Be Prepared is the motto which was given to The Guide Association and The Scout Association by their founder, Lord Robert Baden-Powell at the beginning of the two movements.

This particular phrase was chosen by Baden-Powell as he found life kept giving him a constant flow of suprises which needed to be dealt with. He saw many people become defeated by the challenges which life threw at them, however the ones who managed to triumph over difficulties and turn near disaster into a positive experience were the people who were prepared beforehand.

Because of this, Baden-Powell chose Be Prepared as a motto for the Guides and Scouts, and a motto for life.

Being Prepared

Being someone who is prepared can involve quite a lot of work and learning. It not only means that you should be able to deal with emergencies and prevent accidents, you should be equipped enough to deal with problems which you may encounter, or improvise to find a helpful solution. Thinking promptly and acting on a well thought out solution is also a handy skill to have.

To be able to put these skills into practise, you also have to be reliable enough for people to be able to depend on you if there ever is an emergency and able to stay calm whilst still being brave. Above all other things though, you must be able to put others first, whilst not putting yourself in jeopardy.

From my own knowledge
The Guide Handbook 1973 edition

A song by Tom Lehrer. The tune is the best part of his work- in this case a perfectly cheery mock-march. The topic is the life of the Boy Scout in the modern (i.e. 1953) era. In Lehrer's warped world, this includes drinking, graffiti, smoking, gambling, weed, pimping, and implied heavy petting. Here are the words in full:

Be prepared, that's the Boy Scout's marching song.
Be prepared, as through life you march along.
Be prepared to hold your liquor pretty well,
Don't write naughty words on walls if you can't spell.

Be prepared to hide that pack of cigarettes
Don't make book if you cannot cover bets
Keep those reefers hidden where you're sure
That they will not be found
And be careful not to smoke them
When the scoutmaster's around
For he only will insist that they be shared
Be prepared.

Be prepared, that's the Boy Scouts' solemn creed
Be prepared, and be clean in word and deed
Don't solicit for your sister, that's not nice
Unless you get a good percentage of her price.

Be prepared, and be careful not to do
Your good deeds when there's no one watching you
If you're looking for adventure of a new and different kind
And you come across a Girl Scout who is similarly inclined
Don't be nervous, don't be flustered, don't be scared; Be prepared!

© Tom Lehrer; Appears on Songs by Tom Lehrer (1953). CST Approved. Lyrics appear with his written permission.

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