The Scout Oath is based on the promise originally introduced by Baden-Powell in 1908 in Scouting for Boys: A Handbook for Instruction in Good Citizenship:
Before he becomes a scout, a boy must take the scout’s oath, thus:
On my honour I promise that—
I will do my duty to God and the King.
I will do my best to help others, whatever it costs me.
I know the scout law, and will obey it.
While taking this oath the scout will stand, holding his right hand raised level with his shoulder, palm to the front, thumb resting on the nail of the digitus minimus (little finger) and the other three fingers upright, pointing upwards:—
This is the scout’s salute and secret sign.
When you read the Scout Oath as is used by the BSA below, it is clear that the Scout Oath contains the same or parallel thoughts for the concepts in Baden-Powell’s original 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.
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