Scheduling a meaningful ceremony as a closing for the troop meeting serves to comfortably round out what has preceded. It also contributes to a consistent meeting structure. As reflected in the Troop Meeting Planning Form, the meeting should formally end with some form of closing. There’s no rule as to what it must be, and troops have a lot of leeway as to what they present and how they present it. They can be assembled in their “U” formation and the ceremony conducted up front, or a troop might make it a practice to form an intimate troop circle. The PLC can assign a patrol to present a specially-prepared closing, or the troop might adopt one they really like, and use it every week, following a unique Scout Master’s Minute. What follows are some closing ceremony ideas.
Retiring the Colors
If a flag ceremony was used in the opening, it is appropriate to retire the flag as a closing ceremony.
Scout Law with a Prayer
Troop assembles in “U” formation for a Scoutmaster’s Minute. When the Scoutmaster is done, the SPL leads everyone in the Scout Law, after which they call up the Chaplain’s Aid to deliver a prayer of thanks.
Troop Circle Counting Off – Scout Oath or Law
The troop forms a circle and counts off, clockwise, around the circle. As each Scout says their number, they put their left hand on the shoulder of the Scout to their left. When all have counted, each Scout puts up the Scout sign and recites the Scout Oath, or Law (whatever was not recited during the Opening Ceremony).
Class A Clap
Extolled by “Scoutmaster to the World”, Green Bar Bill Hillcourt, the Class A Clap has been around for many years and invariably sparks enthusiastic responses. After the clap, Scouts skip one beat and then, in unison, zealously shout something. This can be anything: the troop’s number, the name of a Scout camp, a chosen word, etc.
“May the Great Scoutmaster of all Scouts be with us until we meet again.”
Scout Benediction with Gestures
“May the great Scoutmaster” (all make a gesture toward the heavens)
“Of all Scouts” (all make a sweeping motion from right to left at shoulder height)
“Be with us until we meet again.”(all bring their right hands to their hearts, and bow their heads.)
Troop Circle – Scout Benediction
The troop forms a circle with each Scout making the Scout sign. With their left hand, each grasps the lifted right wrist of their neighbor on the left. The troop then gives the Scout Benediction or Scout Law.
The troop forms a circle with each Scout making the Scout sign. With their left hand, each grasps the lifted right wrist of their neighbor on the left. The troop then repeats after the SPL as follows:
“May the great Scoutmaster . . .” (troop repeats)
“Of all good Scouts . . .” (troop repeats)
“Watch between . . .” (troop repeats)
“Me and thee . . .” (troop repeats)
“While we’re apart . . .” (troop repeats)
“One from one another . . .” (troop repeats)
“Amen” . . .” (troop repeats)
Counting Off – Scout Benediction
The troop forms a troop circle and counts off, clockwise, around the circle. As each Scout says their number, they put their left hand on the shoulder of the Scout to their left. When all have counted, each Scout puts their right hand over their heart and gives the Scout Benediction.