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August 4, 2002
Remember the Boy Scouts....
By Al Mozingo

Recently I saw a movie again for about the third time.  It was entitled "Clear and Present Danger" staring Harrison Ford.  I like action packed movies and this one certainly has the action.  One line in the movie reminded me of something I had been thinking about for a long time now.  The line talked about Harrison Ford being a "Boy Scout".

When I was a young boy I became a Cub Scout.  I remember the scouts taught us how to be an upstanding person and self-sufficient.  They helped us to acquire the character traits to become the best we can be.  When becoming a Boy Scout you must learn certain things; one of the first is the, Scout Oath which is presented below:

Scout Oath or 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.

Although the Scout Oath is very good tenants to live by, there is more.  The more is identified by the Boy Scouts as the Scout Law.  Many leadership authorities in numerous books and articles point out the necessary character traits to be an effective leader.  These character traits are identified by the Boy Scouts as The Scout Law:

The Scout Law

A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent.  Below are the summarized statements for each of the Twelve Points of the Scout Law:

Trustworthy - Tell the truth and keep your promises.  Honesty is part of a code of conduct; whereas, people can depend upon you.

Loyal - Be true to your family, leaders, friends, school and nation.

Helpful - Be concerned about other people and do things willingly for others without reward.

Friendly - Be a friend to all.  Seek to; understand others and respect those with ideas and customs other than your own.

Courteous - Be polite to everyone regardless of your age or position.  Always exhibit good manners.

Kind - Understand there is strength in being gentle.  Treat others, as you would want to be treated.  Do not hurt or kill harmless things without reason.

Obedient - Follow the rules of your family, school and troop.  Obey the laws of your community and country.  If you think these rules and laws are unfair, try to have them changed in an orderly manner rather than disobey them.

Cheerful - Always look on the bright side of things.  Cheerfully do the task that comes your way.  Try to make others happy.

Thrifty - Work to pay your way and help others.  Save for unforeseen needs, protect and conserve natural resources, and carefully use time and property.

Brave - Face danger even it your afraid.  Have the courage to stand for what you think is right even it others laugh at or threaten you.

Clean - Keep your body and mind fit and clean.  Associate with those who believe in living by these same ideas.  Keep your home and community clean.

Reverent - Be reverent toward God.  Be faithful in your religious duties and respect the beliefs of others.

If a leader incorporates these character traits into his/her personality, the leader will have a great start on becoming an effective leader.  Each of these traits are so important that every one should internalized them.  These Twelve Points can be considered the key to great leadership.  The Scouts have been forming great leaders for years.

Reference:  The Boy Scout Handbook

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