Thursday, March 4, 2010

From Cub Scout to Boy Scout

Last Saturday night was Cub Scout Pack 220's Blue & Gold banquet and Webelos Arrow of Light/Crossover Graduation ceremony. This year was especially meaningful for our family because it was the night that our Cub Scout was going to become a Boy Scout. After four years of busy Monday nights, long camping weekends, pinewood derbies, raingutter regattas, fund raising, and community service projects our little boy was about to take a huge first step toward becoming a young man.

It was also the night that I would no longer be a Cub Scout Den Leader. I had mixed feelings of relief that I would be freeing up a big chunk of time in my life and sadness that I would not be spending every Monday night with 10 of the greatest boys you could ever meet. For the last four years I have been dedicated to providing a fun and meaningful scouting program for these boys.

The banquet was held at a local church. The theme of the night was "Blasting into the Future." Dinner was provided by a local pizza/Italian restaurant. The room was decorated with rocket ships and stars.

The program for the evening included awards for leaders and volunteers, a special award for 5 sisters of the scouts, video presentations, and the highlight of the evening...presentation of the Arrow of Light award.

The Arrow of Light is the highest award that can be earned in Cub Scouting. It is the Cub Scout equivalent of Eagle Scout. We were lucky enough to have 10 Arrow of Light recipients in Pack 220 this year.

CJ is awarded the Arrow of Light by Cubmaster Hoyos and Asst. Cubmaster Smith.

After the Blue & Gold banquet we traveled to a near-by lake for the Arrow of Light ceremony. At the beginning of the Arrow of Light ceremony each of the boys is given an Arrow of Honor. The Arrow of Honor is painted by the parents of each boy. Each part of the arrow represents a part of scouting. The rings that decorate the arrow represent each of the achievements that the scout earned while in Cub Scouting.

Next, each of the boys is called forward to shoot a flaming arrow into the lake. This is the part that the boys had been looking forward to all year.

After the Arrow of Light ceremony the boys moved on to the Crossover Graduation ceremony. Each of the boys walked across a bridge that is decorated with the Arrow of Light. The crossing of the bridge symbolizes the boys crossing from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts. This is the moment that it really hit me that these 10 boys were no longer Cubs, they had grown up and were ready to be Boy Scouts.

The members of the Boy Scout troop wait for the boys at the far end of the bridge. The Boy Scouts welcome each of the new Scouts into the troop. The Scouts remove the old Webelos neckerchief and replace it with a Boy Scout neckerchief. They also remove the blue Cub Scout shoulder loops and replace them with green Boy Scout shoulder loops.

And just like that...they are Boy Scouts!

When I look back at our years of Cub Scouting I will remember all of the work that went into it. I will also remember how much fun we had, the friends that we met, the memories that we made, and the difference that we made in the lives of the boys.

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