Court of Awards Ceremonies
Click on ceremony to view.Court of Awards Ideas
Candle Ceremonies - Court of Awards
We always begin with the standard GS Promise Candle Ceremony. We have three 12" taper white candles in holders and one 12" white taper being held. As we recite the GS Promise, we light the held candle then the remaining three white candles at the beginning of each line. From this point we vary -
As Brownies, the girls chose this ceremony based on the GS Law. For each line, we lit one candle. The presentation was the key for our troop. We used one white emergency candle stuck into a medicine bottle covered with bronze foil. We created a candle holder base with a precut round wooden form which we bought at a lumber store. We painted it teal green, added clear sparkle craft paint for effect and then edged it with bronze foil. We covered medicine bottles with bronze foil (for disguise) and used Liquid Nails to attach them to the base. The result was a candle ceremony with sparkle and a stationary candle-holder/base for younger girls. To make the ceremony very formal, we included a color guard presentation of the flag, which gave clear opening & closing cues for our ceremony.
To present Try-Its we made paper plate angels and attached the Try-It to the edge of the angel's robe. One time we used ribbon hanging from the angel's arms and attached Try-Its to the ribbon for a change of pace. The event patches are given out separately as they are not earned. (The angel from a paper plate directions are credited to a leader craft manual compiled by Terra del Orro, Ca. council.)
As Juniors, they chose the GS Law ceremony or 5 World ceremony - always with candles. The girls hold an unlit 12" taper candle until their line during the ceremony. When their line is said, they place the candle into the holder and light, using the 'first' white candle. The lit candle is held by the previous speaker until the present speaker is ready for the candle - of course, the original white candle has a drip guard. We present awards & recognitions. To close, they have chosen to add something new - individual statements of "What GS means to me". The statements have become an affirmation for the group.
We are traveling to Savannah in the Fall and hope to use the very special Juliette Gordon Low 'Pass the Flame' ceremony while in the Birthplace Garden (if candles are allowed). Four of our Juniors are bridging to Cadette so we think this 'tear-jerker' ceremony will be a fitting tribute to their accomplishments.
Court of Awards with GS Law Cupcake Ceremony
I am sending this to the list as well as to Becky because I thought it might be of general interest. I got a lot of it from some GS book. "Ceremonies in GS" maybe? We used this for our Recognition/Court of Awards in January.
We had three tall green candles and 10 short green candles. (For candleholders, we used cupcakes, but that's another story!) (Luckily enough, our troop has 11 members and one couldn't come. Otherwise some rearranging would be needed.)
Leader: "The three tall tapers symbolize the threefold purpose of Girl Scouting as expressed in our Promise. The first part concerns service to God and our country" (lights first taper).
Assistant: "The second part refers to helping people at all times" (lights second candle).
L: "The third part is our promise to live by the Girl Scout Law" (lights third candle).
A: "Each of the shorter candles represents one part of the Girl Scout Law."
L: "I will do my best"
(Girl 1 walks to the table, takes a short candle, lights it from a taper, and puts it in a holder)
Girl 1: "To be honest and fair"
(each girl lights a candle and says a line)
Leader: "Juliette Gordon Low, the founder of Girl Scouts, once said as she awarded badges to a group of Girl Scouts: ‘Every badge you earn is tied up to your motto "Be Prepared." Badges are not awards for something you have done once or for an examination you have passed. They are not medals to wear on your uniform just to show what a smart girl you are. A badge is a symbol that you have done the thing it stands for often enough, thoroughly enough, and well enough to be prepared to give service in it. You wear the badge to let people know that you have earned it, can show someone else how to do it, and are proud of your accomplishment.’
Assistant: "Today the girls will receive recognitions they’ve earned (since September, this year, or whatever time frame) and each girl will tell something she did to earn one Try-it." (The girls take turns stepping forward, briefly describing an activity & showing sample if applicable. L&A hold props & prompt as necessary. After each one speaks, L or A pins badge strip on her)(we pinned the badges to a strip of green ribbon)
Assistant: "As you can see, our girls extended their knowledge in different directions. As a result, we hope they will be more helpful to their family, troop, and community."
L: "Remember that with each new badge, a Girl Scout takes on a new responsibility. A little more is expected at home, at troop meetings, and in your community. Strive always to be worthy of the symbols you wear, and wear them with pride. Best wishes to each of you!"
Promise, Song, etc.
This could be shortened or altered to meet your needs. It worked well for us.
The Court of Awards (June '98) for my Junior troop of 18 girls was exceptionally good. It was a family affair with dinner. The badges which each girl had earned since the last ceremony were presented in a very colorful way. Each badge was attached to a ribbon tied to a helium filled balloon which was the color of the world it represented (blue-People, orange-Today and Tomorrow, etc.). The balloons were anchored with a small baggie of sand and were arranged across the front of the room...62 of them. Each girl was able to take home a "bouquet of balloons and badges" at the end of the ceremony.
Court of Awards Ideas (Compiled from GS/GRC)
1) Cut a trefoil (with or w/o Brownie depending on age level) template about the size of the GS cookie cutter. a dry cleaner's shirt board works great for the template. use this to cut a trefoil for each girl out of heavy yellow construction paper. Cut two lengths of 1" grosgrain ribbon (again, the color depends on the age level) to accomodate all their Try-its/Badges, bridging patch, wings, Jr. Aide patch, etc. Attach the two lengths of ribbon to the back of the trefoil to resemble a "blue ribbon". I use hot glue for this, as well as to attach the patches to the ribbon. You could always use a stapler as well. The year pin (star) and any other pins, like the GS pin if they are bridging to Jrs. or their leadership pins, etc. (here in Hawaii we also have honor troop pins) are pinned right through the trefoil. The girls name and, if there's room, a list of the patches, is written on the back of the trefoil. A nice way to present these to the girls, especially at a more formal court of awards ceremony.
2) Use self adhesive labels and snack size (now that they're available!!) ziploc bags. write the girl's name and list the try-its/badges and patches on the label and affix to a bag, one for each girl. When each girl is called to receive her patches, she gives the GS handshake and is handed the bag. This works especially well for little one.
3) Make ribbon leis (the girls catch on very quickly making these and really enjoy it--at least for the first one or two!). I've seen try-its/badges stapled to the ribbon lei and presented as a flower lei would be. the leader places over the girl's head and then gives a quick hug and/or cheek or ear kiss. the great thing about ribbon leis is that after the ceremony, the girls can snip about a 3" or 4" length off the lei, knot it at both ends and use a small safety pin to create "swap" or a bookmark to remind them of their ceremony years later.
4) Staple the girls try-its onto a ribbon to be draped and pinned on each girl as she received her awards. The girls' name is called, she steps forward and ribbon is pinned to the girl in a "Miss America" fashion, opposite the direction of her sash.
5) List try-its worked on in the program that the girls create.
6) Buy cheap ribbon and cut it the length needed to fit all the Try-its, patches and pins. Staple badges to ribbon. Put the annual star pin at the top and use that to pin it to the girls during ceremony. Sometimes the ribbons is as long as they are tall.