The Scratch Hats Program places Juniors into a skill level category based on their current ability. This is known as the Hats Levels. The center makes an initial evaluation with each junior based on either input from child/parent, or after one or two sessions.
There are 10 levels with the last four called the “Black Hat Levels.” Each of these ten levels has a special hat to denote that level. The Hats level concept provides a fun and easy way to understand roadmap for the juniors. By having clear objectives tied to a reward system, similar to karate, the junior will more often better focus and push harder to improve.
As the requirements are met in a specific station area (ie. putting) for their level, they receive a pin for their hat which denotes “requirements met.” All three pins in the hat indicate eligibility for the next Scratchuation.
For the graduation ceremony, a smaller subset of the skills already perfected are demonstrated for the instructors and audience. At the end of the graduation ceremony, a certificate denoting that they have graduated from their most recent Hats level is presented as well as the new hat to be worn representing the next level. The “old” is retired and they now wear the newer one for training.