Court of Honor Rank Advancement Ceremonies


In my short tenure as Troop 16's Scoutmaster we had three Court of Honor ceremonies. There are plenty of ceremonies for Eagle Courts, but it seems there are only a few floating around for "regular" Court of Honor rank andvancement ceremonies. And I've done all those and/or don't like them. So, I put together a different rank advancement ceremony for each of the three Court of Honors we had. They're available here in both Word and Acrobat formats.

Something you'll find in common with each of these is that I ask the Scout two questions: "what was the toughest requirement?" and "how did you complete it?" It's also worth noting that I divy up parts of the ceremony to other adult leaders in the Troop.

You might also be interested in a brief outline and some planning tips, assembled in how I like to run a Court of Honor.

Ceremony 1: Themeless

This ceremony is almost complete: everything is spelled out for the Second Class, First Class, Star and Life ranks. We didn't have any Scouts receiving the Scout or Tenderfoot badges, so I kind of glossed over them. Certainly you can fill in the blanks, though.

This is a fine ceremony, though rather disconnected. I assembled it by pulling a little from here and there. There's no "glue" to tie the Second Class part to the First Class part, for example.

Download: Microsoft Word .doc file, Adobe Acrobat .pdf file.

Ceremony 2: Baden-Powell

This one is quite incomplete, containing only Second and First Class advancement. One day maybe I'll do some more research and complete this ceremony, though, as it is my favorite.

I solved the problem of Ceremony 1 by tying everything together with "early Scouting" ideas, particularly from Scouting's founder.

Download: Microsoft Word .doc file, Adobe Acrobat .pdf file.

Ceremony 3: What is a Boy Scout?

This ceremony is complete, featuring specifics for Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, and Life ranks. Also, a closing by an Eagle Scout is included that helps tie it all together.

This ceremony is a little different from the previous two. 1 & 2 (and most other ceremonies I've seen) focus on the Scout's advancement with little/no introduction. This ceremony is primarily "introduction," citing the What is a Boy Scout? excerpt from the First (1911) Edition of the Handbook for Boys and follows up with a succinct advancement part.

Download: Microsoft Word .doc file, Adobe Acrobat .pdf file.

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Many thanks for these ways to go about a regular Court of Honor. My frustration has finally ended trying to wade through the gobs of Eagle Court of Honors. I just started a new Boy Scout Troop and this site helped me a bunch. Many thanks!!

Mark Sutphin
Hebron, KY

Thanks for the suggestions on Court of Honor ceremonies.

I really think resources like the court of honor scripts are a great asset to new scout leaders thank you for sharing

Dan, Thanks for sharing the ceremonies. These will come in handy for planning our first rank advancement court of honor ceremony. Keep up the great job with your troop!

Thanks for the ceremonies. They're great. I think they just need a little more emphasis on Scout.

This is my first year as a scoutmaster and I have found this site to be very helpful. I am having a Court of Honor this afternoon.

Rick Emas
Troop 218
Omaha, Nebraska

I'm a new Scoutmaster that is always looking for help and ideas. Your Court of honor ideas are outstanding. It will really make a neat ceremony for the boys and their parents tomorrow. Thanks and keep it up,

Logan, UT

Thanks for the post, good stuff

Man, these are great ceremonies. My troop just used to call up scouts and hand out the patches these ceremonies make it more fun and give parents the opportunities to take a picture of their kids getting different ranks.

Matt McAdam
SPL Troop 327
Sanford, ME

In the Eagle Scout Ceremony who normally puts on the reception? Is it proper for the parents of the Eagles to ask all the troop parents to bring food to this ceremony.

Sure, asking everyone to bring food is fine. I've been to a few where it's a potluck meal, and others where it's been catered. Whatever you want to do!

Thank You so much for this resource. I think that formal ceremonies are so important-especially nowadays for Scouts, as so few boys are exposed to formal ceremonies in their lives in todays world.

Thanks Again
Gary Helming Troop 1615 Butte, MT. USA

I am a new scout master and I am seeking ways to better the troop. Your ideas are great. This website will be very useful in improving an up comming Court of Honor.

Thank You

Marvin Watson
Berkely/Hillside, IL Troop 73

Thanks for putting in the effort to document ceremonies. We are trying to "upgrade" our ceremony and found you work to be invaluable.

I am a star scout in California, and i am getting my computers merit badge. This site has helped a lot! Thanks!

I am a Life Scout in Mississippi and I am working on Communications. The last requirement left is MC a court of honor. This site helped so much. Thank you so much

Thank you for taking the time to do this . We are going to do court of honor next week and this is going to be great .Gatlinburg Troop 111 have a blessed week Mark

I am not able to download Ceremonies 1 or 2. I get an error message that states:

// You cannot download this file

These look like good ceremonies, and would like to have copies of them for my library.

Mark, r u the mark that graduated from penta in 1972?

hi I liked it very much

thks dan as a Spl for my troop this helped out a bunch if all do u havingthing focusing on the scout law !?!?

I want to thank you for this website. As the SPL for a startup unit, i've been trying to keep this as boy lead as it can get, and i have planned to Court of Honor with the Help of my troop mates. This has been a great resource of a rank advancement ceremony that i can use

God bless scouters like you! I've been thrown to the wolves by outgoing poor leadership, and am now being lifted up and encouraged by true scouters. Thus, the next COH is on me and i'm a bit befuzzled. Thank goodness info like yours is out here to draw from!!!

Thank you. Very useful. I somewhat combined a couple of your examples. My son had to plan and conduct a COH for his communications merit badge and this is just what I needed. I'll give you a idea that our troop uses. When the kids first earn their scout badge, they get to put their name on a clothespin. There is a post with the ranks listed on seperate pieces of wood ascending the pole. They get to put their pin on the rank they have earned. The pole appears at each COH and the boys enjoy moving their pins up the pole.

Our scout troop plans to combine the Court of Honor and advancement with the Eagle Scout Court of Honor. Is this acceptable?

No Way! The Eagle Court of Honor is special. Almost sacred! It is a time where all the focus is on the boy who has gone the extra mile and achieved what few only dream about. Now, don't get me wrong. All Courts of Honor are special. A time for boys and their parents to get a pad on the back. But Eagle...that's a whole other ball game.

I am a new scout master for Troop 314 an was wondering how to pull off a COH. Thanks for the help.

Your's in Service James

Thanks for sharing your hard work! The Baden Powell Ceremony will definitely be appreciated in this 100th anniversary of Scouting in America for my son's first COH as Chairman.

We just used the third ceremony at our last court of honor. Parents and scouts were very impressed with it. thank you for sharing it with us.

Yours in Scouting

Todd Fellerer
Troop 34 Bristol, IL

thank you for sharing your ideas with the scouting program and helping me plan a better court of honor

Thanks for these ideas, it helps for those scouts working on Communications to put together a Court of Honor.

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