At the beginning of every Boy Scout meeting, each Scout recites the Boy Scout Oath and Boy Scout Law. Many Scouts don’t realize the connection between the Scout Law and Oath and the Bible. Lord Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of the Scouting movement, once said, “Scouting is nothing less than applied Christianity” – (Scouting & Christianity, 1917).
This is the continuation of the series of blogs examining the connection between the values of Scouting and the Bible.
A Scout is…Thrifty
A Scout works to pay his own way and to help others. He saves for the future. He protects and conserves natural resources. He is careful with his use of time and property.
The ninth point of the Scout Law is, “A Scout is thrifty.”
Thrifty living is encouraged in the Bible. Proverbs 21:5 says, “The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty, But those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty.” The Personal Management Merit Badge, which is required for the Eagle rank, requires the Scout to create a budget and track income and expenses for a period of time. In 2 Thessalonians 3:10, Paul writes, “For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.” Scouts also help raise the funds for troop expenses, as well as camping trips and other activities.
Thriftiness not only applies to money, but also to natural resources. Scouts are taught to both use and conserve the environment. Genesis 1:28 says, “Then God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.’” Genesis 2:15 says, “Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.” The Biblical principle is for mankind to take care of the earth, but also to use its resources in a thrifty manner. Having dominion implies ownership; subduing the earth involves learning how to use it; tending and keeping involves taking care of it.
The value of thriftiness is one of the key values held by Scouts, based on Biblical values. Baden-Powell considered Biblical values to be the key to proper living; this is why the values of Scouting were based on these principles.