One Oath and Law Proposed for All BSA Programs

The volunteer-led task forces supporting the 2011–2015 National Council Strategic Plan’s Goal 411, after considerable deliberation, have recommended moving to the use of the Scout Oath and Law for all BSA programs. This change would primarily impact Cub Scouts and Venturing.

The recommendation has been reviewed and endorsed by the national support committee responsible for program content changes. It has also been discussed and endorsed by the national officers of the BSA, and Wayne Perry has directed that the recommendation be brought forward to the National Executive Board at its October 2012 meeting.

The basis for the recommendation is strategic in nature and is intended to reinforce the connection between all of our BSA programs and the mission of the Boy Scouts of America. Since it is the mission of the BSA “to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law,” it is the task forces’ judgment that this goal is best achieved if all programs use the Scout Oath and Law as their primary statement of values and ideals.

As the changes might impact Cub Scouts, consultation with cognitive and child development specialists and educational practitioners involved in Scouting supported the reasonability of the recommendation and did not identify any age-appropriate difficulties with implementation. Additionally, research among parents and Cub Scout leaders was also supportive.

The changes as they impact Cub Scouts would be implemented with the full rollout of the work of the 411 Task Force, scheduled for the 2015–2016 program year.