Posts Tagged ‘court of honor’


Scoutmaster Steve and Buttons, the radical Boy Scout, return for this month’s episode of the Around The Scouting Campfire podcast. This episode is dedicated to all Eagle Scouts. Steve and Buttons talk about a recent Eagle court of honor held in Melrose, and play some audio snippets from the ceremony. Steve talks about the scoutmaster conference for the Eagle Rank. Buttons reads a ceremony he would like to include in his Eagle court of honor someday.

Steve and Buttons thank PTC Media (http://www.ptcmedia.net) for allowing this program to be a part of the family of Scouting related podcasts. We also thank the Boy Scout Store (http://boyscoutstore.com) for sponsoring this show. Be sure to take a moment to check out their website. Finally, we would like to thank you, our listeners, for downloading Around The Scouting Campfire.

Send us your emails. We would love to hear from you. You can contact Buttons at buttonst68@yahoo.com. You may contact Scoutmaster Steve at stevejb68@yahoo.com. Please rate the show and/or leave a comment at the iTunes store or at PTC Media forums.
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Opening ceremony Melrose Boy Scout Troop 68 holds four courts of honor per year. We begin with an opening ceremony, followed by the presentation of year pins and merit badges, a short entertainment spot by the Scouts, recognition of Scouts who have earned a rank, and finish with a closing ceremony. Refreshments and announcements wrap up the evening.

Our court of honor ceremonies usually consist of three parts: something patriotic, something Scouting, and an invocation. It is a nice solemn beginning to the meeting. Once in awhile though, the boys get into one of those moods. You know, the giggles begin, or something goes wrong. Unpredictability reigns.

The opening at our March court of honor started well, but the little things soon started. The snickering began. The Scouts had decided to do a Scout Law candle lighting ceremony. Boy Scouts. Matches. Candles. The Scout Law. And that the movie playing in the next room was loud enough for us to hear easily in our room. You can probably guess what happened. If not, you can watch this post to the Melrose Scouting Productions Podcast to see it for yourself.

Has your troop ever had an opening or closing ceremony go slightly astray? Share it with us by leaving a comment below.

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The Boy Scout advancement program was quite different in the 1970′s from what it is today. Earning skill awards was a standard requirement for the first three ranks. The skill awards were a metal belt loop, similar to some of today’s Cub Scouting awards. There was twelve skill awards designed to introduce Scouts to skill areas such as camping, citizenship, first aid, and other basic Scouting skill areas.

Another change in the rank requirements was that A Scout needed to earn at least one merit badge for every rank. Yes, you read that correctly. A Scout needed to earn a merit badge for the rank of Tenderfoot, in addition to two skill awards.

Things sure have changed since then. Merit badges are no longer needed for the ranks of Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class. Skill awards were discontinued in the late 1980′s. The BSA seems to change portions of the advancement program every few years to keep it relevant to today’s world, while still trying to maintain the traditional Scouting values and ideals.

I have nothing to brag about when I talk about my advancement while a Boy Scout. I was a Scout for three and a half years, but I only reached the rank of Second Class. The rank of Eagle Scout was not even in my sights. I did earn several skill awards and three merit badges, including Pioneering and Reading.

The worst thing about the advancement program when I was a Scout is that I do not remember receiving the awards. I earned them, I still have them, but I do not remember a single court of honor during my years as a Scout. I honestly could not tell you if we even held a court of honor back then. I certainly do not have any pictures from such a ceremony.

Today, I am the scoutmaster of the troop in my hometown. We now hold courts of honor four times a year, whether we have 20 merit badges and ten ranks to present, or if we only have one merit badge to hand out. We try to add some humor to the ceremony and make it fun for the Scouts and the parents while still maintaining the dignity and solemnity of the actual presentations.

As a Scoutmaster, I want the Scouts to look back and to remember their award presentations as a positive moment of their Scouting years. I hope they will not think back and have no memory of such an important Scouting event as, unfortunately, I do.