Our Scouts like to play card games. In their tents.. on picnic tables.. when ever we stop for an extended period of time, it seems that a deck of cards come out. Now, they are not gambling, no money exchanges hands, and for the most part they are simple games. But as I watched a recent game I realized that had this been a real hand of poker and they were playing with some skin in the game.. it would be a great metaphor for the Scout Oath and Law and more importantly.. a Life of Character.
You see.. we have the Oath on one hand and we have the Law on the other. They are the cards that we are dealt and they are the cards we must play. The cards represent our values, the values that are found in the Scout Law. The chips we play with represent our character. As we live the Scout Oath, we promise to live the parts of the Scout Law that shape our character.. and so as we go through the poker game of life, we bet that we are going to keep those promises. When we have a Royal Flush.. that would be a great hand, we bet it all. We go all in.
The problem is that ‘going all in’ requires us not to lose. When we lose this hand, we lose our character.
Now I am willing to go all in. I have to, and so do you. You should not pick and choose which parts of the Law are important. You focus on what needs work and highlight the rest.. but the 12 points of the Scout Law are equally important.
I asked a Scout the other night about values. I asked him to tell me where he gets some of his values. The response was immediate. “Treat other people like you want to be treated” he said. I asked him if that sounded like the Scout Law. He did not see it at first, but then I asked if he wanted his friends to trust him.. he said yes.. How about Friendly.. yes.. and courteous.. yes.. we went through each part of the law. The answer was yes. So you want people to treat you like they were living the Scout law? Yes, he said. Then I told him that he should go all in to.
We all need to go all in. See the game with a purpose is a good game.. even when playing cards.
Have a Great Scouting Day!
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