We live in a world in which living an honest life is becoming increasingly difficult. Youth are often sent mixed messages from various organizations and media. It can be difficult to instill honesty in youth when they bombarded with images of people doing the opposite and benefiting from it. We instill in our Scouts the understanding that these images, often seen in media such as television or the movies, are incorrect. Our Scouts benefit when they honestly give their best. They have the power to lift up entire communities with their dedication to doing the right thing.
The Scout Programs of Adventure Scouts USA encourage honesty in our Scouts. Our Scouts are expected to tell the truth. However, honesty goes beyond telling the truth. It is also not repeating gossip, fair dealing with others, refusing to steal or take something that belongs to someone else, and refusing to cheat.
Our Scouts Choose to Be Honest
In our Scout Programs, a Scout’s word is their bond. We do not make our Scouts take any oaths; however, our Scouts are expected to be as good as their word. Because we trust our Scouts, they choose to be honest in an effort to constantly better themselves.
In keeping with our principle that Scouts are given as much autonomy as possible in our Scout Programs, our Scouts also take on the responsibility of helping each other be honest. When our Scouts perform Challenges in front of their fellow Scouts, they are performing them in front of a team of Scouts who know them very well. Our Scouts’ teams know their aptitudes, abilities, and skills. When our Scouts are asked if they truly gave their best, their fellow Scouts will also know the answer. In addition, the “Buddy Check” Program encourages our Scouts to look out for each other. A Scout is not going to let their buddy wander off by themselves since it will reflect on them and the entire team.
Rewards of Honesty
Our Scout Programs encourage our Scouts to see the rewards of honesty. Since people prefer to be around others they can count on and who deal fairly with them, it is easier for an honest person to make friends. Honesty also helps build strong families as youth can come to their parents when they need help, rather than turning to other sources. When our Scouts choose to take a test fairly, they know they truly understand the subject and get the satisfaction of knowing they truly gave their best.
Youth yearn to be appreciated as a unique someone, all while fighting peer pressure, and in the Scout Programs of Adventure Scouts USA, each of our Scouts is respected.
Respect is particularly important because we are fully nondiscriminatory Scout Programs. We take a clear stand on the issue of discrimination. No Scout will ever hear “You may not participate.” We make sure every Scout can participate in every activity to the best of their ability. We make sure every Scout feels comfortable and is allowed to fully express their given talents without regard to issues of identity such as physical or emotional challenges, race, or gender.
As membership oriented Scout Programs, we felt it essential to create an environment in which even the shyest of our Scouts can feel comfortable offering their opinion, since our Scout Programs are inclusive. We do not tolerate bullying, harassment or abuse, in any form, including disrespectful consideration of the opinion of another.
We Encourage Respect in Our Scouts by Demonstrating Our Respect for Them
In the Scout Programs of Adventure Scouts USA, the opinion of each is valued and their participation is appreciated. We recognize the contributions of others and celebrate team and personal achievement. We encourage our Scouts and Members to put their ideas into action and commit to listening when improvement opportunities are suggested.
We value our Scouts as individuals and appreciate their unique identities, interests, talents and abilities. Because we value their choice of activities, we help each of our Scouts identify and develop for themselves an appreciation of their strengths, weaknesses, likes and dislikes. We treat our Scouts with respect and encourage responsibility in them.
We also allow our Scouts the opportunity to determine fair solutions for real situations they face with their fellow Scouts before a Team Counselor intervenes. This offers the Scouts the opportunity to share points of view, and helps them understand how to settle conflicts fairly. They also gain an appreciation for right and wrong, which gives them clear messages about personal responsibility and honesty.