Do you know how to demonstrate Scout Spirit in your everyday life? After reading this article, you should! In it, we’ll be taking a deep dive into what Scout Spirit really is, how it ties into Scouting, and what you can do to easily start living life with lots Scout Spirit, ASAP!
What Is Scout Spirit? Scout Spirit is defined as “Living by the Scout Oath, Law, Slogan, and Motto in your daily life.” As a whole, having Scout Spirit means supporting others, bettering your community, and striving to become your best possible self. It’s the duty of each scout to determine for themselves how best to live with Scout Spirit.
PS. This article is based on the experiences and research of Eagle Scouts, Kevin A and Cole 🙂
In Scouting, Scout Spirit is one of the lessons taught from the very beginning. Starting with their very first rank, and for every rank thereafter, scouts are tasked with demonstrating Scout Spirit in their everyday lives. You might have come across a few requirements asking about Scout Spirit, that look something like this:
“Demonstrate Scout spirit by living the Scout Oath and Scout Law. Tell how you have done your duty to God and how you have lived four different points of the Scout Law in your everyday life.”
Scouts typically complete their Scout Spirit requirement before or during their Scoutmaster conferences. During this time, the scout will discuss with their Scoutmaster the ways that they try to live with Scout Spirit during troop events, at school, and as a member of their families.
Later in this article, I’ll be teaching you to talk about (and live with) Scout Spirit, so keep reading! 😉
Completing The Scout Spirit Rank Requirements
Almost every rank in Scouts BSA has some mention of Scout Spirit. This is because Scout Spirit ties back to the very beginning of Scouting! As Scouting’s founder, Lord Baden Powell, once said,
“The spirit (Scout Spirit) is there in every boy; it has to be discovered and brought to light.”
In this section, I’ll be going over each of the requirements relating to Scout Spirit. Then, I’ll be filling you in on how best to talk about and live with Scout Spirit to complete these requirements with your Scoutmaster!
Scout Spirit Requirement As A New Scout (Req.1b):
New Scout (Req.1b): You must explain what Scout Spirit is and talk about how you’ve begun to practice the Scout Oath, Law, Slogan, and Motto in your daily life.
For the New Scout rank, you don’t have to know too much about living with Scout Spirit. That’s what Scouting will teach you! 😉 For this rank, focus on the basics. Simply explain what you know about Scout Spirit, along with how to live by the Scout Oath, Law, Slogan, and Motto.
Scout Spirit For The Tenderfoot (Req.9), Second Class (Req.10), and First Class ranks:
To go from Tenderfoot to Second Class, and then on to First Class, you must discuss four different points of the Scout Law. You’ll also need to explain what duty to God means to you. By the time you reach First Class rank, you’ll have discussed all twelve individual points of the Scout Law!
For each of these ranks, you’re given the opportunity to talk about the ways you’ve exemplified living by each point of the Scout law. It’ll be best to tie specific, real-life experiences into your discussion, instead of talking in vague hypotheticals.
Scout Spirit For The Star and Life Ranks:
Once again, to complete these ranks you’ll be discussing how you live by the Scout Oath and Law, as well as how you carry out your duty to God.
- For these ranks, you aren’t required to specifically name points of the Scout Law or discuss ways you’ve demonstrated Scout Spirit. However, feel free to do so!
- As a higher-ranked scout and leader, you’ll need to think more critically and respond with genuine, thoughtful answers.
- Try and intertwine the values from the Scout Oath, Law, Slogan, and Motto to show how they are all related to each other. Together, they create the foundations of Scout Spirit!
- Make sure to bring up concrete examples from your life to better explain your points. In my experience, difficult times where you did the right thing are best for seeing Scout Spirit within yourself.
Scout Spirit For Becoming an Eagle Scout:
By this point, Scout Spirit shouldn’t just be something that you keep in mind — it should be your lifestyle! To become an Eagle Scout, you’ll need to try to embody the positive qualities of the Scout Oath, Law, Motto, and Slogan at all times:
- Be prepared to talk about how Scout Spirit has impacted your life in specific ways, and develop your own personal definition of Scout Spirit.
- In addition to covering all of the topics from the previous requirements, you must also reflect upon how Scout Spirit will guide you in your future endeavors.
- You’ll need to provide 6 references who can vouge that you’ve been showing Scout Spirit in your interactions with them. (Check out my full guide to the Eagle Scout Rank Application!)
I’d say that Scout Spirit is one of the most important pillars of Scouting. The reason most people think that scouts are honorable, friendly, and helpful, is that they’re acting with Scout Spirit! In the following section, I’ll be wrapping this article up by telling you how to easily talk about (and live with) Scout Spirit in your everyday life! 🙂
How to Live With Scout Spirit
As mentioned above, there will be many times that you’ll need to talk about Scout Spirit to advance in rank. In this section of the article, we’re going to dive into the ways you can talk about and develop your answers. This will also help you to raise your sense of Scout Spirit in day-to-day life!
Below is a list of each Scout Law point, as well as some inspiration to guide you through developing your answers when asked about your Scout Spirit:
A Scout is… Trustworthy
- Being trustworthy means keeping your word — even when it’s difficult to do so. While it isn’t always easy to be trustworthy, it’s a value that’s one of the most important to uphold in your life.
- Trustworthiness could be as simple as you following through on a portion of your group project at school.
- Or, it could be something as important as fulfilling a promise you made to your parents or friends.
- Think of a time when a person trusted you with a task, some important information, or a promise. Did you remain trustworthy to that person’s expectation of you?
- There are many interpretations of showing loyalty. However, in many cases, loyalty means sticking by the people and things you believe in, even if it doesn’t benefit you.
- You could be loyal to your friends by not talking behind their backs and always being there for them.
- You could be loyal to your parents by being honest and truthful with them.
- You could be loyal to your teachers by letting them know when cheating is occurring.
- Ask yourself, where have I not been as loyal as I could’ve been? How can I be more loyal in the future?
- Being helpful means always being on the lookout for ways that you can serve others. Plus, extending a helping hand to someone in need is one of the best ways of building lifelong friendships!
- When you discuss this point, try to talk about a time when you were helpful for the sake of being helpful and not for any personal gain.
- Ask yourself, what were 3 times in the past week where I’ve been helpful? What were 3 times where I could’ve been more helpful, and how so?
- Being friendly is easy, it simply means opening up to others and making them feel heard. However, your true test of friendliness will be being positive toward to someone who isn’t being friendly back to you.
- You could also talk about how you did something nice for a friend or even just something friendly you did for a random stranger.
- Ask yourself, who have I not been too friendly and open with in the past, and how can I be a better person towards them (even if you don’t exactly like them)?
- Being courteous is an easy point to talk about, but an arguably hard point to follow through on. Courtesy means showing politeness and general respect towards everyone, regardless of who they are or what they’re doing.
- It’s easy to be courteous when others are being courteous to you, but it’s harder to be courteous when they don’t reciprocate that courtesy. If you work a regular service job, this will be an easy point to hit! 😛
- You could also think of times you showed courtesy to your teachers, your supervisors, your friends, and even your parents!
- Ask yourself, how have I been disrespectful, and how can I become more courteous in the future?
- Kindness means being accepting and having a positive attitude with anyone you interact with.
- This could be as easy as giving a simple compliment, or making someone feel more included in your community!
- Kindness is also the acceptance of others, in spite of any faults they might have.
- Ask yourself, are there any times recently where I could have been kinder and more empathetic? What should I do next time to be better?
- Obedience is being cooperative and helping out without complaint. While it’s important to also think for yourself, obedience is a good trait for both followers and leaders to have.
- Consider times you’ve been tasked with doing something difficult, and saw it through to the end.
- Feel free to talk about times where obedient to a fault. For example, if a friend asked you to do something for them which was morally wrong, it wouldn’t be good to be obedient.
- Ask yourself, do I often talk back to my parents, teachers, or other leaders? How can I avoid doing this in the future?
- Being cheerful means being positive and uplifting around others. Remember, you can choose to be cheerful, even in difficult times, which will bring everyone’s morale up! 🙂
- Having a positive attitude goes a long way in improving your interactions with others, which is why it’s part of the Scout Law!
- Think of times when you offered cheerful service or had a cheerful attitude while doing a task you didn’t necessarily want to do.
- Ask yourself, when could I have tried to be more cheerful? How do I act when I am cheerful, and how can I make sure I’m that way the next time I need to do hard work?
- By definition, being thrifty means using your resources carefully and not wastefully.
- Most of the time, scouts associate being thrifty with money. But, you could also be thrifty with your time, possessions, and other resources as well!
- As long as you’re being mindful about your consumption and waste, there are plenty of ways you could be thrifty!
- Ask yourself, how have I been wasteful lately? What can I do to change that? For more ways to be thrifty, I’d also recommend reflecting on the Outdoor Code!
- Being brave is often associated with heroic acts, but you can be brave in many other ways as well.
- For instance, you can be brave in simple ways, such as sticking up for someone else, or doing something that’s outside of your comfort zone!
- Ask yourself, how have I been brave in the past? How can I keep that spirit of bravery with me in the future?
- Being clean could mean many things. You could be clean physically, mentally, and spiritually. So, whatever way you think is your best example of being clean will be a great talking point!
- Having clean behavior and morals means doing the right thing and resisting impure influences.
- Being physically clean means wearing your uniform correctly and making sure that your appearance is properly maintained.
- Keeping your speech clean means not speaking ill of others and avoiding excess profanity.
- Ask yourself, in what area have I done a good job of being clean? In what area am I least clean? Next time, what could I do to improve things?
- Being reverent is showing deep, solemn respect for something or someone. It could also tie into a sense of seriousness and earnestness for a mission or cause.
- Reverence is usually associated with having dedication towards the religion you follow. However, it can also be extended to other facets of your life.
- You could be reverent towards principles like keeping your community clean, being a good person, or even having Scout Spirit! The important thing about reverence is to hold a sense of respect in your heart.
- Ask yourself, what am I most reverent toward? What are some things that matter most to me? Your answers could include family, friends, your church, your values, being the best person you can be, or anything else!
Scout Spirit is a core part of the Scouting experience, which makes it all the more important that you understand it inside and out! I hope that this article helped you to better understand the importance of Scout Spirit, and encourages you to more readily live with it in every aspect of your everyday life.
If you found this article helpful, you also might want to check out my other article on the importance of the 12-Point Scout Law. In it, I’ll provide you with a deeper explanation of each Scout Law point, as well as action steps so that you can more readily live with Scout Spirit at all times!
Also, if you’re in Scouting, one of the most worthwhile challenges to take on is earning your Eagle Scout rank. To help you out on that journey, be sure to check out my article on The FASTEST Way To Reach Eagle Scout: A 2-Year Timeline!
Great work reading this far! I hope you found this article helpful, and encourage you to do your best to live with Scout Spirit in every aspect of your life. Be sure to check ScoutSmarts often because I’m constantly putting out new content to help scouts like yourself.
Until next time, best of luck on your Scouting journey! 🙂