Beavers Learn the Scouting Handshake

The left handshake comes to us from the Ashanti warriors whom Lord Baden-Powell, the founder of Scouting, knew over 70 years ago in West Africa. He saluted them with his right hand, but the Ashanti chiefs offered their left hands and said, ‘In our land only the bravest of the brave shake hands with the left hand, because to do so we must drop our shields and our protection.’

The Ashanti knew of Baden-Powell’s bravery for they had fought against him and with him and were proud to offer him the left hand of bravery.

Shaking hands using your left hand can feel a bit awkward at first, but it becomes second nature after a while. And why shouldn’t it? It’s the Scouting way.

The left-handed handshake unites two Scouts from anywhere on the planet.

When you use the Scout salute or handshake, remember that they are signs of respect and courage.

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