Every month the patrol leader council of Melrose Boy Scout Troop 68 meets to plan the meetings and activities for the next month. When I was the scoutmaster I did not want the boys falling into a rut by using the same opening and closing for every meeting, three times a month, month after month. I wanted the Scouts to add variety to their meetings, and to think about what could be used for openings and closings.
I gave them a challenge (okay, I told them) to have different opening and closing ceremonies at each meeting during the month. The opening must contain something patriotic and something Scout related. When they plan the next month they could use only one opening and one closing that was used during the previous month. This way there would be at least five different opening and closing ceremonies used during a two month period. It has worked well over the decades and the Scouts seem to enjoy the variety.
When I stepped down as the scoutmaster last year I thought the boys may drop this guideline, but I did not need to worry about it. They have decided to continue this tradition, which has made me and the new scoutmaster happy. It is a challenge for the patrol leader council sometimes to rotate the various ceremonies (they try to avoid singing) but they have done well during the last nine months.
So, what do they do instead of the basic Scout Law and Scout Oath at every meeting? Here are a few of the ceremonies they have used:
Pledge Of Allegiance
God Bless America
The National Anthem
Scout Law (or variations of)
Scout Oath (or variations of)
The Knight’s Code
Tommy Tenderfoot (song)
“Be Prepared” Song
What does your troop do for its opening and closing ceremonies? Do you have any good ones to add to this list?