A Scout is Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent.
Yes, I was a Boy Scout, Eagle Scout, OA Vigil honor… and I think it was great preparation. Just look at the Scout Law above and replace “Scout” with “Real Man.” Think about it for a second, and measure whatever standard you have in your mind, whatever man you admire. I think the only point which brings up questions is Obedient. But the Bible quickly clears those questions up; a real man is obedient to God. Deuteronomy 27:10 reads, “You shall therefore obey the LORD your God, and do His commandments and His statutes which I command you today.” So the Scout Law provides insight into what a real man should Be. The Scout Oath then elaborates into the things he should Do.
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.
A scout is required to do his duty to God, to his country, and to others; a real man should likewise feel those obligations and act accordingly. Physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight might seem like more Be than Do, but the Oath gives specific instructions that a scout must actively maintain those attributes, striving to better himself. A real man should do the same, not letting himself lapse into the poor health of a sedentary lifestyle and fatty cakes (of which, alas, I am all too fond); the stupor of repetitive, passive entertainment like video games; or the moral relativism that’s all too prevalent on television. It takes an active effort to maintain physical readiness when your job puts you behind a computer or a control panel for a piece of machinery all day; the same is true of mental clarity and moral judgment.
Were I to petition the BSA to change the oath and law, I’d leave them alone except for one addition to the law. A scout, and a real man, should be Thankful.