Your Life as a Scout
You are an American boy. Before long you will be an American man. It is important to America and to yourself that you become a citizen of fine character, physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.
Boy Scouting will help you become that kind of citizen. but also, Scouting will give you fellowship and fun.
Yes, it’s fun to be a Boy Scout! It’s fun to go hiking and camping with your best friends… to swim, to dive, to paddle a canoe, to wield an ax… to follow the footsteps of the pioneers who led the way through the wilderness… to stare into the glowing embers of a campfire and dream of the wonders of the life that is in store for you…
It’s fun also to learn to walk noiselessly through the woods… to stalk close to a grazing deer without being noticed… to bring a bird close to you by imitating its call. It is fun to find your way cross country by map and compass… to make a meal when you are hungry… to take a safe swim when you are hot… to make yourself comfortable for the night in a tent or under the stars. In Scouting you become an outdoorsman.
But Scouting is far more than fun in the outdoors, hiking and camping. Scouting is a way of life. Scouting is growing into responsible manhood, learning to be of service to others.
The Scout Oath and the Scout Law are your guides to citizenship. They tell you what is expected of a Scout. they point out your duties. The Scout motto is “Be Prepared” – prepared to take care of yourself and to help people in need. The Scout Slogan is “Do a Good Turn Daily.” Together the motto and slogan spell out your ability and your willingness to serve.
Your life as a Scout will make you strong and self-reliant. You will learn Scoutcraft skills that will benefit you as you grow. In time you will develop skills of leadership as well.
So pitch in! Swing into action! In your patrol and your troop you will have some of the best times of your life.
William ‘Green Bar Bill’ Hillcourt - page 9, Scout Handbook, 9th Edition, 1979
I came across a great blog post on another web site that spoke of William Hillcourt and thought of how many of today's scouts actually know who he is and why he is so important. I had the great fortune to have met him as a scout when he was the guest speaker at our Order of the Arrow Lodge dinner one year for what seems like forever ago. I was able to speak to him for a short while, actually it was more like he spoke to me while stood there in awe(probably with my mouth gaping and star struck). To me, Green Bar Bill was the biggest, most important celebrity type person a kid or man could hope to meet and shake hands with. He still is.
I was sad when I learned of his passing on November 9th, 1992. (my birth day incidentally) and felt that I and all of scouting had lost a great human. So who was Green Bar Bill and why did they call him that? Well, to tell you would be for me to do all scouts an injustice. Instead, I encourage you to find out for yourself. In short, William Hillcourt was, and for me, still is Scouting! As a scout you owe it to yourself to know him and why he is important to you. Happy hunting!