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Treflienne

Investiture Ceremony?

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When a kid joins scouting and formally makes the Scout Oath for the first time, is there any recognition of this as a formal and solemn promise that the scout is henceforth undertaking to obey?

I only know how it is done in Girl Scouts.  There, there is an "investiture" ceremony.  The new scout is recognized and, in front of the whole group, recites the Scout Promise and recieves her Girl Scout pin.  Usually this also includes someone shaking the new scout's hand with the Scout handshake and telling her congratulations upon becoming a Girl Scout.  (For traditionalists, it also includes pinning the pin on upside down, until the scout has done "three good turns", after which the pin can be turned rightside up.)

Sometimes the ceremony is very brief.  I've seen new girl scout leaders, who were not scouts as kids, being invested in a 2-minute ceremony at the begining of a service unit meeting (adult leader meeting.)

Sometime it is a little more elaborate, and the whole troop will sing, as a four part round, "Whene'r you make a promise, consider well its importance, and when made, engrave it upon your heart."

If a whole cohort is being invested together, such as an entire troop of kindergarten Daisy Girl Scouts, then troop may invite the parents to come and watch the event.

What do Boy Scouts do?  

(Less than one month till we have a whole batch of new scouts.)

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Hi @Treflienne,

I've got two daughters who are Girl Scouts, so I'm familiar with an investiture ceremony.

I've never seen anything similar done in the BSA - whether in Cub Scouts or Boy Scouts.  This does appear to be something unique to the GSUSA.

The closest thing is the awarding of the first rank - but there is no special ceremony or oath made in front of the group.  More a recognition that the Scout is on his/her way on the Scouting trail.

 

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I saw a BSA troop invest new scouts.  It was a very meaningful.  The lights were dimmed.  The new scouts stood in a crescent facing the SPL.  A candles were held by the new scouts and it was their first time saying oath and promise with the troop.  It was kept very short.  I'd be glad to see it done again.

Edited by fred8033
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2 minutes ago, fred8033 said:

I'd be glad to see it done again.

If it is acceptable practise in BSA,  I'd like to do something of the sort with the new Scout BSA girls --- to emphasize the significance of their vow.    Since scouting is not an activity that one attends,  it is the undertaking of a way of life.

But I'd like to do it the BSA way, if there is such a thing.

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The majority of troops had some sort of investiture ceremony in the "old days".  There was even an illustration of one in the handbook.  Sadly almost no one maintains that tradition.  

The most common used candles set in a log. 12 for the points of the scout law, 3 for the parts of the Oath, ( duty to God, duty to others, duty to self) and 1 to represent the Sprit of scouting. In my troop it was done by the oldest scout in the troop regardless of rank. In other troops it was performed by the SM. 

I still have the whole script in my memory banks. Let me know if you want it 

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It's certainly something we do in the UK. The actuall process varies somewhat but it looks broadly similar. As a troop we try to do it somewhere memorable if at all possible. My favourite was on a trip to London we invested a new scout on the spot where Nelson Mandella addressed both Houses of Parliament, we also did one at Gilwell with BP's statute forming part of the horse shoe described below, but what it looks like is;

The troop forms a horse shoe with the adult leaders standing in the open mouth of the horse shoe.

The new scout is called forward.

I ask them if they've enjoyed their time with us so far, if they are ready to become a scout and whether they know the scout law and promise. They should say yes to each!

I call the troop to attention and ask them to all make the scout sign.

The duty patrol leader (who is stood next to me) lowers the troop colours to horizontal and the new scout and I both place our left hand on the flag.

The new scout recites the promise line by line after me, after which the flag is put pack to vertical.

I put the troop necker round the neck of the new scout.

We shake left hands, exchange salutes.

The scout turns around and salutes the troop who return the salute.

Sometimes it looks a bit less formal, there's a video on our youtube channel of when we invested some new scouts on a high ropes course, we stuck to the basics of the promise that time!

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6 hours ago, Oldscout448 said:

I still have the whole script in my memory banks. Let me know if you want it 

Yes, please.

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We were shown an investiture ceremony for Boy Scouts and Venturing at Wood Badge.

Never used it. But materials are out there.

@Oldscout448, lets get your memory dump down here on bits and bytes, please.

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If I can find the one I use, I'll post.

 

My understanding is that when Cross Over became den based vs age based int he 1970s or 80s, I crossed over as a den in 1985,  Investiture Ceremonies started dying out. Some old troops like the one I grew up in, kept the Investiture Ceremony. We did it as soon as they earned their Scout Badge, now Scout Rank, and it was a candlelight ceremony with SM, SPL and PL(s). That is when they received their badge, neckerchief, woggle, and a troop totem.

The troop I just left now does an Investiture Ceremony based upon my old troop's ceremony. It is done at the opening of Court of Honors if there is anyone getting Scout Rank. Not only is it traditional, there are ceremonies going back to BP, but also financially practical. The Cub Scout pack that feeds the troop does not do a very good job preparing Webelos to become Cub Scouts, and we have a 50% attrition rate in 6 months. The neckers and woggles are custom made, and about $20/set. One year we gave out 9 of them at the Cross Over, and 5 of those Scouts either didn't show up after Cross Over, or quit within 6 months not even earning Scout Rank. They had 4 Scouts "join" the troop last month. I know for a fact 2 didn't show up to their first meeting because they were visiting other troops that night and the next. I am really worried about them.

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11 hours ago, ParkMan said:

This does appear to be something unique to the GSUSA.

No, not unique to GSUSA, just supplanted by the Cross Over Ceremony.

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So it seems like there were a couple of related changes in 2015 that are significant for the idea of an investiture:

    1) Cub Scouts started using the same Scout Oath and Scout Law as Boy Scouts

    2) "Scout" turned into a rank, rather than a joining badge,   ( https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2015/10/19/scout-currently-joining-badge-become-rank/ )

So back when cubs didn't have the same oath, then in order to get the scout "joining badge" they needed to

Quote

           Understand and agree to live by the Scout Oath, Scout Law, motto, and slogan and the Outdoor Code.

as well as a few other things which look like they could mostly have been done the first week the boy began attending the troop meetings.


After the 2015 changes,  most boys were coming into scouts from cubs already familiar with and subscribing to the Scout Oath.    The new scout rank requirements are a little more involved, including       

Quote

1b. Explain what Scout spirit is. Describe some ways you have shown Scout spirit by practicing the Scout Oath, Scout Law, Scout motto, and Scout slogan.

 

So it looks like the current scout rank assumes that the boy has been trying for some time to put into practise the Scout Oath and Scout Law,  rather than making an initial agreement to being trying to do so.  (Which should certainly be true of any boy coming up from cubs.)

So the Scout rank looks like a great time to recieve the custom troop neckerchief and woggle, after having demonstrated some committment to Boy Scouting, for boys coming up from cubs.

But what about those kids who were never cub scouts.   It will likely take most of them a few weeks to achieve scout rank.   In the meantime they are attending the scout meeting each week.   Do they just drift into saying the Scout Oath along with the other boys.   Or is there some way to emphasize that what they are doing is a significant new undertaking for them?    Might their be some form of investiture separate from and prior to the attainment of the Scout Rank, to signify that they are commencing to subscribe to the Scout Oath and Scout law?

Edited by Treflienne
eliminating excessive whitespace

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7 hours ago, Cambridgeskip said:

Sometimes it looks a bit less formal, there's a video on our youtube channel of when we invested some new scouts on a high ropes course, we stuck to the basics of the promise that time!

Thanks so much for sharing that video. 

Apart from the setting (the high ropes course) and from the mention of the queen is the promise,  it is very similar to what I am familiar with from GSUSA. 

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3 hours ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

The Cub Scout pack that feeds the troop does not do a very good job preparing Webelos to become Boy Scouts, and we have a 50% attrition rate in 6 months. The neckers and woggles are custom made, and about $20/set. One year we gave out 9 of them at the Cross Over, and 5 of those Scouts either didn't show up after Cross Over, or quit within 6 months not even earning Scout Rank. They had 4 Scouts "join" the troop last month. I know for a fact 2 didn't show up to their first meeting because they were visiting other troops that night and the next. I am really worried about them.

We had the same problem/issue/expense.  Now we hand out Troop numbers at the Xover and when they make Scout w/ the Troop they get their necker and slide.  A little less grand of a welcome but the costs of no shows was unsustainable as we were getting 15 or so Xovers a year and probably only netting 8 or so after a few months.

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