Scoutmaster Musings - Loyal

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Scoutmaster Musings

From the Scout Handbook - "A Scout is loyal. A Scout is true to his family, friends, Scout leaders, school, and nation."

Loyalty means to be faithful. When we say a Scout is Loyal, it means he remains steadfast in his adherence to what is right. Being loyal is a character trait that can be often tested, and often misdirected.

When a friend of a Scout steals and then asks the Scout to keep it a secret to prove his loyalty, what should the Scout do? Is he being disloyal if he lets authorities know who stole? Similar dilemmas can occur when a Scout wants to be loyal to family or leaders.

If someone lies to protect another through a sense of loyalty, he smudges his own honor and he only prolongs the time until that other person gets into worse trouble. By being truthful, he may lose a friend, may lose love, and may lose popularity, but with his honor intact, he can live the Scout Law and know that, in the long run, he has done the right thing.

A Scout, as any other boy, wants to be part of something important, something great, something that is 'the best'. As young boys might argue that "My Dad can beat up your Dad", so older boys might debate about whose school football team is better. That kind of loyalty is more of a self-promoting exercise rather than being firmly supportive of the person or organization. True loyalty happens when nothing is personally gained.

A Scout, when he hears some boys putting down a friend, should step up and defend that friend's name. He should never join in laughing at slanderous jokes and should let the jokers know when he feels they are being unfairly harsh or malicious. This can be one of the most difficult demonstrations of a loyal friend - sticking up for an absent friend against other friends or popular people.

When a Scout is asked to be loyal to his leaders, he needs to support them and their decisions. When the leaders decide to have a fishing outing and a Scout lobbied for a waterski outing, he may be tempted to undermine the plans by staying home or even inviting other scouts to a party that same weekend. A loyal Scout will support and promote the plans of the troop, even when they are not his favorite choice. He will continue to follow the lead until he earns the position of leadership that allows his plans to take fruition.

Scouts need to be loyal to the laws of our country and the people that represent those laws. Whether or not a Scout agrees with the way a mayor, governor, or president governs, he must demonstrate respect to that position. Debating the merits and effectiveness of policies put in place by the current administration is a healthy, useful way to bring about change, but degrading the person currently holding an office demonstrates a lack of respect to the country.

By being loyal to the Scout Law, and holding its points dear, a Scout is naturally loyal to those around him in a right and good manner. Blind loyalty is not loyalty at all, but loyalty founded on truth, compassion, and honor is truly loyal.

A Scout is Loyal.
Posted: 23:40 01-04-2008 286
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