Living the Scout Oath! – William Hillcourt

Hillcourt with a totem pole, made by Ernest Th...
William Hillcourt
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

     ”What kind of person do you want to be? There is a simple way to find the answer. You do it by first answering another question: ‘What kind of person do I most admire?’
Sit down quietly and alone with a piece of paper. Then ask yourself, “Which Americans -past and present- do I look up to?” Put their names down. “Why do I admire them? What do I like about them?” Write down the whys and the whats.
High on your list may be your mother and father. And perhaps the names of relatives, your Scoutmaster, your religious leader, your best friends.
Your list may include Washington because of his loyalty to his country … Lincoln for his simplicity and steadfastness … Theodore Roosevelt for his enthusiasm and fighting spirit … Edison for his energy and perseverance … heroes from our wars for their daring and self-sacrifice … athletes for their endurance and sportsmanship … men of science and arts for their accomplishments.
You have made your list. There before you in black and white are the qualities you admire most in others.Study those qualities closely. Then notice how they add up until they cover each part of the Scout Oath.
      The Scout Oath Your Guide. They are bound to come out that way, because in the Scout Oath you have the qualities that make men fine and great.
     On My Honor … Heroes have died rather than betray their honor. As a Scout, you count your honor one of your most valuable possession.
     … I Will Do My Best … No person who has accomplished anything worthwhile did this by doing his second best – or his third or fourth best. He gave the very best that was in him – his best thoughts, his best work.
     … To Do My Duty to God and My Country … The kind of man you will be depends on your ability to know your duty and to do your utmost to live up to your obligations.
     … And To Obey the Scout Law; … That law fits you as a boy. It will fit you just as well when you become a man – for a real man is everything the Scout Law stands for.
     … To Help Other People at All Times; … It is not enough to have the willingness to help other people – you need to have the ability as well. You develop this ability as you advance in Scouting and learn how to act in an emergency.
     … To Keep Myself Physically Strong, Mentally Awake, and Morally Straight. You owe it to yourself, your country, and your God to develop your body, to train your mind, to strive to be a boy and man of high character.
In all these things Scouting helps you. By taking part enthusiastically in all activities of patrol and troop, by learning the skills that Scouting has to offer, by living up to the ideals of Scouting, you will become the man you want to be.”

William Hillcourt, Boy Scout Handbook, 9th edition.

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