Going Up ceremony

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All Cubs going up to the Scout Troop must be given a proper Going-Up Ceremony. Thorough preparation by the Pack Scouter and Troop Scouter is essential. At least three months before the Cub is due to go up to the Troop, arrangements must be made at the Group Scouters Council for the Cub to meet the Troop Scouter to register for entry into the Troop. In addition, plans must be made by the Troop Scouter for the Cub(s) to attend an activity with his or her future Patrol or with the Troop; and for training and testing for the Link Badge tests.

The Link Badge, which may be gained by the Cub in the Pack before Going-Up to the Troop, is intended to enable the Cub to be invested as a Scout immediately after the Going-Up Ceremony, thus bridging the gap between departure from the Pack and induction into the Troop. If the Cub does not have sufficient time left in the Pack before turning 11 years to complete the Link Badge, the Troop Scouter must:

  • concentrate on the Scout Membership training and testing first, so that the Cub may be invested immediately after the Going-Up Ceremony.
  • ensure that the Cub participates in a Patrol or Troop activity or meeting shortly before going up, because it is important that the Cub knows their future Troop Scouter, Patrol Leader, and at least some of the Scouts before leaving the security of the Pack.

The Cub will then complete the Link Badge tests in the Troop after being invested as a Scout.

The Ceremony[edit]

Again proper preparation for the actual Ceremony by the Scouters is essential. The date, time, and place for the act of transfer of the Cub to the Troop must be settled at a Group Scouters’ Council meeting some time beforehand.

The Going-Up Ceremony and investiture as a Scout immediately afterwards is as important an event in the Cub’s life as the day he or she made the Promise as a Cub. It is undesirable that any Investiture be carried out at a public function. It is rather an occasion for a deepening of the bond between the new Scout, the Scouters, and fellow Scouts, witnessed by parents, relations and friends. If a parents’ evening has been arranged for the same night, the ceremony should be performed before the guests arrive or, if this is not possible, in a quiet place nearby, away from the visitors.

The Cub has been trained throughout his or her life as a Cub for a future in the Troop. Explain what, precisely, will happen at the Going-Up and the subsequent Scout Investiture ceremonies. Dispel any thoughts that it might be an “initiation” ceremony. Reassure him or her that “that’s all” and then emphasise that it is a great moment – and one to eagerly look forward to.

The Going-Up Ceremony is conducted according to routine and, importantly, the Pack sees what is going on so that there can be no nagging doubts about the possibility of any initiation ceremony (which is not permitted in any Branch of the Movement). There could be doubt on this point if the Pack and Troop were so separated as to be out of sight of one another.

Cub Going Up ceremony diagram.png

PS: Pack Scouter

APS: Assistant Pack Scouter

CI: Cub Instructor

PH: Pack Helper

C: Cub

SGL: Scout Group Leader

TS: Troop Scouter

ATS: Assistant Troop Scouter

PL: Patrol Leader


The presence of the Scout Group Leader is of vital importance, and the briefing of the Troop as well as the Pack needs to be carried out carefully to avoid any suggestion of hilarity in the Troop born of ignorance of the Cub part of the ceremony.

  • The Pack is formed in a parade circle, the Troop in "horseshoe" formation a short distance away. Akela stands one step inside the circle facing the opening of the horseshoe. Assistant Pack Scouters, Cub Instructors, and Pack Helpers form part of the circle nearest to the horseshoe. The Troop Scouter, with an ATS holding the Troop flag, and the Cub's future Patrol Leader on each side of him or her but slightly behind, stand at the entrance to the horseshoe facing the Pack. The totem pole (if the Pack has one) is in the Pack circle.
  • Akela gives a brief explanation of the significance of the occasion, and what is happening.
  • The Pack gives the Grand Howl led by the Cub(s) going up.
  • The Cub(s) going up are called out in front of Akela. The Pack stands at the alert.
  • Akela orders : "PACK (pause), PACK, SALUTE".
  • Akela asks the Cub (individually, in turn, if there is more than one) to re-affirm the Cub Promise, phrase by phrase, after him/her. (Note: "I promise", not "I have promised").
  • The APSs and Cub Instructors then say goodbye and wish the Cub(s) good luck and good Scouting.
  • The Pack then give the Pack Yell, or a "One, two three – WOOF", or "WOOF, WOOF, WOOF".
  • Akela then orders : "OPEN THE CIRCLE", whereupon that part of the parade circle nearest the Troop, led by the APSs and Cub Instructors, divides and backs away to convert the circle into a horseshoe. This enables the whole Pack to watch the rest of the ceremony whilst still standing at the alert.
  • Akela then leads the Cub(s) through the gap in the circle to the Scout Group Leader, who is standing midway between the Pack and the Troop. Akela gives the SGL a brief outline of the Cub's career, wishes the Cub good luck, and hands him/her/them over. The SGL greets him/them with a few suitable words of encouragement.
  • The SGL presents the Cub(s) to the Troop Scouter, who shakes hands with the Cub(s) (left handshake) and welcomes them to the Troop. (If there is no SGL then Akela will take the Cub(s) direct to the Troop Scouter.) The Troop Scouter, in turn, hands the Cub(s) over to the Patrol Leader(s) of the Patrol(s) the Cub(s) will join. The PLs then take the Cub(s) back to their Patrol(s).
  • The "handing over" must be dignified, with no extra trimmings or exaggerated movements such as leaping over a rope or stick or mark on the floor.
  • The Cub (s) going up is in full Cub uniform. When the Scout Investiture takes place it must be remembered that the Cub is merely transferring from one branch of the Scout movement to another. It is quite wrong, for example, to remove the Cub’s Group scarf and then present it to him all over again.
  • The ceremony ends with the Troop greeting the new recruit(s) with the Troop yell, cheers, or applause.
  • Akela orders the Circle to close before dismissing the Pack.

The Cubs then leave the hall or area and are not present at the Scout investiture ceremony that immediately follows.

If no Pack/Troop joint activities have been arranged after the Scout investiture ceremony and the Cubs after dismissal are free to depart, the SGL (or failing him, one of the Scouters by arrangement) brings the ceremony to a close with a suitable prayer.

After the Cubs have been invested as members of the Troop at the Scout investiture ceremony, it is a good opportunity for joint activities of the Pack and Troop such as a few carefully-chosen games for a short time until the Cubs must go home and the Troop meeting starts. This strengthens the bonds between Pack and Troop.

The approach to the whole ceremony is one of pride and happiness that another Cub is joining the Troop. No suggestion of sadness at losing him from the Pack must be allowed to creep in.