ORIGIN: Starting the Conversation

A Scout Is…

11.03.14 by Daniel McClain
1 Comment

For the past seven years I have had the privilege and the honor of leader and teaching boys through Boy Scouts of America. I have had the opportunity to watch my son and his friends grow from children as rowdy first-graders to the teenage young men they are now. They still have a long path before them before earning their Eagle rank (the highest award in scouting), but I am glad I’m in the background helping them learn and find a way to achieve their goals.

There are two things I love most about being involved in Scouting. First is getting to see my son grow into a man learning life skills and values that he will use the rest of his life. Second, I love what I get out of Scouting and apply this training as an adult, a father, a spouse, a friend, an engineer and a workplace leader.

At the start of every Boy Scout meeting, the scouts and adults all start every meeting by saying:

  • The Pledge of Allegiance
  • The Scout Oath
  • The Scout Law

The Scout Law goes like this:  A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent. Twelve core values every scout should strive for in their life.

At first, it was my job to teach the scouts to recite these words from memory. I didn’t think much of it at first, they started memorizing it in the fourth grade. But over the course of the past four years it became my job to teach the scouts, “What do these words mean, and what do they mean to you?”.  Then it became, “How do you model these words in your own life?”.

Trustworthy: A value applicable to each and every one of us. Something that must be earned, easily lost or broken, and even harder to earn back and mend. This applies to us as parents, friends, spouses, employees. Who in your life do you trust? Who can trust you? Do you see yourself as a trustworthy person? Is there someone you need to work with to build back trust? How you answer these questions can help lead you to a stronger relationship with someone or show you some areas in your life that may need work.

I have to constantly ask myself the following questions, and more importantly, what are the answers to make sure the benchmark of being able to answer ‘Yes’ never moves:

  • Can my spouse trust me?
  • Do my sons trust me?
  • Does my employer trust me?
  • Do other parents trust me with teaching their sons?

I challenge you this month to think about what it means to be trustworthy. I challenge you to say out loud each of these twelve traits and find out how each one applies to all aspects of your life. And as always, if you see a scout on the street – ask them what their ‘good turn’ has been today.

One Response

  1. Roger McClain says:

    Nicely done Daniel. Keep up the good work.

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Daniel McClain, PE, SE


Daniel received his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering degree from Oklahoma State University and is a licensed Professional and Structural Engineer in Oklahoma. Daniel’s…

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