By Darryl Alder
Feb 23, 2015

Scoutmaster’s Minute: an Example of Trustworthiness


Jacob Hamblin meeting with Utah Indians

A Scout is trustworthy and we earn trust through our honest dealings with others. By being Honest, we show respect for other; and then because of our honesty, others respect us.

As a young Scout I was impressed with the story of Jacob Hamblin who was a frontiersman and missionary to the Utah Indians. (You can read more about his life here.)

During the late1800’s he took an assignment to live in Southern Utah; a time when many of the pioneers and settlers had trouble with the Indians. Hamblin became a spokesman for the pioneers, and because of his honesty he gained the complete confidence of the Indians in that area.

One year, as winter began to approach, Jacob Hamblin told is son to take a horse to one of the Chiefs to trade for blankets. As one version of the story goes,  as the boy tied the horse to the horn of his saddle, Jacob said, “make a good trade.”

It makes wonder what I would think about on a long ride? How I would interpret what my father meant by a good trade?

blanketsHis son arrived at the Indian camp, and told the Chief. “I want to trade this horse for blankets.”

“How many?”  asked the Chief.

“Go get the blankets, and I’ll tell you,” replied the boy.

The chief brought armfuls of blankets and began to put them in a pile. When the chief had put down enough blankets to trade for the horse, he asked the boy if that was enough. The boy said no and asked for more blankets. Soon there were twice as many blankets as what the horse was worth. Satisfied, the boy tied them to his horse, and started back home.

When he arrived home, he said to his father, “Well, how’s that for a good trade?” Hamblin took the blankets off the horse,and piled them into a high stack. He then split the stack in half, and told his son, “Ride back to the the chief at once with half these blankets. Tell him that Jacob Hamblin never drives an unfair bargain.”

The boy road slowly back to the reservation. When he found the chief he sheepishly said, “my father sent these blankets back.” The chief smiled and said, “I knew he would. Jacob Hamblin is an honest man.”

A lesson learned on trustworthiness. Now as Scouts we all need to ask ourselves, is our reputation that good? Can we be so well trusted?

Author: Darryl Alder | Strategic Initiatives Director, Utah National Parks Council, BSA.B2Y by FOS FinalThis Scoutmaster Minute was adapted from the Ensign, Oct 84 and the Scouter’s Minute




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