What the Scout Law Means to Me

John Wayne

    A great American, John Wayne, passed away many years ago. One of his last public appearances was at a dinner. He was riddled with cancer and knew he was close to death. The purpose of the dinner was to benefit a land purchase for a Scout Reservation called John Wayne Outpost Camp.

    At this dinner, Wayne recited the Scout Law. Then he did something unusual. He said the twelve points of the Scout Law are "nice words". "Trouble is" he continued, "we learn them so young we sometimes don't get all the understanding that goes with them. I take care of that in my family. As each boy reaches Scout age, I make sure he learns the Scout Law. Then I break it down for him, with a few things I have picked up in more than half a century since I learned it."

    Then Wayne proceeded to explain the importance of the Scout Law, breaking it down for the guests at the dinner; much like he would have for his grandson.

TRUSTWORTHY The badge of honesty. Having it lets you look at any man in the eye. Lacking it, he won't look back. Keep this one at the top of your list. LOYAL The very word is life itself; for without loyalty we have no love of person or country HELPFUL Part sharing, part caring. By helping each other, we help ourselves; not to mention mankind. Be always full of help -- the dying man's last words. FRIENDLY Brotherhood is part of that word. You can take it in a lot of directions - and do - but make sure and start with brotherhood. COURTEOUS Allow each person his human dignity; which means a lot more than saying, "Yes, ma'am" and "Thank you, sir." It reflects an attitude that later in life you wish you had honored more... earlier in life. Save yourself that problem. Do it now. KIND This one word would stop wars and erase hatreds. But it's like your bicycle, it's just no good unless you get out and use it. OBEDIENT Starts at home. Practice it in your family. Enlarge it in your friends. Share it with humanity. CHEERFUL Anyone can put on a happy face when the going is good. The secret is to wear it as a mask for your problems. It might surprise you how many others do the same thing. THRIFTY Means a lot more than putting pennies away; and it is the opposite of cheap. Common sense covers it just about as well as anything. BRAVE You don't have to fight to be brave. Millions of good, fine, decent folks show more bravery than heavyweight champs just by getting out of bed every morning, going out to do a good day's work, and living the best life they know how against the law of odds. Keep the word handy every day of your life. CLEAN Soap and water helps a lot on the outside. But it is the inside that counts, and don't ever forget it. REVERENT Believe in anything that you want to believe in, but keep God at the top of it. With Him, life can be a beautiful experience. Without Him, you are just biding time.

John Wayne then thanked those at the dinner for putting his name on the outpost camp and said, "I would rather see it here than on all the theater marquees the world over."

About the John Wayne Outpost Camp. It is a part of:

Forest Lawn Scout Reservation, Lake Arrowhead, CA
Los Angeles Area Council
Boy Scouts of America
2333 Scout Way
P.O. Box 26910
Los Angeles, CA 90026
(213) 413-4400 Ext. 257 (Camping)

Forest Lawn Scout Reservation is located in the heart of the beautiful San Bernardino Mountains, 65 miles east from Los Angeles at an altitude of 5,300 feet.

The 2,000 acres of evergreen cedar and oak forest, quiet streams, developed camping areas, and rugged wilderness provide a perfect environment. There are several camps located on the reservation.

The John Wayne Outpost Camp was established in 1979. The outpost offers mountain man treks. Other camps on the reservation include: Camp Big Horn, opened in 1952, now known as the Circle X Ranch at Big Horn; Camp Cedar, later renamed Camp Pitchess, opened in 1953 (partially burned in a 2003 wildfire) is now Camp Pollock; The old Outpost Camp, converted to Northrop Camp in 1955 (now a staff housing area); and Camp Pepperdine, opened in 1960 will return to use as a Cub Resident Camp in 2007.

There are trails that go all over the reservation that allow many opportunities for hiking skills to be developed. Over the past 50 years most campers have enjoyed trips onto the San Bernardino National Forest land that borders the reservation for a visit to the beautiful area at Deep Creek.

The facilities at Forest Lawn Scout Reservation include: Firebird Lake with canoeing, kayaking, and row boats. Circle X Ranch has a pool with a waterslide. There is as an astronomy observatory, 40 ft. climbing wall, shooting sports (archery, rifle, shotgun, BB-gun for Cubs), and horseback riding. A Trail to First Class (Pathfinder) program is offered. NYLT - National Youth Leadership Training is offered the first week in August.

John Wayne Outpost is a Mountain Man Adventure featuring: backpacking, dutch oven cooking, night hiking, black powder rifle shooting, tomahawk throwing.

A C.O.P.E. course is offered (Challenging Outdoor Personal Experience) that consists of a low and high ropes course, the low course enhances groupskills and teamwork. The high course is by invitation only and develops individual skills through exciting events among the high trees.

Both John Wayne Outpost Mountain Man and C.O.P.E. are for Boy Scout Campers that are 13 or older.


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