Varsity Scout Pledge going away in favor of Scout Oath, Scout Law

varsityV_4kYou’ve heard that all Scouting programs will adopt the Scout Oath and Scout Law over the next two years. But does that include Varsity Scouts?

Yes indeed. That means the Varsity Scout Pledge is going away, beginning tomorrow — June 1, 2014.

Varsity Scouts will instead use only the Scout Oath and Scout Law. One big place this will be noticed within Varsity Scouting is in the requirements for the Denali Award.

Requirement No. 5 of the Denali Award currently reads: “Satisfy to the team captain that you know and live by the Varsity Scout Pledge.”

Beginning June 1, 2014, requirement No. 5 will read:

“Demonstrate that you possess Scout Spirit by understanding and living by the Scout Oath and Scout Law. Tell how you have done your duty to God and how you have lived each of the twelve points of the Scout Law in your everyday life.”

By the way, for those who haven’t seen the Varsity Scout Pledge, here it is:

As a Varsity Scout I will:
Live by the Scout Oath,
Law, motto, and slogan;
Honor the dignity and worth of all persons;
Promote the cause of freedom; and
Do my best to be a good team member.

As you can see, Varsity Scouts pledged to live by the Scout Oath and Scout Law in their soon-to-be-retired pledge. So this change shouldn’t cause many ripples within Varsity Scouting.

Other changes to the traditional Boy Scout program will occur in 2016, and those changes will apply to Varsity Scouts. So stayed tuned.

Thanks to Member Experience Team Leader Peter Self for the info.

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9 thoughts on “Varsity Scout Pledge going away in favor of Scout Oath, Scout Law

  1. Not as much as we in the Varsity Scouting community would like. Despite words to the otherwise, the program is growing because there are lots of ways it can be executed locally. It’s not all sports and not all “high adventure” and a lot of Teams are doing some great things with the program.

    • Oh I know. This change does NOT create differences in each program. This, in my opinion, is a turn for the worse.

  2. “Other changes to the traditional Boy Scout program will occur in 2016, and those changes will apply to Varsity Scouts. So stayed tuned.”

    Given the results of recent meddling by National in otherwise successful programs, one shudders to think.

  3. Unfortunately the majority of chartered Varsity units don’t even know that there is such an animal as the Varsity Scout Pledge. As a Varsity Coach and as a District Huddle Commissioner I say good move. The Scout Oath, Law, Motto and Slogan should be the standard for all families of Scouting.

  4. Personally, I wish that the Varsity Pledge as well as the Venturing Oath be retained. As far as the Varsity Pledge goes, I believe that adding a bit more to the basic Scouting ideas makes it more “varsity” (senior, if you will) than the traditional Boy Scout ideas. Varsity has a time and a half — mostly faulted from people who don’t know the program and see the uniform and say “Boy Scout!” — distinguishing itself from “JV” (Traditional Boy) Scouting. Yeah, we have the blaze shoulder loops (they should be brown in my personal opinion — another way to make the distinction between “JV” and “Varsity” Scouting. But then, I am the guy who pleaded with the Varsity Program Committee back when Varsity was being “distributed” and said “you get those Scouts a VARSITY JACKET in the Varsity Scouting colors, and you’ll have a Scout who would be proud of the association and won’t shy away from it.” Yeah, the jacket is expensive — just like a jac-shirt is — but it would be functional, allows for the wearing of the Varsity Letter like it was designed to do, and doesn’t scream “Boy Scout!” when one is wearing it.

    My original Varsity jacket is being worn I’m sure by some adult who stole it from where I had it hanging during one of our Team activities in Augusta, Georgia. I have a new one, and I do wear it during the fall and spring to Scouting activities. It’s a sure attention getter and conversational spark…while stating to those unfamiliar with the program “see, you don’t need the field uniform to do Scouting…

    So we lose the Varsity Pledge. I will miss it, especially the part where we say “Honor the dignity and worth of all persons; Promote the cause of freedom; and do my best to be a good team member.”

    Those are things wrapped up in the Scouting ideals…but it’s always good to emphasize what distinguishes Varsity Scouting from “JV” Scouting!

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