Tiger Ceremonies

Jungle Book Ceremony for Awarding the Tiger Badge

by Edward A. Haluska

People required:

  • Akela, the leader of the wolf pack (the Cubmaster)
  • Shere Khan, the evil tiger

Props:

  • A candle log (with enough holes for each boy)
  • Small birthday candles (one per boy)
  • A camp-stove lighter (one that makes a flame, not just a spark)

Hints:

  • Because Shere Khan is not seen by the audience and may be slightly farther away than Akela and the cubs, he should have a very loud voice. If you are using a microphone but only have one, give it to Shere Khan.
  • Have a spare tiger badge or two on hand for boys that pop up after the badges have been ordered (this can also save you from having to do another Tiger Badge ceremony next pack meeting). If you use a spare badge, make sure that a replacement badge is ordered in the cub's name. Otherwise, his records at the council headquarters will not be current!
  • If you are using this ceremony for the first time, practice the tiger growl by using it as a spirit cheer at the beginning of the pack meeting.
  • Dim the lighting at the beginning of the ceremony for better atmosphere and so that the candles will show up better.
  • The camp stove lighter called for is basically just a butane cigarette lighter that has been fitted with a trigger mechanism and a long extender tube so that the flame is about 4 inches from the hand. These lighters may sometimes also be found with the Bar-B-Q grills in some stores. Tiger cubs are usually more comfortable with this than matches or trying to use a larger candle to light the small ones.
  • You can use a candle log that is made for standard size candles. However, these ceremonies consistently use fire to symbolize the Tiger Cub and Cub Scout Promises. To contribute to that consistency, very small candles are used at this end of the age scale, standard size candles are used for the older boys. At the very end of a boys Cub Scout experience could be a ceremony using a six foot long flaming arrow of light.

Akela: The moon is full, just as it was long ago on that night in the jungle when Mowgli first joined the Seeonee wolf pack. It has been many years since Mowgli returned from living with the wolves. After he returned, he taught us many of the lessons he learned while in the jungle. The most important was that the strength of the wolf is the pack, and the strength of the pack is the wolf. That is why we are here tonight in this council ring. Tonight we have many young boys who have earned their tiger badges. So let us begin. Parents, bring forward these tiger cubs.

(Akela calls out the names of the tigers who have earned the tiger badge. Parents and tiger cubs come forward and face the rest of the pack.)

Akela: First, to earn your tiger pins, you boys have learned the Tiger Cub promise. Are you boys ready to make that promise again in front of your parents, these other tiger cubs, and the rest of the pack?

(Akela shakes head in yes motion. Boys should also shake their heads yes.)

(Shere Khan now interrupts from an unseen place offstage.)

Shere Khan: These boys are tiger cubs! The wolves have no business with them!

Akela: Shere Khan! The Evil One! Mowgli knew you in the jungle as an evil tiger. And you tried to catch him whenever you could.

Shere Khan: These boys are tiger cubs! I will be the one to teach them!

Akela: Silence, Shere Khan, you evil one! Even among the tigers you are scorned because of your evil ways. Only the most disgraceful of tigers hunt for man cubs as you do. But we know the one thing that you fear the most, the red flower. And the reason you fear the red flower of fire so much is that all your evil cannot stand against the light of one small red flower. I will prove to you that each of these tiger cubs has already chosen to walk the path of the red flower, the path of truth and light. I will prove to you that each of these boys knows that your dark path is evil.

(Call each boy forward one at a time and ask the following...)

Akela: (boys name), I have here your tiger badge that you have earned! Do you want to accept this badge, and remain with the other tiger cubs, and then go on to become a Cub Scout with this pack? Or do you want to leave us now and go learn the wicked ways of Shere Khan, the evil tiger?

(After the boy has answered...)

Akela: Then make the Tiger Cub sign and repeat the Tiger Cub Promise with me.

I promise to love God, my family, and to learn about the world.

Akela: You have chosen well young tiger. So that Shere Khan can see the wisdom and truth that already has begun to grow in your young heart, I want you to light one of these small red flowers.

(If you have a large number of boys, you can address the question to all of them, have all of them repeat the Tiger Cub Promise together, then have them come forward one at a time just to light a candle.)

(After the boy has lit a candle, give him his tiger badge.)

Akela: Shere Khan would teach you boys to have empty minds and to have no concern about others. So that he will know that you already know better than that, I want each of you boys to again make the Tiger Cub sign an repeat the Tiger Motto with me.

Search, discover, share.

Shere Khan: These boys are tiger cubs! I will be the one to teach them!

Akela: Silence and be gone evil one! These boys know better than to follow you. Pack ___! These tiger cubs have chosen well. Over the years we hope that the red flowers they have planted tonight will thrive and grow into blazing arrows of light. So to encourage these young tiger cubs and to send Shere Khan on his way, let's give a good loud tiger growl.

(Akela leads pack in tiger growl.)

Branding of the Tiger Cubs

EQUIPMENT: Fake council fire, 1/4" dowel rod cut in two (one per boy plus one), 1 Bobcat stamp, Blue cloth or paper for fake water, Certificate, pin, patch, Tiger make-up or mask, 1 Arrow head per boy, 3 feathers per boy - red, yellow, and blue, fake stepping stones for steps in water.

ARRANGEMENTS: Lights off. Council fire on , Semicircle sitting with Tiger Cubs on the floor and parents seated behind them. Council fire in center. At the open end, place fake water on floor and steps on top. Be sure to place steps so some difficulty is encountered while crossing water so it's a real challenge. Put stamp and rod taped together and in fire. Arrow heads, remaining rods, and feathers at waters edge. Certificate, pin, and Tiger patch at Shere Kahn position.

CHARACTERS: Cubmaster or Tribal Chief, Tiger or Shere Kahn, Den Chief or Ceremonial Brave.

TRIBAL CHIEF: (Chief is setting at fire, when all is quiet he stands.) "Tonight, we have gathered to honor our young braves. Let us call forth....

SHERE KAHN: (Interrupts loudly.) I Shere Kahn wish to test these braves before honor is given them! I call forth the man cubs called Tigers!

(Tiger Cubs and adults go to Shere Kahn and stand before him.) What is the motto of the Tiger Cubs. Have you obeyed the Promise of the Tiger Cub? Tigers, this is the emblem of your first rank in Scouting, wear it proudly. (Patch) Adult Tiger, this is the symbol of your deeds in preparing these Tigers for their next adventure in Cubing. (Pin) So all may know that you have done well, here is the writing to prove your efforts. (certificate) Go now, I wish no more to see you. You must walk the water of evil. Be weary if its quickness and smooth appearance, for it can fool you.

CEREMONIAL BRAVE: (Brave is at the end of the water. he greets them. He takes them to a spot where he has the makings of the arrows and says,) The arrowhead breaks the wind. The stick, if straight, will guide the arrows path. The feathers gives balance and distance. Take these and make your arrow of life. Learn of its true nature and be a good Scout.

(He then takes the Tigers to the council fire, the adults are asked to take their seats and the boys are asked to sit on either side of the Tribal Chief.)

TRIBAL CHIEF: Tonight, we honor these Cub Scouts, for they have completed the challenge of the Tigers. So all may know that they are not of the tribe we will place our mark upon their foreheads. This symbol is the Bobcat, your first rank in this tribe. (Chief stamps each Tiger, as each boy is "branded" the Cub pack hisses, the Chief calls them Bobcats of Den(#), and introduces them to their Den Leader.


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