Scouting 101


“The Scout Oath and Law are our binding disciplinary force.”

- Robert Baden-Powell (B.P.)

The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law.

Below will give you a general introduction into some of the general codes, ideals, principles, and troop ceremonies that every scout should be familiar with.

Scout Motto: Be Prepared!

This means that a scout is always in a state of readiness in mind and body to do one's duty.

Scout Slogan: Do a Good Turn Daily

That means doing something to help others each day without expecting anything in return. It means that a scout does their part to care for the community and the environment.

Scout Oath and What it Means

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.

DUTY TO GOD AND COUNTRY: Your family and religious leaders teach you to know and serve God. By following these teachings, you do your duty to God.

Men and women of the past worked to make America great, and many gave their lives for their country. By being a good family member and a good citizen, by working for your country's good and obeying its laws, you do your duty to your country. Obeying the Scout Law means living by its 12 points.

DUTY TO OTHER PEOPLE: Many people need help. By doing a Good Turn daily and helping when you're needed, you prove yourself a Scout and do your part to make this a better world.

DUTY TO SELF: Keeping yourself physically strong means taking care of your body. Eat the right foods and build your strength. Staying mentally awake means learn all you can, be curious, and ask questions. Being morally straight means to live your life with honesty, to be clean in your speech and actions, and to be a person of strong character.

The Scout Sign

Each finger stands for a part of the Scout Oath: duty to God and country, duty to others and duty to self.

Your thumb and little finger touch to represent the bonds uniting all Scouts.

You give the Scout sign each time you say the Scout Oath and Scout Law.

We also use it to quiet a room quickly.

Key Ceremonies

Scout Law and What it Means

Scout Salute, Handshake and Pledge of Allegience

Pledge of Allegience

I pledge allegiance to the flag

of the United States of America

and to the republic for which it stands,

one nation under God,

indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Scout Salute

The Scout salute shows respect. Use it to salute the flag of the United States of America. You may also salute a Scout leader or another Scout.

Give the Scout salute by forming the Scout sign with your right hand and then bringing that hand upward until your forefinger touches the brim of your hat or the arch of your right eyebrow. The palm of your hand should not show.

Scout Handshake

The Scout handshake is made with the hand nearest the heart and is offered as a token of friendship.

Extend your left hand to another Scout and firmly grasp his left hand. Only use this handshake when both people are in uniform.

The origin of the left-hand shake comes to us from the Ashanti warriors whom Baden-Powell met long ago in Africa. Here the Ashanti chieftain said: 'In our land only the bravest of the brave shake hands with the left hand, because to do so we must drop our shields and our protection.'

Outdoor Code, Leave No Trace, and Flag Etiquette

Outdoor Code

As an American, I will do my best to -

Be clean in my outdoor manners.

Be careful with fire.

Be considerate in the outdoors.

Be conservation minded.

Leave No Trace

As an American, I will do my best to -

Be clean in my outdoor manners.

Be careful with fire.

Be considerate in the outdoors.

Be conservation minded.

Flag Etiquette

The Flag of the United States of America is a symbol of freedom and liberty to which Americans pledge their allegiance. It is much more than just a piece of cloth.

​The RED stripes on the flag represent valor and bravery, and the lives lost in defense of this nation and its values.

The WHITE stripes symbolize purity and innocence.

The BLUE field represents vigilance, perseverance, and justice.

The 13 alternating stripes stand for the original British colonies, which became the first 13 states. The 50 white stars on the blue field represent the 50 United States.