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Discuss Principles, Vision, Mission


Discuss Principles, Vision, Mission

One of our first activities as creators of Makerscouts is to develop a set of principles, a vision, and a mission for this program.

Use the comments on this blog to discuss the concepts, and put your ideas into the documents set up in Atrium for this purpose:

What do you think we can apply from Boy and Girl Scouts? What shouldn't we apply? What kind of young people do we want to create with this program?

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Jarick and I talked today and agreed that we should be welcoming and inclusive to anyone-- which means maybe:

  • Leaving "God" language out of program values, vision, mission
  • Focusing on values common to the open source, maker movement, and environmental sustainability

What do you think?



When I was in the Navy I went to Nuclear Power School. Our core values were Knowledge, Integrity, and Excellence.

Integrity: Integral to the technological community is the understanding that many people are just users of the creations scientists, programmers, and engineers create. It is essential that ethics be a core component of the Maker Scouts. It is easy for a programmer to exploit an end user. Preventing this by teaching ethics, responsibility, and integrity will create a group with bettering the world with their skills as a key concept.

Knowledge: The world is changing at an ever changing rate. It important to aspire to lifelong learning to just to keep up with the progression of society and keep a young and flexible mind. Also, the  projects and machines that makers build can always be improved to work better and cost less. This can only be done through continual learning and improvement.

Excellence: Easier v. better is a common impasse in the design process. While many design decisions need to be made it is important to evaluate your decisions to see their impact. Is this decision just a scaling back on the functionality of the end product or is it reducing the quality of the functions it is intended to have? Maker Scouts should always seek to do as good a job as they can within their abilities. As their abilities grow the desire to improve on their prior work should be fostered in them.



I like that a lot: "Knowledge, Integrity, and Excellence", although I think what I value is Curiosity... Knowledge is merely one result. Knowledge is having, whereas Curious is being.

Also, I think Excellence subsumes Integrity, and is much more generic than curiosity, knowledge, or integrity. Is excellence a lop-sided plea for perfectionism, or should a high quality standard be woven into all our values?

I definitely agree to keep mission and values secular (ix-nay on the od-Gay), and inclusive of boys and girls of any faith or metaphysical belief system (or lack thereof).

Curiosity, exploration, experimentation, cooperation, generosity, respect, honesty, courage, perserverence, compassion, and open-mindedness are all important values and states of mind to embrace. Those are core values. Where they extend into the real world (for example, extending respect from the individual to the group, and then to the ecosystem of Planet Earth), can serve as themes of focus at a less abstract level, manifesting in developed curriculum, project work, and topics of group discussion.


I just reread what Dan said for maybe the 6th time over the span of the last couple weeks. 

I think your point on curiosity vs knowledge is great, "Curious is being." I never would have thought of it like that.

I also think that there is the danger that excellence could be warped into perfectionism.

Dedication is a great open ended word that I think can be used to describe the underlying drive behind many of the words people have suggested so far. Exploration, experimentation, courage, perserverence. 

Compassion seems to include generocity, respect, honesty, and openmindedness to a degree 

So my modified suggestion set of three core values is: Curiosity, Compassion, and Dedication. I am a fan of things coming in sets of three.


These core values seem to define what we want the kids to take from their participation, yes? 

I suggest we update the Principles (Book page in Makerscouts) to reflect our consensus as we go.

I like Curiosity, Compassion, Dedication also.


In casual conversation, dedication is a positive quality. It's "focus", after all, and we know focus is a key to success. However, dedication to what? The scouts? A belief of value system? And if so, which one? Even if to a set of Makerscouts values, self-serving to the group as it is, somewhat lacks in humility and is too easily a target of divisive polarization. And dedication without a specific target can be interpreted and turned into something similar: Devotion, which can be dangerous.

I'm a fan of threes, triads, and trinities, but I've found fours quite workable as well. Not as essential, perhaps, but squares are still easy to design into graphic layouts. :)

Compassion and Curiosity are essential. To those I propose two more (also starting with C, surreptitiously!), and brief descriptions of all four:


Explore, observe, question, and learn with an open mind and heart.


Think different: tap into your unique viewpoint in making things and solving problems, on reaching agreements and resolving conflicts.


Respect all beings, their well-being and dignity, with understanding and generosity.


Dare to be bold and reach high for goals that inspire.



I sketched out this diagram of virtues in a tree-like mind-map format. It's not meant to imply any specific cause/effect relationships, per se, at least not in all cases, nor has it been carefully scrutinized. Think of it more as splatter painting with thoughts about virtue. 

Anyway, this is how I imagine Curiosity, Creativity, Compassion, and Courage giving rise to, enabling, or consisting of many other virtues and things of value.


That is really great. I hope you make the call tonight. We can buckle this kind of stuff down and move on to implementation stuff.


Where can I find the details for the meetings?


hi if i could give one suggestion, maker scouts is all about taking ideas we use to make things such as planning and openmindness and aplly them to life. If thats true i think its importent we state that all children  have the oppertunity to be in it regradless of race or sexual orintation. where the boy scouts say no to th gay and lesbian community i think its importent that do NOT fallow there lead. that we allow all minds to make a better future. 



Absolutely, There is and never will be any exclusion of childeren or parents based on their sexual orientation, religion, or lack there of.

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