft Indians and League of Woodcraft Indians, is a youth program, established by Ernest Thompson Seton in 1901 and often regarded as one of the earliest youth organisations in modern history. Despite the name, the program was created for non-Indian children. At first the group was for boys only, but later it would also include girls. Seton instructed the children in his town in Connecticut in outdoor "Woodcraft" – knowledge and skills of life in the woods – and based much of the group's terminology and structure on the misconceptions about Native Americans that were common in that era. The program spread internationally to become the Woodcraft Movement and many of these programs still exist. Seton's Woodcraft scheme also had a strong influence on later youth programs and organizations, particularly, the Scout Movement.
A campaign hat or campaign cover is a broad-brimmed felt or straw hat, with a high crown, pinched symmetrically at the four corners.
Boy Scout Handbook is the official handbook of Scouts BSA. It is a descendant of Baden-Powell's original handbook, Scouting for Boys, which has been the basis for Scout handbooks in many countries, with some variations to the text of the book depending on each country's codes and customs.
The Scout Association of Zimbabwe is a member of the World Organization of the Scout Movement. Scouting in Zimbabwe shares history with Malaŵi and Zambia, with which it was linked for decades.
The Order of World Scouts (OWS), founded in 1911, is the oldest international Scouting organisation. It is headquartered in England, with the administration headquarters in Italy. As of November 2008, the Order of World Scouts includes member associations in 14 countries-the United Kingdom, Italy, Australia, Peru, Jamaica, as well as two associations each for Poland, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, the Dominican Republic, Bolivia, Brasil, Chile and three associations in Mexico, Ukraine and Nepal, Uganda, Honduras and the United States.
Scoutcraft is a term used to cover a variety of woodcraft knowledge and skills required by people seeking to venture into wild country and sustain themselves independently. The term has been adopted by Scouting organizations to reflect skills and knowledge which are felt to be a core part of the various programs, alongside community and spirituality. Skills commonly included are camping, cooking, first aid, wilderness survival, orienteering and pioneering.
Traditional Scouting is "old-fashioned" or "back to basics" Scouting in some form, often with an emphasis on woodcraft activities. One form of Traditional Scouting, the "Traditional Scouting movement", aims to return Scouting to traditional style and activities; rejecting the trend of modernizing Scouting to appeal to more youths or identifying programs for younger children as Scouting.
Lone Scouts are members of the Scout movement who are in isolated areas or otherwise do not participate in a regular Scouting unit or organization. A Lone Scout must meet the membership requirements of the Scouting organization to which they belong and have an adult Scout leader or counselor who may be a parent, guardian, minister, teacher, or another adult. The leader or counselor instructs the boy and reviews all steps of Scouting advancement. Lone Scouts can be in the Scout Section or sections for older young people, and in some countries in the Cub section or sections for younger boys. They follow the same program as other Scouts and may advance in the same way as all other Scouts.
Scouting in the United States is dominated by the 2.7 million-member Boy Scouts of America and the Girl Scouts of the USA and other associations that are recognized by one of the international Scouting organizations. There are also a few smaller, independent groups that are considered to be "Scout-like" or otherwise Scouting related.
The Brownsea Island Scout camp began as a boys' camping event on Brownsea Island in Poole Harbour, southern England, organised by Lieutenant-General Baden-Powell to test his ideas for the book Scouting for Boys. Boys from different social backgrounds participated from 1 to 8 August 1907 in activities around camping, observation, woodcraft, chivalry, lifesaving and patriotism. The event is regarded as the origin of the worldwide Scout movement.
The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) was inspired by and modeled on the Boy Scout Association, established by Baden-Powell in Britain in 1908. In the early 1900s, several youth organizations were active, and many became part of the BSA.
Non-aligned Scouting organizations is a term used by the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM), World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) and their member national organizations to refer to Scouting organizations that are not affiliated with them. See List of non-aligned Scouting organizations.
The Scout and Guide movement in Jamaica is served by
Scouting for Boys: A handbook for instruction in good citizenship is a book on Boy Scout training, published in various editions since 1908. Early editions were written and illustrated by Robert Baden-Powell with later editions being extensively rewritten by others. The book was originally a manual for self-instruction in observation, tracking and woodcraft skills as well as self-discipline and self-improvement, about the Empire and duty as citizens with an eclectic mix of anecdotes and unabashed personal observations and recollections. It is pervaded by a degree of moral proselytizing and references to the author's own exploits. It is based on his boyhood experiences, his experience with the Mafeking Cadet Corps during the Second Boer War at the Siege of Mafeking, and on his experimental camp on Brownsea Island, England.
The British Boy Scouts and British Girl Scouts Association is an early scouting organisation, having begun as the Battersea Boy Scouts in 1908. The organisation was renamed as the British Boy Scouts and launched as a national organisation on 24 May 1909. In association with other Scout organisations, the BBS formed the National Peace Scouts in 1910. The BBS instigated the first international Scouting organisation, the Order of World Scouts in 1911.