By Al Mozingo

Recently I saw a movie again for about the third time. It was entitled "Clear and Present Danger" staring Harrison Ford. I like action packed movies and this one certainly has the action. One line in the movie reminded me of something I had been thinking about for a long time now. The line talked about Harrison Ford being a "Boy Scout".

When I was a young boy I became a Cub Scout. I remember the scouts taught us how to be an upstanding person and self-sufficient. They helped us to acquire the character traits to become the best we can be. When becoming a Boy Scout you must learn certain things; one of the first is the, Scout Oath which is presented below:

Scout Oath or Promise

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.

Although the Scout Oath is very good tenants to live by, there is more. The more is identified by the Boy Scouts as the Scout Law. Many leadership authorities in numerous books and articles point out the necessary character traits to be an effective leader. These character traits are identified by the Boy Scouts as The Scout Law:

The Scout Law

A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent. Below are the summarized statements for each of the Twelve Points of the Scout Law:

Trustworthy - Tell the truth and keep your promises. Honesty is part of a code of conduct; whereas, people can depend upon you.

Loyal - Be true to your family, leaders, friends, school and nation.

Helpful - Be concerned about other people and do things willingly for others without reward.

Friendly - Be a friend to all. Seek to; understand others and respect those with ideas and customs other than your own.

Courteous - Be polite to everyone regardless of your age or position. Always exhibit good manners.

Kind - Understand there is strength in being gentle. Treat others, as you would want to be treated. Do not hurt or kill harmless things without reason.

Obedient - Follow the rules of your family, school and troop. Obey the laws of your community and country. If you think these rules and laws are unfair, try to have them changed in an orderly manner rather than disobey them.

Cheerful - Always look on the bright side of things. Cheerfully do the task that comes your way. Try to make others happy.

Thrifty - Work to pay your way and help others. Save for unforeseen needs, protect and conserve natural resources, and carefully use time and property.

Brave - Face danger even it your afraid. Have the courage to stand for what you think is right even it others laugh at or threaten you.

Clean - Keep your body and mind fit and clean. Associate with those who believe in living by these same ideas. Keep your home and community clean.

Reverent - Be reverent toward God. Be faithful in your religious duties and respect the beliefs of others.

If a leader incorporates these character traits into his/her personality, the leader will have a great start on becoming an effective leader. Each of these traits are so important that every one should internalize them. These Twelve Points can be considered the key to great leadership. The Scouts have been forming great leaders for years.

Reference: The Boy Scout Handbook

About the Author: Al Mozingo is a nationally recognized Training Officer in the Fire Service and specializes in Leadership Development and Leadership Training. He has several offerings in the leadership arena. Please take a look at his web site for his offerings:

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Comment by Al Mozingo on May 15, 2010 at 11:25am
Al Mozingo -

That Scout Leader should be ashamed of himself.

Using that meeting as a political platform.

Report him - he should not be in that position!
Comment by Capt.Alex Arnold on May 15, 2010 at 11:16am
Sadly though, Scouting is not what it use to be. I am an Eagle myself. Scouting put so many tools in my toolbox! I signed my son up for the program, ended up leaving though. It was very depressing to see what this area has done with the scouting program. The first (and only) meeting I went to the Scout leader sent all of the kids off to go play, then him and his wife turned to us parents and began telling us how it is our job to listen to our children because they can give us great insight on our political system and help re-enforce the governments future and that social programs are not bad. They then went on trying to compare the new health care law to scouting. I threw up the old BS flag and said never mind not interested and left. After I did that 4 other "new" parents did the same. I mean really!? I still believe in the scouting idea, my son is just going to have to wait until I find a Den that is more concerned about putting tools in a young mans toolbox rather than a Den looking to critique what the parents have in theirs.

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