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"
The scouts' motto is founded on my initials, it is:
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.
Baden-Powell provides several descriptions of how and for what situations a Scout must be prepared elsewhere in Scouting for Boys. In his explanation of the third point of the Scout Law, Baden-Powell says:
A Scout's Duty is to be Useful and to Help Others.
And he is to do his duty before anything else, even though he gives up his own pleasure, or comfort, or safety to do it. When in difficulty to know which of two things to do, he must ask himself, "Which is my duty?" that is, "Which is best for other people?"—and do that one. He must Be Prepared at an time to save life, or to help injured persons. And he must do a good turn to somebody every day.
Baden-Powell discuses more skills required of Scouts in Chapter IV of Scouting for Boys, which addresses camp life:
So every scout ought to be able to tie knots.
To live comfortably in camp a scout must know how to make a bivouac shelter for the night, or a hut if he is going to be for a long time in camp.
A scout must know how to use an axe or bill-hook for chopping down small trees and branches.
Also scouts must know how to mend and even to make themselves clothes and boots.
Every scout must, of course, know how to cook his own meat and vegetables and to make bread for himself without regular cooking utensils.
Scouts ought to know how to drive sheep and cattle and horses...
Scouts should also know how to kill and cut up their cattle...
A Scout should also know how to milk a cow or a goat, else he may go thirsty when there is lots of milk available.
Advice given by Baden-Powell in Chapter V on campaigning includes:
Scouts must be able to find their way equally well by night as by day.
Every scout ought to be able to read signs of the weather, especially when going mountaineering or cruising, and to read a barometer.
Every scout must be able to judge distance from an inch up to a mile and more.
Every sailor boy knows the points of a compass by heart and so should a scout.
In a chapter discussing endurance, Baden-Powell wrote:
A scout must be able to smell well in order to find his enemy by night...
A scout must be able to hear well...
A scout, of course, must have particularly good eyesight; he must be able to see anything very quickly and to see at a long way off.
In Chapter VII, Baden-Powell discussed how Scouts prepare themselves to protect women and how they can improve themselves:
When walking with a lady or a child, a scout should always have her on his left side, so that his right is free to protect her. This rule is altered when walking in the streets: then a man will walk on the side of her nearest to the traffic, to protect her against accident, or mud-splashes, etc.
"Be Prepared" for what is going to happen to you in the future. If you are in a situation where you are earning money as a boy what are you going to do when you finish that job? You ought to be learning some proper trade to take up; and save your pay in the meantime, to keep you going till you get employment in your new trade.
Chapter VIII of Scouting for Boys discussed saving life. On this topic, Baden-Powell says:
Remember your motto, "Be Prepared." Be prepared for accidents by learning beforehand what you ought to do in the different kinds that are likely to occur. Be prepared to do that thing the moment the accident does occur.
Every scout should know what to do when there is a mad dog about, and should be prepared to do it.
Where a man has gone so far as to attempt suicide, a Scout should know what to do with him.
In the chapter on patriotism, Baden-Powell says:
Therefore think it over—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.
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.
Hilary Saint George Saunders' book The Left Handshake: The Boy Scout Movement during the War, 1939–1945 had the first name of each chapter spell out the Scout motto. The chosen names are: Bravery, Enterprise, Purpose, Resolution, Endurance, Partnership, Assurance, Reformation, Enthusiasm and Devotion.
Motto in various languages
- 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||translation (if other than "Be Prepared")||transliteration or pronunciation|
|Afrikaans||Namibia, South Africa||Wees geréed!|
|Albanian||Albania||Ji Gati||Pergatitu||Always Prepared|
|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|
|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|
|Bosnian||Bosnia and Herzegovina||Budi spreman!||Uvijek spreman!|
|Bulgarian||Bulgaria||Бъди Готов||Бъди Готова||Bădi gotov|
|Cantonese||Hong Kong, Macau||準備||Prepare||Joen bey|
|Catalan||Andorra, Catalonia, Balearic Islands, Valencia||Sempre a punt||Always ready.|
|Chavacano||Zamboanga||Pirmi Alisto!||Always Prepared!|
|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||Be ready.|
|Faroese||Faroe Islands||Ver til reiðar|
|Fijian||Fiji||Tu Vakarau, Meda Tu Vakarau, or Tu Vakarau ena Vei Gauna|
|Filipino||Philippines||Laging Handa!||Always Ready!|
|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!||[tuʒuʁ pʁɛ]|
|Georgian||Georgia||იყავი მზად||ikavi mzad|
|German||Austria, Germany, Liechtenstein, Namibia, Switzerland||Allzeit bereit!||So gut ich kann!||Seid bereit! in Namibia||Always Prepared||[ˈal.tsaɪt bəˈʁaɪt]|
|Greek||Cyprus, Greece||Έσo έτοιμος!||Ésso étimi!||Ésso étimos|
|Modern Hebrew||Israel||היה נכון||heye nachon|
|Hungarian||Hungary||Légy Résen!||Jó Munkát!||Be watchful|
|Iceland||Iceland||Ávallt viðbúinn!||Always Prepared|
|Indonesian||Indonesia||Satyaku Kudarmakan, Darmaku Kubaktikan||My (Scout) Promise becomes my law, my (Scout) Law becomes my devotion|
|Italian||Italy, San Marino, Switzerland||Siate Pronti!||Siate Pronti!||Many Italian associations also use the Latin translation Estote parati||[ˈsiːi prepaˈraːto], [-ta]|
|Japanese||Japan||そなえよつねに||Always be prepared||Sonae-yo tsuneni [so.na.e.jo tsɯ.ne.ɲi]|
|Kazakh||Kazakhstan||Дайын бол!||Будь готов!||Dayyin Bol|
|Kyrgyz||Kyrgyzstan||Даяр Бол||Будь готов||Dayar Bol|
|Latin||Estote Parati||Some Italian associations (usually Catholic) use this form|
|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||North 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!|
|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|
|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!|
|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|
|Sinhalese||Sri Lanka||සූදානම් ව සිටිනු!||Soodhanamva Sitinu|
|Slovene||Slovenia||Bodi pripravljen!||Vedno pripravljen!, Z naravo k boljšemu človeku!||Always prepared!, 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! ("Being Prepared") in Peru and Puerto Rico||Always Ready (to Serve)||[ˈsjempɾe ˈlisto ˈpaɾa seɾˈβiɾ], [-ˈlista-]|
|Sranan Tongo||Suriname||Sete sete!|
|Swahili||Comoros, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda||Uwe Tayari|
|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 chip ya sia sat [sǐa̯ t͡ɕʰîːp jàː sǐa̯ sàt]|
|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|
|Zarma||Niger||(Wa) soola||Get ready|
Similar mottoes in other organizations
- 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.
Another motto mentioned in Scouting for Boys
In Part IV, Chapter VI of the first edition of Scouting for Boys, Baden-Powell mentioned another Scout Motto:
A scout's motto is "Never say die till you're dead"—and if he acts up to this it will pull him out of many a bad place when everything seems to be going wrong for him. It means a mixture of pluck, patience, and strength, which we call "Endurance."