One Movement, One Oath, One Law

In the BSA’s earliest days, there was just one Scouting program—Boy Scouting—and it used the Scout Oath and Scout Law. Over the years, new programs have come along that have introduced new codes of conduct, among them the Cub Scout Promise, the Law of the Pack, and the Venturing Oath and Venturing Code.

Those other programs aren’t going away, but their codes of conduct soon will. At its October meeting, the National Executive Board voted to make the Scout Oath and Scout Law apply across all programs. The change stemmed from two volunteer-led task forces charged with implementing aspects of the National Council Strategic Plan 2011–2015. The Venturing change will take place in early 2014, while the Cub Scout change will occur in mid-2015.

These changes are designed to help emphasize the unity of the Scouting movement. They will also make it a bit easier for Cub Scouting and Venturing to fulfill Scouting’s mission and vision statements, both of which mention the Scout Oath and Scout Law:

  • Mission Statement: 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.
  • Vision Statement: The Boy Scouts of America will prepare every eligible youth in America to become a responsible, participating citizen and leader who is guided by the Scout Oath and Law.

(A historical footnote: The current Cub Scout Promise is a revision of the 1930 original. Back then, Cub Scouts promised “to be square.” That phrase was replaced with “to help other people” in 1971 since square was no longer a popular thing to be!)


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