Be Prepared for what?

Be Prepared: The Motto of the Boy Scouts of America
Excerpted: page 562, “The Boy Scout Handbook”
© 1990 by BSA, ISBN 0-8395-3229-6

Someone once asked Baden-Powell, the founder of Scouting, “Be prepared for what?” “Why,” said Baden-Powell, “for any old thing.” The Scout Motto means that you are always ready in mind and body to do your duty and to face danger, if necessary, to help others.

The more Scouting skills you have, the better able you are to live up to the motto. When someone has an accident, you are prepared because of your first aid training. Because of lifesaving instruction, you can save a child who has fallen into the water. If a building catches fire, you are ready to help because you have practiced what to do. Proper training prepares you to do your best in the face of an emergency.

But Baden-Powell was not thinking just of being prepared for accidents. His idea was that every Scout should prepare himself to become a useful citizen and to give happiness to other people. He wanted each Scout to be prepared to work for all the good things that life has to offer and to face with a strong heart whatever may lie ahead.

Be prepared for life – to live happily and without regret, knowing that you have done your best. That’s what the Scout Motto means.

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