During a Troop Meeting
Immediate recognition is a powerful incentive of the BSA’s advancement program. Therefore, a Scout should receive their new badge of rank as soon as possible after their achievement has been certified by a board of review. A simple ceremony at the conclusion of a troop meeting or during a campout is ideal, with the senior patrol leader or even the Scoutmaster making the award presentation.
The troop is in their “U” formation and the senior patrol leader invites the Scoutmaster and perhaps additional leaders to join them up front.
Senior Patrol Leader: We’d like to recognize the following Scout(s) who have successfully completed the requirements for (such and such) badge(s). Would (name of Scout(s) please come forward.
(The Scout comes forward and the Scoutmaster or other leader gives them the Scout handshake with their left hand, simultaneously presenting the badge attached to the corresponding card with their right hand. After the presentations, the Scoutmaster proceeds with their Scoutmaster Minute.)
Providing Additional Information
An effective compliment to presenting a badge of rank is the descriptive text on the back of the corresponding BSA Rank Advancement card. Right before or after the badge is presented, a leader can read this verbatim. In keeping with the guidelines for presenting ceremonies that are free-flowing and personal, a brief rank-related, (or for merit badges, merit badge-related) anecdote or ad libbed comment can contribute to making the presentation more personal.
In conjunction with the presentation of each rank, displaying the appropriate 9″ x 12″ Insignia Card contributes to the impact of the ceremony. The set of Insignia Cards contain a colorful reproduction of each rank and are available from the Supply Division.
An installation ceremony acknowledges the importance of the troop’s elected leaders. When a Scout is given a position of responsibility in the Patrol Leaders Council, the troop depends on their willingness, dedication, and skills. This responsibility is a significant step in practicing leadership, and a formal installation ceremony helps communicate to the Scout and their troop how special this opportunity is. As with any ceremony, each troop can personalize their presentations in anyway they choose.
Senior Patrol Leader Installation
The troop assembles in their “U” formation. The troop flag in a stand is positioned up front at the center. The current senior patrol leader calls the newly-elected senior patrol leader forward. They grasp the flagpole with their left hand.
– Current Senior Patrol Leader (to SPL Elect): With your left hand, take hold of the pole of our troop flag, above my hand. Give the Scout sign and repeat after me: “I promise to do my best … to be worthy of the office of senior patrol leader … for the sake of my fellow Scouts and my Troop … and in the World Brotherhood of Scouting. …”
– Scoutmaster or an Assistant Scoutmaster presents the new senior patrol leader with their SPL badge of office.
– “Former” Senior Patrol Leader: Would everyone please join me in giving our new senior patrol leader a big round of applause (or Class A Clap followed by Scout’s name or nickname).
Patrol Leader Installation
The troop assembles in their “U” formation. The troop flag in a stand is positioned up front at the center. The assistant senior patrol leader directs the new patrol leaders to gather around the Troop’s flag pole and grasp it with their left hands.
– Assistant Senior Patrol Leader: Troop, attention. (turns to the senior patrol leader) The new patrol leaders are ready to be installed.
– Senior Patrol Leader steps closer to the new patrol leaders and says: Give the Scout sign and repeat after me: “I promise to do my best … to be worthy of the office of patrol leader … for the sake of my fellow Scouts … in my patrol and troop … and in the World Brotherhood of Scouting. …”
– Scoutmaster or an Assistant Scoutmaster presents the new patrol leaders with their badge of office.
– Senior Patrol Leader: Let’s give these Scouts a big round of applause.
New Member Joining Ceremonies
Right after all the prerequisites have been completed and it is determined a new boy or boys are serious about joining the troop, a special ceremony can be scheduled, during the meeting or as part of a special gathering. At the end of these ceremonies, it is customary to present the new Scout with any of the following items or combination thereof: a troop neckerchief, unit and council insignia, their patrol medallion, shoulder loops, a troop T-shirt, a troop hat, a Boy Scout Handbook, etc. If the troop members each have their own personalized Scout Stave stored at the meeting site, they can retrieve them prior to commencing the ceremony, and the new Scout can also be presented with theirs at the appropriate time.
Joining Ceremony 1
This simple ceremony can take place right after the Opening Ceremony, or towards the end of the meeting. As simple as it is, it’s still an effective way to acknowledge the new Scout as an official member of the troop. Have all the items to be presented laid out and assign individual leaders to distribute them at the appropriate time.
– Senior Patrol Leader: Troop attention. Would the following individual(s) please come forward (name(s). It gives me great pleasure to officially welcome you to our troop. (Those leaders assigned specific items proceed distributing them to the new Scout(s).
– Senior Patrol Leader: Lets give these new members of our troop a round of applause. (If the Class A Clap is part of the troop’s repertoire, it would be appropriate to acknowledge the new members by giving them a Class A.)
Joining Ceremony 2
(The room is illuminated by a single candle on a table at the front of the room. Also on the table are two log candelabras, one holding three candles, and the other twelve. The troop is lined up along two sides with junior leaders and adult leaders standing behind the table. If family members are present, they are seated at the back. The candidate(s) for membership wait outside the room along with their patrol leader(s). When all is ready, the patrol leader(s) lead the candidate(s) into the room up to the table where the candle is burning.)
– Senior Patrol Leader to the Patrol Leader(s): Who are these individuals you’ve brought with you into our meeting room?
– Patrol Leader (if more than one, each proceed in turn): I bring (name), who is eligible to become a member of our troop. After the names of the candidate(s) are given, the patrol leader(s) step back a pace and the candidate(s) remain.
– Senior Patrol Leader (steps from their position behind the table, picks up the lighted candle): This candle represents the spirit of Scouting. As we welcome you into the fellowship of Troop (No.), we want you to stop and think about what it means to be a Scout. Besides going on outings and camping trips, it’s doing you best to live up to the Scout Law. (The senior patrol leader hands the burning candle to a Scout, who steps up to the table.)
– 1st Scout lights the first of twelve candles on the log and turns toward the candidate(s): A Scout is trustworthy. He always tells the truth. (The Scout hands the spirit of Scouting candle to the next Scout who lights the second candle, turns toward the candidates, and speaks simply but expressively about the meaning of loyalty. So it continues, through the twelve points of the Scout Law. After lighting their candle, each Scout says only one or two sincere, forceful sentences. The 12th Scout returns the candle to the senior patrol leader.)
– Senior Patrol Leader: You have heard the Scout Law. You are expected to do your best to live up to it. You will now be given the Scout Oath by our Scoutmaster. Please raise your right hand in the Scout sign. The Scoutmaster takes the Spirit of Scouting candle.
– Scoutmaster: Repeat each part of the Scout Oath with me. Because it’s your oath, you are making a promise to live the life of a Scout. “On my honor … I will do my best – to do my duty … to God and my country … and to obey the Scout Law … ” (The Scoutmaster lights the first of the three candles) “to help other people at all times … ” (The Scoutmaster lights the second of the three candles) “to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight … ” (The Scoutmaster lights the third of the three candles. The candidate(s) are asked to face the audience. An Assistant Scoutmaster then puts a new troop neckerchief around the candidates’ necks, and the patrol leader(s) pin their patrol medallion on the new Boy Scout’s right sleeve. Then the patrol leader(s) lead the new Boy Scout(s) to where the other Scouts are standing in line and congratulations are given.