The young people make the Scout promise upon entering each new age section. The fact of doing so is a symbolic commitment to embark on a new phase in the voyage of development and to share the way of life inherent in the Scout law with a new group of people. The wording of the promise and law therefore needs to reflect the progression in the maturity of the young people from one age section to the next. For the law and promise to fulfill their educational functions, the young people that the Scout association addresses need to have developed the capacities to understand and to agree to do their best to adhere to a code of living. In other words there is a minimum level of maturity below which a child is unable to voluntarily agree with a code of living if the child is unable to think beyond his or her own immediate needs and desires and does not yet distinguish him or herself from other people with their own needs and desires. By the same token, the kind of social interaction required for teamwork cannot take place either - and thus the Scout Method cannot function. 

The minimum level of maturity required for the Scout law and promise (and, indeed, for the entire Method to function as a whole) is an essential point to bear in mind when a Scout association is considering the minimum age at which a young person may join the Movement.