Timeless Values

Scout Law

A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly,

courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty,

brave, clean, and reverent.

Scout Motto

Be prepared!

Scout Slogan

Do a good turn daily.

Scout Oath (or Promise)

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.

The 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, and
    • Be conservation minded.

A closer look...

The Scout Oath

On my honor . . .

By giving your word, you are promising to be guided by the ideals of the Scout Oath.

. . . I will do my best . . .

Try hard to live up to the points of the Scout Oath. Measure your achievements against your own high standards and don't be influenced by peer pressure or what other people do.

. . . To do my duty to God . . .

Your family and religious leaders teach you about God and the ways you can serve. You do your duty to God by following the wisdom of those teachings every day and by respecting and defending the rights of others to practice their own beliefs.

. . . and my country . . .

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. Help keep the United States a strong and fair nation by learning about our system of government and your responsibilities as a citizen and future voter.

America is made up of countless families and communities. When you work to improve your community and your home, you are serving your country. Natural resources are another important part of America's heritage worthy of your efforts to understand, protect, and use wisely. What you do can make a real difference.

. . . to obey the Scout Law . . .

The twelve points of the Scout Law are guidelines that can lead you toward wise choices. When you obey the Scout Law, other people will respect you for the way you live, and you will respect yourself.

. . . to help other people at all times . . .

Many people need help. A cheery smile and a helping hand make life easier for others. 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.

. . . to keep myself physically strong, . . .

Take care of your body so that it will serve you well for an entire lifetime. That means eating nutritious foods, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly to build strength and endurance. It also means avoiding harmful drugs, alcohol, tobacco, and anything else that can harm your health.

. . . mentally awake, . . .

Develop your mind both in the classroom and outside of school. Be curious about everything around you, and work hard to make the most of your abilities. With an inquiring attitude and the willingness to ask questions, you can learn much about the exciting world around you and your role in it.

. . . and morally straight.

To be a person of strong character, your relationships with others should be honest and open. You should respect and defend the rights of all people. Be clean in your speech and actions, and remain faithful in your religious beliefs. The values you practice as a Scout will help you shape a life of virtue and self-reliance.

12 Points of the Scout Law

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.

A Scout is LOYAL.

A Scout is true to his family, Scout leaders, friends, school, and nation.

A Scout is HELPFUL.

A Scout is concerned about other people. He does things willingly for others without pay or reward.

A Scout is FRIENDLY.

A Scout is a friend to all. He is a brother to other Scouts. He seeks to understnad others. He respects those with ideas and customs other than his own.

A Scout is COURTEOUS.

A Scout is polite to everyone regardless of age or position. He knows that good manners make it easier for people to get along together.

A Scout is 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.

A Scout is 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.

A Scout is CHEERFUL.

A Scout looks for the bright side of things. H cheerfully does tasks that come his way. He tries to make others happy.

A Scout is 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.

A Scout is 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.

A Scout is 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.

A Scout is REVERENT.

A Scout is reverent toward God. He is faithful in his religious duties. He respects the beliefs of others.

Outdoor Code

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 where they are 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 public and private property with respect.

I will use low-impact methods of hiking and camping.

Be conservation minded

I will learn how to practice good conservation of soil, waters, forests, minerals, grasslands, wildlife, and energy.

I will urge others to do the same.

The Boy Scout Slogan—Do a Good Turn Daily

Some Good Turns are big - saving a life, helping out after floods or other disasters, recycling community trash, working with your patrol on conservation projects.

But Good Turns are often small, thoughtful acts - helping a child cross a busy street, going to the store for an elderly neighbor, cutting back brush that is blocking a sign, doing something special for a brother or sister, welcoming a new student to your school.

A Good Turn is more than simple good manners. It is a special act of kindness.

The Boy Scout Motto—Be Prepared!

In various languages, it has been used by millions of Scouts around the world since 1907.

Of course, it is no coincidence that this motto can be shortened to B. P. and Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of the movement, used to shorten his surname into B.-P.

In the third part of Scouting for Boys dated February 12, 1908, Robert Baden-Powell explains the meaning of the phrase:

The Scout Motto is: BE PREPARED which means you are always in a state of readiness in mind and body to do your DUTY.

    • Be Prepared in Mind by having disciplined yourself to be obedient to every order, and also by having thought out beforehand any accident or situation that might occur, so that you know the right thing to do at the right moment, and are willing to do it.
    • Be Prepared in Body by making yourself strong and active and able to do the right thing at the right moment, and do it.


Learn more about the Boy Scout Emblem, the Scouting Fleur-de-Lis, the Boy Scout Left Handshake, the Scout Sign, and the Scout Salute on the BSA Basics page linked below.