In 1911, Scouting’s founder Lord Robert S.S. Baden-Powell augmented his affirmative laws with the following: “A Scout is clean in thought, word and deed. Decent Scouts look down upon silly youths who talk dirt, and they do not let themselves give way to temptation, either to talk it or to do anything dirty. A Scout is pure, and clean-minded, and manly.”
Over the years, the definition of this point of the Scout Law has been modified time and again. But I think, in today’s day and age, when every word and action has the potential to be captured and broadcasted within seconds, the original meaning is worth recalling. In fact, one could make the argument that it is the clarity of this point that supports all the others. How can a Scout be trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave or reverent if he is not clean as Baden-Powell suggests?
If we do no more for our young people than to model this point of the Scout Law, we will have laid the foundation for their success as individuals and as members of our local and global societies.
Taken from Capital Comments (Nov. 2011) edition.