Opening & Closing

Ceremonies have been an integral part of Scouting since its beginning with many reflecting our heritage like the left handshake. On the most part ceremonies are kept contemporary by being youth-led.

This section covers our opening and closing of a regular Scouting activity, and each will demonstrate these elements: -


For ceremonies, activity openings and closing, the Unit normally gathers in a circle or horseshoe formation, and where possible, next to a flagpole. Typically, a Unit will gather in their Patrols,
with the Unit Leader/s standing at the front.

Standing at the alert

During the opening and closing youth members will be asked to "stand at the alert".

This means:
• Standing up straight (or sitting if you’re unable to stand), normally in a formation (often a horseshoe or circle shape) with the rest of the Scouts gathered
• Holding your arms to your sides, or as close to your sides as you can
• Keeping still and silent.

Standing at ease

Generally, after something formal has happened in a ceremony (like raising a flag or making the Scout Promise), the person leading the ceremony will ask members to ‘stand at ease’.

This means: -
• Standing (or sitting if you’re unable to stand) comfortably, still in formation
• If standing, your feet shoulder width apart and your hands behind your back or in front of you
• Keeping still and silent


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