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Liz

Court of Honor

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It's going to be time soon to start planning our Troop's first Court of Honor. 

Our girls are all young, inexperienced Scouts. I'm not sure any of them has ever attended a Court of Honor. Maybe one probably has because she has a brother in Scouts BSA.

Typically, the CoH would be planned by the youth like all the other stuff, right? I've seen enough different ones in my "time" in Scouting that I have an idea of how I expect it to look and could totally do it, but I assume I shouldn't be doing that. 

So I'm looking for resources to offer to the girls so they can maybe have some varying examples to draw from to come up with their own CoH. Scripts? Videos on YouTube? Ideas for building a candle holder or...? Whatever. Or should they go crash the CoH for a couple of boy Troops in person? 

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Have your SPL assign one of her Scouts to do research. there are a ton of scripts out there. Also there were some ideas int eh Troop Resources Book if memory serves.

 

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The script versions they can google can be helpful in writing their own, but they would probably want to see some in action, so I might suggest watching some on Youtube first.  Many are only about 30-40 minutes long, though they can probably FFWD through and not have to see the award presentation for every scout.  A couple to get them started:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HR741O7xn2o

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DiXymm0Dg0I

 

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I think they no longer sell the Troop Resources Book (or maybe they sell it under a different name) at Scout shops.  It looks like they put at least some of it online at:

BSA Troop Program Resources
https://troopresources.scouting.org

Troop Courts of Honor
https://troopresources.scouting.org/troop-courts-of-honor/

There are a bunch of scripts online.  One word of caution: a lot of scripts have old / outdated information in them (for example: some scripts still have the "First Class-First Year" concept in them, but FCFY no longer matches up with the current Scout Handbook.  JMO, I think it would be better to just say that Scouts advance at their own pace and not include a timeframe.)

I agree with @Eagle94-A1 , have the SPL assign a Scout to do research and maybe also be the Scout in charge of the court of honor.  This Scout could use this as an opportunity to complete Communication MB requirement #8.  You could assign an adults to serve as coach (Advancement Chair, Communication MBC, ASM, or whoever you think is appropriate).

Some things the Scout / PLC might want to consider:

  • Do they want refreshments?  If so, what kind?  Before / after the COH?
  • Do they want a slide show?  If so, what kind? (pictures of what the troop has done since the last COH or over the past year.  Or slideshows of what the badges / ranks look like.)
  • Do they want a ceremony involving candles?  (I have seen a few different ceremonies with candles.  Sometimes a candle represents each rank, or each point of the Scout Law, or one candle for each Scout as the Scout moves up in ranks.  Lots of variations here if this is something they want to do.)
  • How long do they want the COH to last?

 

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At my older kids' Troop, they lit 12 candles as they explained each point of the Scout Law, and then a 3-tiered candle for the Scout Oath. I always thought that was kinda cool but I don't know what the girls will think of it. 

We might not be able to do candles in the school where we usually meet, but we can schedule the COH for one of the times we are meeting at an alternate location (sometimes the school isn't available and we meet at the park or in a conference room at the Council office). 

We only have 6 Scouts so far, although we are gearing up to at least triple our size with the graduating Webelos girls from the various packs and that's if only a fraction of the eligible girls cross over - we are the only troop for girls in town that is accepting new members. 

I like the idea of a slide show in the long run. Right now I'm not sure where we'd find the equipment. Maybe the Council office will have some if we use that location. 

I'll talk to the SPL about it and see what she'd like to do. :) Thanks for all the awesome suggestions. 

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Battery operated "candles" might be an option, although they would pretty much need to be turned on at the beginning of the ceremony (the Scouts wouldn't have the fun part of lighting the candles).

Another version I have seen is where each Scout has his or her own candle (like a votive candle).  And as the Scout earns a new rank, the Scout moves his / her candle up a ladder (each ladder rung represents a rank).

A very simple candle candelabra could be made out of a small log kind of like this:

half-cut-wood-log-candle-holder.jpg

 

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Let the girls who are working on communication merit badge know if they plan and emcee the COH it counts as a requirement #8 I believe

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If I were you, I would keep it simple and interactive. Use the nicest part of the building. Set up only a couple of dozen chairs so everyone is nice and close.

The 12-points candles are nice, but practice lighting them well in advance. If attendance is solid, you could have each of your scouts light a candle and present two points.

Same with the color guard. If you haven't done so already, teach the PL how to advance to the front with the scouts who aren't color-guard, wait for the scouts to be seated, welcome everyone, then command the colorguard to advance. She would do the same thing in the middle only in reverse.

Scripts are nice, but I think you might want to take advantage of this being a small group:

  • As you give awards, you might ask each scout to present one thing that they enjoyed doing so far.
  • If they have a favorite scouting song, maybe they should sing it, or teach the audience to sing it.
  • One of the scouts might have shown herself to be a good story-teller.

Then, there's your SM minute. And I think nobody has a script for your situation! I think the best thing you could do is to tell the scouts that they might tenderfeet (or 2nd or 1st class) now, but soon they will have new scouts looking up to them. Even if they have not earned the patch, they will be expected to be first class scouts. Exactly how you get that message across depends on your audience, who you know better than we do.

Congratulations for making it this far. Have fun!

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I'm more of the short and sweat kind of person with food or cake somewhere in there for socializing. Maybe a skit, or a couple of funny stories about summer camp? This is a good place for parents to talk to leaders. Six scouts is pretty intimate, so it can't go long without a slide show or something. Scripts are good so long as the speaker understands the subject. Reading words without context come off cold. Have some fun. The COH can get more business as the scouts mature and the troop grows larger. We usually like to pick one adult to make a special praise for their effort or something they did that was memorable, like fall in the lake.  Make it short and fun so the one adult part isn't boring. And, PLEASE, No WB Beadings.

Barry

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Our scouts like the open mic part of reviewing events. That's where the funny stories come out. It's usually a case of you had to be there but the scouts have fun.

Make it a celebration as much as praising scouts for a job well done.

10 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

And, PLEASE, No WB Beadings.

Yes.

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