How do you memorize the Scout oath?

How do you memorize the Scout oath?
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How do you memorize the Scout Oath?

The scout oath is more than just words
Scouts at Garden of the Gods in Illinois
The scout oath is more than just words
Scouts at Garden of the Gods in Illinois

Scouting has always been a part of our family. All of my boys have been in Cub Scouts and I myself am an Eagle Scout. My dad was my leader and I was a leader for my boys.

One of the things that every new scout needs to know is the scout oath and the scout law. They typically need help to begin but scouts really need to memorize the Scout oath. For your scout to earn their bobcat they are required to be able to recite the Scout Oath and Laws. But the big catch is they can have help if needed. 

For your older scouts, you would really like for them to have the scout oath and laws memorized. These are usually the scouts you want to lead the pack when reciting the scout oath and law.

What is the Scout Oath?

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.

What are some ways you can help your Scout memorize the scout oath?

Break it down

Start with breaking it down and having your kid memorize parts of the oath.

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.

When you put the words in this way in front of your kid it makes it seem like a more manageable task of memorizing it. You could make flashcards and put each of these small phrases on the cards and have your scout read them in order.

Repetition

Memorization of the scout oath really comes down to repetition. Have your child repeat it over and over. In the previous suggestion, I said using flashcards for each part is a great idea. I have seen packs that have laminated the scout oath and law on little cards that the scouts can keep with them and read over and over until they have it memorized.

And keep it consistent. Have them read it over several times a night for a week. You can challenge them to have another portion of it memorized each night and keep building on their progress.

Also if you are already not doing it start every pack and den meeting by doing the scout oath and law. In our pack, we start every meeting with the pledge of allegiance, scout oath, and scout law. Having that weekly reminder really helps the kids (and parents) remember both the scout oath and law.

Play some scout oath games (or scout law games)

If you just have your kid read the scout oath over and over they may eventually just get bored and give up. They could say they are reading it but in reality, they may just be ignoring you. 

If you make it a game then you have a better chance to keep their attention. If they are having fun they may stay engaged and remember the material better.

Index card games

Here is a link to some scout law games using index cards to learn the scout oath and law.

Popsicle stick put them in order

Here is another link using wooden sticks (popsicle) for the right order of the scout law. But you could use the same idea and put the parts of the scout oath.

Scavenger Hunt

One potential game idea is to have a Scavenger Hunt. You can hide portions of the scout law in your meeting area. Each one is hidden with an object. Then you give clues for the object they are looking for. When they find the object they assemble the Scout Oath (or law).

Dice game

Assign a number for the breakdown. Then roll two dice. Whatever number comes up the person has to say that many laws or “lines” of the oath. Then the next person rolls and they have to continue until it is finished.

Explain what it means

How to memorize the scout oath. Flag retirement ceremony
Scouts participating in a flag retirement ceremony

This is part of your responsibility of being an adult partner is to explain what the scout oath and laws mean. But you can go more into depth with this. Have your child explain what they think each one means. And then sit down and discuss it.

For a tiger or lion to understand what morally straight is may be a challenge. Really break it down into terms they will understand and this may help them memorize the parts that a young scout may not understand.

Keep visual reminders available

Why not print a small poster with the scout oath and laws and hang it up in their bathroom? That way they can read them while they brush their teeth. Or maybe you can hang it in the dining room until they have it memorized. During supper, they can look up and read them over.

If you have a permanent meeting location you can also hang them up for your den and pack to always have on hand to reference. 

Singing the Scout Oath

Another way kids learn a little faster is if they can sing what they are learning. If you can figure out a way to sing the scout oath to a tune it might help them commit it to memory a little quicker.


How to memorize the scout oath.
Boy Scout summer camp
Boy Scout summer camp

The scout oath is a key part of the boy/cub scout program. It’s a promise that each scout makes to be the best version of themselves. To help others. To be fit. To be a friend. To be on the right side of doing good.

Every scout needs to memorize the oath and not only know it but live it. Help them understand the importance of the oath and what the words they are saying really mean. And any time they are violating the oath remind them that they take this oath and need to stand behind it.

Do you have any tips on how to memorize the Scout oath? Let us know in the comments or drop us a message on our Facebook page.

4 comments

I still can recite the 4-h pledge at any moment. Just hearing the first “I pledge” causes the rest of it to just spill out. This is a great way to turn a learning task into an opportunity to dive deeper and learn more with your kid. Great post!

Hi Greg,

I like memory challenges but I have to admit that learning blocks of text always seems to be one of the toughest things. I like the techniques that you’ve suggested. It’s amazing how powerful the singing approach can be.

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