The Scout Sign and Salute
The Scout Sign is made by raising your right hand, palm forward, thumb
resting on the nail of the little finger, and the other fingers upright,
pointing upwards. The three fingers remind the Pathfinder of the three parts of
the Scout Promise. The Scout Sign is given when making the promise, or as a
greeting. When the hand held this way is raised to the forehead, it is the Scout
The Scout Sign
When to Salute
All wearers of the Traditional Scout Badge salute each other once a day. The first to see
the other Pathfinder is the first to salute, irrespective of rank.
Pathfinders will always salute as a token of respect, at the hoisting of our
national flag, to Pathfinder and Scout flags when carried ceremonially, at the
playing of our national anthem, to the American Flag, and to all funerals.
The Salute is given by the right hand, the arm is bent at the elbow 45
degrees, and the hand, palm outwards (palm down for Seafarers), just touching
the head or brim of the hat.
You only salute when you are wearing a hat; otherwise you make the Scout
The hand salute is only used when an Pathfinder is not carrying a staff, and is
always made with the right hand. Saluting when carrying a staff is done by
bringing the left arm smartly across the body in a horizontal position, the
fingers making the Scout Sign just touching the staff.
The Scout Handshake
An Pathfinder shakes hands with another Pathfinder with the left hand. The grandson of
an Ashanti Chief who fought against B-P told this story of the origin of the
Scout left handshake. When the Chief surrendered to B-P, the latter extended his
right hand as a token of friendship. The Ashanti Chief however, insisted on
shaking with the left hand, explaining, "the bravest of the brave shake
hands with the left hand, because in order to do so, they must throw away their
greatest protection, their shield." Thus Scouts and Pathfinders shake hands
with the left hand as proof of their good faith and true friendliness.
The Pathfinder Badge
The Pathfinder Badge
The Pathfinder badge is the arrowhead, more commonly known by its French
name, the "fleur de lis" or lily flower, which shows North on a map or
on a compass. It is the badge of Pathfinders and Scout's because it points in the
right direction, and upwards. It shows the way in doing your duty and helping
others. The three points of it remind you of the three points of the Scout
Promise, and the three fingers that make the Scout Sign.
The arrowhead has come to be the badge of Pathfinder's and Scout's in almost
every country in the world. In order to distinguish one nationality from the
other, the countries own emblem is often placed on the front of it.
Under the arrowhead is a scroll with the motto, "Be Prepared". The
scroll is turned up at the ends like an Pathfinder's mouth, because you should
your duty with a smile.