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Looking for advice for upcoming Lion Graduation?

I’m a Lion Guide and first year Den Leader looking for an unforgettable graduation experience for some amazing Lions.
Any suggestions?

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Our Lions will Den Up with the rest of the Pack in May. Receiving their Tiger Neckerchiefs and slides.


I’ve seen some interesting ceremonies that involve painting the Lion’s faces for the adventures they’ve completed and/or awarding them a certificate and their Tiger neckerchief etc. A great option is to reach out to the other dens and see how they usually handle ceremonies like this.

Also, keep in mind where this graduation will be held. Is it a pack meeting? A den meeting? at Blue and Gold? wherever it is, some of the pack traditions may inform the nature of the ceremony and/or the timing of everything.

The most important thing is think about what your Lion’s would want to do. If you have a kid who would scream if you tried to paint his/her face, then its not the right ceremony for your den. :slight_smile:

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That sounds like the “Painted Bobcat” ceremony my sons’ Pack did for the boys the meeting after they earned Bobcat. We used this one for years:


Our Pack has a small TP set up on stage, and the scout enters the TP as a Lion but comes out wearing Tiger scarf clasp and hat.

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I bet you could find some cool looking temporary tattoos of Lions for them. I know my sons were nuts about temp. tattoos when they were Lion-aged.


JustinHamilton, I was also a first time Lion guide this year, and we had a lot of fun. We are overseas so near all the Lions are children of military families. Scouting is helpful to keep kids active when Dad or Mom is deployed. We will by June, when school gets out completed all the Lion achievements and ten scouts will have earned the Lion rank. Lions are officially part of the pack this year, so you will be setting traditions that will last. Whenever I got stumped this year I would ask parents to help me. For instance, for the cardboard box derby race, I asked the Moms to make the Den snack into a shape of an Olympic Medal with a ribbon around their neck, that was wrapped in aluminum foil with the shiny side out. The Lion got a happy feeling from getting a medal, but unlike the Olympic athletes, they could actually eat their snack latter. Parents made it all happen I just had an idea, and their creativity and imagination made it all happen. :hugs:

I was a Lion Guide last year and we took a trip to our local zoo. We did our awards/rank ceremony in front of the lion enclosure then did an animal mask parade (Rumble in the Jungle) from there to the tiger enclosure. We are in DC and the big cats are on a circle so it wasn’t far. The scouts, the parents, plus other random zoo goers really loved it. Luke the lion patriarch enjoyed our show too.


That sounds like an awesome advancement ceremony!

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@ JustinHamilton what does your pack do for the graduation ceremony for the other dens. Most packs will do one graduation ceremony for all members of the pack. Context to how your pack handles everyone else would help us give better advice on how your den fits within the overall. :wink:

First of all, my pack owns the neckerchiefs. They get passed down each year.

The Lions are called up, congratulated, presented any last awards. Now they Tigers are called up and stand behind the Lions. They remove their Tiger neckerchiefs and place them on the Lions. Typically the Cubmaster has made slides for the Lions.

Now the Lions are seated and the Tigers are presented their awards and congratulated. The Wolves step behind the tigers and remove their neckerchiefs.

This continues until the 1st year Webelos are standing behind the Bears. They are handed the neckerchiefs the Webelos that previously crossed wore.

Now the 1st year Webelos are alone at the front of the room. The Cubmaster explains they are the senior Scouts, preparing to join a troop. As such they are expected to help teach and set an example for the younger Scouts.


This is a cool idea. Is this “graduation” ceremony separate from the rank advancement ceremony?

Rank advancement ceremonies should be at pack meetings soon after the rank is earned by individual Scouts. At the end of the school year (for packs that transition by school year - not age), packs should have an end of year transition ceremony where the dens are moved up to the next den / program level (Lion dens become Tiger dens, Tiger dens become Wolf dens, etc.).

I don’t think we’ve ever had more than one or two kids complete their rank early enough to award separately. Often this is just because parents haven’t bothered to let us know they’ve finished duty to god or the abuse prevention stuff and we don’t typically start asking for status until after April pack meeting. Last year we did prompt a couple who were close so we could award them in April, specifically so the one kid who I didn’t think was likely to complete rank wouldn’t stand out so much. (In the end, after reading the exact wording of requirements, we decided he did meet them, so a moot point, but did relieve some stress for me)
This year we separated the two events by about 5 minutes by having the awards indoors similar to our regular pack meeting and the neckerchief and rank face paint outside with our bridge. We also had one brand new cub join us for that part and it was nice being able to integrate her into the very first moment the den existed as webelos.

I too am a first year Den Leader and Lion Guide. Our Pack is holding an Advancement Ceremony soon and finding something memorable to do was tough. I loved the Painted Ceremony found with a Google search and changed it up a bit. I looked at the origins of Scouting, what colors represented in that region, then tied those colors into the Scout Law and the face painting. Attached is what I came up with and plan on adapting to each Rank as we advance.

We have some other stuff planned for our Lions but this I think will grow into a Pack thing adapted for each Rank.

Painted Lion Rank Ceremony.pdf (150.6 KB)

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Just make sure you use paint that will wash out of fabric. My son’s Cub Scout uniform still had a dot of orange on the edge of the flag when he switched to the tan shirt because the pack didn’t buy the right kind of paint when he was a Tiger.

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Yes, we made sure to purchase actual face paint :wink:

I love the neckerchief idea, as our Pack grows I may try to incorporate that as well.

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There is a ceremony book available at Scout shops:

Ceremonies for Dens and Packs

It has some ideas / suggestions for transition ceremonies (den transition ceremonies at the end of the school year).

There are lots of ceremony ideas online. One idea is a “Cub-o-Matic” where Cub Scouts go into a “machine” and come out the other side as their new den level. There are some fun videos where you can see different ideas as to how some packs do this.

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Justin, After 27 years dealing with kids I have learned a few things you know your kids better than any of us. Things that work in our packs may not work in yours. Make it fun and something they will remember

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Do not wait until the annual Blue and Gold event. The Lion Badge should be presented to the Scout at the next Pack Meeting. Immediate recognition items are presented at den meetings.

Cub Scout Leader Book

The Cub Scout Program - Advancement and Awards - How the Advancement Program Works (page 37)

The Den Leader

  1. Make sure that impressive advancement ceremonies and graduation ceremonies are conducted at the pack meeting …

The Cubmaster

  1. Ensure tat Cub Scouts who have earned awards receive them at the next pack meeting. Don’t let them get discouraged by having to wait for recognition.

The Pack Committee

  1. Help plan advancement and graduation ceremonies for the pack meeting.


  • Ceremonies for Dens and Packs , chapter 8, Advancement Ceremonies , p.p. 8-1 through 8-14, 33212, 2010 printing, © 1999 Boy Scouts of America.
  • Cub Scout Leader Book, 33221, ©2018 Boy Scouts of America, 2018 printing, 168 pages, SKU 646725
  • Programs > Cub Scouts > Pack Meeting Resources
  • Guide to Advancement 2019