Closing Exercises




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And so we get to the final period of the meeting: The closing exercises.

Have each meeting end on a high note. The last things the Scouts do, the last impressions, are the ones they carry away with them from the meeting.

Announcements First

In closing, announcements may be necessary, but do not present a fine closing ceremony, then spoil it by winding up with some commonplace reminders.

Make all statements definite and clear-cut, so that no mistake is possible. Follow all important announcements with a snappy: "Any questions?"  If questions arise, repeat the announcement and clarify vague points.

And by the way, if announcements of future events were made at the opening, repeat them at closing, but always before the ceremony.  The memory of boys is not very long.

Closing Ceremony

Make the closing ceremony itself brief and dignified, and time it in such a way that it ends the meeting as close to the appointed hour as possible.

The Flag of the United States has a place in many closing ceremonies.   Several of the ceremonies suggested for openings may be used equally well in closing.

Many Troops use "Taps" or a similar soft evening song.

Often the Scoutmaster brings the meeting to its close with the Scout Benediction, whereupon the boys are dismissed by Troop, by Patrols, or, occasionally by rank: the Eagle Scouts first, then Life, Star, First Class, and so on.


(1) Close meeting with Troop singing of "Taps" (words in Songs Scouts Sing), unaccompanied or led by a muffled bugle, the lights dimmed (or use two bugles, one giving the call, the other the echo effect).  Each boy slowly raises his out-streched hands in front of him during first two lines (to ". . . from the sky . . ." then lowers them again during the rest of the song  (See Also: Taps in Indian Sign Language).

(2) Troop formation.  Scout Benediction: "May the Great Master (all make gesture toward heavens) of all Scouts (inclusive gesture from right to left at height of shoulder) be with you till we meet again (right hands being brought to hearts and heads bowed)."

(3) Form a circle.  Have each boy make the Scout Sign and with the left hand grasp the lifted right wrist of his left neighbor.  Recite the Scout Law or a Troop Pledge.

(4) Bring all Scouts to attention.  Give the order, "Fall alphabetically within the Patrols."  Upon which the Scouts scramble into line as nearly as they can make it in the alphabetical order of their surnames.  This will merge the game period into the closing.

(5) Finish with America yell ("A-M-E-R-I-C-A, Boy SCOUTS, BOY Scouts, U-S-A?'), followed by Sky Rocket ("Ssss," the hiss of the rising rocket; "Boom," the bursting; and then the soft exclamation as it spreads, "Ah-h," and the terrific boy-satisfying yell, "Scout.")

(6) Retire The Flag with proper camp ceremony, using bugle.  If no bugle, whistle "To the Colors" and "Retreat."

(7) One round of Patrol calls.  Troop yell.  Scoutmaster: "Good night to you.  Scouts: "Good night to you, sir."

(8) Form brotherhood circle, arms around each other's shoulders.  Song leader leads Troop in Scout Vesper song, or similar good-night song.  When the song is ended, Scouts leave room in silence.

(9) Form circle.  Each Scout crosses arms in front of himself, grasps his neighbors' hands.  Sing "Auld Lang Syne," swaying bodies softly in rhythm.

(10) Troop in line.  The Scoutmaster says, "Be Prepared."   To which all Scouts respond in unison, "We are prepared!"

See: After the Meeting

See Also:

Closing Ceremonies






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Peer- Level Topic Links:
Meeting Ingredients ] Before the Meeting ] Opening Exercises ] Troop Formations ] Scoutcraft ] Patrol Corners ] Scoutcraft Games ] Recreational Games ] Council Fire Period ] [ Closing Exercises ] After the Meeting ]

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Last modified: October 15, 2016.