Investiture Ceremonies
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Admission of a Tenderfoot and His Investiture

The old Saying that "the first impression is the lasting impression" applies most forcibly to the reception of the Tenderfoot into the Troop in Traditional Scouting (or the Scout "Rank" in the BSA). The boy has doubtless been looking eagerly forward for years to his Scout birthday, and his vision of what Scouting is to bring to him is almost as dazzling as was the pursuit of the Holy Grail to the knights of old.

He has had exalted and romantic ideas, gained from reading and hearsay, of what it means to be a Scout. Do not consider his entrance into this organization in the light of a mere formality to you, or as "old stuff" to boys. Endeavor to put yourself each time in the place of the eager, impressionable lad, and make his reception into the Troop what he imagined it would be--one of the greatest and most sacred events of his life.

Bear in mind that our greatest Scout mortality develops during the boy's first year, before he has had the opportunity to receive the full benefits of his membership.

It is fair to assume that much of this heavy loss is often the result of a boy's disillusionment upon his entrance into the Troop, and the dissipation of his vision in the drab reality of the Troop atmosphere.

Sometimes he is discouraged by the lack of a helpful attitude, and the apparent desire on the part of older and more advanced Scouts to shut him out of their group. In other words, he is all too frequently made to feel that he is an outsider. In some Troops a species of hazing is indulged in, with the result that the boy becomes frightened and drops out immediately. Such practice is very bad Scouting.

After the Initiation

Boys are often left to shift for themselves following their initiation into the Troop, particularly when they are accepted on probation, and for weeks are left to sit on the sidelines until the glamour of the great event has worn off. Sometimes the boy is arbitrarily parceled out to a Patrol, the members of which, not being enthusiastic over his coming, make things unpleasant for him.

In many of the most successful Troops, Scoutmasters make it a point to have an older Scout adopt the candidate, and without his knowledge, act as an older brother, whose duty it is to see that he establishes the right contacts and gets the most out of his first meetings.

The ideal situation is where Patrols recruit their own candidates, and help them feel at home from the very beginning. In whatever way the boy is brought into membership, the gang grouping should be recognized, and there might even be a contest among the Patrols for his affiliation. In some Troops a spirited bidding is evidenced among the Patrols, each group setting forth the advantages which the particular Patrol has to offer, and the candidate is then left to select his own gang or Patrol.

Preparation of Candidate

The preparation and examination of the candidate should be as thorough as possible. This has a certain value in impressing upon the novice, early in his Scouting career, that slip-shod methods will not do, and that nothing but his best is acceptable. He should be made to realize that he will not have an easy time, either in passing his tests or in carrying out his Troop program.

He should enter with his mind made up to cheerfully comply with the demands which are made upon him. He will then seek to measure up to all that is expected of a Scout. It is highly important that the Tenderfoot tests should not be passed over lightly, and it is obvious the Scout will give attention to his subsequent tests according to the vision which he receives at the outset.

It is also essential that when the Tenderfoot badge is first pinned upon his breast its significance as a symbol of high aspirations and of the new life which is opening before him should be duly emphasized. He should have fully impressed upon him the sacredness of the Scout Oath, and the importance of the Laws through which he will express his obligation.

The Tenderfoot ceremony should always be presented with dignity and solemnity, entirely devoid of "horse-play."

SIR ROBERT BADEN POWELL, in expressing his belief in the value of Scouting ceremonies, states "that the greatest danger is that the sublime will become the ridiculous," and that because of the lack of proper supervision and painstaking preparation the boys will fail to comprehend the full significance of the ceremony in which they are the participants.

Three types of ceremonies for the investiture of a Tenderfoot may be found here.   One, a very simple investiture which may be presented at an ordinary Troop Meeting as a part of the regular program; another, a medium form which may also be used in connection with a Troop Meeting where Troop Committeemen and a few outsiders are in attendance, and a third, much more elaborate, which is suitable for large gatherings of parents and friends.

The ceremonies as here presented are arranged for the investiture of only one candidate. They may, of course, be readily adapted to a group. In this case, a Master of Ceremonies should be appointed from the Troop, without regard to candidate's Patrol affiliation.

See Also:

"Triangle" Investiture Ceremony

"Circle" Investiture Ceremony

"Compass" Investiture Ceremony


Advancement Ceremonies






Additional Information:

Circle Investiture ] Compass ] Triangle Ceremony ]

Peer- Level Topic Links:
Introduction ] Troop Meetings ] [ Investiture Ceremonies ] Court of Honor Ceremony ] New Troop Ceremony ] Higher Ranks Cermony ] Rover Ceremonies ] Otter Ceremonies ] Tenderpad Investiture ]

Parent- Level Topic Links:
Climbing the Mountain ] Woodcraft Badges ] 1st Class, 1927-1940 ] Woodcraft Coups&Degrees ] Advancement Ceremonies ] Tracking Sheets ] Webelos Transition ] Traditional Scouting ] Bushman's Cord ] Senior Scouts ] Do Program! ] Traditional Award Badges ] 1st Year Summer Camp ] TF-FC Requirements in 1911 ] Journey Requirements ]

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Last modified: October 15, 2016.