Oaths

The Boy Scout Oath, Law, Motto, Slogan, and the Outdoor Code


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.


Note that the Boy Scout Oath has traditionally been considered to have three promises. Those three promises are delineated by the semicolons in the Oath, which divide it into three clauses. The three promises of the Scout Oath are, therefore:
  • Duty to God and country,
  • Duty to other people, and
  • Duty to self

DUTY TO GOD AND COUNTRY: Your family and religious leaders teach you to know and serve God. By following these teachings, you do your duty to God.

Men and women of the past worked to make America great, and many gave their lives for their country. By being a good family member and a good citizen, by working for your country’s good and obeying its laws, you do your duty to your country. Obeying the Scout Law means living by its 12 points.

DUTY TO OTHER PEOPLE: Many people need help. A cheery smile and a helping hand make life easier for others. By doing a Good Turn daily and helping when you’re needed, you prove yourself a Scout and do your part to make this a better world.

DUTY TO SELF: Keeping yourself physically strong means taking care of your body. Eat the right foods and build your strength. Staying mentally awake means learn all you can, be curious, and ask questions. Being morally straight means to live your life with honesty, to be clean in your speech and actions, and to be a person of strong character.


A Scout is:

  • Trustworthy,
  • Loyal,
  • Helpful,
  • Friendly,
  • Courteous,
  • Kind,
  • Obedient,
  • Cheerful,
  • Thrifty,
  • Brave,
  • Clean,
  • and Reverent.

Be Prepared!


Do a Good Turn Daily!


As an American, I will do my best to –

  • Be clean in my outdoor manners
  • Be careful with fire
  • Be considerate in the outdoors, and
  • Be conservation minded.

Deeper Study:

The Meaning of the Boy Scout Law

Excerpted from page 47-54, Boy Scout Handbook, 11th Edition,
(#33105), copyright 1998 by BSA, ISBN 0-8395-3105-2

A Scout is Trustworthy.

A Scout tells the truth. He is honest, and he keeps his promises. People can depend on him.

A Scout is Loyal.
A Scout is true to his family, friends, Scout leaders, school, and nation.

A Scout is Helpful.
A Scout cares about other people. He willingly volunteers to help others without expecting payment or reward.

A Scout is Friendly.
A Scout is a friend to all. He is a brother to other Scouts. He offers his friendship to people of all races and nations, and respects them even if their beliefs and customs are different from his own.

A Scout is Courteous.
A Scout is polite to everyone regardless of age or position. He knows that using good manners makes it easier for people to get along.

A Scout is Kind.
A Scout knows there is strength in being gentle. He treats others as he wants to be treated. Without good reason, he does not harm or kill any living thing.


A Scout is Obedient.
A Scout follows the rules of his family, school, and troop. He obeys the laws of his community and country. If he thinks these rules and laws are unfair, he tries to have them changed in an orderly manner rather than disobeying them.

A Scout is Cheerful.
A Scout looks for the bright side of life. He cheerfully does tasks that come his way. He tries to make others happy.


A Scout is Thrifty.
A Scout works to pay his own way and to help others. He saves for the future. He protects and conserves natural resources. He carefully uses time and property.


A Scout is Brave.
A Scout can face danger although he is afraid. He has the courage to stand for what he thinks is right even if others laugh at him or threaten him.


A Scout is Clean.
A Scout keeps his body and mind fit and clean. He chooses the company of those who live by high standards. He helps keep his home and community clean.

A Scout is Reverent.
A Scout is reverent toward God. He is faithful in his religious duties. He respects the beliefs of others.

The Meaning of the Boy Scout Oath
Excerpted from page 45-46, Boy Scout Handbook, 11th ed,
(#33105), copyright 1998 by BSA, ISBN 0-8395-3105-2
and from page 420-421, Webelos Scout Book, 1998 edition,
(#33108), copyright 1998 by BSA, ISBN 0-8395-3108-7

Before you pledge yourself to any oath or promise, you must know what it means. The paragraphs that follow will help you understand the meaning of the Scout Oath.
On my honor . . .
By giving your word, you are promising to be guided by the ideals of the Scout Oath.
. . . I will do my best . . .
Try hard to live up to the points of the Scout Oath. Measure your achievements against your own high standards and don’t be influenced by peer pressure or what other people do.
. . . To do my duty to God . . .
Your family and religious leaders teach you about God and the ways you can serve. You do your duty to God by following the wisdom of those teachings every day and by respecting and defending the rights of others to practice their own beliefs.

. . . and my country . . .
Help keep the United States a strong and fair nation by learning about our system of government and your responsibilities as a citizen and future voter.

America is made up of countless families and communities. When you work to improve your community and your home, you are serving your country. Natural resources are another important part of America’s heritage worthy of your efforts to understand, protect, and use wisely. What you do can make a real difference.

. . . and to obey the Scout Law; . . .
The twelve points of the Scout Law are guidelines that can lead you toward wise choices. When you obey the Scout Law, other people will respect you for the way you live, and you will respect yourself.

. . . To help other people at all times; . . .
There are many people who need you. Your cheerful smile and helping hand will ease the burden of many who need assistance. By helping out whenever possible, you are doing your part to make this a better world.

. . . To keep myself physically strong, . . .
Take care of your body so that it will serve you well for an entire lifetime. That means eating nutritious foods, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly to build strength and endurance. it also means avoiding harmful drugs, alcohol, tobacco, and anything else that can harm your health.

. . . mentally awake, . . .
Develop your mind both in the classroom and outside of school. Be curious about everything around you, and work hard to make the most of your abilities. With an inquiring attitude and the willingness to ask questions, you can learn much about the exciting world around you and your role in it.

. . . and morally straight.
To be a person of strong character, your relationships with others should be honest and open. You should respect and defend the rights of all people. Be clean in your speech and actions, and remain faithful in your religious beliefs. The values you practice as a Scout will help you shape a life of virtue and self-reliance.