Every family has traditions, things they always do the same way at the same time. Perhaps they revolve around holidays, birthdays, or just because. Traditions have value. They give comfort, build expectation, and define the personality and values of a family.
The Scout Programs of Adventure Scouts USA also value tradition. They too define our values as Scout Programs.
Mottos, Creeds, and Flags
Our Scouts develop their own motto or creed. Their motto can be anything they like that is within the spirit of Adventure Scouts USA, and it is individual to the team. Examples are, “FUN for everyone” “One for All and All for Scouts!” They are free to come up with their own words. Mottos are read, spoken, and shouted! Our Scouts build brotherhood and pride by creating and shouting their mottos!
Scouts also make flags. Similar to flags the Knights of the Round Table, our Scouts come up with their own flags, on a team, crew, and individual basis. This allows our Scouts to express themselves artistically while building team spirit and pride. Our Scout Programs do not feature many craft projects because we want our Scouts to be doing the exciting activities they choose to do; in the past, other youth organizations have subjected youth to sitting around making craft projects which would put anyone to sleep, with no choice in the matter. Flags are one of the few exceptions however. We do encourage our Scouts to make flags which will be used during ceremonies.
Ceremonies tie people together. We all remember graduations, sweet sixteen parties, and important moments in our lives. Sometimes a single moment can last a lifetime. Our Scout Programs traditionally have ceremonies which we perform with each new Scout and team, building expectation. One of them is the welcoming ceremony. When our Scouts are welcomed into our Scout Programs, they take part in a ceremony celebrating their commitment to their team and as a welcoming for the Scout to a new brotherhood.
Another ceremony is the big brother/big sister ceremony. After our Scouts have submitted their list of preferences and big siblings and little siblings have been matched up, there is a ceremony. Big siblings claim their little siblings in a public ceremony. They could come up with things to say such as:
“I am your new Big Brother.
You are already a Scout and a Brother
Today you and I begin to share new adventures
As Big Brother and Little Brother.
Remember, this day always because I’ll always be there for you.”
Fire has played an essential role in human history from the first humans. Fire is a symbol of warmth, hospitality, and to early man, life itself. In that spirit, we invite all our Scouts and members to come a little closer to the fire. Sit down. Warm yourself. Share a good story. A fire represented an invitation to warmth, food, and belonging. We carry that concept with us today; all who gather around our fire belong and are members of our extended family.
We value the part we play in the Scout Movement and those who came before us. Our Scout Programs have obtained some of the ash from a campfire from the early days of the Scout Movement. We add that ash to a each new campfire, then take some of that ash and keep it until the next campfire, then add it to that fire. In this way, we are linked to the past. Each of our Scout campfires become a part of every other Scout campfire. We are linked together with the entire Scout Movement – a history of belonging of Brotherhood and an invitation to be part of something greater than ourselves.