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Advancement ceremonies

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Our troop has for many years followed the practice of awarding rank advancement badges at a scheduled court of honor when we have family and friends present. They are always presented with something of a solemn ceremony that acknowledges what the Scout has accomplished and what is expected of him as he works toward his next rank. The parents like it, and I rather like the way it lets the parents know something of the expectations.


We are considering converting to the "as-soon-as-possible" awarding of rank badges, presenting the badges immediately, but holding the cards for "public" presentation at the next scheduled COH with parents present.


I am not looking for criticism of the method we have been using.


What I would like to know is what kind of ceremony you do when you present the rank badge (at a troop meeting). The same kind that I described above? If so, then is any ceremony done at the public Court of Honor? It seems rather redundant to do two ceremonies for the same rank; however, it would be nice to do more than hand over the rank card when the parents are present.

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Simple is always best.


Have the SPL or the PL hand over the Scout's new badge of rank, calling them up to the front of the room, giving them a firm handshake and leading the troop in a round of applause. Consider having the honored Scout lead the troop in the closing ceremony or somesuch, depending on your troop's traditions. Recognize each Scout individually - don't turn it into a mass thing, even if you have more than one Scout moving up at a time - and remind the youth leaders to keep it serious.


Save the fancy stuff for the COH.

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Our troop presents the advancement at the weekly meetings right before the closing flag ceremony as each rank/badge is earned. Most parents have arrived to pick up their son at this point and the boys are sitting quietly waiting for the close of the meeting. The SPL calls the scout up to present the advancement, the room claps, etc. Some weeks we have a ton of awards, other weeks we have none. (This weekly reminder has sparked some boys to "get moving" on advancement as they see their peers called up week after week.)


We hold two formal Courts of Honor a year - in April and October. At these ceremonies each scout receives a sheet of paper listing his accomplishments since the last court of honor. The SPL calls up each scout and reads off his accomplishments in front of the families.


This has helped the boys receive acknowledgement right away and again in front of the families.



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Back in the day when youth sat of BORs for T-2-1 in my troop, the "chairman of the BOR," which was the youth sitting on the BOR, would come up and congratulate the scout that nite, if the BORs were not running late. Otherwise the next week they would be recognized. For S-L, the SM would announce. For Eagle, the SM announced an "Eagle Candidate" pending national approval. We too waited until the quarterly COH for the presentation of rank with pomp and circumstance, except Eagle COHs. For Eagle COH, the Eagle Scout set the date, anywhere from the nearest COH, to 4 years after earning Eagle being the longest wait I know of. (the Eagle enlisted in the USAF, and once he got out, he had his ECOH. His old uniform still fit).



But What I've seen done recently is the SM handing out the badges at the meeting. Troop has a "war chest" of advancement, so that they can present immediately after the BOR.

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