The first three Openings (or Closings, your choice) are similar. You could probably even combine them and choose the countries you want to use. Have fun, experiment. All of these were written by volunteers for volunteers. If it was not for their creativity we would not have anything. Let's not grow stagnant, continue to make up new ceremonies and such. (Enough Soapbox) CD
Christmas Around the World
Baltimore Area Council
Each Cub Scout holds an article representing the country, he has chosen, while he reads or recites the lines. Or instead, have each boy hold a cardboard cutout of the country he represents, with the words written on the back of the cutout for easy reading. Boys can be in uniform or in costumes for countries.
- Ireland | The building of a grotto for the Nativity scene is a family project in Ireland. A Dublin fruitcake, covered with thick almond-flavored icing and decorated with green gumdrop shamrocks is the popular food.
- Scandinavia | Children, parents and even grandparents all join in making interesting straw and balsa wood ornaments in shapes of stars, angels, reindeer, and other animals. They begin making these holiday decorations on Little Christmas, the last Sunday in November.
- Poland | Here the Christmas tree is a symbol of friendship and peace, and is heavily laden with pretty ornaments. Poppy-seed rolls filled with ground poppy seed and honey paste are prepared the night before Christmas.
- Austria | Greens and apples signify hope for the coming spring and are used in the twilight tree .with candles to celebrate the holidays. Linzer cakes and nut butter rounds are their Christmas delicacies.
- England | Punch and Judy shows are very much a part of the British Christmas. Plum pudding, spicy ginger cookies, shaped like cornucopias and filled with whipped cream are delightful foods.
- Italy | Instead of a Christmas tree, Italy has the pyramid-shaped Ceppo. The manger scene of hand-carved figures is placed on the lower shelf of the ceppo and small gifts for the children are put on the next shelf. Golden bread of Verona and Sicilian torrone, a multi-colored candy loaf are special pastries.
- Greece | St. Basil, who distributes Christmas toys, makes his rounds in a boat instead of a sled. New Year's bread with a coin baked inside is served at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve. Father cuts a portion of bread for each member of the family in the order of their ages. Whoever gets the piece with the coin will enjoy a year of coed luck.
- Mexico | In Mexico, the pinata filled with candy is always a favorite at Christmastime. The children strike it until it cracks and the goodies spill cut for all to enjoy.
This Is My Country
Baltimore Area Council
Characters: Four boys dressed in costumes from South America, Japan, Africa, and the Netherlands; each holding a large picture or map of his country. Narration is printed on back of picture so boy can read it. A fifth boy, dressed in Uncle Sam costume (Or Cub Scout Uniform), is holding an American flag.
Setting: Boys come on stage, one at a time. Each boy reads the description of his country while a recording of "This Is My Country" is played softly in the background. The volume of music is increased between scenes, when no one is speaking. Recording of "Star Spangled Banner" is played at the end.
- South America: I am South America. I am most noted for my exotic foods, sugar cane, coffee, molasses and coconut. My people eat domesticated foods such as beans, pumpkin, pineapple, potatoes and tomatoes. I am also known for my tobacco. On any sunny day, you can see me dressed in my native clothing, the serape and the sombrero. My religion is mostly Roman Catholic. South America! This is my country!
- Japan: I am Japan. Agriculture is my game, but silk is my claim to fame. People come from all over the world to visit my Buddhist pagodas and Geisha houses, and try to master the art of using chop sticks. They almost always go home wearing a kimono, which is my native dress. Japan! This is my country!
- Netherlands: I am the Netherlands, or Holland, as I am most commonly called. My schools are all state supported and education is compulsory. Only eight percent of me is forest surface, so' I am best known for my canals. Dairying is one of my important industries. I am world famous for my Dutch cheese. I also grow cereal grain and potatoes, but I am most famous for my fields of horticulture, especially the tulips. When I pass your open window, you can hear the clippety-clop of my wooden shoes on the cobblestone streets. Holland! This is my country! .
- Africa: I am Africa, the second largest of the six continents. Why not visit me and pick up a diamond. Ninety-eight percent of the world's diamonds come from me. I also have gold and oil in abundance. Some of my tribes still practice witchcraft, so be careful when you visit me. If you wander too far, you may lose your head. Allah is my God. Although I dance as a form of religion, other countries have copied me as a form of entertainment. The caftan and dashiki, my native dress, are now a worldwide fashion. Africa! This is my country!
- AMERICA: I am America. People from all over the world come to me to find freedom. My customs are those of every nation, and I offer an equal opportunity to every man. I am called the land of plenty for my natural resources are many. Clothing styles and religion are a person's own choice. What's the difference if someone hails from north, south, east or west. My heart is filled with love for all of them. The home of the brave and the land of the free! America! This is my country!
Boys remain standing on stage while the "Star Spangled Banner" is played
Holidays Around The World
In India and Thailand, they celebrate the Festival of Lights, With little lamps or lotus boats that float into the night. [Boy carries a Lotus Boat of foil]
In Sweden, too, they honor Santa Lucia, Queen of Light The oldest girl will wear a crown with candles warm and bright. [St. Lucia crown or candle and greens.]
In Mexico, the children gather goodies from the floor, For they've broken the pinata filled with candy treats galore! [Pinata]
In Poland, on the table, under dishes they put straw, And they leave a chair that's empty for the Holiest child of all. [Hand full of straw or a small chair.]
In Holland, children fill their shoes with carrots and with straw In hopes "Black Pete" will substitute a gift for one and all. [Wooden shoes and/or carrots]
In Israel, the children play with a special top for a special day. [Dreidel]
In England, children hang a sock - one that doesn't have a hole! They hope it will hold presents and not a lump of coal! [Christmas stocking]
Let's Celebrate! Let's Celebrate! and learn of special ways that people all around the world celebrate their holidays! [Globe]
OPENING CEREMONY I
Sam Houston Area Council
Props: Box wrapped with holiday paper and tied with a bow. In the box are a menorah, small Christmas tree, invitation, Kwanzaa candelabra, and other symbols of December Holidays appropriate for you're your unit, Instant Recognition patch and beads, small wrapped gift, small felt stocking, and card saying "Do Your Best."
Cubmaster: (Opens box and looks inside.) December is one of the most exciting months of the year, and certainly one of the busiest. This month we have: Christmas (Takes out tree.); Hanukkah (Removes menorah.); Kwanzaa (Removes candle holder.), (Does other symbols), and Holiday parties (Takes out invitation.).
What a great time for all of us! Our pack has had lots of fun this month working on advancements (Takes patch and beads from box.).
One of the best things was our special service project/Good Turn (Takes stocking (or other symbol for the project) from box.)
We've been busy, and all the time we have followed the Cub Scout Motto: (takes paper out of box and shows it while saying motto) "Do Your Best".
Now den ___ will present the colors.
Sam Houston Area Council
Setting-. Cub Scouts come on stage one at a time, carrying appropriate props, and line up facing the audience. A narrator reads the poem.
(Boy 1 enters, carrying a wreath with sign on it saying "Season's Greetings".)
Season's greetings to everyone,
We're glad you joined us for the fun; '
Tis certainly the happy time of the year,
with everyone bursting with Holiday Cheer.
(Boy 2 enters, carrying a globe with some Christmas tinsel wrapped around the base.)
Each country has its special ways of celebrating the Holidays. Let's see what other people do to celebrate their customs, too.
(Boy 3 enters carrying a candle.)
Narrator: On Christmas Eve in Ireland, candles shine so bright, as children place them in windows, to shine into the night.
(Boy 4 enters carrying a pinata.)
Narrator: In Mexico the children gather goodies from the floor after they break the Pinata filled with prizes by the score.
Add as many more as you want
If your unit is chartered to a church and you know the religious affiliations of all your members, these may be appropriate Opening Ceremonies for your December Pack Show. But they don't help with the Purposes and Core values for this theme - that we are looking at everyone's celebrations and learning respect for all peoples and their beliefs. CD
Religious Opening Ceremony
Baltimore Area Council
Preparation: Find the following items and attach the words for that item on them somewhere. Candle, wreath, candy cane, red tree ornament, and star tree topper. Put all items in a basket to be pulled out during ceremony. You can be creative with this ceremony; you can add other items as needed for the number of boys in your den and their beliefs.
- Candle: This is the candle Mary and Joseph used to find their way in the dark.
- Wreath: This wreath symbolizes the eternal nature of man; it has no beginning and no end.
- Candy cane: This candy cane reminds me of a shepherd's crook used at the time of Christ's birth.
- Red ornament: This ornament is used to symbolize the blood Jesus shed for us.
- Star: This star is a symbol of the "enew star" seen when Jesus was born; it is also a part of our American flag, let's stand and pledge allegiance to that flag.
Carols Cookies And The Christ Child
EQUIPMENT: This ceremony can be done with lettered cards, candles or objects. Each Cub responsible for reciting the meaning of one letter in the word "Christmas".
- C - Carols, Cookies and the Christ Child.
- H - Hurrying, Holly and Happiness.
- R - Ribbons, Raisins and Reverence.
- I - Icicles Ivy and Innocence.
- S - Santa, Secrets, and Shepherds.
- T - Trimmings, Tinsel and Trying to be good.
- M - Mischief, Madonnas, and Miracles.
- A - Apples, Angels, and Adoration.
- S - Snowflakes, Spangles and a Star in the East