Monday, October 29, 2012

Venturing Oath and Code to be replaced by the Scout Oath and Law

Not sure if you've been following the BSA National blog, but there has been discussion recently of replacing the Cub Scout Oath and the Venturing Oath and Code in favor of using just the Boy Scout Oath and Law.  Looks like it's official and the Scout Oath and Law will now be used for all families of scouting in the near future.

Have your units become accustomed to reciting the Venturing Oath and Code and do you see this as a challenge at all?

For me, this change will not be a challenge.  I think it will go mostly unnoticed to most Venturing age young men and Advisers.  It will be similar to changing from "Exploring" to "Venturing" (the programs evolve to meet the needs of young men).

Just as the Scout Oath and Law have special meaning to me, the Venturing Oath and Code meant something special to me as a young man when I was an Explorer Scout.  As an Explorer, the words to the Venturing code were put to song.  Although the song was not the most catchy tune, the song did help me memorize and internalize the Code.  I don't remember the entire code, but I remember the first couple of lines:

"I believe that America's strength lies in her trust in God, and in the courage and strength of her people.  I will therefore be faithful in my religion, and maintain a personal sense of honor.  I will treasure my American heritage and will do all I can to preserve and enrich it.  I'll acquire the Exploring attitude, that seeks the truth in all things, and adventure on the frontiers of our changing world, this is my code."

Today young men can recite one-liners from their favorite movies, word-for-word lyrics from their play lists, and punch lines from an assortment of jokes, but are the values of scouting distilling upon their minds as the dew from Heaven?

Hopefully with this change, we can place a renewed emphasis on the importance of not only committing to memory the Boy Scout Oath and Law, but living it daily.