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The Scout Salute and Handshake

The Scout Salute

A salute is a special way of greeting a person.

Scouts and other members of the Scout family have their own salute.

On your right hand, bend your little finger over your palm and hold it down with your thumb. Hold your other three fingers straight up and close together.

To salute, bring your fingertips up to the side of your eyebrow, with your palm facing forward. Remember—”Up the long way, down the short way.”

The Scout Handshake

Usually when people shake hands to greet someone, they use their right hands. However, members of the Scout movement have a special left–handed handshake.

In Africa, warriors once fought with spears, and carried shields in their left hands. If a warrior met a friend, however, he would not need his shield for protection, and would have his left hand free. So if a man held out his left hand, it showed that he trusted you and wanted to be friendly.

Lord Baden–Powell once met an African chief who held out his left hand in greeting, showing that he wanted to be friendly. This impressed Baden–Powell and he chose this special handshake for all Scouts. It shows trust, courage and friendship, and is a symbol of our membership of the Scouting family.