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Mother’s Ribbons at Court of Honor

Anne wrote in with this question:

Our troop is incorporating Mother’s Ribbons for the first time into our awards ceremony. Starting with our next incoming group of boys, all the moms will receive a ribbon and the cost will be incorporated into the boys’ troop fees. For our upcoming COH, however, we allowed parents to sign up and pay on their own if they would like to receive the ribbon.

I am having trouble deciding the most smooth way to present the ribbons as not every mom will have one…any thoughts or suggestions?

Thank you!

My instinct would say to keep it low key just to not hurt any of the Scout’s feelings. Sure, their parents had a chance to sign up for the mother’s ribbons, but without knowing the specific reasons some chose not to get them, it is difficult to ensure that somebody is not going to feel like they are being excluded. Perhaps money is tight  or maybe Mom just forgot to put her name on the list. A 10 year old might not understand why he did all of the same requirements as Johnny, but Johnny’s mom got a ribbon and his did not.

The main purpose of the Court of Honor is to recognize the achievements of the youth. Making Mom glow with pride is a secondary effect. Perhaps you can hand out the ribbons after the COH closes.  Or give them to the youth when they receive their awards and let them give them to Mom later during the refreshments.

Readers, what do you think about mother’s ribbons? Add your ideas to the comments below.

What Are Mother’s Ribbons?

The tradition of giving ribbons to mothers at Scout Court of Honor ceremonies dates back to the early days of Scouting. The mother’s ribbons were originally intended to recognize the support and encouragement that mothers provide to their sons in Scouting.

Mothers have traditionally played an important role in supporting their sons in Scouting. They often help with fundraising, transportation, and other tasks that are essential to the success of a Scout troop. By recognizing mothers with ribbons at Court of Honor ceremonies, Scouting organizations can show their appreciation for this important contribution.

It is common for a pin to be attached to the mother’s ribbons at Scout Court of Honor ceremonies. The pin may be used to display the Scout emblem or other insignia, or it may be a special pin designed specifically for the occasion.

The pin is often placed in the center of the ribbon, and may be secured with a clip or other fastener. The design of the pin may vary depending on the organization or region, but it is typically symbolic of the values and ideals of Scouting.

In some cases, the pin may represent a specific award or achievement earned by the Scout or the troop. For example, a pin may be given to recognize the completion of a service project or the achievement of a specific rank or merit badge.

Overall, giving ribbons to mothers at Scout Court of Honor ceremonies is a way to acknowledge and honor the important role that they play in supporting their sons in Scouting.

What Is a Court of Honor?

A Court of Honor is a ceremony held by Scouts to formally recognize and honor those who have achieved specific ranks or earned awards. An Eagle Court of Honor is a special type of Court of Honor ceremony that is held to recognize and celebrate a Scout who has earned the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest rank attainable in Scouting.


7 responses to “Mother’s Ribbons at Court of Honor”

  1. Damon Avatar

    In a former troop we did the parent ribbons…but you know, it just feels like a carry over from the Cub Scout days. And of course, with the pins, you see Boy Scouts wearing the pin as well…often on collars, or pocket flaps, or wherever.

    So…. when we started a new troop 2 years ago we took every good idea we could identify from other troops, checked it against the official program (the BSA handbook, G2SS, and the SM handbook) and everything else we tossed.

    Including parent pins.

    The parents rarely wear them, they get lost, and for younger scouts….they wonder why the parent isn’t wearing the pins. Plus, why is it always a “mom” pin. What about the dads? Or step-parents? Or the uncle who actually brings the scout to meetings?

    So we avoid all of that….who, how much, and other issues…and simply recognize the person who is supposed to be recognized at a Court of Honor. The Scout. As the SM, I don’t even want adult announcements in our COH. The Scouts should do it all.

  2. Kara Avatar

    I like the idea of giving it to the Scout with his awards to present to his Mom later. That way, no one is embarrassed.

  3. joyce Avatar

    I think all mom’s should get a ribbon know matter what.

  4. Leesl Avatar

    At my troop we value the “mother’s Pins” and created our very own using a inexpensive materials from the fabric store. We use three ribbons layered: bottom is an Olive green grosgrain 1 1/2″ ribbon( 7″ cut), centered on that we place a 7/8″ wide satin ribbon (we use one of our neckerchief colors=light blue) and finally centered on top of those two we have a 1/4″ wide satin ribbon(in red for our other neckerchief color). Run a straight stitch along the top, fold over and run a second line of stitching, the we sew a small embroidered Star patch in white, or silver of gold(basically they come in packages of 3 and we purchase as many as they have when we are making a bunch of ribbons), then we glue a pin back to the back side and we have a beautiful pin we present to new Scout families when our boys earn their Scout badge. They cost less than $1.50 and we make about 25 in an hour + drying time for the glued pin backs. We then give the mother one of the tiny rank pins with each rank the scout achieves. Our Mom’s always wear them at Courts of Honor and it makes everyone feel connected and proud.

  5. AnnMarie Avatar

    One for EVERY mother, the cost is so minimal, why not make EVERY mom feel special and you just then might get that one that hasn’t stepped up to the plate quite a bit, now she might want to do a bit more to earn the honor of wearing the ribbon and pins, just saying’……….

  6. Dog Ma Avatar
    Dog Ma

    Recognize the scout, and the parent will be recognized in that. They will be beaming proudly, with a heart full of gladness, whether it is as a mother, or as an adult leader of scouts. The Court of Honor is to recognize the scouts, and that is it’s only purpose. There are families who struggle with just meeting the basic expenses of scouting, outings, gear, etc. There is no need to further burden them or troop expenses with unnecessary expenditures. I do understand the points made in above comments, about giving a parent a pat on the back now and then, though this isn’t the place or time. If you need help, the best way is to ask them, individually, what they are good at and what they feel they can do to “help the troop”, not “help you”, and trying to bribe them with a bauble isn’t going to work.

  7. Pete Rhymes Avatar
    Pete Rhymes

    We simply give each mom a ribbon, award rank pins as earned, and ask parents to contribute, however much or little that they want, and it comes out of Troop expenses. If you want to help great; if not, that’s okay too. This way everybody wins.

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