…and Morally Straight.

What do we mean when we talk about “Morally Straight”?  How do we explain that to our Scouts when our Scouts come from many different backgrounds, family dynamics, and religious beliefs?
Simply put, a Scout is clean in thought, word, and deed.
We had a situation in my troop recently where a concerned parent approached us because her son had been Googling “Questionable” subjects.  In the discussion, it became clear that this new Scout had heard some words and ideas from an older Scout and decided to ask google rather than mom and dad what it meant.
Now before we go on, it should be said that the older Scout has had a talking to and this is the message that not only he got, but a great opportunity for me to share “Morally Straight” with the Troop.
You see, as a Scout we make a promise to keep ourselves, among other things, Morally Straight.
That means that we do our very best to stay clean in our thoughts, our words, and our deeds.  IF we think nasty thoughts, then we may want to take action on them.  IF we say nasty things, then we violate the promises we make in the oath and law.  And if we are nasty in our deeds or what we do, we chip away at our character.
Most of what we are talking about is how we act towards women.  It is truly the mark of a good man to treat women with respect and dignity.  Being morally straight drives how we treat the ladies of our lives.  How a man loves and treats his wife is perhaps the most important lesson that he can ever teach his children.  How men treat women in general is a real test to what the character is of that man.  If we are thinking about women in a less than respectful way, then we will show that in our actions and our words.  Women are not “Chicks”, they are not objects to be googled.  They should be held in high regard and treated well.
So if you find yourself searching the internet with less than moral intentions, or find yourself telling jokes that paint a nasty picture of women, or if you find yourself acting on something that popular culture has deemed acceptable, but you know in your heart that it is not morally straight.. stop. 
Never make yourself a liar.  You make a promise when you say the Scout Oath.  This promise is binding among men of character.  You will lose that when you act without being morally straight.

Have a Great Scouting Day!


  1. Jerry

    Firstly thanks, it s a good explanation and coming from outside of the US where the Morally Straight is not part of the Law it is very interesting to understand how it is viewed.

    However, Not wanting to open a real can of worms but…

    If as you say the Morally Straight is about “how we act towards women” surely as an organisation the BSA should give equal respect to both boys and girls who wish to partake of the programme and opportunities that scouting has to offer.

    Respect is about acceptance, I have been married to my wife for six years and she is my best friend. I respect her views even if they are different to my own and would support her choice to the end. The same with my daughters, when they get to an age where they will be able to join beavers, I would love them to come into the Scouting programme but if they chose to go down the Guiding route I will respect there choice.

    I know a little while ago Phil from 2.33 gallons wrote about the problems faced by female leaders in the BSA (http://www.2point33gallons.com/2011/08/the-problem-with-women-in-the-bsa.html).

    I would ask is it not slightly hypocritical to be preaching about respect to the young people when that respect does not seem to be reciprocated at a senior level in Scouting?

    I guess we can only hope that you youth of today will be the commissioners and chiefs of tomorrow and the lessons taught now will stay with them through life.

    Yours in Scouting



    1. I do not see hypocracy in the way we treat the women in Scouting. Joining the BOY Scouts has been for BOYS in America since it started. It has nothing to do with respect or treatment. We have GIRL Scouts here and of course girls may join the Venture Program of the BSA when they reach 14.
      You need to understand that one of the goals of the BSA is to make good MEN.
      While I have no heart burn in COED programs. Boys need to be Boys and they need to hang out, goof around, and learn to be men in an environment where they can best practice challenging, rough and tumble, manly things.
      I am also of the opinion that Scoutmasters who are role models to these young men should be men. Is that discriminatory? NO.. I know many women that could easily run a Boy Scout Troop. But can they model behavior, mentor manliness, have the discussions that young men want to have with other men? No, there will always be something missing there.
      We can honor and treat young girls without them being Boy Scouts.
      Lets face it.. Boys and Girls are different and we need to allow them to be different.
      Just my opinion. Not always popular or right.


      1. While I take on-board all of your points the key to the mater is you say

        “Scoutmasters who are role models to these young men should be men. Is that discriminatory?”

        Well yes, you are suggesting that a woman can not be good role models to young men. I bet every single mother in america agrees with me, I would also suggest that all those women who have been beaten or abuse by MEN would suggest that maybe MEN are not the best role models all of the time.

        With regards to your idea that rough and tumble and manly things are what a BOY needs to be a MAN well I look at the Programme in the UK and believe that we provide that for all and would suggest that in most case the girls who join scouts are looking for that same rough and tumble. I would also ague that there is a proportion of young men who feel uncomfortable with that element and are far happier with maybe a more creative aspect.

        I would also suggest that in every other walk of life social, employment etc these boys will need to interact, compete with the opposite sex. if Scouting in whatever country you are from is about developing young people into the adults of tomorrow then interaction and understanding of the opposite sex at as young an age as possible can only be a benefit. (I am 35 and I still have not managed to understand women they are very complicated things)

        as you say – Just my opinion. Not always popular or right.



      2. Scoutmaster Jerry….I only have one thing to say….AMEN!!!! Could not have been better said. This should be the thinking and acting of all Scout leaders nation wide. I whole heartedly support what you are saying. Keep up the good work. This organization deserves leaders like yourself. I have not been active in years mainly due to the changes that have taken place over the past years. I earned my Eagle in 1978 and I am proud that I did it in a troop that was lead by a sound Scout Leader. Thanks for your comments and actions.


  2. Kiff-
    I will never argue that women can not be Scoutmasters. What I will agrue is that they are not men and no matter what you choose to believe, men and women are different.
    There are ways that I can talk to a young man that will get a point across that is different than how a women will communicate with the young man.
    I am saying that there are differences and we need to allow them to be.
    At one point over half of the Scouts in my Troop came from single parent families. In America, that means (by and large) they are being raised by mom.
    I can tell you that their mothers liked the fact that there was a MAN.. the Scoutmaster… in the lives of their sons.
    Again.. lets not argue over points that are not on the table.
    I never said anything about abuse.. but what I can tell you is that I talk about it with the Scouts of my Troop all the time. They are never to hit a women.
    In so far as interaction.. School.. Home… other social clubs provide enough interaction. When is it time for them to just be boys?
    Why are people so hell bent on taking away that?
    I get the benefits of interaction. They get plenty. Most of their teachers are women. Most of the people they deal with in stores are women.. etc.
    The BOY Scouts is a time and place that they can be boys, learn to be men of character, good citizens, and develop habits of fitness.
    This was not meant to be an argument. We are trying to build up MEN.
    That was and is my point.
    I am Happy that Scouting in England and elsewhere has found a way to do this COED.. it’s not that way here, and I for one like the way we do it.
    I see the results of our program, you see yours.
    Happy Scouting!


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