Stars to Steer By

I want you all to look at the stars tonight.

Sailors learned thousands of years ago that the positions of the stars were always the same in relation to each other, and that you could always find them in the same places in the sky, depending on the time of night and the time of year.

The stars were always there, regular and predictable. The sea may change, a ship may change, captains may change, but the stars never did. A sailor could steer his ship by them and never have to worry about getting lost.

Stars are sort of like values in that way. We have a lot of stars in scouting’s sky–the twelve points of the scout law. The Scout Oath has some stars in it, and what about our motto? That’s a star too, and our slogan?  What about every rank insignia?  Even my scoutmaster badge and every adult leader has two stars on them.

A poet once wrote, “Give me a tall ship and a star to steer her by.”*

Remember that scouting’s values are like the stars, —and if you always set your course by them, you’re not likely to get lost.

Homework – Find out what the two stars on our badges represent and tell your patrol leader which one you’re going to steer by.


*[ Englishman John Masefield (1878 – 1967) Sea Fever ]

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