Sunday, April 13, 2008

Book: On My Honor

On My Honor, Why the American Values of the Boy Scouts are Worth Fighting For by Rick Perry

I'm not a big reader, but I saw a link to this book while I was searching for info on the Cub Scouts for Alex who will be able to start in the fall. This is the first non technical book I've read since I read Clear and Present Danger by Tom Clancy in 1994. I must say, it is a great book. I don't consider myself ultra conservative, but definitely right leaning in my principles. The book is certainly written by a conservative politician, but it wasn't like listening to conservative talk radio either.

The book made me look back at my time in the Boy Scouts and realize what I learned then is what has guided me to be a productive member of society today. Although nobody is perfect, I still try to live by the Scout Oath and Law as well as the Scout motto and Slogan.

The Scout Oath:
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.

The Scout Law:
A Scout is Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Cautious Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, & Reverent.

The Scout Motto:
Be Prepared

The Scout Slogan:
Do a good turn daily

I could probably do more to live up to the slogan, and I've found myself drifting from those principles from time to time in the past, but one thing I know is that I want to raise my boys to follow these principles.

I've heard of the occasional lawsuit where girls wanted to join and the flaps about openly gay men being denied leadership positions in the Boy Scouts, but the book put this in perspective. These lawsuits are not random, but a more coordinated effort to force the Boy Scouts to change the principles they've stood by from the beginning. It isn't that the Scouts don't change with the times, I was reading some of the Cub Scout requirements for advancement and one of them had to do with "cyberbullying" and the Internet. But the core values of Scouting have stood the test of time, nearly 100 years now, and will still be relevant for another 100 years and beyond. Tell me, what mother wouldn't want their child to follow the Scout Law, or what teacher wouldn't want their student to adhere to the Scout motto. I certainly want my children, boys and girls to do so.

I would encourage anyone who believes that the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts can be a positive influence on young boys (and even girls 14-20 in the venturing program) to read this book.

It is also available on where I wrote a simple review.


James said...

The Scout Law:
A Scout is Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Cautious, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, & Reverent.

Hmmm... when I was a boy scout it was : Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent.

Hey, I just checked the web site:
and I am right. It hasn't changed in the 45 years since I was a first class scout.

Joseph Martin Durnal said...

That's right - probably my spell check working too much overtime and I blindly accepted its suggestions!