Troop Meeting




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by William Tomkins


Boys are always interested in mystery, secrecy, and all things that are beyond the comprehension.  Sign language can be made a vital part of the troop, for building troop spirit and troop interest.

1. Instead of allowing Scouts to enter the troop room helter-skelter, have the Senior Patrol Leader, or one of the troop officers, receive the Scout at the door and ask him, in sign language, "Who are you?"  To which he responds in sign language,

"I am a good Scout." Answering, the Leader says, "Good, come in."

This continues until all the boys are received.  Then there may be two or three new lads who do not know the sign, and of course will have a profound desire to learn it.   The Scoutmaster then has the opportunity, which is most important, of meeting these new lads and bringing them into the troop. 

It is quite common for boys to deny other boys getting in on the inside.  The Scoutmaster then steps across, gives these boys a short talk, tells them some of the intricacies of the Scout program, and how they can become regular fellows and get into the troop.

2. Let us now consider the Scout that comes in late, interrupts the meeting, attracts attention.  He may break the trend of thought under consideration, especially if he goes up and talks with the Scoutmaster and explains why he is tardy, etc.  Instead, let him come in in regular form, approach the flag, salute it, salute the Scoutmaster, and in sign language say he is sorry, (heart on the ground), that he wants to come in.

3. Build into each patrol, patrol sign language which all the members of the patrol will understand.  This will help toward building patrol spirit, and a unity within the troop having its origin within the patrol.

4. Ceremonial, also initiation.  For these we have regular suggested forms.

5. As an alternative, when there is possibly only one to introduce, the tenderfoot can be brought into the room by a Scout who offers him as a member.  The Scout who brings the candidate in may say: "I bring this boy, make good Scout." 

This will be mysterious to the candidate, will keep him guessing as to what is being said about him, will show him that there is something to learn and understand, and will inspire him to come through a hundred per cent in order to measure up to the mysticism that surrounds the ceremonial.  After two or three questions have been exchanged and answered, the candidate is then received into the program and is relieved of any anxiety and told that he may now become a regular member, etc. 

He should then be turned over to whoever is in charge of the sign language work, and be properly prepared and taught some of the mysteries of the troop program.  This should not be confused in any way with secrecy or with the secret fraternity idea.

6. Instead of the usual method of Scouts attention, or Scouts alert, form a straight line. The leader puts forth his hands, giving the signal for calling attention. He then gives the order:




Sit down.




Look at Bulletin Board.


Return to Patrol Formation.

7. Signs or signals can be given for troop on the move. 

bulletSignal to call patrol leaders to Big Chief. 
bulletSignal for calling patrols in circle formation. 
bulletSignal for calling "Troop circle formation." 
bulletSignal for "Straight line formation." 
bulletSignal for "Sit down for an Indian story." 
bulletSignal for "Council meeting of troop officers and patrol leaders."


Before 7:30--DUMB BELL TAG. The players stand scattered about the playing area one of their number being "it" and is placed in the center of the area. A dumb bell or some similar object is passed from one player to another, "it" attempting to tag the player who has the dumb bell. If he succeeds, the one being tagged is "it".

7:30--FALL IN. Roll call. Collection of dues. Inspection. Flag ceremony.

7:40--SAFETY DRILLS. Make your troop patrols rescue crews. Dramatize ice or water rescues, electric accidents, automobile accidents, etc. Explain mistakes afterwards-make an inter-patrol contest out of it.

8:00--PATROL MEETING. Have some of your best sign talkers teach each of your patrols the Indian Sign Language. Instruct Scouts in test passing for the court of honor.

8:20--DEVELOP INDIAN SIGN LANGUAGE through games or stunts, and prepare them for passing the Signaling tests for second or first class; also for the sign language part and the Indian games portion of the new Indian Lore Merit Badge. Give the playlet to some of your best sign talkers and let them put it on.

8:50--ANNOUNCEMENTS. Scoutmasters 5 minutes. Read or talk on citizenship.

Scout handbook pages 532-540?

9:00-FALL IN. Hand salute. Indian Sign Language Benediction. Troop dismissed.

 Universal Indian Sign Language






Additional Information:

Peer- Level Topic Links:
Sign Dictionary ] Introductory Notes ] Asking Names ] Moons/Months ] Sign Simplified ] Top 200 Signs ] 40 Native American Signs ] Indian Blessing ] Boy Scout Oath in Sign ] Sentence Formation ] Practice Sentences ] Sign Synonyms ] Telling Directions ] Pictographs ] Pictographic Story ] Correspondence ] Sign&Pictography ] Smoke Signals ] Sign History ] Sign Idioms ] Song "Taps" in Sign ] [ Troop Meeting ] Council Fire ] Camp Ideas ] Sign Play ] Sign Playlet ] Boy Scout Initiation ] Sign Exercises ] Advanced Students ] Immortality Poem ] Photos ]

Parent- Level Topic Links:
Native Skills ] Totem Poles ] Indian Sign Language ] Indian Ceremonies ] Indian Dance ] Indian Songs ] Birch Bark Dances ] Birch Bark Songs ] Birch Bark Plays ] Indian Games for Boys ]

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Last modified: October 15, 2016.