Norman Rockwell's Boy Scout painting

What Is Scout Spirit?

Scout spirit is mentioned in several of the requirements for Boy Scout ranks. But what is Scout spirit and how does a Boy Scout go about demonstrating it?

For the Boy Scout ranks of Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life, and Eagle Scout and for Eagle Palms, a Scout must

“Demonstrate Scout spirit by living the Scout Oath and Scout Law. “

For each rank there is some variation of

Tell how you have done your duty to God and how you have lived the (Scout Oath and) Scout Law in your everyday life.

The Boy Scouts of America Mechanics of Advancement says:

“The ideals of the Boy Scouts of America are spelled out in the Scout Oath, Scout Law, Scout motto, and Scout slogan. Members incorporating these ideals into their daily lives at home, at school, in their religious life, and in their neighborhoods, for example, are said to have Scout spirit.”

This document also makes it clear that Scout spirit is not the same as school spirit. And Scoutmasters and Boards of Review must be careful in how they measure it:

“Evaluating Scout spirit will always be a judgment call, but through getting to know a young man and by asking probing questions, we can get a feel for it. We can say however, that we do not measure Scout spirit by counting meetings and outings attended. It is indicated, instead, by the way he lives his life.”

So a Scout may give specific examples of how he has lived the Scout Oath and Law, including outside of Scouting. For example, “I was kind when I invited my classmate to sit at our lunch table.” “I was trustworthy when I was babysitting my siblings.” “I was loyal when I defended my friend when others were talking about her behind her back.”

He may also tell about when he has found this challenging and discuss how he can do better in the future. There is an opportunity for growth in admitting that he could have done things differently.

What are some of your best examples of Scout spirit? How do you think Scouts demonstrate it? Add your comments below.

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