Circle Investiture




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"Circle" Investiture Ceremony
For the Admission of a Tenderfoot

This ceremony is designed for the investiture of but one candidate. It may be readily adapted to a group, however, by choosing a Master of Ceremonies without regard to his Patrol affiliation.


Scouts are seated in a large circle, i. e., Scout compass formation. A small square table is in the center, covered with dark cloth, holding three large candles in triangular formation in the midst of a circle of twelve smaller candles. The Flag of the United States of America and the Troop banner are located in stands on either side of the table.

The Scoutmaster is stationed at the north behind a pedestal. A sign bearing the words "Duty to God" should be placed on an easel, in front of, or attached to, the pedestal. just behind the Scoutmaster, or on either side of him, are seated those members of the Troop Committee who are present at this particular meeting. The Assistant Scoutmaster is stationed at the south, just back of a pedestal bearing an inscription "Duty to Others." The Junior Assistant Scoutmaster is stationed at the east behind a pedestal bearing the inscription, "Duty to Country." The Senior Patrol Leader is stationed at the west behind a pedestal on which appears an inscription "Duty to Self." The Scribe is seated at a small table about half way between the Scoutmaster and the Senior Patrol Leader.

One Scout is assigned to duty as Outer Guard, and he stands just outside the door. The Scout who has recruited the candidate is also outside, or in the ante-room, preparing the new Tenderfoot for his investiture by blindfolding him and standing with him before the door. The Patrol Leader of the Patrol which the candidate is about to join, acts as Master of Ceremonies, and carries a staff and stands inside the entrance, facing toward the Scoutmaster.

Scouts are seated in the circle according to Patrols, provided the Troop has the regulation number of four Patrols, one being located between the north and the east, another between the west and the south, etc., around the circle.  In Troops having a greater or lesser number of Patrols, the Scouts should be evenly grouped between stations. Space large enough to admit the candidate and escort should be left between the south and the west stations. In this opening should be placed a rustic gate, surmounted by an arch bearing the legend "Gate of Opportunity." The gate adds to the effectiveness of the ceremony.

Scoutmaster (Rising to his feet and addressing the Scouts) : We are now about to proceed with the most important ceremony in which a boy participates during his entire career as a Scout, and I would therefore urge you, one and all, to enter into the spirit of the occasion with a full realization of all that the first impression will mean to the future progress of the candidate who now seeks admission to our ranks.

I have just received word that somewhere beyond our circle of brotherhood (indicates circle formation with gesture) a boy, who has not heretofore enjoyed the benefits of this great program which we call Scouting, is groping his way toward the "Gate of Opportunity" which Scouting opens to those who are so fortunate as to find the key to its mysteries. Let us await his coming with interest and pleasure as well as a desire to prove ourselves true brother-Scouts.

(Three loud knocks arc heard at the entrance door.)

Patrol Leader (Saluting) : Mr. Scoutmaster, some one is seeking admission to our circle of brotherhood, for he has knocked three times at the outer door.

Scoutmaster: Please investigate and report.

Patrol Leader (Opens door to ante-room) : Our Scoutmaster wishes to know who seeks admission to our Scouting circle.

Outer Guard: One of our Scouts has just come to our door leading a boy who cannot see whither he goes, but who is trusting his friend to lead him through the "Gate of Opportunity" as a candidate for Tenderfoot Investiture into the "Boy Scouts of America."

Patrol Leader: Very well, I shall so report. (Closes the door and salutes.) Mr. Scoutmaster, the Outer Guard informs me that a brother-Scout has recently came to the door leading a boy who cannot see whither he goes, but who trusts his friend to lead him through the "Gate of Scouting Opportunity."

Scoutmaster: Patrol Leader, Go once to our entrance and ascertain whether this traveler has the golden key which will unlock "The Gate," and if so well equipped bring him into our circle in order that we may test him and further instruct him. (P. L. salutes, turns about, and opens the door.)

Patrol Leader: Brother Scout, does your friend possess the Golden Key to the "Gate of Scouting Opportunity?"

Scout Escort: He possesses the Key, for it is none other than the Certificate of Qualification for the rank of Tenderfoot secured from an official Board of Review and here it is.

(Scout Escort hands the certificate to P. L.)

Patrol Leader: Together then we shall take him to our Scoutmaster in order that he may test him and further instruct him.

(P. L. and Scout Escort place themselves at either side of the candidate, taking his arms and leading him through the circle to the Scoutmaster's station.)

Patrol Leader: Mr. Scoutmaster, I have here the candidate whom a Brother-Scout has just brought to the door and who has gained admission through "The Gate of Scouting Opportunity."

Scoutmaster: How did he gain admission?

Patrol Leader: By means of the Golden Key, which consists of his certificate of qualification as a Tenderfoot Scout, and here it is.

(Presents certificate to Scoutmaster.)

Scoutmaster: It is well, but this certificate relates only to the passing of his tests. There is much more required. By what further right did he gain possession of the Golden Key?

Patrol Leader: By the right of every boy who has reached the age of eleven years and who wants to live a clean, straight and honorable life.

Scoutmaster: Who vouches for his integrity in these respects?

Scout Escort: I do, sir, for he is my friend, and I am convinced that he is the sort of a boy of whom our Troop or any Troop may be proud.

Scoutmaster: Patrol Leader, are you also satisfied of the candidate's worthiness?

Patrol Leader: I am, and so are the other Scouts in the Patrol of which he is about to become a member. They have each so indicated to me today.

Scoutmaster: That being the case, you may remove his blindfold.

(P. L. removes blindfold.)

My friend, you were brought into the midst of this circle with your eyes covered in order that you might more easily shut out all other thoughts and interests and concentrate upon your possible entrance into Scouting. Now inside the "Gate of Opportunity" you have been conducted to this station, where your attention is now called to the first point in our Scout Oath, "Duty to God," for every Scout here assembled believes that no boy can attain the full benefits of this great Program and become a true Scout in word and deed without recognizing, in the very beginning, the duty which he owes to the Great Scoutmaster of us all. No matter what your religious training may be, nor what creed you may represent, you will here join with the other Scouts in this circle in promising to be ever faithful to God Almighty. Do you so recognize this Duty?

Candidate: I do.

Scoutmaster: You are then entitled to be conducted further along the Scouting trail where there will be brought to your attention other significant points to be recognized in the obligation which you will assume a little later in this ceremony.

The friend who has brought you through the "Gate of Scouting Opportunity" will now leave you in the hands of the Patrol Leader, who will accompany you on your journey. I bid you God-speed and from this point on am counting on you for the best that's in you.

(Scout Escort returns to his Patrol, and P. L. conducts the candidate to the station in the East. P. L. taps three times on the floor with his staff.)

Assistant Scoutmaster: Who is it that approaches this station?

Patrol Leader: Sir, a candidate for Tenderfoot Investiture in the Boy Scouts of America who desires instruction regarding the second point in our Scout Oath, which requires, as we all so well know, a sense of one's "Duty to Country."

Assistant Scoutmaster: I bid you welcome here, my friend, and I would impress upon you first the fact that a candidate for the great program, Scouting, recognizes not only his duty to God, but also the loyalty he owes to his country. Many there are who have died for their country, illustrious all, but it is equally glorious to live for one's country. Keep this thought uppermost in your mind and heart as you now repeat after me the Pledge of Allegiance to The Flag of the United States of America.

(A. S. M. raps three times upon the pedestal, bringing all Scouts and Scout Officials to their feet, after which he gives command to salute. Candidate while at salute then repeats pledge, after the A. S. M. as follows) :

"I pledge allegiance to The Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands; one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

(A. S. M. gives the order "2," and raps once for all to be seated, except candidate and P. L.)

Assistant Scoutmaster: With thoughts of God and country in your mind the Patrol Leader will now conduct you still further along the trail of good Scouting for further instruction.

(P. L. conducts candidate to station in the south, and taps three times upon the floor.)

Junior Assistant Scoutmaster: Who approaches this station?

Patrol Leader: Sir, a candidate for Tenderfoot Investiture into the Boys Scouts of America, who desires instruction regarding the third point in our Scout Oath, which places upon him an obligation concerning his "Duty to Others."

Junior Assistant Scoutmaster: I too bid you welcome, my friend, and I would at this point in your journey call your attention to our Scout Sign (making Scout Sign) of world brotherhood. You will no doubt later be called upon to promise "to help other people at all times," for I am sure that yours is a spirit of true Service, and so I would remind you of our splendid requirement, "Do a Good Turn Daily," which has often been referred to as, "the heart and essence of the Boy Scout Movement."

No one who is self-centered can truly exemplify the ideals of Scouting, and the true Scout "should count that day lost, whose low descending sun views from thy hand no worthy service done." I am sure you will faithfully follow this principle at home, at school and in your community life. Do you promise here to make your life one of service?

Candidate: I do.

Patrol Leader: Please conduct the candidate further along the trail of good Scouting for further instruction. I wish you God speed.

(P. L. conducts candidate to station in the west, and taps three times on the floor.)

Senior Patrol Leader: Who approaches this station?

Patrol Leader: Sir, a candidate for Tenderfoot Investiture with the Boy Scouts of America, who desires instruction concerning the fourth point in our Scout Oath which emphasizes one's "Duty to Self."

Senior Patrol Leader: My friend, I bid you thrice welcome, and here at this point I would impress upon you in the very beginning that in addition to your duty to God, your Country and your fellow-men, you owe a duty to yourself.  In the obligation which you will shortly assume, you will promise to so live that you may be ever physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight, for these are attributes to the foundation of a strong and vigorous character, the building of which is the main objective in Scouting. This Troop is deeply interested in seeing you grow and develop in splendid manhood, but you must agree to help yourself as well. Will you endeavor to live up to this personal obligation?

Candidate: I will.

Senior Patrol Leader: Patrol Leader, you will now re-conduct the candidate to the Scoutmaster who will officially obligate him to the ideals and principles of our great Movement.

(P. L. conducts candidate to Scoutmaster's station, and taps three times on floor.)

Scoutmaster: Who now approaches the Scoutmaster's station?

Patrol Leader: Sir, the candidate for Tenderfoot Investiture whom you instructed me to guide along the Scouting trail for further instruction. He has now had carefully presented to him all along the trail the duty which he owes to his God, to his country, to his neighbor and to himself, and he is now ready to take our Scout Oath which binds us all together in the golden chain of true brotherhood and service.

Scoutmaster: Good! you will then conduct your comrade and candidate to the center of our friendly circle where he may officially assume this obligation which you inform me he is now ready to take with his eyes open to all that it involves.

(P. L. conducts candidate to center and places him before the table upon which rest the candles. The P. L. then lights the three candles in the center and takes his position beside the candidate.)

Patrol Leader: Mr. Scoutmaster, our candidate is now ready to take our Oath.

(The Scoutmaster raps three times, bringing all Scouts and Scout Officials to their feet, and then takes his place behind the center table, facing the candidate.)

Scoutmaster: You will raise your right hand in the Scout Sign, with the tip of the thumb resting on the nail of the little finger, and three fingers held upright, representing the three points of our Scout Oath. May the three lighted candles which you see before you burn into your memory these three solemn obligations.

(Candidate raises his hand in the Scout Sign.)

You will now repeat the Oath after me, pronouncing your name after the pronoun "I."

(Scoutmaster administers Oath solemnly and impressively.)

On my honor I will do my best: To do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law. To help other people at all times: To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.

Scoutmaster: You will lower your right hand. (Hand is lowered.) Now that you have taken this solemn oath, I shall call upon twelve Scouts to light the candles, representing the Scout Laws, and explain to you each their significance.

(Scouts previously selected, step forward, light the candle one by one, and repeat each Scout Law, with explanation, as in the previous ceremony, and then return to their places.)

Scoutmaster: Your attention has now been called to the code of Laws by which you will be bound throughout your Scouting career. May you ever be true to the Scout Oath and faithfully observe the Scout Laws. I am counting on you and believe in you.

(Scoutmaster walks around the table and takes the hand of the candidate.)

"I will now give you the handclasp of a Scout, which symbolizes the bond of brotherhood that cements the friendships and associations of your fellow Scouts. (Gives him the handclasp.) Mr . Chairman (or member) of the Troop Committee, will now invest you with the insignia of a Tenderfoot Scout."

Chairman (or member) of the Troop Committee steps forward and around the other side of the table, facing the candidate saying:

"It gives me great pleasure my boy to present to you this Tenderfoot Badge, which will proclaim to all the world that you have determined to live as a true Scout, and it is my sincere desire that you may ever prove worthy of all that it stands for. The Committee of this Troop is counting upon you.

"You will notice that the central part of our badge points upward to remind you of the duty you owe to God and Country. That part of the trefoil on the right is to remind you that you have promised to help other people at all times. The left part of the trefoil, pointing toward your heart, will remind you of your duty to yourself. (Pins badge on candidate's coat.) May you ever wear this badge with credit to yourself and honor to the great Boy Scout Movement of which you are now an important part. I congratulate you upon your investiture as a Tenderfoot Scout." (Shakes hands with candidate and returns to his place.)

Scoutmaster: As Scoutmaster, I welcome you to membership in this Troop, and I assure you that we all stand ready to help you receive the fullest possible benefits of your Scouting affiliation. The Patrol Leader will now escort you to the Scribe's table, where you will pay your registration fee and become regularly enrolled as a member of Troop of the.......................... Council, Boy Scouts of America.

You will then be conducted to your Patrol, and continue your Scouting activities."

(Scoutmaster returns to his station, and instructs all Scouts and Scout Officials to be seated.)

(Patrol Leader steps forward, escorts Candidate to Scribe's table and later to his Patrol, where the Patrol members give him a Patrol yell, grasp him by the hand and welcome him as one of the group. P. L. then steps to center of the circle and leads in a Troop yell for the new Tenderfoot Scout.)

If this ceremony is presented as a part of the regular Troop meeting program, the Scoutmaster will say: "We shall now proceed to the remainder of the evening's program." (The regular closing ceremonies may then take place at a later period. If the ceremony is held at the close of the meeting, the Scoutmaster may say: "We are now about to close the ceremony." (Raps three times bringing all to their feet.)

The S. P. L. will lead in the Scout benediction:

"And now may the Great Scoutmaster of all good Scouts be with us till we meet again."

All Scouts sing the Taps Song:

Bugler sounds taps.

"Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, from the hill, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh."

See Also:

About Investiture Ceremonies

"Triangle" Investiture Ceremony

"Circle" Investiture Ceremony

"Compass" Investiture Ceremony

Advancement Ceremonies






Additional Information:

Peer- Level Topic Links:
[ Circle Investiture ] Compass ] Triangle Ceremony ]

Parent- Level Topic Links:
Introduction ] Troop Meetings ] Investiture Ceremonies ] Court of Honor Ceremony ] New Troop Ceremony ] Higher Ranks Cermony ] Rover Ceremonies ] Otter Ceremonies ] Tenderpad Investiture ]

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Last modified: October 15, 2016.