Troop Meeting Closings

A Troop meeting can be closed by a fast or slow song, a reciting of the Scouting ideals with or without the "circle of brotherhood" (friendship) (troop circle) (take your pick), a reading of a inspiring poem...or even a flag ceremony. It's up to the "service Patrol" and not just to the SPL to do the closing every week.

(What's a "service Patrol"?? Traditionally, in a Troop, the duties of servicing the Troop -- setting up, opening, closing and putting away things -- is left to one patrol. Likewise the support to the program -- setting up the stuff supporting the program, coming up with the game, providing entertainment if needed (sometimes even when its NOT needed *smiling*) and assisting guests is left to a "program patrol". The "service" and "program" Patrol distinction rotates among all of the patrols. It's a way to share the responsibilities, to train those people OTHER THAN Troop officers, and most importantly to keep the group together...your Troop may want to do this or not. It's not mandatory.)

>But when where and how should he put in announcments invites that >may come in for the troop to particpate in.

After the Scoutmasters' Minute and before the closing in most Troops, Sharon. Others do it at the very last; and still others do it closer to the starting of the weekly Troop meeting.

>As he is new in this postion, he would like the wisdom of others as he is >trying to do a good job.

He asked a great question...and I'm sure he'll receive a lot more answers to it...there's several ways of doing it...all good.

Thanks for asking!!


In response to Mike Walton's posting on Scouts-L, another Scouter offered a great suggestion:

We used to have our SPL just lead the troop in a opening and closing
ceremony.  It was almost the same thing week after week.  The PLC then
decided to have different patrols lead the opening and closing ceremony, but
would spend alot of time at the PLC meetings trying to solve which patrol
was going to do WHAT when.  We decided to start using the Service Patrol
(clear hall at beginning of meeting then set hall, tables and chairs, back
up after meeting is over) and a Program Patrol (run the opening ceremony,
game, and closing ceremony).  At the beginning of the year, the PLC picks
about 8 openings, games, and closings for the year.  The SPL keeps the list
and order so that at each PLC meeting he just writes in on the troop meeting
plan sheet whatever the next ceremony or game is.  The next thing is whos
turn is it to be program and service patrol (in rotation by patrol).  WOW,
the  time it takes to plan a month worth of meetings was reduced big time.
Sure, they still need to plan the skills demonstrations.  This has worked
very well for us.  If a patrol wants to make a change, then thats ok, but
doesn't happen to often.

This past year, the PLC decided on the following rotations:

Flag Ceremony
Outdoor Code
America the Beautiful
God Bless America

Fellowship Circle
Sm Benediction
Outdoor Code
Flag Ceremony

Blind Fold Steel the Bacon
Swedish Dodge Ball
Balloon Battle Royal
Submarines and Mines
Dodge Ball
Steal the Bacon
Object Relay
Shoot the Gab

Just the way that we do it.  Hope this helps you out.

Joe Macone
Scoutmaster, Troop 302
Arlington, Massachusetts
Patriot District - Boston Minuteman Council

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