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Thread: Chief Scout Award ceremonies

  1. #1
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    Chief Scout Award ceremonies


    In the past, we've had CSA (Gold, Platinum and Diamond) ceremonies in a "theatre like" setting. The YPs are called up on to the stage and awarded their badges and certificates.

    Whilst it celebrates their achievements in front of their parents and leaders, we'd like to revamp it so that they youngsters get something more out of it.

    We're looking at holding a ceremony early in 2019 (January to March).

    What do others do? As always, any and all advice gratefully received!

    Paul Emmett
    ACC Scouts, Gloucestershire

    Adventurous Activity Permit - Nights Away: lightweight expedition
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    Just a different way of volunteering...

  2. #2
    ASL and YLUL wealdbrook's Avatar
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    What do the YP want? Do they want a "prize giving" only in front of those who also have won the prize? Does it need a "reward" or is the gathering more for the leaders and parents?
    John Alexander,
    ASL and Assistant Webmaster
    1st Weald Brook
    ESL(YL) Brentwood District

  3. #3
    Senior Member Kastor's Avatar
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    A few questions.

    • Why do you want a ceremony?
    • Is it the "great and good", the parents, or the YPs who want it?
    • I know there's a bit of a push by National for celebrating CSAs but to what end?

    I went to a County CSA ceremony for beavers a few years ago. It was terrible. Everybody looked bored and it wasn't clear why we were doing it. That was the first and last one that was put on.

    The big issue I have with CSA ceremonies is that they are likely to take place months after the YP has moved on to the next section and probably views anything to do with the previous section as "yesterdays news". Do they really want it?

    My County runs a ceremony for Gold and above and is about to start a Bronze and Silver one. Having seen the offering for the Silver I can't say that any self-respecting Scout (which they are likely to be) will want to visit a soft play area with Beavers and Cubs. But then maybe I'm out of touch.

    So think about the questions - who is it for and why? This may give you a clue as to what is appropriate and/or popular.
    To get more kids we need more adults - are we getting the message yet?

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  5. #4
    Escouts Team Bloory's Avatar
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    I attended a CSA presentation for my eldest earlier in the year, in Leicestershire.

    The presentation evenings are quite quick after the award was earned. I was unsure about the speaker at the start but, once he began speaking he addressed all in the room well. He was Vice Chair of Loughborough Uni and helped to place the award into context and, I think, whetted the appetite for more adventure throughout life to all the audience. The County youth commissioners hosted the evening - recipients were asked to send a photo of them in some way achieving their award and a sentence or two which was read out to personalise the ceremony.

    It was quick, the right balance, and followed up by a cake buffet a success all round!
    Jonathan Bloor
    Escouts Team
    Group Scout Leader - 4th Ashby de la Zouch

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  7. #5
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    We do a big event every December for the whole district. Apart from handing out certificates to all the CSA and DoE awardees we usually have presentations - this year we'll have something from those going to WSJ. We have a number of sketches, a compilation video of activities that have been going on in the district, and a special presentation like the HSX presentation of their trip up Everest. Finish with a buffet which is usually very good. Very much appreciated by all that attend, always gets press coverage.

    What has it achieved? Well since we started we have doubled the number of CSA in the district as leaders, parents and YP become aware of the successes in the district which has encouraged more to take part. And it's special event which helps celebrate the achievements necessary to gain the top awards.

    Gold CSA killed by new requirements last year, hopefully will be better represented this year.

  8. #6
    Senior Member chris@8th's Avatar
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    West Yorkshire
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    I have run a District CS Silver ceremony for a few years now. On each invite are 3 questions - what was your fave badge, fave activity, hardest challenge.
    They all complete the answers on the reply email so I have a list that for each cub coming up I can ask them about it and have prompts in case they say “dunno”
    It also helps emphasise that every cub achieves their CSS Ina different way, making it a personal award as well as involving each cub in the ceremony

    Akela - 8th Mirfield
    Heavy Woollen District

  9. #7
    Baloo KoopaCooper's Avatar
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    Streatham, London
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    Attachment 3486Our County and District don't often hold award ceremonies - that said, they did recently hold one award ceremony, but it was primarily for adult volunteer awards, with a couple of YL getting their YL Awards, one Explorer Belt, and one QSA!

    We tend to keep Chief Scout presentations in the Group. Historically, they've been awarded by the GSL (which I guess is going to be my honour from now on ^^) at the section's meeting, so that the rest of the section would see the member receiving their award and hopefully be inspired to work towards their own CSA. If they were awarded it at an award ceremony, the only other YPs who'd see them receive it would also be receiving their inspiration really, imho.

    In instances where a CSA has been achieved between Easter and the end of the school year though, we tend to hold it back for a few weeks and present it at the Group's AGM instead - along with our Group's own "Beaver of the Year", "Cub of the Year", and "Scout of the Year" trophies. ^^

    The previous GSL, though a lovely lady, did tend to keep things very simple in terms of presenting awards, so the YP would receive their badge and that was about it. In the last few years though, I decided a bit more of a fuss needs to be made about the YPs' achievements, so I started encouraged the other section leaders to start presenting certificates for CSA and Challenge badges (plus giving the YP a record sheet of what exactly they did to get that Challenge badge, so they won't just "I dunno" when their parents ask what they did to earn it - used to happen often, heh).

    Tbh though, the certificates on the Brand Centre didn't appeal to me much (cartoon characters with challenge badges for heads that just looked plain weird), so I developed my own certificates that are printer-friendly and I hope look quite elegant, as well as having a common style, for all the Challenge badges and CSAs. They're also in easily-editable Word format, rather than having to trek through the Brand Centre any time I want to draw one up for a YP. I've also developed other certificates off my own bat, for the Beaver/Cub/Scout Of The Year awards, and recently one for perfect attendance for a whole term (3 given out in the whole Group for last term!)

    I also had special woggles made to match the designs of the CSAs, which I'm going to present to any YP who earns their CSA as a further gift, and which they can wear whether they're in full uniform or just wearing their scarf with a Cubs t-shirt. I gave some out to the YP who already hold CSAs, and all the Cubs now want to get their hands on a Silver Woggle - and the Scouts feel the same about the Gold Woggle! I've actually got a Bronze Woggle to present at the AGM next month, and possibly 1 or 3 Silver Woggles to hand out too. All the Cubs who earnt their Bronze Award, and the Scouts who earnt their Silver Award, wear their Bronze and Silver woggles proudly with their uniforms.

    But yes, rather than resorting to overblown productions by the District or County, we like to keep even the bigger award presentations within the Group, so it feels more special to the YPs, and so that it doesn't become some big do where the leaders spend all their time congratulating themselves while the YPs are confused and/or just bored.

    Attached is a screenshot of a selection of my certificate designs, and this Sendspace link contains a ZIP of all the certificates in Word format, so others can play around with them if they like. I tried to attach them to this post, but I guess it was too big of a file?


    Also the CSA woggles I had produced. You can buy them at
    Chief Scout Woggles.jpeg

    Oh, and one last attachment...I also spent ages, just for fun, designing this poster for our Scout Hut to show off to the YPs all the top awards they can earn:
    Attached Files Attached Files
    1988 - 1990: 4th Streatham Sea Scouts (PMLO), Beaver
    1990 - 1998: 1st Streatham Common, Cub & Scout
    2004 - 2011: 1st Streatham Common, OH
    2011 - 2012: 1st Streatham Common, CSSA
    2012 - 2019: 1st Streatham Common, ACSL
    2019 on: 1st Streatham Common, GSL

    Lambeth - The best District in England!

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  11. #8
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    If just like to add to the above. Sometimes we do events for the parents and the "great and the good", after all without them, or if we lost their support, we'd not exist. I hope our CSA event is enjoyed by the YP as well as proud parents and grannies etc, and they love the press photos, but 99% of what we do is directly for the YP, so this is one occasion where they are only party of the stakeholder community.

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