During our Troop Court of Honor programs, we often incorporate a candle lighting ceremony to add a dramatic flair to the evening. The Court of Honor held last night was no exception. Here is the scripting we used for the program. (Note, you don’t need to be “Christian” to be a boy scout, but in our troop, our families share a common faith in Christ as our savior, and we often reference Christian scriptures in our scouting programs since its relevant to us).
Narrator (In lowered light):
John 1:1-5 says; “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” [Narrator lights the first Candle which stands by itself – separate from the other candle holder device]
“As Christians, we receive our direction from God’s word. It is the light that shows the way to go through the darkness. It is the only light we really need, and we know that God called light “good” when he created it way back in Genesis chapter One.”
“As a faith-based Boy Scout troop, our principles and ideals come from and are held accountable to that one true source of light. These ideals help to illuminate our walk through life for in Psalm 119, verse 105 it says – “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
“Scouts, please come forward to pass this light to others.”
“The Scouting program has three specific objectives, commonly referred to as the “Aims of Scouting.” They are character development, citizenship training, and personal fitness. To accomplish these goals, there are eight equally important “methods” used to help scouts grow.
In prior court of honor programs we’ve discussed “Scouting Ideals”
- Candle Team lights first candle
The ideals of Boy Scouting are spelled out in the Scout Oath, the Scout Law, the Scout motto, and the Scout slogan. The Boy Scout measures himself against these ideals and continually tries to improve. The goals are high, and as he reaches for them, he has some control over what and who he becomes.
Another method we’ve discussed is the “Advancement Program”.
- Candle Team lights second candle
Boy Scouting provides a series of surmountable obstacles and steps in overcoming them through the advancement method. The Boy Scout plans his advancement and progresses at his own pace as he meets each challenge. The Boy Scout is rewarded for each achievement, which helps him gain self-confidence. The steps in the advancement system help a Boy Scout grow in self-reliance and in the ability to help others.
Tonight, we’ll examine “Leadership Development.”
- Candle Team lights third candle
The Boy Scout program encourages boys to learn and practice leadership skills. Every Boy Scout has the opportunity to participate in both shared and total leadership situations. Understanding the concepts of leadership helps a boy accept the leadership role of others and guides him toward the citizenship aim of Scouting.
Other methods of scouting include: “Patrols.”
- Candle Team lights fourth candle
The patrol method gives Boy Scouts an experience in group living and participating citizenship. It places responsibility on young shoulders and teaches boys how to accept it. The patrol method allows Scouts to interact in small groups where members can easily relate to each other. These small groups determine troop activities through elected representatives.
One of the most visible methods of scouting is our involvement in “Outdoor Programs.”
- Candle Team lights fifth candle
Boy Scouting is designed to take place outdoors. It is in the outdoor setting that Scouts share responsibilities and learn to live with one another. In the outdoors the skills and activities practiced at troop meetings come alive with purpose. Being close to nature helps Boy Scouts gain an appreciation for the beauty of the world around us. The outdoors is the laboratory in which Boy Scouts learn ecology and practice conservation of nature’s resources.
During our time in scouting, our “Associations With Adults” help us learn maturity
- Candle Team lights sixth candle
Boys learn a great deal by watching how adults conduct themselves. Scout leaders can be positive role models for the members of the troop. In many cases a Scoutmaster who is willing to listen to boys, encourage them, and take a sincere interest in them can make a profound difference in their lives.
An important method of the program depends on each scout to engage in the program. This method is called “Personal Growth.”
- Candle Team lights seventh candle
As Boy Scouts plan their activities and progress toward their goals, they experience personal growth. The Good Turn concept is a major part of the personal growth method of Boy Scouting. Boys grow as they participate in community service projects and do Good Turns for others. Probably no device is as successful in developing a basis for personal growth as the daily Good Turn. The religious emblems program also is a large part of the personal growth method. Frequent personal conferences with his Scoutmaster help each Boy Scout to determine his growth toward Scouting’s aims.
The last, but not least important method is the use of “Uniforms.”
- Candle Team lights eighth candle
The uniform makes the Scout troop visible as a force for good and creates a positive youth image in the community. Boy Scouting is an action program, and wearing the uniform is an action that shows each Scout’s commitment to the aims and purposes of Scouting. The uniform gives the Scout identity in a world brotherhood of youth who believe in the same ideals. The uniform is practical attire for Boy Scout activities and provides a way for Boy Scouts to wear the badges that show what they have accomplished.
These eight methods describe the fundamentals of the boy scout program. Each is important to running a successful program that benefits the chartering organization, the surrounding community and the scouting families who are directly involved in making it all happen.
If you have questions about the methods of scouting, please reach out to one of our leaders or committee people. Thank you for your attention.