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Participate in an outdoor flag ceremony

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To participate in an election is it necessary to run for office or does simply casting your vote count as participation?

 

Forming up and standing for the express purpose of honoring the colors is participation in a flag ceremony.

 

Anyway, this thread is about:

Wolf requirement 2f: Participate in an outdoor flag ceremony

I'm a fan of having them do the whole color guard bit, but if you count participation as um... participation, it's not like they're going to miss out on all other flag related knowledge and skills - just look at the rest of Wolf requirement 2:

a. Give the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag of the United States of America. Tell what it means.

b. Lead a flag ceremony in your den. Here are some ideas:

(Ideas shown in book)

c. Tell how to respect and take care of the U.S. flag. Show three ways to display the flag.

d. Learn about the flag of your state or territory and how to display it.

e. Learn how to raise a U.S. flag properly for an outdoor ceremony

f. Participate in an outdoor flag ceremony.

g. With the help of another person, fold the U.S. flag.

 

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While I'm sympathetic to the notion that standing in rank, in uniform, and saluting, when not in the color guard, is a form of participation, I see that as more spectating (with an audience response) then actually participating.

 

Now unless I'm mistaken, or they've changed the books so much thet they're no longer relevant to the requirements, you can usually get a pretty good idea what the requirement means by reading the chapter in the book that covers the requirement. If the Wolf book indicates that standing on the sidelines saluting is participating in an outdoor flag ceremony, then go ahead and use that logic. Of course, one could then argue that going to a baseball game, standing up and singing the National Anthem could also be considered participating in an outdoor flag ceremony (baseball is played outside, we face the flag when singing the anthem - and what rules is there to say that a flag ceremony must include raising and lowering the flag?).

 

But lets go beyond all of that for a second - I know when I was a Cub Scout, I was excited when I got to be one of the guys in the color guard raising or lowering the flag at the outdoor flagpole - why would we want to discourage a Cub Scout from the excitement of being in the color guard? Do we really want to answer a Cub Scout who excitedly asks when his turn is to participate in the color guard so he can get that achievement signed off by saying "Well gosh, Billy, you already get that signed off because you participated by watching the other color guard do it so you don't need to be on a color guard"? I sure hope not.

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Well, let's be clear:

 

Watching is not participating.

 

If you are not in uniform and are sitting in the audience, then sure, you are NOT participation.

 

But if you are in uniform, standing at attention ( between audience and flagpole & color guard) and you salute on key, drop the salute on key and recite whatever is being recited - then you are participating.

 

Observation is not participating, but just because you are not running the show as part of the color guard does not mean you are not participating.

 

And yeah, there is no minimum number to the color guard, but even if the entire unit is on the color guard, only 2 or 3 can actually handle the flag at clipping, unfurling, and raising the flag.

 

The rest are participating by showing respect by standing at attention, saluting and reciting.

 

Think of a meeting or assembly. Participating means taking an active role in being there - not being the main speaker or emcee.

 

Taking training means you are engaged in listening to and being a part of the class . It doesn't mean you have to be teaching the class.

 

The audience is not participating. But the audience is also just sitting and watching. They are not scouts, they are not in uniform.

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One of the above people said something interesting, an outdoor flag ceremony does not have to mean that they raise a flag up a pole? We will be having 3 of our Pack meetings outside this year and will be doing the flag ceremony. If our Den was the color guard, that should more than meeting the requirement even if they didn't run the flag up a pole?

 

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I know I am late to the party, but considering I was looking for advice I assume some others mght come here for the same and I felt something had to be said.

 

Scouts is about the boys, no you or your personal adgenda, it is what is best for them. To those commenting on how they HAVE to participate by actually handling the flag, how big is your Den? Ours is only 8 people but that still would require access to an outdoor flag pole 3 times to be able to get everyone, and given our spread of boys we have new ones every few months come in and they would need it, too. Not to mention the rain and weather we have here 9 months out of the year. The idea that because YOU want it one way everyone else needs to is rediculous. If the child WANTS to handle the flag then by all mean make time and allow for it, but do not overwork yourself AND your scouts because someone on a forum said "ARE YOU KIDDING!.... this is REDICULOUS!" and acted like their way was the only way to be.

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Hello VWMomma, I agree. The adults should lighten up a little and just let the boys learn.

What we do is if our den is picked to do the ceremony the entire den practices beforehand. All of the boys get to participate and practice carrying the flags. And then we basically do a lottery to pick the ones who carry the American and pack flags and the rest of the den enters with the color guard. That way we get everyone into the act in one ceremony. Eight boys, by the way, is a good size for a den.

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This discussion isn't as fun as it could be.

How 'bout if the boys got to ride in some helicopters that were doing a flyover during the opening of a football game?

Participate or spectate?

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The purpose is for the Cubs to learn. One of the best methods of learning is doing. Why else would the books discuss how to do things under the requirements?

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The purpose is for the Cubs to learn. One of the best methods of learning is doing. Why else would the books discuss how to do things under the requirements?

Good point. At a meeting before the ceremony, did you read the book with the boys and then ask them how they want to participate?

If not, did you read that chapter after the event and ask "So guys, do you think we did it? Or would we like to do more?"

 

Thus you will have trained your boys to use the ideal method of learning a scout skill, one that begins with "Reference".

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I have never heard or seen of participating being interpreted as just being part of the audience. That to me is putting the focus on advancement and not the adventure of scouting. Scouting is supposed to be fun, don't shortchange that experience by short cutting advancement requirements. Instead be cleaver in finding opportunities to enhance experience. Give the boys memories of special moments that they can only get in their scouting program. Give them a reason to brag to their friends of what they are doing in their scouting program. 

 

Barry

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If one doesn't stand, doesn't salute, doesn't pledge his allegiance, then one would think he did not participate in the ceremony.  Otherwise he has.  One must be careful not to add to the requirements such as march in, carry a flag, etc.  All it says is participate.

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I lean heavily toward those here saying that participating is more than just being in an audience where a flag is presented. I've observed many flag raising and lowering ceremonies. The handling of the flag is pathetic. It's clear that they've never done it before. There are plenty of very simple things to consider when raising, lowering, and folding a flag. If you don't actually practice it once or twice it becomes very awkward, and it loses the reverence. Those saluting become annoyed (visibly), and I think it lacks the proper respect. It's just common sense, but overlooked if never tried. It's a very easy thing to do if practiced. Clumsy if not. I'm not just talking Cubs here. It's very obvious when Boy Scouts at NYLT and adults at Wood Badge have never worked with a flag pole before. To me, practice = participate.

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I have never heard or seen of participating being interpreted as just being part of the audience. That to me is putting the focus on advancement and not the adventure of scouting. Scouting is supposed to be fun, don't shortchange that experience by short cutting advancement requirements. Instead be cleaver in finding opportunities to enhance experience. Give the boys memories of special moments that they can only get in their scouting program. Give them a reason to brag to their friends of what they are doing in their scouting program. 

 

Barry

 

 

If one doesn't stand, doesn't salute, doesn't pledge his allegiance, then one would think he did not participate in the ceremony.  Otherwise he has.  One must be careful not to add to the requirements such as march in, carry a flag, etc.  All it says is participate.

 

This is an interesting question with two very valid arguments.  I suspect the intent of the requirement is to have kids do something actively in the ceremony beyond just being in the audience, yet I think I side with Stosh on this specific question and his comment about standing, saluting, etc.

 

I liken it to going to a regular movie vs going to the Rocky Horror Picture Show.  In both cases you are in the audience, but for a regular movie you are a mere observer or watcher.  But if you go to the Rocky Horror Picture Show you are a participant if do you all the stuff the the audience normally does. 

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...... One must be careful not to add to the requirements such as march in, carry a flag, etc.  All it says is participate.

 

valid point

BUT

I'm of the opinion, in this context anyway, that the intention is probably participate in a color guard.

 

it's not that big of a deal really.

 

What we did..... at a den meeting, lined the boys up at the school flag pole, and saluted as each boy had a turn.

Most of the boys got a kick out of it.

 

Actually, we went beyond that.... I think it was Wolf year that teh DL & I bought a couple flag poles like these 

http://www.valleyforgeflag.com/Prod-18-1-63-351/.htm

one for the US flag and one for the Den Flag

I made a couple wood stands out of some scrap lumber

 

He's gotten away from doing it, but for a long while we ran through a whole posting the colors routine at every meeting (march the flags to the front, and all of that)  Sometimes when we were meeting outdoors, that would be an outdoor ceremony.

Proud to say that my son's den has always done the best when it's our turn at the pack meetings.

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Our pack does at least four outdoor Pack meetings and campfires a year with a flag ceremony performed at each. Stretching that out a bit, our local baseball team usually has scout day where every boy who dresses in his uniform is given free admittance. Any scout from tiger to Venture will have exercised the actions stipulated in the requirement if they attend any one of those activities. I can easily think of more, but you understand what I'm saying. Is that what National had in mind for the Bear Scout's special experience? Who knows, but shouldn't their experience be a bit more more than the other scouts who are just attending?

 

Just an aside, every den in our pack gets to participate with the color guard at least one meeting every year. Not because of any requirement, but just for the fun of it. 

 

Barry

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