Ceremonies

Having an opening is an important part of a meeting’s structure. There’s no right way to do an opening ceremony – whatever you do, an opening should welcome everyone and help them focus. Opening ceremonies should help everyone in the Cub Pack bond.

Lots of groups choose to do the Grand Howl and Flag Break to begin their meeting. You can find out how to do these below – but they’re not the only option. It’s up to you what you say and what else you do – why not ask the Cubs what they think?

Grand Howl

The Grand Howl is a ceremony inspired by The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling. In the book, a wolf pack’s meetings begin with everyone circling their leader Akela (pronounces ahh-kay-lah) and howling – this is their Grand Howl.

In Cubs, the Grand Howl gathers everyone together and helps them focus. By talking about ‘doing your best’, it also helps everyone remember their Promise. Not all groups do the Grand Howl, and those that do have lots of different variations, and that’s OK.

Before you begin the Grand Howl, choose a Sixer to lead the call in step 10.

  1. Akela calls out ‘Pack! Pack! Pack!’
  2. Everyone makes a circle, standing in their Sixes (some people stand around the flag). Everyone stands ‘at ease’ with their feet shoulder width apart and their hands behind their back.
  3. Akela calls ‘Pack! Pack alert!’
  4. Everyone stands ‘alert’ with their feet together and their hands by their sides.
  5. Akela moves to the centre of the circle, and raises and lowers their arms.
  6. Everyone squats low on the ground with their hands between their feet.
  7. Everyone calls out ‘Akela, we’ll do our best!’
  8. Everyone stands up and makes the Scout sign.
  9. The chosen Sixer calls out ‘Cubs, do your best’.
  10. Everyone replies ‘We will do our best!’

What is Investiture?

An Investiture is a ceremony where someone makes their Scout Promise, is welcomed to Cubs, and becomes a member of their Pack and the worldwide Scout family. Investitures are important and special ceremonies, but this doesn’t mean they have to be strict or scary! There’s no single way to run an Investiture. As long as your ceremony covers the main components (welcome, Promise, and scarf), it’s up to you where you do it, what you say, and what else you do.

Choosing a Promise

Cubs should come to a few meetings and have some time to settle in before they make their Promise. After a few weeks, they should start to complete their Membership Award by finding out about their Cub Pack, and getting to know other members.

As part of their Membership Award, Cubs will also learn and understand the Cub Scout Promise and Law (as well as any code of conduct their Pack might have).

There are different versions of the Cub Scout Promise: everyone should choose the wording that’s best for them. Volunteers should make sure that they give everyone information about the options available, so new Cubs can think about what they will Promise (and talk about it with their parents and carers). Some people like to run an activity based on the versions of the Promise, others have displays about them in their meeting places, and some talk to Cubs to tell them everything they need to know. A Cub Promise poster is available to download (for free!) or order from the Scout brand centre.

As part of this requirement of the Membership Award, Cubs will also learn and understand the Motto, Sign, Salute, and Handshake. For more information on any of these, check out the ‘Prepared’ resource (available from Scout Store).

Before they make their Promise, it’s important that a Cub understands what they’re promising, and that they’re comfortable with the Promise they’re making. Visual resources can help young people with learning or communication difficulties to understand and take part in ceremonies such as Investiture. A visual story about making the Promise is available to download from the Scout website.

Cubs should also choose when and where they make their Promise. Some might do it during a regular meeting, but other people might be Invested during a trip to an unusual location, a camp, or a holiday ­for an even more unique experience.It’s often nice to invite parents and carers to watch their Cub make their Promise, so they can join in celebrating this important step. 

Preparing to Promise

Before the Investiture begins, make sure that any scarves are rolled, certificates are filled in, and badges are ready to go. Certificates can be ordered from Scout Store, or downloaded or ordered from the Scout brand centre.

Make sure the Cub has had time to think about their Promise – and check in with how they’re feeling, too. If anyone’s feeling nervous, it might help to run through what to expect one more time.

The Investiture

What an Investiture looks and feels like is up to you. Some people have old traditions that have been handed down, and others enjoy inventing new traditions with their Pack. There isn’t one way to get it right, as long as you include the main features: welcome, Promise, and scarf. If you get really stuck, we’ve included one example – but this is a great chance for everyone in your Group to create something special and meaningful together.

Welcome

There are lots of different ways to welcome a new Cub to your Pack. You might use a song, a rhyme, or a prop (such as a flag or a cuddly toy). A friend or Sixer who’s already been Invested might help welcome them, for example by introducing them to a volunteer or other Cubs. Some people salute the Pack, and others shake hands. It’s all up to you – why not ask the Cubs what they think?

Promise

Another important part of the Investiture is the Cub making their Promise. It doesn’t matter which variation they choose, and how people make their Promise can look different, too. Some people might say it line by line with a friend (or volunteer), others might sign, or say it on their own.

Scarf

Cubs should be given their scarf during their Investiture. When moving to a new section in a Group, some people give up their scarf at the start of the meeting to have it presented again later – you don’t have to do this, but you can if you want to.

New Cubs receive the Membership Award, local area badges, Group name tape, and Pack name tape (if their Pack has one). If they’ve moved up from Beavers, these badges will be taken from their Beaver uniform. If they haven’t already got it, this is also a great time to give them their Moving On Award.