In doing a bit of research (what else do I do really?) I decided to look into Scouting again. The reasons are many but I always found the similarities between scouting and Masonry intriguing. Looking through our own 24-inch gauge under programs and awards, the kind of thing the Grand Lodge loves lodges to do, there is the Daniel Carter Beard Masonic Scouter Award. Ok so what’s the connection you may ask. A quick look at the NY Grand Lodge website HERE gets you this:
The Daniel Carter Beard Masonic Scouter Award is a national recognition approved by the Boy Scouts of America and promoted by the Grand Lodges of Masons in the United States. It may be presented to any Master Mason who has made significant contributions to youth through Scouting. The purpose of the award is to recognize the recipient’s outstanding service to youth through the Boy Scouts of America. This award is presented to a member of the Masonic Fraternity who: Is currently a registered Scouter and has displayed outstanding dedication to the Scouting program. Work accomplishment and dedication, rather than a specific number of years in Scouting, should be the criteria for this award.
The award consists of a certificate endorsed by the Grand Master of New York and a Boy Scouts of America –approved Masonic neck medallion and knot patch to be worn with a Scout uniform.
So maybe you don’t know who Daniel Carter Beard was. Well let me enlighten you.
Daniel Carter Beard Scout Leader & Freemason- June 21, 1850 – June 11, 1941
Daniel Carter Beard Raised: November 30, 1917 Mariners’ Lodge No. 67, New York
Dan Beard was a painter, illustrator, and founder of the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. He formed “The Society of the Sons of Daniel Boone” which developed into “The Boy Pioneers” in 1905, which then became the Boy Scouts of America after he heard about the work of Baden Powell. His writings on the group appeared in Recreation, a magazine that he edited.
He was the Boy Scouts of America’s first National Commissioner and Chairman of the Court of Honor and was the author of 21 books on outdoor living and survival skills.
As a Boy Scout, one of the first things I had to learn was the 12 points of the Scout Law. I still say them often. The Boy Scout Handbook¹ provides a brief description of what the 12 points mean to a Scout. I wondered what they might read like if we applied them to Freemasonry.
A Scout is Trustworthy.
A Scout tells the truth. He is honest, and he keeps his promises. People can depend on him.
A Mason is a true and trusty brother, his bond is his word, and his brothers can count on him.
A Scout is Loyal.
A Scout is true to his family, friends, Scout leaders, school, and nation.
A Mason has a duty to God, his country, family, friends, neighbors and himself.
A Scout is Helpful.
A Scout cares about other people. He willingly volunteers to help others without expecting payment or reward.
A Mason practices faith, hope and charity.
A Scout is Friendly.
A Scout is a friend to all. He is a brother to other Scouts. He offers his friendship to people of all races and nations, and respects them even if their beliefs and customs are different from his own.
A Mason is always ready to extend his hand in friendship to a fellow Mason.
A Scout is Courteous.
A Scout is polite to everyone regardless of age or position. He knows that using good manners makes it easier for people to get along.
A Mason exemplifies a demeanor of respect towards his brothers.
A Scout is Kind.
A Scout knows there is strength in being gentle. He treats others as he wants to be treated. Without good reason, he does not harm or kill any living thing.
A Mason shows brotherly love to his brothers and may gently correct their errant ways.
A Scout is Obedient.
A Scout follows the rules of his family, school, and troop. He obeys the laws of his community and country. If he thinks these rules and laws are unfair, he tries to have them changed in an orderly manner rather than disobeying them.
A Mason is loyal to his country, respects the rule of law and squares his actions by the square of virtue.
A Scout is Cheerful.
A Scout looks for the bright side of life. He cheerfully does tasks that come his way. He tries to make others happy.
A Mason greets a fellow brother with a smile, a firm handshake and a greeting.
A Scout is Thrifty.
A Scout works to pay his own way and to help others. He saves for the future. He protects and conserves natural resources. He carefully uses time and property.
A Mason thrives to preserve the ancient usages and customs of the fraternity.
A Scout is Brave.
A Scout can face danger although he is afraid. He has the courage to stand for what he thinks is right even if others laugh at him or threaten him.
A Mason understands that wisdom, strength and beauty are the pillars of a well governed lodge.
A Scout is Clean.
A Scout keeps his body and mind fit and clean. He chooses the company of those who live by high standards. He helps keep his home and community clean.
A Mason is pure in thought, words and deeds.
A Scout is Reverent.
A Scout is reverent toward God. He is faithful in his religious duties. He respects the beliefs of others.
A Mason has a belief in God, living his life by that great book and seeks the blessing of deity.
¹ Excerpted from page 47-54, Boy Scout Handbook, 11th Edition,
(#33105), copyright 1998 by BSA, ISBN 0-8395-3105-2