Character has been defined as what someone does when no one is looking. It is the set of ethical and moral principals that guide a person’s every decision–whether to study for the test or cheat off a friend, whether to surf the web for baseball scores or for pornography, whether to step forward or backward in a time of crisis.

Youth don’t inherit character as they inherit height or hair color. Nor can they learn character in a classroom as they might learn algebra or grammar. Instead, they develop character in the crucible of experience. As author Hellen Keller wrote: “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.”

“Knowledge without character is mere pie-crust.”

— Scouting founder Robert Baden-Powell