Triangle Ceremony




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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 Leader.

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 Scout.

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 here?

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 Tenderfoot Scout.

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 Tenderfoot Scout.

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 pause.)

The Senior Patrol Leader will again place you in a position facing the Scoutmaster.

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 courteous.

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 life.

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 religion.

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 "Be Prepared"?

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 in Scouting.

(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 meet again."

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 these elements.

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 promise?"

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 as before.)

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) "Forward."

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 so.)

"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.

See Also:

About Investiture Ceremonies

"Triangle" Investiture Ceremony

"Circle" Investiture Ceremony

"Compass" Investiture Ceremony

Advancement Ceremonies






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Circle Investiture ] Compass ] [ Triangle Ceremony ]

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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.