"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
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 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
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
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
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
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
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
(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
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
(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
(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
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
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
(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
(Candidate raises his hand in the Scout Sign.)
You will now repeat the Oath after me, pronouncing your name after the
(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
(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
"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
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
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."