The Cub Scout pledge is a promise that all members make, affirming their commitment to God, their country and to helping others. Cub Scouts who are deaf or can "say" the pledge by using American Sign Language. Fellow Cub Scouts might also want to learn how to sign the pledge to show solidarity to the other scouts who are deaf. Pack leaders might consider using the sign language pledge as part of a disability awareness program. The easiest way to teach it is to use Pidgin Signed English, which is word-for-word translation.
- Skill level:
Sign the phrase "I promise to do my best." In sign language, the word "I" is signed by placing the sign for the letter "I" -- your pinky finger pointing up, with the rest of the hand in a fist -- on your chest. Sign "promise" by placing your index finger over your mouth and then changing your hand shape to a closed fist. Tap your fist on top of your other hand, which should also be in the shape of a fist. Sign "to" by sticking up the index fingers on both hands and pointing your right index finger to the top of your left at a right angle. Sign "do" by making the hand shape for the letter "C" with both hands, then moving them from left to right, as though you are sliding something. Sign "my" by placing your open palm over your heart. Sign "best" by signing a combination of the words "better" and "superior." To sign "better," place your open hand on your chin and slide it to the right of your face, making the hand shape for the letter "A" -- a fist with the thumb along the side of the hand. Sign "superior" by keeping the "A" hand shape and moving it over the top of your other hand, which also should be signing an "A."
Sign the phrase "to do my duty to God and my country." Repeat the signs for the words "to," "do" and "my," as described above. To sign the word "duty," make the letter "d" with your right hand by pointing up with your index finger and making a circle with the remaining fingers, and tap it on top of your left closed fist. To sign the word "God," open your right hand with the fingers pointing up, about six inches from the side of your head, then make an arc with your hand, ending with your fingers pointing forward. Sign the word "and" by opening your right hand at chest level and then bringing all five fingers together in a flattened circle, as though you are pinching something together. Sign the word "country" by raising your left arm and placing your open right palm on your left elbow. Move your right palm in a counter-clockwise circular motion on your left elbow.
Sign the phrase "to help other people." Repeat the sign for the word "to." Then sign the word "help" by making a fist with your right hand, with your thumb pointing up, then sit that hand on top of your open left palm. Move both hands forward in an arc, as though you are presenting the thumb to someone. To sign the word "other," sign the letter "A" and turn it down and to the right. Sign the word "people" by signing the letter "P" -- make a peace sign, put your thumb between the index and middle finger and then bend your wrist to point the whole sign toward the ground -- with both hands then moving them in alternating circular motions.
Sign the phrase "and to obey the law of the pack." Repeat the signs for the word "and," as well as the word "to." Sign the word "obey" by flattening your right fingers against your right thumb and placing your right hand on your forehead. Move your hand out and forward in an arc, opening your fingers, as though you are pulling something out of your head and presenting it to someone. To sign the word "the," sign the letter "T" -- make a fist with the thumb inserted inside between the index and middle finger -- face the hand toward you, then turn it out to face away from your body. Sign the word "law" by signing the letter "L" with your right hand -- index finger pointing up, thumb pointing horizontal, while the rest of the fingers make a fist. Place the "L" hand at the top of your open left palm. Tap the "L" against the top and bottom of your left palm. Sign the word "of" by fingerspelling it. Make an "O" by forming a circle with the fingers of your right hand. Make an "F" by connecting the index finger and thumb in a circle and holding up the other three fingers -- similar to the universal sign for OK. Sign the word "pack," which is the same sign as that for the word "group." To make this sign, form a letter "c" shape with both hands. Hold them up with the fingertips and thumbs of each hand barely touching, then bring them around in an arc until the pinky sides of the fingers are touching, as though you are showing the shape of a ball.
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