Picture yourself in the audience during a ceremony. What do you want? You want to see the faces of the participants. You want to see even the shortest Cub Scout. You want to hear every word or sound. Therefore, when you plan a ceremony, keep these points in mind:

  • Select ceremonies that fit the setting. For example: Will this ceremony be effective outdoors? In a small space? With fixed seating?
  • Set the stage. Get your audience in a receptive frame of mind with music, lights, or props.
  • Homemade costumes or other props enhance a ceremony and mean much to parents and boys who help make them.
  • Elevate the boy receiving an award so that he can easily be seen. Be sure all participants face the audience.
  • If possible, use a public-address system, or record parts in advance on a tape recorder. A successful ceremony must be seen and heard.
  • Pronounce words distinctly and correctly. Two words commonly mispronounced are Webelos (Wee-buh-lows) and Akela (Ah-kay-la).
  • Delegate. Give others responsibility -- and recognition -- for a successful ceremony.
  • Alternate responsibility among dens for opening, closing, or other ceremonies.
  • Each person should have a script or otherwise know exactly what is expected of him or her. Have extra copies for pinch hitters.
  • Use boy-parent-audience participation. If rehearsal isn't necessary, have as many audience members as possible participate in the ceremony.
  • Give everyone clear instructions -- including the audience when they participate, as in some flag ceremonies. Make everyone comfortable. Give them the feeling that they belong and are part of the action.
  • Use a Cub Scout emblem, a flag, an electric campfire, or other prop as a focal point.
  • Have the awards readily available, and in proper order, to enable the leader to present them quickly and without confusion.
  • Discuss with the boys beforehand the behavior expected of them during the ceremony -- there will be no horseplay or other action that would detract from its dignity.

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