Posts Tagged ‘ceremony’


wood badge 2013Many Scouters will tell you that Wood Badge is like the college course of training for adult Scout Leaders. Not only is the course fantastic for any branch of Scouting but participants also receive training which they will find useful in the field of work and life in general. The woodbadge.org site states:

Wood Badge is Scouting’s premier training course. Baden-Powell designed it so that Scouters could learn, in as practical a way possible, the skills and methods of Scouting. It is first and foremost, learning by doing. The members of the course are formed into patrols and these into a troop.  The entire troop lives in the out-of-doors for a week, camping, cooking their own meals, and practicing Scout skills.

Wood Badge is more than just mechanical course work. Wood Badge is the embodiment of Scouting spirit. Like many intense training experiences, it has always relied on a busy schedule forcing the participants to work together, to organize and to develop an enthusiasm and team spirit to accomplish the tasks and challenges placed before them. Carried out in context of Scouting ideals and service to young people, the course brings out a deep dedication and spirit of brotherhood and fellowship in most participants. Certainly were it not for the common goal of the movement and its program for young people, it would be hard to get grown men and women to endure the 16-hour days required by a program that runs from early morning to late at night.

During this month’s Scenic District roundtable, three Central Minnesota Council Scouters received their Wood Badge beads and neckerchiefs for completing the course and their “ticket” of goals. Kevin Schatz, Mike Peters, and Troy Payne stood proud as they received the tokens of their achievement. I have always considered an adult completing a Wood Badge ticket the equivalent of a Boy Scout completing his Eagle Scout award. This video post to the Melrose Scout Productions Podcast further recognizes these three men for completing their goals.

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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:

OPENINGS
Pledge Of Allegiance
America Yell
God Bless America
The National Anthem
American Creed
Scout Law (or variations of)
Scout Oath (or variations of)
The Knight’s Code
Gilwell Song
Tommy Tenderfoot (song)

CLOSINGS
“Be Prepared” Song
Patrol Calls
Scout Benediction
Scout Vespers
Scout Slogan
Scout Motto
Taps

What does your troop do for its opening and closing ceremonies? Do you have any good ones to add to this list?

The Eagle Scout court of honor for Dakota was held this weekend. It went great. We had a good crowd. On the inside of the program was a little thing called, “One Hundred Scouts.” I have seen this before and I like seeing it as a part of an Eagle court of honor in some manner. Here is how it reads:

Of any one hundred boys who become Scouts, it must be confessed that thirty will drop out in their first year. Perhaps this may be regarded as a failure, but in later life all of these will remember that they had been Scouts and will speak well of the program.

Of the one hundred, only rarely will one ever appear before a juvenile court judge. Twelve of the one hundred will be from families that belong to no church. Through Scouting, these twelve and many of their families will be brought into contact with a church and will continue to be active all their lives. Six of the one hundred will become pastors.

Each of the one hundred will learn something from Scouting. Almost all will develop hobbies that will add interest throughout the rest of their lives. Approximately one-half will serve in the military, and in varying degrees, profit from their Scout training. At least one will use it to save another person’s life and many will credit it with saving their own.

Four of the one hundred will reach Eagle rank, and at least one will later say that he valued his Eagle above his college degree. Many will find their future vocation through merit badge work and Scouting contacts. Seventeen of the one hundred boys will later become Scout leaders and will give leadership to thousands of additional boys.

One in four Eagle Scouts will earn their Bronze Palm. Only about half of these boys will earn their gold and silver palms.

Only one in four boys in America will become a Scout, but it is interesting to know that of the leaders in this nation in business, religion and politics, three out of four were Scouts.

This story will never end. Like the “Golden Pebble” of service dropped into the human sea it will continue to radiate in ever-widening circles, influencing the characters of men down through unending time.

It makes you think, doesn’t it?
100 Days of Scouting: Day 55.