Opening and Closing Club Parades

Commanding a Formal Club Opening and Closing Parade

Introduction

  1. The following is a suggested format for an opening and closing parade.
  2. All commands are to be given from the “attention” position.
  3. It should be noted that between each part in the execution of the command there is a pause, known as the “Regulation pause”, which is equivalent to two beats of quick time.
  4. Before the commencement of the parade, the units will take up their positions just off the parade area and stand easy.
  5. The Director will take up their position adjacent to the flag staff/pole and come to attention.

NOTE:

  1. The ceremonies set out here are examples only.
  2. The formation of the units, the use of a colour bearer other than the captain, and other options may be chosen by individual clubs, depending on the size and shape of the meeting hall, and the number of Pathfinders in the club.
  3. Where a club has a national flag this should be at the masthead, cased or unbroken, before the ceremony commences. The Pathfinder flag should similarly be in position and ready before the parade.

Opening Parade

Director: “Pathfinders, right mar-KER.” (The Right Marker is the Pathfinder at the extreme right of the front rank).
  1. The Right Marker comes to attention and
  2. Marches forward an uneven number of paces to a designated spot on the parade area, halts and if necessary, turns to the front and stands at ease.
Director: “Pathfinders, on par-ADE.”
  1. All Pathfinders, including the Marker, come to attention.
  2. The Marker stands fast and the rest of the unit marches onto the parade area and forms up in ranks on the left of the Marker.
  3. The whole unit then stands at ease.
Director: “Pathfinders, atten-TION.”
  1. The parade comes to attention.
  2. Pray is now offered.
  3. Any men or boys on parade will remove their hat with their right hand and hold the hat in the same hand.
  4. At the conclusion of the prayer the hat is replaced on the head and the parade resumes the “attention” position.
Director: “Colour Guard, take POST.”
  1. The Colour Guard of previously nominated Pathfinders (which will not include the Guidon Bearer, if used) take one pace forward out of their rank,
  2. Turn to the right and then
  3. March to the designated position, usually at the edge of the parade area opposite the flag staff/pole.
  4. When they arrive there they will form up in a file facing the right flank and stand at attention.
Director: “Colour Guard, quick MARCH.”
  1. The Colour Guard will march, via a designated route, to a point two paces from the national flag staff/pole and mark time.
Director: “Colour Guard, HALT.”
  1. (This command is given as the right foot comes to the floor).
  2. The Colour Guard halts.
Director: “Colour Guard, right TURN.”
  1. The Colour Guard turns right.
  2. Without further command the Colour Bearer steps forward two paces to the flag staff/pole,
  3. Grasps the halyards and
  4. Breaks open the national flag and
  5. Secures the halyards.
If the flag is unfurled on a staff in a holder, the Colour Bearer
  1. Grasps the staff and
  2. Lifts it clear of the holder,
  3. About turns, and
  4. Faces the parade.
The Director will salute as the national flag is broken or clears the holder.
  1. All other Pathfinders stand at attention.
  2. Following the salute and without further command the Colour Bearer comes to attention and steps back into position between the escorts.
If a flag staff is used, the Colour Bearer
  1. About turns and
  2. Replaces the flag staff into its holder
  3. Steps back into position between the escorts.
Director: “Colour Guard, right TURN.”
  1. The Colour Guard turns to the right.
Director: “Colour Guard, quick MARCH.”
  1. The Colour Guard will march to a point two paces from the Pathfinder flag staff/pole and mark time.
Director: “Colour Guard, HALT.”
  1. (This command is given as the right foot comes to the floor).
  2. The Colour Guard halts
Director: “Colour Guard, left TURN.”
  1. The Colour Guards turns left.
  2. Without further command the Colour Bearer steps forward two paces to the flag staff/pole,
  3. Grasps the halyards and
  4. Breaks open the Pathfinder flag and
  5. Secures the halyards.
If the flag is unfurled on a staff in a holder, the Colour Bearer
  1. Grasps the staff and
  2. Lifts it clear of the holder,
  3. About turns, and
  4. Faces the parade.
Director: “Pathfinders, Pledge and LAW.”
  1. All on parade repeat the Pledge and Law.
  2. During the recitation of the Pledge the right hand is held vertically, fingers extended, palm facing forward with the elbow held close to the side.
  3. Guidon Bearers, if used, stand fast.
  4. At the completion of the Pledge and Law, the Colour Bearer without further command the Colour Bearer comes to attention and
  5. Steps back into position between the escorts.
If a flag staff is used, the Colour Bearer
  1. About turns and replaces the flag staff into its holder
  2. Steps back into position between the escorts.
Director: “Colour Guard, to your unit, quick MARCH.”
  1. The Colour Guard march directly to their unit,
  2. Peel off as they near the unit.
  3. Halt at the rear of the rank from which they started, facing the direction they were travelling.
  4. Without command, they turn right together and step forward into their rank.
Director: “Pathfinders, stand at EASE.”
  1. All on parade stand at ease.
  2. This is a time when announcements about the meeting’s activities can be given, fees gathered, (if taken each meeting) and the roll checked by appointed staff.
  3. If it is planned to hold an inspection of uniform, this is the time during the parade to do it.
    1. Announce a period of, say, three minutes to prepare for the inspection.
    2. II.At the end of the preparation period the person conducting the inspection will approach the first unit.
  4. At the approach the Captain of the unit calls the unit to attention and, if wearing a hat, salutes the inspector and accompanies the inspector on the inspection. (The salute is at the Director’s discretion)
  5. At the end of the inspection the Captain salutes the departing inspector, resumes their former position and stands the unit at ease. (The salute is at the Director’s discretion)
  6. This procedure will be followed by all units.
  7. All units on parade will stand at ease before and after their inspection.
  8. At the conclusion of the inspection the inspector will return to the front of the parade and make comments as necessary about the standard of dress and turn-out.
Director: “Pathfinders, atten-TION.”
  1. The parade will come to attention.
  2. At this point instructions are given relative to the next activity on the program and what action the Pathfinders will take at the conclusion of the parade.
Director: “Pathfinders, to your activities, dis-MISS.”
  1. All Pathfinders turn to the right,
  2. Count to four and then move off the parade area to their next activity.

Closing Parade

  1. The Closing Parade follows the same format as the Opening Parade with the following exceptions:
    1. The breaking out of the flag
    2. The salute of the flag (The salute is at the Directors discretion)
    3. The recitation of the Pledge and Law
  2. If the flag is lowered and folded, the flag is lowered slowly and received and folded by the escorts while the Colour Bearer secures the halyards to the flag pole.
  3. The Colour Bearer takes the flag from the escorts and surrenders it to the Director.
  4. The Colour Guard then return to their unit.
  5. Final announcements are made.
Director: “Pathfinders, atten-TION.”
  1. The parade comes to attention.
  2. A closing prayer is now offered with hats removed and replaced as for the opening prayer.
Director: “Pathfinders, dis-MISS.”
  1. When the Pathfinders have cleared the parade area, the parade is finished.

Alternative to Suggested Opening Ceremony

Flag on a Staff or on a Flagpole
  1. First whistle is given by the Director.
  2. Pathfinders cease activities and stand still.
  3. Unit captains collect their guidons and take up positions. (where guidons used)
  4. Second whistle is given.
Director: “Pathfinders, on PARADE.”
  1. Pathfinders take up positions in rank two paces behind the captain.
  2. The captain is centred in front of the unit.
  3. Pathfinders take dressing without command, from the Pathfinder on the right.
  4. Unit then stands “at ease”.
Director: “Pathfinders, atten-TION.”
  1. Sing the Pathfinder Song or other opening song.
  2. Pray is now offered.
  3. Any men or boys on parade will remove their hat with their right hand and hold the hat in the same hand.
  4. At the conclusion of the prayer the hat is replaced on the head and the parade resumes the “attention” position.
Director: The honour unit for this week is the … unit.
Director: “Colour guard, fall OUT.”
  1. Colour bearer (unit captain) need not move.
  2. The two escorts take two paces forward, and form up each side of the colour bearer.
Director: “Colour guard, left or right TURN. Quick MARCH.”
  1. Colour guard marches in file, by the shortest route (or a route designated by the director, as commanded), to a position three paces in front of flag staff and marks time.
Director: “Colour guard, HALT. Left or right TURN.”
  1. The colour guard is halted in rank three paces in front of the flag.
  2. b.Without further command the colour bearer steps forward and lifts the flagstaff from its bracket, steps back into position between escorts, about turns and faces the parade.
FOR FLAG ON A FLAGPOLE:
  1. Colour escorts step to flagpole and untie halyard.
  2. Colour bearer attaches flag.
  3. Colour escorts take one step back.
  4. Colour bearer raises flag to masthead.
  5. The colour bearer secures the halyards to the cleat and resumes his position between the colour escorts.
(IF FLAG IS TO BE BROKEN AT THE MASTHEAD, the flag is correctly folded, attached to the halyards and raised to the masthead before the ceremony commences.
  1. Colour guard marches direct to within three paces of flagpole.
  2. Colour bearer only steps forward to pull on halyard to unfurl flag, then steps back between escorts.)
Director. The Director salutes as flag is broken or clears the holder.
  1. Colour Guard stand fast.
  2. All other Pathfinders stand at attention
Director: “Colour bearer, post the FLAG.”
(This command is used only for flag-on-a-staff ceremony)
  1. Colour bearer posts Pathfinder flagstaff in its bracket, and steps back into position between escorts.
Director: “Pathfinders, repeat the Pledge and Law.”
  1. All on parade repeat the Pledge and Law.
  2. During the recitation of the Pledge the right hand is held vertically, fingers extended, palm facing forward with the elbow held close to the side.
  3. Guidon Bearers stand fast. (if used)
  4. At the completion of the Pledge and Law, the Colour Bearer without further command steps back into position between the escorts.
Director: “Colour guard, left or right TURN. Quick MARCH.”
  1. Colour guard returns in file, by the shortest route (or a route designated by the director, as commanded), to the rear of the unit and marks time.
Director: “Colour guard, HALT. Fall IN.”
  1. Colour guard return to their original position and stand at attention.
Director: “Pathfinders, stand at EASE.”
  1. Various activities may follow, such as inspections, guest speaker, etc.
Alternative to Suggested Closing Ceremony
  1. First whistle is given by the director.
  2. Pathfinders cease activities and stand still.
  3. Unit captains collect their guidons and take up positions.( guidons optional)
  4. Second whistle is given.
Director: “Pathfinders, on PARADE.”
  1. Pathfinders take up positions in rank two paces behind the captain.
  2. The captain is centred in front of the unit.
  3. Pathfinders take dressing without command, from the Pathfinder on the right.
Director: “Pathfinders, atten-TION. Prepare to form the colour guard.”
Director: “Colour guard, fall OUT.”
  1. Colour bearer (unit captain) need not move.
  2. The two escorts take two paces forward, and form up each side of the colour bearer.
Director: “Left or right TURN. Quick MARCH.”
  1. Colour guard marches in file, by the shortest route (or a route designated by the director, as commanded), to a position three paces in front of the flag staff and marks time.
Director: “Colour guard, HALT. Left or right TURN.”
  1. The colour guard is halted in rank three paces in front of the flag.
Director: “Colour bearer, to the FLAG.”
  1. Without further command, the colour bearer steps forward and lifts the flagstaff from its bracket.
  2. With the assistance of escorts, the colour bearer furls and encases the flag.
  3. The colour bearer replaces the flag staff into its holder.
  4. The colour bearer steps back between escorts.
FOR FLAG ON A FLAGPOLE:
  1. Colour bearer steps to flagpole and unties halyard and lowers flag.
  2. At the same time, colour escorts step forward and gather flag up so that it does not touch the ground. Escorts fold flag while colour bearer ties halyard to pole.
  3. Colour bearer marches to the Director, salutes, hands the flag to him/her, takes one pace backward, salutes again, then steps back between the escorts.
Director: “Colour guard, left or right TURN. Quick MARCH.”
  1. Colour guard returns in file, by the shortest route (or a route designated by the director, as commanded), to the rear of their unit and marks time.
Director: “Colour guard, HALT. Fall IN.”
  1. Colour guard takes its original position and stands at attention.
Director: “Pathfinders, stand at EASE.”
  1. Make any announcements.
Director: “Pathfinders, atten-TION.
  1. Benediction is offered.
  2. Any men or boys on parade will remove their hat with their right hand and hold the hat in the same hand.
  3. At the conclusion of the prayer the hat is replaced on the head and the parade resumes the “attention” position.
Pathfinders, dis-MISS.”
  1. All Pathfinders turn to the right,
  2. Count to four and then move off the parade area to their next activity.