Boy Scout Law and Ten Commandments

How the Boy Scout Law Relates to the Ten Commandments

In the Ad Altare Dei religious emblem program for Boy Scouts, one of the exercises is to compare the Ten Commandments to the Boy Scout Law. This is an interesting activity for any Boy Scout group, not just those working on Ad Altare Dei. When our group did this, it was one of the liveliest discussions we had. Getting 13 and 14 year olds excited about talking about the 10 Commandments isn’t always easy.

I’ve summarized some of their thoughts below. For the sake of reference, I’ve added the Ten Commandments at the bottom of this post. Note that this summary reflects what our group of Boy Scouts said. A different group might come up with completely different results, especially for a couple of the points of the Scout Law where the group had quite a bit of discussion before connecting it with the Ten Commandments.

So here are the 12 points of the Scout Law and how the Boy Scouts in our group thought they related to the 10 Commandments:

Trustworthy: Most thought this related to the 7th and  8th commandment – stealing and lying. A couple of the Scouts also said this went with the 9th and 10th though.

Loyal – This one they seemed to relate mostly to the 1st Commandment – being loyal to God – and interestingly to the 4th Commandment – being loyal to their families.

Helpful – They talked about this in relation to the 4th Commandment also and helping out at home.

Friendly – This one was all over the place. In the end they decided this went with commandments 5 through 10 because as one of them said, “Dude! It’s not friendly to do any of that stuff!” From the mouths of 13 year olds …

Courteous – This one they related to the 2nd Commandment – because “cursing is rude”. But like friendly, they really thought it went with a lot of them.

Kind – The thinking on kind went along the same lines as friendly and courteous, leading to a brief side discussion about why they really need all three of those in the Scout Law. Took a few minutes to get them back to the main topic .

Obedient – They clearly put this one in with the 4th Commandment and obedience to parents and those in authority. But a couple of them also pointed out that it fit in with the 1st  and the 3rd Commandments also.

Cheerful – This one they found difficult at first, but after talking it out they put it in with the 3rd Commandment and not being grumpy about going to Mass every Sunday. They also put it in with the 9th and 10th Commandments though and being happy with what they had and not wanting what others have.

Thrifty – The consensus seemed to be that thrifty fit in with not stealing, so they matched this with the 7th Commandment.

Brave – Brave also required some discussion before any decisions were made. Most of them put this with the 8th Commandment, saying that sometimes it was difficult to tell the truth. Some also put it with the 1st Commandment saying that they had to be brave to live their Christian faith.

Clean – They decided this one quickly. They put it with the 2nd Commandment and the 9th Commandment.

Reverent – They all seemed to feel that reverent fit in with Commandments 1, 2, and 3.

The Ten Commandments

  1. I am the Lord your God. You shall worship the Lord your God and Him only shall you serve.
  2. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
  3. Remember to keep holy the Sabbath day.
  4. Honor your father and your mother.
  5. You shall not kill.
  6. You shall not commit adultery.
  7. You shall not steal.
  8. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
  9. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife.
  10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s goods.
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