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  • Arrow of Light ceremony

    I have read that you can ask the Order of the Arrow to come do an Arrow of light ceremony. Is that correct? Do they typically charge for the service? How far in advance should we ask about this? We're planning for a December ceremony. I've been to two ceremony's put on by the pack and they are really, really lame, but maybe that's the way they are supposed to be?

  • #2
    I'm sure the sooner you let them know, the better your chance to get them booked. Some ceremonies are better than others, and a little research will help you come up with a few which aren't so lame. I don't believe they would charge...except maybe for a meal. Every council is a little different, but most OA Ceremony teams don't's part of what they enjoy doing. I hope your ceremony is enjoyable!


    • #3
      Depends on the lodge. Many do not do it any more........Why? The time commitment for the ceremony team is too great is what I am told. The ceremony team would be busy 4-5nnights a week doing just AOL ceremonys from January thru April. Remember these are high school students for the most part.

      I would plan to do it yourself. Plenty of scripts available on line.

      I would offer a donation and of course to feed them.


      • #4
        The OA has done our Ceremony for three of the five years my son was in the Pack. Find the Lodge Advisor and he will get you in touch with the Ceremony Chief. It's free. We also have them put on our Pinewood Derby. It's their fundraiser. Last year they donated a large portion of the money they raised to a Lodge affected by Hurricane Sandy.

        So, yes...get the OA involved. It's one of the things that they do. Plus, it's fun to watch. Request early.


        • #5
          When I was in scouts (both cub and boy) we would always try and get guys from the different troops which the webelos were "graduating into" involved in the ceremony. So it would both be a Arrow of Light ceremony, but also a bridging ceremony. I remember that when I got my Arrow of Light, having the older scouts there really meant a lot, and help me transition better into my Boy Scout troop.

          No doubt, the OA guys look awesome in their garb, but it also really helps to have few local Boy Scouts there too.

          And I almost forgot, whatever you do, feed them something for sure.
          Last edited by Vince's Arrows; 09-15-2013, 11:39 AM.


          • #6
            As a former chapter adviser here are my thoughts.

            1) As soon as you have a date, LET THEM KNOW ASAP! (emphasis not shouting). I know that in one chapter I was in, we were booked solid in the February-April time frame with ceremonies, OA meetings, Ordeal, and Conclave. In fact there was one time where there was 3 ceremonies on the same day: Two in the day and one at nite. Now I will admit, one of the day ceremonies had a recently turned 21 y.o. Arrowman do a one man Eagle Ceremony while the team did the AOL/Crossovers at the same time.

            2) Food is always appreciated . 99.9999999% of the time there is no fee. That .000000001% that I heard, stressing HEARD, about that charged a fee was to make arrows for the AOL and Crossover Ceremonies. If I remember correctly, one pack forgot about the arrows and a chapter was willing to make the arrows for them. The pack essentially bought the supplies to make the arrows.

            3) As Base mentioned, I've seen chapters receive a donation, honorarium, whatever you want to call it. I've used it to pay for the gas to get to and from the pack,(they were way out in the boonies, the local chapter didn't do ceremonies, and we spent more time in the car driving than at the ceremony), I've seen the money goes towards camperships, and I've seen the money go towards maintenance at the local scout camp. Oh and I've seen it go towards the chapter getting new regalia and/or drum.


            • #7
              My boys do OA ceremonies for AOL.
              Some packs done give anything money wise, but they usually invite the boys to eat with them, esp since the ceremonies are often along with the Blue and Gold banquet. or to have cake and ice cream with the pack after the crossover.
              Some packs realize that there is some cost involved, aside from regalia and drums, but also firewood, fire starting supplies, maybe oil for the smudge pots, or gas for the vehicle. Our OA ceremonies boys usually go for ice cream after the ceremonies esp if no food is offered to them. So $20 would be a small token amount to consider but talk to the ceremonies team adviser to see what is recommended or if they have an expense or if there is something you can provide (like firewood if they do a ceremonial fire) that would cut down on cost for them.

              Definitely call and get your date on the calendar and be alittle flexible if something else is already in your spot. Our team likes to avoid monday nights so they don't miss their own troop meetings. and of course any ordeal weekends, or camporee weekends, and stuff like that the OA is often busy those weekends so you may need to choose something else.

              You should provide your own arrows. Notify the scoutmaster of troops your body are crossing into to be there to accept them when they cross over the bridge. be sure to talk to the OA that they will do an arrow of light ceremony for all who receive aol, but a few might not get it done and still want/need to bridge over to boy scouts. as well as the OA will usually do a bridging ceremony (an short add on to the aol ceremony usually) and you need to be sure you know what will happen with any boy who doesn't want to cross to boy scouts. we had an incident where a boy wanted to cross the bridge but was still deciding between 2 different troops, and that became a bit of a mess. the ideal is that they should have just had both scoutmasters welcome him to the other side of the bridge and invite him to come visit them to make up his final decision asap. with LDS I'd imagine your boys mostly will continue in boy scouting, and the unit may sort of already be decided for him, so that might not be any issue to worry about.

              Oh also talk to the ceremony team about if they have any rules about LDS units that you should know about. I mean that for a time our team was getting called out every month or so to do a crossover for another boy, since it's all by birthdate. They felt 1. it was a lot of trips to the same place, 2. seeing the ceremony so very often, the boys in the pack were getting kind of bored with the whole ceremony thing. so they decided to limit each unit to one ceremony a year, maybe 2. what that would mean is you'd wait, they'd get the fancy ceremony a few boys together at the same time.


              • christineka
                christineka commented
                Editing a comment
                We're definitely trying to combine. We only have 4 webelos at the moment and one will be moving soon. The boy with the first birthday, turns 11 Jan 3rd and my kid is the end of February. Those two will definitely earn aol by December. The 3rd boy's birthday is in July, so he can't earn aol until mid January at the earliest.

            • #8
              Our District has a ceremony with OA, separate from our Pack's ceremony. They charge $5 for the arrow, and hold it outside at a campsite/campfire in the spring (a bit more scout-ish than a church basement in February).