Indian Nations CouncilThe Greatest Show on Earth
CEREMONIES, RECOGNITIONS AND AWARDS
The high points in men's lives have always been marked by ceremonies. Look back on your own life. In many instances, the important happenings were marked by ceremonies....your graduation from high school or college, your wedding, joining the church, joining a club or sorority, the christening of your children....all of these were probably recognized by some type of ceremony.
So it is in Scouting....the highlights are marked by ceremonies. Joining the pack, receiving badges, graduating from Cub Scouting into Scouting....all of these are marked by ceremonies.
We take ceremonies in our lives for granted. They just seem to happen, or naturally fit into the activities which are high points. In Scouting, we can't take ceremonies for granted. Without effort in planning and execution, they don't happen. Ceremonies can be easily omitted, and when they are, a very important part of Scouting is left out.
What a Ceremony means to a Boy
Let's take a look at pack ceremonies. A boy has worked long and hard to complete the requirements for his Wolf badge. Do you think he is impressed if the Cubmaster simply hands him his badge? Of course the badge is important to a boy, because it is a visible means of showing others what he has done. But use your creative imagination for a moment and think how many impressive ways it can be presented. For instance, the theme is Halloween....imagine the Cubmaster dressed in a white sheet, drawing the badge out of a black and boiling cauldron....can't you just see that boy's eyes widen? Or perhaps the theme is Pirates, and there stands Peg Leg Pete on the bow of a pirate ship, ready to present the award....if the boy will walk the plank! Wow! In the eyes of an 8 or 9 year-old boy, that would be a night to remember. Sure, you're right....it does take time and effort to plan such a ceremony. But think of the rewards....think of the long-lasting benefits....and think of the excitement and inspiration for the boy to work hard for the next badge, cause who knows what might happen next.
Then there's the most important occasion in the life of a Cub Scout....his graduation into Scouting. How much meaning do you think it has for him to simply stop attending pack meetings? Maybe some of the other guys say "Where's Jimmy?" and someone replies "Oh, he joined the troop." Big deal! What kind of a picture is this for the younger Cub Scouts? He might as well have just disappeared into the fog.
One of the main purposes of Cub Scouting is to prepare a boy for Scouting. It is a proven fact....statistically....that boys who have been Cub Scouts stay in Scouting longer and are more successful. So it is a big deal. Cub leaders should do their best to make it a big deal for the boy. don't underestimate the importance of ceremonies. They are important to a boy.
Types Of Ceremonies
Three basic ceremonies should occur in every pack meeting....indoors or outdoors. They are as follows:
¥ OPENING - The opening ceremony gets your meeting off on the right track. use the American flag! It sometimes seems like our organization is the only link boys have to patriotism and citizenship and flag ceremonies can provide an important reminder of our heritage and our future.
¥ ADVANCEMENT - The main goal of Cub Scouting is advancement. What is advancement? Just another word for growth....but growth is a positive direction. The advancement ceremony is important to the younger boys in the pack. A good ceremony can create incentive to progress.
Page XCeremonies, Recognitions and Awards