Teaching Right From Wrong – A Boy Scouts Lesson

This past weekend I camped with the Boy Scouts.  On Saturday several classes were organized, including a hike to find the lost village.

As we hiked off the property and towards private property, the Assistant Scout Master leading the hike stopped our group just within the entrance to the property, and just after we passed two parked trucks.  He indicated he had passed two hunters with rifles on an earlier hike, and stopped to talk with them.

He said he told them we had permission to be on the property by the owners, and that there would be scouts on hikes all day within the woods.   He produced for them a letter the troop had received from the property owners granting us permission to be on their property, and showed us their letter.  He said he read the letter to the hunters, who shrugged, told him “oh well” and headed out into the woods anyway (without any permission to trespass let alone hunt on the owner’s private property and despite the fact that there would be some fifty or more hikers in the same woods).

The Assistant Scout Master told the boys that the troop had a decision to make when it planned the trip, and could have easily chosen to trespass on the private property, just like the hunters did.  The owners lived an hour away, and likely would never know.  He told them, however, that the Boy Scouts do things right, follow the rules, and seek permission to enter and use private property.

Not only did the scouts learn much about the ruins and remains of a colonial village maintained in the woods on private property, they also learned a great lesson on the difference between following the rules and doing the right thing, versus what most everyone else seems to do these days.

Once again, hats off to the Boy Scouts.

Here’s the link to a page that has a great set of questions to ask yourself when deciding if something is right or wrong – although geared to grades K-5, it is equally applicable to adults (who may not possess such a thought process).   The list can be found at the top of this site:


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