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rickmay

1st court of honor

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So, to answer rickmay's question, yes there is some guidance, but not much in the way of who can plan and run it.

We still don't know why the SM chose to do it all, but if the scouts really want to plan and run it, they need to talk with  him about it. Show the SM their plan to give him the confidence that they can run it. 

Barry

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On 9/22/2019 at 8:35 AM, rickmay said:

our new troop (an all-girl troop) just had its first court of honor (coh). by far, this was probably the worst coh I have been tied to. the average amount of time a coh honor should last should be about an hour and a half or until the scouts get tired (at least enough time for one to enjoy themselves); about the same size as a usual scout meeting. I am an assistant scoutmaster (as) in this unit and I tried to find out from my scoutmaster (sm) what he had planned for the coh. he didn't want to tell me anything. once I clarified to him that I was willing to help prepare the coh (based upon my experiences--very positive experiences) and would love to assist in the logistical aspects of getting this done, he more or less told me to mind my own business and he could get all of the coh work done on his own.  never-mind the fact that he had cancelled the coh three times for misc. reasons. I was cool with that answer he gave me and moved on with my life. the night of the coh, the sm opened his 'welcome' address by saying that he was not staying any longer than 30 minutes and he was leaving. he only shook hands with 1/3 of the parents, couldn't say anything positive or memorable about individual scouts to either the scouts or their parents, to show the parents that they were equally involved in scouting and that we were happy to have their child with us. he did go around to a few tables and imply to the scouts and scout-leadership that we were not eating fast enough and he was ready to hand-out awards. when it came time to hand-out awards, he had mashed all of the merit badges and rank patches into these tiny zip-lock bags and given them out to the girls. one couldn't even tell what was being given to the girls or what was in the bag--until he read-out the awards' citations. when  he read out what each girl was being awarded with, he read it so fast and low-soft that we didn't even know much of what he said. halfway into the awards, he thought it might be a good idea to start actually shaking the girls' hands as they walked-up to receive their awards. at the end of the night, most of the female scouts and their parents were all pretty ticked-off at what had just happened. to make up for it, myself and another AS threw a party at a local ice cream shop, where we showed funny slide shows of the girls' past scouting experiences and talked to the parents and spoke positively about each individual scout and what they mean to the troop and to the leadership. needless to say, the sm was not invited--this was because the actual girl scouts had (namely the senior patrol leader and patrol leaders) requested we not let him know until after the fact, when pics of the event would probably be posted on social media.

 

is there a template for how COHs are supposed to be run and what all is supposed to be conducted and how? I didn't think a COH could get screwed-up, but apparently it can. was my sm correct afterall with the way he handled this? ANY insight would be greatly appreciated.    --rm

The Scouts should be conducting the COH. They should work with the SM and other adults in determining the specifics, but they should be doing it. They should be making the awards, etc.  Both of my sons were Eagles, so I attended my share of COHs.  Every one was done by the Scouts. Yes, the Advancement Chair prepared the actual awards, but the presentation was up to the Scouts.  

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20 hours ago, Jameson76 said:

The COH should be planned, developed, and executed by the Scouts.  They run it, depending on the unit, CM's, ASM's and SM may hand out ranks and merit badges.  Not sure what was covered under citations.  If there was / is a concern with the COH, the TLC (formerly known as Greenbar) should address

The separate ice cream social as a unit, that happened unbeknownst to the SM is a concern.  Actually sort of rude.  If there is a challenge with the SM and his actions (and he has been SM for what...6 months??) address with the COR and the committee, and the SM.  Don't start a troop within a troop.  It will not end well

Exactly.  The Scouts should do most of the work for the COH, but should inform the adults of plans beforehand.  

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1 hour ago, mrkstvns said:

That sounds like a fine basic plan, but when do you start letting ordinary rank-and-file scouts do the planning and running of the ceremony?

In our troop, we almost ALWAYS have several scouts working on Communication merit badge and they need to emcee a CoH for Communication MB requirement 8 (either that or plan and lead a campfire, which some scouts like to do).

I can only see having the SPL announcing names & awards if nobody in the troop needs an emcee role for Communication MB.

 

Exactly.

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1 hour ago, Eagledad said:

Did I miss something? Of course letting the scout run the COH is the obvious solution, so, why didn't he do that in the first place? I believe the SM Handbook talks about how to run the COH, but I haven't seen one in a while. I don't remember the COH being in the SPL Handbook.

Barry

Not sure if it's in the literature, but I know in my sons' old troop, the Scouts (the SPL/ASPL and anybody working on Communications MB) rant the COH, just like they ran the regular Troop meetings. I believe in the general rule of "Don't have an adult do what Scouts can do."  That said, the Advancement Chair of the Committee assembled all the awards before the COH.

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16 hours ago, mrkstvns said:

That sounds like a fine basic plan, but when do you start letting ordinary rank-and-file scouts do the planning and running of the ceremony?

In our troop, we almost ALWAYS have several scouts working on Communication merit badge and they need to emcee a CoH for Communication MB requirement 8 (either that or plan and lead a campfire, which some scouts like to do).

I can only see having the SPL announcing names & awards if nobody in the troop needs an emcee role for Communication MB.

 

What about my description makes you think the youth aren't planning it? We have a lot more campfires than CoHs. And, SPLs usually need to earn Comm MB too. He is "ordinary rank and file." Regardless, we've never considered it the emcees job to hand out awards. 

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18 hours ago, mrkstvns said:

That sounds like a fine basic plan, but when do you start letting ordinary rank-and-file scouts do the planning and running of the ceremony?

In our troop, we almost ALWAYS have several scouts working on Communication merit badge and they need to emcee a CoH for Communication MB requirement 8 (either that or plan and lead a campfire, which some scouts like to do).

I can only see having the SPL announcing names & awards if nobody in the troop needs an emcee role for Communication MB.

 

I admit I was trying to understand what the Communication MB has to do with planning and leading any group gathering like COH and Campfires. Of course we like to help scouts working on those requirements by giving them some priority, if they ask. But advancement requirements is not the point for planning and leading group assemblies. And, while developing scout growth and confidence is the higher priority, I would say "fun" is the motivation and objective. I've watch to many troops drop campfires from their schedules because the scouts learned to dread them.  If it's not fun, the scouts will kill it. Advancement is not always a good motivator for quality. 

I'm reminded of one of the causes that nearly killed our District Camporees was district giving scouters looking to complete a Woodbadge Ticket Item the priority to plan and run the event, even though they never proved they could plan and run their family lunch, much less a weekend of competitions for 20 troops.

Barry

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5 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

I admit I was trying to understand what the Communication MB has to do with planning and leading any group gathering like COH and Campfires. ...

There are probably hundreds sites about what it takes to be a good emcee. But, here's a link to tried-and-true advice from Toastmasters https://www.toastmasters.org/magazine/articles/when-you-are-the-emcee.

My metaphor: if the event was a body, the master of ceremonies would be the ligaments that hold the bones and muscle together. He/she is neither the bones nor the muscle. The bones are the outline of the event ... what needs to be accomplished. The muscles are the people of the event, the bring life to the bones. The ligaments hold muscle and bone together so that the event is accomplished.

So ... most of the communication for a troop event involves identifying what needs to get done (and many times what doesn't) and who should do it. Well in advance of the event, the emcee communicates this, identifies the principals for the event, reviews the outline with them, adjusts accordingly, and allocates their time. At the beginning of the event, he welcomes the audience and tells them what the skeleton will be, and who will be providing the muscle.

At the event, the emcee has very little to say, because what he/she has to say is very important. He/she has to make the right muscle pull the right bones at the right time. The fewer words, the more likely his/her cues will not be missed. An example:

Quote

Good evening ladies and gentlemen. My name is ___ and I would like to welcome to the Court of Honor of Troop ___. Tonight, you will hear of our troop's adventures from our Scoutmaster, Mr./Mrs. ____;  acknowledgement of individual scouts' advancement from our SPL, Mr./Miss ___ and ASPL, Mr./Miss  ___;  a Friends of Scouting presentation by our UC, Mr./Mrs ___; and some announcements for parents from our Committee Chair ___; followed by a time of fellowship with treats provided by our patrols under the guidance of Mr./Mrs. ___.

I will now ask our Sergeant at Arms, Senior Patrol Leader ____ ____, to lead us in our opening ceremony.

Then, as the court proceeds, the emcee simply repeats himself as he cues everyone down the agenda. E.g., "Thank you, Mr. SPL. We will now hear of our troop's adventures from our Scoutmaster, Mr./Mrs. ____." ... "Thank you, Mr. Scoutmaster. Mr. SPL will now acknowledge the advancement of individual scouts" ....

A more articulate scout may put things more eloquently. He/she may acknowledge special guests in the audience. He/she may give a word of encouragement after all the scouts have received their advancement. He/she may ask to could give the report in lieu of the SM, to give the FOS presentation (an ideal job for certain boys who've staffed camp before). But, those "extra's" aren't central to the emcee's job. What is central is his communicating to everyone, "now Mr./Mrs./Miss. will do ____"

Needless to say, if you have a youth who seems to do that sort of thing naturally (or, maybe has announced at sports matches and sounds like they could do the same thing at your events), you might have that scout emcee the fist event or two, even if he/she isn't working on Communications MB.

So, @rickmay, I think you can be very frank with the SM and ask, "So, what youth can we have emcee the next CoH? Last time, we were really hurting because we did not have someone in that role."

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1 hour ago, qwazse said:

There are probably hundreds sites about what it takes to be a good emcee. But, here's a link to tried-and-true advice from Toastmasters https://www.toastmasters.org/magazine/articles/when-you-are-the-emcee.

My metaphor: if the event was a body, the master of ceremonies would be the ligaments that hold the bones and muscle together. He/she is neither the bones nor the muscle. The bones are the outline of the event ... what needs to be accomplished. The muscles are the people of the event, the bring life to the bones. The ligaments hold muscle and bone together so that the event is accomplished.

So ... most of the communication for a troop event involves identifying what needs to get done (and many times what doesn't) and who should do it. Well in advance of the event, the emcee communicates this, identifies the principals for the event, reviews the outline with them, adjusts accordingly, and allocates their time. At the beginning of the event, he welcomes the audience and tells them what the skeleton will be, and who will be providing the muscle.

At the event, the emcee has very little to say, because what he/she has to say is very important. He/she has to make the right muscle pull the right bones at the right time. The fewer words, the more likely his/her cues will not be missed. An example:

Then, as the court proceeds, the emcee simply repeats himself as he cues everyone down the agenda. E.g., "Thank you, Mr. SPL. We will now hear of our troop's adventures from our Scoutmaster, Mr./Mrs. ____." ... "Thank you, Mr. Scoutmaster. Mr. SPL will now acknowledge the advancement of individual scouts" ....

A more articulate scout may put things more eloquently. He/she may acknowledge special guests in the audience. He/she may give a word of encouragement after all the scouts have received their advancement. He/she may ask to could give the report in lieu of the SM, to give the FOS presentation (an ideal job for certain boys who've staffed camp before). But, those "extra's" aren't central to the emcee's job. What is central is his communicating to everyone, "now Mr./Mrs./Miss. will do ____"

Needless to say, if you have a youth who seems to do that sort of thing naturally (or, maybe has announced at sports matches and sounds like they could do the same thing at your events), you might have that scout emcee the fist event or two, even if he/she isn't working on Communications MB.

So, @rickmay, I think you can be very frank with the SM and ask, "So, what youth can we have emcee the next CoH? Last time, we were really hurting because we did not have someone in that role."

In the old Troop, we had three types of Scouts that were MCing. The first was those working on Communications MB. They were usually the worst. Second was the SPLs and ASPLs.  They varied, but were usually better than the Comm. MB Scouts. The third was the kids with the gift of gab.  (Often they were the older scouts who were former SPLs).  They were good, otherwise they wouldn't just volunteer for it.  

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1 hour ago, perdidochas said:

In the old Troop, we had three types of Scouts that were MCing. The first was those working on Communications MB. They were usually the worst. Second was the SPLs and ASPLs.  They varied, but were usually better than the Comm. MB Scouts. The third was the kids with the gift of gab.  (Often they were the older scouts who were former SPLs).  They were good, otherwise they wouldn't just volunteer for it.  

Our troop loves this stuff. The older scouts set the example, but most of our scouts grow to learn. Even the shy scouts want to get involved. The Troop once got a standing ovation at summer camp for their skit. Our color guards strive to never do a simple flag ceremony. As I said, fun should be the first objective. Then, ................

Barry 

Edited by Eagledad

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3 hours ago, perdidochas said:

In the old Troop, we had three types of Scouts that were MCing. The first was those working on Communications MB. They were usually the worst. Second was the SPLs and ASPLs.  They varied, but were usually better than the Comm. MB Scouts. The third was the kids with the gift of gab.  (Often they were the older scouts who were former SPLs).  They were good, otherwise they wouldn't just volunteer for it.  

Remember, the method is "Leadership Development" you want your scouts to emcee for their troop because that's a safe place to prove their talents. (This applies to adults. One of our SM's first speech ever was at a CoH. He did very well. After I realized that, I encouraged him to share it with our scouts, and I think it helped a lot of them be more able to put themselves front and center.)

The amount that an emcee inserts him/herself into the ceremony depends on his/her talents. A really good organizer who is very introverted will get everyone lined up but will say the bare minimum at the event. This is probably how anyone just doing it for the MB should operate. The scout who figures it's a responsibility that comes with the patch -- especially one he/she had to win an election for -- would naturally be more able than many. Most youth will not have honed their talents until having fulfilled tenures as leaders and also held office at school, or read/spoke/sang in their house of worship, or made impassioned pleas before the UN General Assembly. :sleep:

Of course, there are always one or two who at an early age would hold the floor for hours. (Don't you all look at me like that!) Those ones have to learn how to say less to communicate more!

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3 hours ago, qwazse said:

Of course, there are always one or two who at an early age would hold the floor for hours

Just home from our CoH, which was MC''d  by my great-nephew.  He was nervous up until the microphone was in his hand, and then proved that he has never in his life met a stranger, or been in a group that he was not able to charm.

 

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