Through the promise, the young person accepts Scouting’s invitation to develop by making a voluntary decision to accept the Scout law and to assume the responsibility of that decision through personal effort. Making the promise is the first symbolic step in the process of self-education. Making the promise does not imply that the young person must have proved to be a “perfect” Scout. It is a starting point, not the finishing line. The fact of promising to “do one’s best” refers to making a personal effort to the extent of the young person’s capacity. From an educational perspective, the effort is as important as the achievement of the objective. The effort is a personal one, and progress can only be evaluated in terms of how the young person was

By making the promise in front of peers, the young person makes his or her commitment public. This not only makes the personal commitment “official”, it also symbolises a social commitment to the others in the group. By their presence, the others in the group show that they accept him or her as a member.