Boy Scouts – then and now

This year for Father’s Day, Abby gave me with the Handbook for Boys, Fifth Edition–First Printing, June 1948. A few short weeks prior, the Boy Scouts made a policy change I opposed. She gave me this gift because of the publish date. A time when the Boy Scouts stood for integrity, honor, and moral fortitude. Like all man-made institutions, the Boy Scouts have since fallen away from their once proud traditions. However, another organization has started to take root: Trail Life USA.

Today, I picked up this old Scout Handbook and started reading. I wanted to see just how much things had changed. Wanted to read for myself about some of the original foundations of this organization. Chapter One of the handbook describes the birth of scouting. Starting with the founding of scouting with Robert Baden-Powell to the fateful “Good Turn” with William D. Boyce and his bringing of these ideals to America. Chapter Two discusses the Scout Oath and Law. In recent years, the debate about the foundations of our nation has grown. Did our forefathers use Christianity as a basis for our founding documents? How do we “interpret” the Declaration of Independence or Constitution.

The Scout Oath and Scout Law clearly outline these foundations for the Boy Scouts of America. Sadly, these precepts have been ignored of late–disappointing may loyal followers.

Your Duty to God:

You worship God regularly with your family in your church or synagogue. You try to follow the religious teachings that you have been taught, and you are faithful in  your church school duties, and help in church activities.

Most great men in history have been men of deep religious faith. Washington knelt in the snow to pray at Valley Forge. Lincoln always sought Divine guidance before each important decision. Be proud of your religious faith.

Remember in doing your duty to God, to be grateful to Him. Whenever you succeed in doing something well, thank Him for it. Sometimes when you look up into the starlit sky on a quiet night, and feel close to Him–thank Him as the Giver of all good things.

One way to express your duty and your thankfulness to God is to help others, and this too, is a part of your Scout promise.

Unfortunately for some, edicts, declarations, traditions, heritage and Commandments no longer have so much meaning any longer. For many, they are just words in a book that can be redacted or edited out with some computer software–even when that book outlines everything that has always defined what you believed. It’s happening all over the place in the world today. The Boy Scouts. the U.S. Constitution. THE BIBLE. Where does it end?

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