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Beating Court of Honors Scripts Doldroms


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#1 Deaf Scouter

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Posted 20 January 2017 - 03:45 PM

Had a Scouter friend who is a Scoutmaster complain that his scouts do the same script over and over that Court of Honors were becoming boring for parents?  Do you find this the case in your troop?  If so, how do combat the doldroms and get the scouts to be a bit creative in developing new scripts each time?


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#2 SSScout

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Posted 20 January 2017 - 07:19 PM

Take your PLC aside and ask them what's important to THEM in a CoH.   What should be impressed on the audience and award recipients?   Is it too long?  Do the participants treat it too casually?  Too seriously?   Not enough candles?    

Should the SM be more involved?   Is he/she TOO involved?  

 

I dare say there are many sample CoH scripts  to be found on the Net.  

 

Our Troop used to do a real nice candle CoH.  Darken the room.  Twelve candles on a tree branch candlelabra, three (We decided it should be four) separate, one alone.  The one alone is the "Spirit of Scouting" .  The three (four)  are the parts of the Scout Promise/Oath, the twelve are the Scout Law.   Our script says appropriate things about the Spirit of Scouting, living on, lighting our way since 1908, etc.  Light the Scout Promise, the Scout Law, say appropriate things about each. 

At the end of the CoH, (the candles stay lit thruout), the candles are extinguished slowly, appropriate things are said thruout. But the last candle stays lit , in our hearts, etc.  and it leaves the room before the flags are retrieved.  

Fortunately, this is done maybe every three or four months, so it does not get stale.   The Scouts doing the reading and lighting only need to be reminded to be alittle solemn.   Is it important to them?   That's the secret. 


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#3 TAHAWK

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Posted 20 January 2017 - 07:56 PM

My old unit enlivened Eagle CoHs with a slide show regarding the Eagle over the years.  Early slides are typically greeted with "Aww." Funny slides a must.  Of course, if all modern technology is banned, there will be no slides.

 

The important thing for parents is their Scout alone center stage for long enough to get pictures.  No cattle calls.


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#4 Stosh

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Posted 20 January 2017 - 08:17 PM

When I had an SPL, he would MC the COH.  Before that the PL's did the MC job on a rotation basis.  Opening flags and after an introduction of welcome, the MC would call out a PL and if he were to receive rank or awards, the MC would present to him.  He in turn would present to his patrol members.  Then the next PL, etc.  Some  of the older PL's would visit with the boy and might inquire on what the collection he did for the collections MB, etc.  It varied from one boy to another and no two COH's were the same.  Closed with the retirement of the flags.

 

Never did any candles, scripts, or such things.  Just a recognition of advancement/awards in front of the parents and then off to the treats that always accompanied the event.  No adults had a part in the COH.  At the last COH of the year, I would sometimes be invited up to give a State of the Troop "speech"/remarks.  Nothing fancy, everyone seemed satisfied with how it went.


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#5 qwazse

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Posted 20 January 2017 - 10:39 PM

Get your PLC to reflect on e last CoH.
Ask what went well, what didn't go so well, and what they'd like to do differently.
Sometimes boys don't want to change a thing.
Other times they have real novel ideas.
Just get them in the habit of reflecting, one or two tweaks will come to the fore.
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#6 DuctTape

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Posted 21 January 2017 - 08:50 AM

I would ask the adult who is questioning this whether the COH is for the scouts or for the parents since the only rationale given for interfering with what the scouts do is boredom for parents. This isn't to suggest that none of the other suggestions are bad, in fact I typically remind scouts that they are in charge and they have the power and authority to use the plan that has been used by others before them or change it.
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#7 frankpalazzi

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Posted 14 March 2017 - 01:51 PM

A Court of Honor is by the boys, and for the boys; no one else.  They are the ones being honored and doing the honoring.  The adults are observers/guests of the boys and just need to learn to tolerate it.  We as leaders have seen the same things over and over dozens, even hundreds of times!  It doesn't mean everyone else has!  One of the reasons TV has "reruns"!


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#8 David CO

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Posted 14 March 2017 - 02:21 PM

Once again, I disagree.  We don't do separate COH events for scouts.

 

We recognize all of our boys' scouting accomplishment at our end-of-the-school-year school awards assembly.  We feel it is important to recognize our scouting achievements together with our athletic and scholastic awards.


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#9 Eagledad

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Posted 14 March 2017 - 02:43 PM

Get your PLC to reflect on e last CoH.
Ask what went well, what didn't go so well, and what they'd like to do differently.
Sometimes boys don't want to change a thing.
Other times they have real novel ideas.
Just get them in the habit of reflecting, one or two tweaks will come to the fore.

The SPL did this with our PLC after every Troop meeting and camp out. And I had a motto: if it's boring, change it. Scouting should be fun.

 

Barry


Edited by Eagledad, 14 March 2017 - 03:12 PM.

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#10 Col. Flagg

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Posted 14 March 2017 - 02:49 PM

Other than the presentation of ranks, MBs and special awards, we don't have a standard "script" per se. Each COH (3-4 per year) are done by the patrols on a rotating basis of responsibility.


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#11 Eagledad

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Posted 14 March 2017 - 03:16 PM

It's a little corny, but our PLC tried bingo after one COH. They got prizes donated and it was a huge hit with the parents and siblings. Did pizza at another one. Their ideas for making them less boring.


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#12 Stosh

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Posted 14 March 2017 - 07:31 PM

Hmmmm, boy led?  Never get caught holding the bag.  If the COH is boring, talk to the boys, they can fix it.  Not my problem.


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#13 blw2

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Posted 15 March 2017 - 03:04 PM

our scouts do the MCing and most of the talking....but they do the same script.... lighting candles for each rank even if no scouts are making that rank....

it's for them and done by them...

but I'd bet if pushed they are probably bored with it too.... see the sillyness in it.....but they are just doing what has always been done.... or doing what they think the adults expect.  even if given a choice, they wouldn't know any different and still assume this is what the adults want (& maybe they'd be right about that)

I'd love to see what would happen if the adults would leave the room.


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#14 Tampa Turtle

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 01:22 PM

The biggest problem seems to be the inspirational story...I pushed for a John Wayne scout law speech ban after it was used 5 COH in a row. The Historian report was a bit of a snooze but the last guy added a few funny stories and that went over well. The more boys do the talking the better they did start to cheer and be silly and while it was inefficient it was good to seem them in good spirits.


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#15 Col. Flagg

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 02:49 PM

The biggest problem seems to be the inspirational story...I pushed for a John Wayne scout law speech ban after it was used 5 COH in a row. The Historian report was a bit of a snooze but the last guy added a few funny stories and that went over well. The more boys do the talking the better they did start to cheer and be silly and while it was inefficient it was good to seem them in good spirits.

 

My son took that out of the "usual" ECOH script when it was his turn. Instead, he re-arranged the script entirely to be funnier and more interactive. It became the script used for Eagles after that.


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#16 fred johnson

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 09:34 AM

We have four COHs a year.  All of them are pot-lucks.  In May, the troop buys the meat and grills outside.  Sometimes we have a slide-show of pictures.  Sometimes we have a slide show of an Eagle scout's career.  Sometimes something else special is incorporated.  
 
The major part of the COH is the socializing by the scouts and families over food.  Celebrating.  Laughing.  Bonding.
 
The agenda is created by the SPL and SM sorting the advancements into a sequence:  MBs, ranks, other special.  Then when food is winding down, the SPL starts the presentation by pointing out that we have gathered to celebrate the activity and advancements by our scouts.  Each scout is called up and recognized.  
 
To be honest, I always look forward to our COHs.  And, I've never lost weight at any of them.   They are fun.

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#17 Eagledad

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 10:49 AM

 

I'd love to see what would happen if the adults would leave the room.

COHs would go away because adults are the reason for the ceremony.

 

But maybe you have a point that the adult scouters unintentionally hold the scouts back.  One of our scouts wanted his Eagle COH at the next campout. Nobody had experienced that, so the scouts came up with a pretty good ceremony on short notice. Still one of my favorite ECOHs.

 

Barry


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#18 fred johnson

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 11:08 AM

One of our scouts wanted his Eagle COH at the next campout. Nobody had experienced that, so the scouts came up with a pretty good ceremony on short notice. Still one of my favorite ECOHs.

 

Ya know.  I'd love that.  A good camp fire on a camp out would be a great inspiring atmosphere for an Eagle COH.


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#19 Eagledad

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 11:30 AM

Ya know.  I'd love that.  A good camp fire on a camp out would be a great inspiring atmosphere for an Eagle COH.

You described it perfectly.

 

Barry


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