Triangle Investiture Ceremony
For the Admission of a Tenderfoot
[Note to Scoutmaster: If combination of investiture and initiation
are desired, note carefully suggestions offered at the end of this ceremony.]
THIS CEREMONY is designed for the investiture of but one candidate. It
may readily be adapted to a group, however, by choosing a Master of Ceremonies without
regard to his Patrol affiliation.
Scouts are seated in triangular formation, with Scoutmaster's Station
at the apex, and the stations of the Assistant Scoutmaster and Senior Patrol Leader at the
left and right angles, respectively. Three Patrols being necessary to the formation of the
Triangle, the fourth Patrol will form a second line at the base.
In the center of the Scout Triangle is arranged a small table, covered
with dark cloth, and holding three candles, representing the three parts of the Scout
Oath, which are bounded by twelve candles, symbolic of the Scout Laws, all being placed in
triangular fashion. The Flag of the United States of America and the Troop banner are
located in stands on correct sides of the table.
An opening is arranged half-way between the left and right angles of
the Scout Triangle to admit the candidate and escort.
The Patrol Leader of the Patrol of which the candidate is about to
become a member acts as Master of Ceremonies, and stands inside the entrance door. A Scout
who has been appointed as Guard stands without the door, and another, who has been
appointed Guide (preferably the Scout who has recruited the new Tenderfoot) prepares the
candidate by blindfolding him and placing him at the door, in readiness to knock for
admission. All lights in the room are extinguished and the three candles in the center of
the table are lighted before the ceremony begins.
The Scoutmaster, in a few well-chosen remarks, impresses upon the
Scouts and others the solemnity of the occasion; what it really means to be a Scout and
the seriousness of the step which is about to be taken by the boy who will shortly seek
admission to the Troop. The Scoutmaster closes his introduction by addressing the Patrol
Scoutmaster: Patrol Leader, you will instruct
the Guard that should the Guide approach the door with a candidate he shall ask him to
wait until we are satisfied that he is duly qualified for the rank of Tenderfoot Scout.
(Patrol Leader salutes, opens the door and without passing out
instructs the Guard accordingly, after which he closes the door, faces the Scoutmaster and
awaits further orders. The Guide then, without being visible, instructs the candidate to
knock three times on the door.)
Patrol Leader: (Saluting). Mr. Scoutmaster,
some one is seeking admission to our Triangle, for he has knocked three times at the outer
door. I presume it is a candidate who desires to be invested with the rank of Tenderfoot
Scoutmaster: Very well, Sir. Kindly satisfy
yourself that the candidate is fully qualified, and if he proves to be so, usher him into
the presence of the Triangle in order that he may be further instructed regarding his
duties as a Scout, and in order that he may take the Scout Oath.
Patrol Leader (salutes, turns about, knocks
three times from within then opens the door and says) : Guard, who is seeking admission
Guard: Only now a Scout came to this door
leading a boy weary from much climbing, who wishes to be invested with the rank of
Patrol Leader (to Guide): Has the boy
successfully passed our Tenderfoot tests?
Guide: He has, sir, and has proved that he is
worthy to be admitted into our great brotherhood.
Patrol Leader: Very well, you will bring him
to our Triangle, where he may be examined further by our Scoutmaster.
(Scoutmaster calls all Scouts to attention as the Patrol Leader and
Guide escort the blindfolded boy through the opening to the center of the Triangle, where
he stands before the table and facing the Scoutmaster.)
Senior Patrol Leader (after removing the
blindfold) : Mr. Scoutmaster, I present to you Candidate .................. whom one of
our worthy Guides has brought to the door; a promising boy seeking investiture as a
Scoutmaster (to Candidate) : My friend, you
see before you three lighted candles. These symbolize the three parts of our Scout Oath
which every Tenderfoot is required to take as he passes through the portals which lead to
the realm of Scouting achievement. I would first call your attention to the fact that you
are at this moment facing the apex of our Scout Triangle, representing the first part of
our sacred obligation. (Gives Scout Sign and repeats:) "On my honor, I will do my
best to do my duty to God and my country, and to obey the Scout Law."
The Patrol Leader will now place you in a position, facing the right
angle of the triangle, which represents the second part of the Scout Oath.
(Senior Patrol Leader, assisted by Guide, turns candidate on a pivot
until he faces the Assistant Scoutmaster's Station.)
Assistant Scoutmaster: Service is the keynote
of the second part of our Oath and if you will be sure to note, exacts a solemn promise
(giving Scout Sign) "To help other people at all times." The Senior Patrol
Leader will now place you in a position facing the left angle of the triangle, which
represents the third part of our Oath.
(Senior Patrol Leader, assisted by Guide, turns candidate on pivot to
left, until he faces the Senior Patrol Leader's Station.)
Senior Patrol Leader: Character is the
keynote of the third part of our Oath, and is bound up in the pledge (gives Scout Sign)
"To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight." (This
statement should be said slowly clearly, with real meaning, followed by a noticeable
The Senior Patrol Leader will again place you in a position facing the
Scoutmaster: You have now been brought face
to face with the three parts of our great Scout Oath and I trust that you have been
adequately impressed with the seriousness of this obligation which you are about to take
upon yourself. I have requested twelve Scouts to recite, now, for your special benefit our
Scout Laws with a brief explanation of each, so that you may further understand the true
obligations of a good Scout.
(Twelve Scouts, previously selected, step forward, one at a time in
proper order, each lighting a candle, and reciting the Law and explanation. This should be
deliberate, unhurried and with serious manner. Let each boy express himself in his own
words, based on the following statements:
1. A Scout Is Trustworthy. A Scout's honor is to be trusted. If he were
to violate his honor by telling a lie, or by cheating, or by not doing exactly a given
task, when trusted on his honor, he may be directed to hand over his Scout Badge.
2. A Scout Is Loyal. He is loyal to all to whom loyalty is due; his
Scout Leader, his home, and parents and country.
3. A Scout Is Helpful. He must be prepared at any time to save life,
help injured persons and share the home duties. He must do at least one Good Turn for
somebody every day.
4. A Scout Is Friendly. He is a friend to all and a brother to every other Scout.
5. A Scout Is Courteous. He is polite to all, especially to women,
children, old people, and the weak and helpless. He must not take pay for being helpful or
6. A Scout Is Kind. He is a friend to animals. He will not kill nor
hurt any living creature needlessly, but will strive to save and protect all harmless
7. A Scout Is Obedient. He obeys his parents, Scoutmaster, Patrol
Leader, and all other duly constituted authorities.
8. A Scout Is Cheerful. He smiles whenever he can. His obedience to
orders is prompt and cheery. He never shirks nor grumbles at hardships.
9. A Scout Is Thrifty. He does not wantonly destroy property. He works
faithfully, wastes nothing, and makes the best use of his opportunities. He saves his
money so that he may pay his own way, be generous to those in need, and helpful to worthy
objects. He may work for pay but must not receive tips for courtesies or Good Turns.
10. A Scout Is Brave. He has the courage to face danger In spite of
fear and to stand up for the right against the coaxings of friends or the jeers or threats
of enemies, and defeat does not down him.
11. A Scout Is Clean. He keeps clean in body and thought, stands for
clean speech, clean sport, clean habits, and travels with a clean crowd.
12. A Scout Is Reverent. He is reverent toward God. He is faithful in
his religious duties, and respects the convictions of others in matters of custom and
Scoutmaster: You have now been reminded of
the Laws with which you will govern your life as a Scout, and I trust they will have your
due observance, as a worthy member of our Troop. Before proceeding further with the
ceremony it will be necessary for you to answer several questions:
Are you willing to do everything in your power to fulfill the
requirements of the Scout Program and constantly to seek to measure up to the Motto
Candidate: I am.
Scoutmaster: Will you be loyal to the
Scoutmaster, Assistant Scoutmaster, your Patrol Leader and the Troop?
Candidate: I will.
Scoutmaster: Is there anything in the Scout
Oath or Law that you do not now understand?
Candidate: No, sir,
Scoutmaster: Are you willing to pledge
yourself, on your honor, to keep the Oath and practice the Law?
Candidate: I am.
Scoutmaster: Then you will be permitted to
take this solemn Oath in the presence of these boys who are to accept you as their comrade
(Calls all Scouts to attention, with right hands raised in the Scout Sign and then
addresses the new Scout.)
You will give the Scout Sign and repeat the Oath after me, pronouncing
your name after, "On my honor I"
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.
Now that you have taken the Oath, it becomes my duty and pleasure to
pin on your breast the badge of a Tenderfoot Scout, to give you the Scout Handclasp (takes
him by the left hand) to declare you a member of the Boy Scouts of America, and to welcome
you into this Troop formation. May your progress be ever upward and onward as you travel
over the trails of Scouting.
(Patrol Leader places the new Tenderfoot Scout in his proper place in the Triangle,
then steps to the center and leads in the Troop or Patrol yell or song of welcome in honor
of the occasion, salutes the Scoutmaster and returns to his Patrol.)
Scoutmaster: We shall now proceed to the
remainder of the evening's program. (But if ceremony is last feature, the Scoutmaster may
close with the Scout benediction) :
"May the Great Scoutmaster of all good Scouts be with us till we
Note to the Scoutmaster-The foregoing is the very simplest form
possible of a Tenderfoot Investiture. It may be, as is often the case, that your boys,
while thoroughly in sympathy with the simple dignity of Scout Investiture, nevertheless
look forward, true boy fashion, to an initiation of some sort AS WELL AS an investiture; a
ceremony which while entirely dignified, offers, at the right point and under the right
auspices, opportunity for a little spontaneous fun along with the more solemn truths.
There is little or no danger in such a combination provided the
entire situation is perfectly in the control of a competent Scoutmaster and is thoroughly
prepared in advance so that it is never a farce. With this thought in mind we are offering
herewith a simple combination of investiture and initiation with the idea that the
Scoutmaster may wish to work into his Investiture, at least at certain times, certain of
Conclusion, with a Little Fun in It
Assistant Scoutmaster (to candidate) :
"Are you of lawful age to be a Scout?" "Have you paid your registration
fee?" "Have you passed the Tenderfoot tests before an officer in the Troop and
been reviewed?" (Answer.) "Before you can be initiated into this Troop you will
have to promise that you will never tell to anyone who is not a Scout or a Scout Official
the things that you shall see, hear, or feel during this ceremony. Do you so
Candidate: "I do."
Assistant Scoutmaster: "You will deposit
with me all your valuables, such as watches, glasses, pens, pencils, your money and any
other breakable objects you may now have on your person." (Puts them in envelop with
name of owner thereon, seals them up and continues.) "You will now be blindfolded and
taken to the station of 'NINE KNOTS'."
Senior Patrol Leader (Gives shove saying) :
"There are knots, and knots and knots."
Master of the Knots (Catches candidate
roughly and says) : "I represent the Tenderfoot Knots which you must tie before you
can become a Tenderfoot. (Gives candidate a rope.) "Take this rope and if you can tie
the square knot while you are blindfolded you can pass." (Ties knot.) "For what
is the square knot used?"
Candidate: "To tie two ropes together."
Master of the Knots: "It will not slip
when properly tied. When becoming a Scout you are tied squarely to principles which will
enable you to become a strong man of character and a citizen worthy of the name of an
'AMERICAN.' Pass on to the Station of the Badge." (Shoves him on where he is caught
by the Keeper of the Badge.)
Keeper of the Badge: "I am the Keeper of
the Scout Badge. It is my duty to see that you thoroughly understand the principles of
Scouting and that you are qualified completely before you are permitted to wear the badge
which designates you as a Tenderfoot Scout. You should know the significance of the Scout
Badge so that when you wear it you will be reminded constantly of your duty. Describe a
Tenderfoot Badge." (Description is given.)
Keeper of the Badge: "Of what do the
three points remind us?" Answer.
Keeper of the Badge: "What does the
Eagle represent?" Answer: "Freedom, strength, and ambition."
Keeper of the Badge: "Your answer is
right and as the eagle is the king of all birds, it may be considered as holding the
highest rank in the bird kingdom; and in becoming a Scout I trust that you will be guided
by the principles of the Scout Oath and Law and will aspire to that which is highest and
noblest in mankind."
Keeper of the Badge: "What do the stars
on the Badge signify?" Answer: "They represent the guardian stars of the pole
and stand for trustworthiness, loyalty, and other Scout virtues.
Keeper of the Badge: "Your answer is
right but there are other things that you must do before the Badge is awarded. If at the
end of your journey tonight you have proved yourself worthy of the Badge, I will then pin
it on you. You will now go to the Station of The Flag."
Guardian of The Flag: The Flag of the United
States of America is in front of you; salute it and give the Pledge of Alelgiance
(Candidate answers the following questions):
1. When was The Flag first adopted by Congress. When is Flag Day?
2. How many stars and stripes and what do they represent?
3. How is The Flag displayed on Memorial Day and why?
4. What are the customary forms of respect due The Flag?
"Pass on to the station of the Oath and Law." (Is passed same
Scoutmaster: "You have successfully
passed the stations of NINE KNOTS, THE BADGE and THE FLAG. I represent the Scout Oath and
Law, the fourth part in the tests of a Tenderfoot. Although you have passed the other
three stations I must warn you that the hardest part is yet to come. Unless you are really
in earnest and have made up your mind that you are going to see this thing through you had
better turn back. Before you take the final step and push forward into the difficult way,
I am going to give you one more opportunity to turn back. Will you (slowly and
impressively) go forward or backward?"
Candidate: (Will most likely answer)
Scoutmaster: "Do you know the Scout
Law?" Candidate: "I do."
Scoutmaster: "Repeat it." (After it has been repeated.)
"You say 'A Scout is Trustworthy.' Are you trustworthy?" (Wait for answer.)
"If you prove yourself to be what you have just said, you will indeed be a good
Scout; but you have not been tried; we do not know what you will do. If we give you a
badge you may violate your oath. In order that we may be sure that you will keep your oath
we require of you a deposit of one dollar. If, after a month, you have proved yourself
trustworthy, you will receive again the money you now leave with us." (The candidate
will of course have no money. His valuables are sealed in the envelope and cannot be
returned to him until the ceremony has been completed.)
Scoutmaster (after discussing the matter with
him) : "I am sorry, but unless you can comply with this request you will have to wait
until a later date. The S. P. L. will conduct the candidate out of the room."
Little Scout in the Corner: " Sir, I
believe him to be trustworthy. I will lend him a dollar."
Scoutmaster: "Fine; there is a Scout who
desires to do a Good Turn and will lend you the money." (He is taken to the Scout and
the money placed in his hand. The S. P. L. on the way back gets the money so that when the
candidate is asked if he received the money he will answer "Yes." When asked to
produce it he finds that he is unable to do so. If he says the S. P. L. has it, reprimand
him for not being true to the trust that the Little Scout placed in him. Accuse him of
putting it in his pocket and pretending that the S. P. L. has it.)
Scoutmaster (to Troop) : "Do we want
this kind of a boy in our Troop?"
All (in thundering tones) : "No!"
Scoutmaster: "Take him out." S. P.
L. conducts him nearly to the door and says, "Sir, I have the money." (He is
then permitted to come back only to hear a talk on "TRUSTWORTHINESS.)
Scoutmaster: "You say 'A Scout is
Brave.' Are you brave?" (Answer.) "In order that we may know that you are brave
you must-." (Have candidate do something which appears to him as dangerous but cannot
do any harm.) CAUTION!--Never allow anything to be done which could
by any chance prove in, any way dangerous. The board aeroplane is good. Walking a beam
which he thinks is high but which has been placed within six inches of the floor is also
good. In this case the speaker must lie down with his mouth near the floor.
Scoutmaster: "You have successfully
passed all these tests and now you are about to be permitted to have your blindfold
removed." (Scouts assume the position of ATTENTION and give the Scout Salute. The
blindfold is removed and the candidate is allowed to return the salute to the Scoutmaster,
whereupon the Scoutmaster continues): "On the table you behold 12 candles
arranged in a square which represent the 12 Scout Laws. They are placed in a square
because a square made up of four equal sides, is similar to the fourfold, well balanced
program of Scouting: Physical, Mental, Social and Spiritual. The three large candles
represent the three parts of the Scout Oath. As the candle gives out light, so you, as a
Scout, shall shed the light of Scouting to those about you. In your home, in your school,
at work, at play; in your religious duty you are to work willingly and with a smile.
"Should you break one of the Laws, such as trustworthiness, that
act will stand out as the charred candle whose light has been extinguished. (Puts out one
of the candles.) Then, too, you must remember that although there are eleven lights still
burning, the most conspicuous of all is the light which is not burning. One Law broken is
more prominent than eleven kept.
"You will now give the Scout Sign and take the Scout Oath.
"Keeper of the Badge, the candidate has been thoroughly examined
and tested. I declare him worthy and qualified to wear the badge of a Tenderfoot Scout.
Will you, as the Keeper of the Badge, pin on him the symbol of his rank. (K. of B. does
"I will now give the official hand shake, or the grip of a Scout." (Be sure
to give this with the left hand.)
"You may now take your place in the Patrol as a regular member. Strive at all
times to improve your Patrol and your Troop."
Note: To put this ceremony on properly, six participants are
required. It should be rehearsed until it can be done without notes. See also that all
material needed is ready in advance.