Scout Motto

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Swiss Boy Scout book „Allzeit bereit“ (Always prepared) from 1916

The Scout Motto of the Scout movement, in various languages, has been used by millions of Scouts around the world since 1907. Most of the member organizations of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) share this same motto.

Baden-Powell on "Be Prepared"[edit]

In English, this motto is most commonly Be Prepared. In the third part of Scouting for Boys Robert Baden-Powell explains the meaning of the phrase:

The Scout Motto is: BE PREPARED which means you are always in a state of readiness in mind and body to do your DUTY.

  • Be Prepared in Mind by having disciplined yourself to be obedient to every order, and also by having thought out beforehand any accident or situation that might occur, so that you know the right thing to do at the right moment, and are willing to do it.
  • Be Prepared in Body by making yourself strong and active and able to do the right thing at the right moment, and do it.[1]

"To do the right thing at the right moment" can be extreme:

"Where a man has gone so far as to attempt suicide, a Scout should know what to do with him."[2]
"BE PREPARED to die for your country if need be, so that when the moment arrives you may charge home with confidence, not caring whether you are going to be killed or not"[3]

The first handbook for Girl Guides, How Girls Can Help to Build Up the Empire by Agnes and Robert Baden-Powell, similarly explains:

The motto of the Girl Guides is "Be Prepared". Why is this? It is because, like the other Guides, you have to be prepared at any moment to face difficulties and even dangers by knowing what to do and how to do it.[4]

(The "other Guides" of this quote are the Khyber Guide Regiment.)[citation needed]

Acrostic[edit]

Hilary Saint George Saunders' book The Left Handshake: The Boy Scout Movement during the War, 1939-1945 had the first letter of each chapter spell out the Scout motto. The chosen words are: Bravery, Enterprise, Purpose, Resolution, Endurance, Partnership, Assurance, Reformation, Enthusiasm and Devotion.[5]

Motto in various languages[edit]

  • Note-many languages have masculine and feminine forms of words-where gender changes the Scout Motto, differences are reflected here.[needs IPA]
language countries Boy Scouts Girl Guides or Girl Scouts organizational variant meaning (if other than Be Prepared) transliteration or pronunciation
Afrikaans Namibia, South Africa Wees geréed!
Albanian Albania Ji Gati Pergatitu Always Prepared
Amharic Ethiopia ዝግጁ Ready [zə.ɡə.dʒu]
Arabic Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestinian Authority, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Western Sahara, Yemen كُن مستعداً in Jordan, Libya, and Syria و أعدوا; kun mustʌʕidʌn
Armenian Armenia Միշտ պատրաստ Partsratsir Partsratsour Always Ready, Elevate Yourself and Others with You Misht Badrast
Azeri Azerbaijan Daima Hazır
Belarusian Belarus Напагатове! Будзь гатоў!, Будь готов! Napahatove, Budz' Hatoǔ
Bengali Bangladesh সেবার জন্য সদা প্রস্তুত থাকতে যথাসাধ্য চেষ্টা করা সদা প্রস্তুত Do your best to be prepared for service Sebar jannoa sada prastut thakte jathasadhya chesta kara; Sada prastut
Bislama Vanuatu Rerem Prepare
Bosnian Bosnia and Herzegovina Budi spreman! Uvijek spreman!
Bulgarian Bulgaria Бъди Готов Бъди Готова Bădi gotov
Burmese Burma အဆင်သင့် ever ready A-sin-thint
Cantonese Hong Kong, Macau 準備 Prepare Joen bey
Chinese (Traditional) Taiwan 準備 Prepare zhǔnbèi
Catalan Andorra, Catalonia, Balearic Islands, Valencia Sempre a punt Always ready.
Chavacano Zamboanga Pirmi Alisto! Always Prepared!
Chichewa Malawi Konzekerani
Cook Islands Māori Cook Islands Kia vai teateamamao!
Croatian Croatia Budi Pripravan! Uvijek spreman!
Czech Czech Republic Buď připraven Buď připravena
Danish Denmark Vær beredt! Værn og tjen! Protect and Serve
Divehi Maldives އަބަދުވެސް ތައްޔާރްށް Abadhuves Thayyarah
Dutch Belgium, the Netherlands, Suriname Wees Paraat! Steeds bereid! in Belgium, Wees Bereid! in the Netherlands, Weest Paraat! in Suriname
Dzongkha Bhutan གྲ་འགྲིག་འབད་ Dra drig Bay
English Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Dominica, The Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Liberia, Namibia, Nigeria, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, United Kingdom, United States, Zambia, Zimbabwe Be Prepared
Esperanto (Skolta Esperanto Ligo) Estu preta
Estonian Estonia Ole Valmis!
Faroese Faroe Islands Ver til reiðar
Fijian Fiji Tu Vakarau, Meda Tu Vakarau, or Tu Vakarau ena Vei Gauna
Filipino Philippines Laging Handa!
Finnish Finland Ole Valmis! Var redo!
French Belgium, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Canada, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, France, Gabon, Guinea, Haiti, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritius, Monaco, Morocco, New Caledonia, Rwanda, Seychelles, Switzerland, Togo, Tunisia Toujours Prêt! Toujours Prête! Prêt(e) à servir (Ready to serve) in Burkina Faso; Sois Prêt(e)! (Be Prepared) widespread; Être Prêt(e) (Be Prepared) in Haiti and Lebanon; Toujours tout droit (Always straight/Always upstanding) in Senegal Always Ready!
Gilbertese Kiribati Mena tauraoi
Georgian Georgia იყავი მზად ikavi mzad
German Austria, Germany, Liechtenstein, Namibia, Switzerland Allzeit bereit! Seid bereit! in Namibia Always Prepared [ˈal.tsaɪt bəˈʁaɪt]
Greek Cyprus, Greece Έσo έτοιμος! Ésso étimi! Ésso étimos
Hawaiian Hawaii Hoʻomākaukau!
Modern Hebrew Israel היה נכון heye nachon
Hindi India तैयार Always Prepared Taiyar
Hungarian Hungary Légy Résen! Jó Munkát! Be watchful
Iceland Iceland Ávallt viðbúinn! Always Prepared
Indonesian Indonesia Satyaku Kudarmakan, Darmaku Kubaktikan[6] My (Scout) Promise becomes my law, my (Scout) Law becomes my devotion
Interlingua Sempre Preste
Irish Ireland Bí ullamh!
Italian Italy, San Marino, Switzerland Sii Preparato! Sii Preparata!
Japanese Japan そなえよつねに Always be prepared Sonae-yo tsuneni
Kazakh Kazakhstan Дайын бол! Будь готов! Dayyin Bol
Kinyarwanda Rwanda Ube Maso!
Kirundi Burundi Ube Maso
Korean South Korea 준비 Preparation Junbi
Kyrgyz Kyrgyzstan Даяр Бол Будь готов Dayar Bol
Khmer Cambodia ត្រៀមខ្លួន ត្រៀមខ្លួន Triam Kloun
Lao Laos ຕຣຽມພຣ້ອມ Prepared [tliaːm˨ pʰlɔːm˦˩]
Latin Este paratus Este parata Estote Parati used in Italy
Latvian Latvia Esi Modrs!; response Arvien Modrs!, Always Watchful! Esi Modra!; response Arvien Modra!, Always Watchful! Be Watchful
Lithuanian Lithuania Budėk!; response Vis budžiu!
Luxembourgish Luxembourg Ëmmer bereet! Trei zum Land! Loyal to the country
Macedonian Macedonia Биди Подготвен Bidi Podgotven
Malagasy Madagascar Vonona hatrany hatrany! Always Prepared
Malay Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore Selalu Bersedia! Selalu Sedia! Sentiasa Bersedia/Sedia! in Malaysia
Maltese Malta Kun lest! Kun lesta!
Mandarin Republic of China (Taiwan) 準備 準備 Prepare zhǔnbèi
Mongolian Mongolia Хэзээд бэлхэн! Бэлэн бол! Become prepared, (I am) ready forever Belen Bol, Hezeed belhen
Montenegrin Montenegro Буди спреман Budi Spreman
Nepali Nepal तयार होऊ Tayar Hou
Netsilik Inuit Nunavut ᐃᔈᓗᐊᖖᓯᓯᒪᐃᓐᓇᓗᑎᑦ
Niuean Niue Kia mautali
Norwegian Norway Vær Beredt!, answered Alltid Beredt! Be Prepared! answered Always Prepared!
Papiamento Aruba, Netherlands Antilles Wees Bereid Sea prepará! in Netherlands Antilles
Pashto Afghanistan تیار اوسی Attention Tayar Osay
Persian Iran آماده باش Aamaadeh Baash!
Polish Poland Czuwaj! Watch! (imp.)
Portuguese Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal, São Tomé and Príncipe Sempre alerta! Semper parata! Always alert!
Romanian Moldova, Romania Gata Oricând Fii Pregatit(a)! in Romania Always Ready
Romansh Switzerland Adina Pronto! Adina Pronta!
Russian Russia Будь готов! Будь готова! Bud' gotov
Sakha Yakutia Бэлэм буол! Бэлэм буол! Belem Buol
Samoan American Samoa, Samoa Sauniuni
Serbian Serbia Буди спреман
Sinhalese Sri Lanka සූදානම්ව! Sudhanamva
Slovakian Slovakia Buď Pripravený
Slovene Slovenia Bodi pripravljen! Vedno pripravljen!, Z naravo k boljšemu človeku! With Nature to a Better Person
Somali Djibouti, Somalia Diyaar Ahaaw Is diyaari
Sotho Lesotho Dula O Lokile
Spanish Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica*, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea*, Guatemala*, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Spain, Uruguay, Venezuela Siempre Listo (para servir*)! Siempre Lista (para servir*)! Bien Preparadas! (Well Prepared) in Mexico; Siempre Activas! (Always Active) in Nicaragua, Estar Preparadas! (Be Prepared) in Peru and Puerto Rico Always Ready (to Serve)
Sranan Tongo Suriname Sete sete!
Swahili Comoros, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda Uwe Tayari
Swazi Swaziland Hlala ulungele!
Swedish Sweden Var redo! - Alltid redo! Be Prepared, Always prepared
Syriac Assyria ܡܬܘܼܡ ܥܬܝܼܕܵܐ Always Ready Mthoom 'teeda!
Tagalog Philippines Laging Handâ! Always Prepared!
Tahitian French Polynesia Parau ha' amanaora! Always Prepared
Tamil Sri Lanka தயார் நிலையில் இரு! Thayaar Nilayil Iru
Tajik Tajikistan Тайёр бош Будь готов! Taiyor bosh
Thai Thailand เสียชีพอย่าเสียสัตย์ Better to die than to lie Sia Cheap Ya Sia Sud
Tibetan Tibet (PRC) gtan gyi thugs rje
Tok Pisin Papua New Guinea Stap redi
Tongan Tonga Toka mateuteu Mo'ui mateuteu
Tswana Botswana Nna oi pokoulse! Nna o ipaakantse!
Turkish Turkey Daima Hazır! Daima Hazırız!, İzci daima Hazırdır! Always Prepared
Turkmen Turkmenistan Daima Hazır! Daima Hazırız!, Будь готов Always Prepared
Tuvan Tuva Бэлэн бол! Become prepared Belen Bol
Urdu India, Pakistan ١ڶمستعد Teyar raho! Ready or Prepared Almustaid
Ukrainian Ukraine Будь Готовий! СКОБ! an acronym for Сильно! Красно! Обережно! Бистро! With Strength! With Beauty! With Care! With Speed! Bud' Hotovyi, Skob
Uyghur Xinjiang (PRC) تەييار بول Teyyar Bol
Uzbek Uzbekistan Tayyor bo‘l, Тайёр бўл Будь готов Tayor Bol
Vietnamese Vietnam Sắp Sẵn
Zarma Niger (Wa) soola Get ready

Similar mottoes in other organizations[edit]

  • The motto of the Young Pioneers, Always Prepared in various national languages, the Pioneers having been created as an alternative in countries where Scouting was banned
  • The motto of the United States Coast Guard, Semper Paratus or ever ready.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Baden-Powell, Robert. Scouting for Boys - Campfire Yarn No. 3 - Becoming a Scout. 
  2. ^ Baden-Powell, Robert. Scouting for Boys - Campfire Yarn No. 25 - Helping Others. 
  3. ^ Scouting for Boys, First Publication, #5, 12 February 1908, pp. 331-332. (not in later editions)
  4. ^ Forbes, Cynthia. 1910... and then?. 
  5. ^ "The Left Handshake: Forward by Lord Rowallan". 1997-08-03. Retrieved 2007-05-03. 
  6. ^ "Motto Gerakan Pramuka". www.pramukanet.org.