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Blue and Gold - Pack Event or Crossover Event?

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  • Blue and Gold - Pack Event or Crossover Event?

    Just had our B&G over the weekend. After mass for Scout Sunday, It was a long day!

    This is the 3rd I've attended with this pack. more about the graduation and crossover of the WEBELOS2 boys.... and not at all about the rest of the pack. This really bugs me.
    Since I might maybe be taking over as CM next year, I want to try and turn the ship's course.... even just a little.

    I've read here that some of you actually hold the crossover separate from the B&G. I like that idea, but don't think that's realistic in the short term anyway. Pack is too vested in this idea I think, and since many of the same leaders that did it this year are still with us as the active core of the group through a couple more years with younger sons....
    Also, splitting the event would mean planning two meetings. It's hard enough for us to get folks to do one!

    Historically, our WEBELOS 2 den is in charge of the B&G. Either the leader or some of the moms pull it together. In the past, there has always been some sort of entertainment at least. This year nothing. They didn't even allocate time for the other den leaders to pass out awards..... so the few that had them coming will have to wait until our next pack get together which is the derby.

    Anyway, I think that even the Webelos2 boys were bored to tears through much of it.
    It was nice and touching..... for the moms...... but if you ask me they lost site of the boys.
    • We had 20 minutes or so of jaw yapping by leaders at the mic
    • then line up for a catered lunch....
    • then maybe 30-40 minutes of having the webelos 2 boys up on the stage, the meaning of the arrow and each of the rays of light....kudos to the mom that helped as an un-official den leader. Handing out passed due awards to the webelos 2 boys, then handing them their nice arrow of light plaques, blah, blah, blah....
    • Then outside for the flaming necker stunt
    • then the rope bridge ceremony performed by the visiting BS troops.
    • then back in for closing ceremony.....
    • oh, and cake was in there some place.

    Understanding that entertainment and awards for the younger boys would drag it out even longer than the already painful day we have....
    If I end up defaulting to CM next year, how might I fix it, even just a little?
    I really want to steer at least a little focus back to the idea of the Pack's Birthday and to the other boys.

  • #2
    When I was CM, the B&G was early enough that a lot of the cubs were not quite ready to cross over. So we held a crossover ceremony at a later pack meeting and kept B&G all about ALL of the boys. Our B&G was a potluck dinner and each den had responsibility for making their own table settings (competing with other dens for the most amazing). And there was also a 'Dad made the dessert' contest which turned out to be hugely popular with the boys. We had den skits, the table setting contest (judged by a few boys from the troop), some nice words from the CM about the year of activities (I kept this short as possible), awarding any leftover advancement for boys who missed previous meetings, special awards for anyone who survived a broken bone or a visit to the dentist (any excuse will do), some kind of demonstration (I always made this a surprise and it always involved something that had no legs or else had lots of them), and after everyone ate...with the boys champing at the bit, the scouts from the troop would announce the winning Dad's Dessert and then cubs would be allowed to descend on those desserts like locusts. I really miss the cubs.

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    • #3
      That sounds like a nice B&G to me. If done right, I can see how the boys would have fun with some of that.

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      • #4
        Our B&G is very much like Packs and they are a lot of fun and last at the most 1 hour 30 minutes. And actually you could do a crossover if you want, but make is short and sweet. Your problem is you combined the AOL with the crossover. AOLs are typically longer. Try this idea to get your pack to gradually change. Do an AOL presentation at the meeting before the B&G. Make it a really good one so it is fun for everyone. There are plenty of us with good ideas to make it special and fun for the whole pack. Once that is out of the way, you could do a much much shorter crossover at the B&G. To insure a quicker ceremony, have someone of honor outside of the pack MC it. Someone outside of the pack has less invested and will keep the speeches short. Could even be the OA, but help that person with a five minute presentation speech and then the crossover. By the way, our 2nd year Webelos parents traditionally plan the B&G as well. That won't change. If anyone balks about the idea, sell them on the idea the Webelos IIs will get two ceremonies out of the deal instead of one. You like that idea because the younger scouts will have something special to look forward to. It works for us. Barry

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        • #5
          In these parts, B&G and Cross Overs are completely separate. My Troop provides Cross Over ceremonies for any Pack in the area that wants one, so there's no "meeting planning" the Packs need to do, unless as Eagledad says, they want to do the AOL ceremony at the Cross Over.

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          • #6
            Separate sounds good to me scoutergipper, but I don't see that happening.

            Baryy, I like your suggestion. I think I'll drop a hint about it to our WEBELOS 1 leader to see what he thinks. the AOL portion isn't a huge chunk of the day, but separating it out, would perhaps help to streamline the other stuff..... as it was done this year anyway.

            I have no doubt that the current leadership core will balk at the idea since they seem to get locked into things..... you know, "THIS, is how it's done!"

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            • Eagledad
              Eagledad commented
              Editing a comment
              All your dens crossover early February? What do they do the rest of the year?

              Barry

            • Eagledad
              Eagledad commented
              Editing a comment
              My bad, that comment was meant for jpstodwftexas.

          • #7
            My Pack held their Blue and Gold Banquet Dinner first. Each Den decorated a Cake which was auctioned off in Silent Auction to raise funds. We then retired over to the Chapel of the Church..

            We had a Crossover Ceremony for Each Level with a Face painting ceremony. Each Cub Scout Got a New Neckercheif and Handbook for their Next Rank
            Face Painting Ceremony was progressive..Tigers got certain marks, Wolfs got those plus, Bears same and More..etc
            Tiger To Wolf Got a Certain paint job..Received their Final Tiger Awards in a Clear Box, Tiger Neckers Removed and Replaced with Wolf Neckers and Given Wolf Handbook.
            Each Rank Followed
            So Our Ceremony Followed the Following Schedule
            Opening Flag Ceremony and Opening Prayer >Tiger > Wolf > Bear > Webelos1 > Weblos 2 > Award Arrow Lights > Cross over Ceremony > Presentation of Other Awards and Gifts of Appreciation (Retiring MC, Retiring CM ..etc) > Exchange of Colors (Old Cubmaster to New Cubmaster if Changing)..Closing Prayer
            Last edited by jpstodwftexas; 02-06-2014, 03:36 AM.

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            • #8
              I really like what packsaddle wrote. I really fear the Webelos 2 den leaders who want to use B&G as the crowning event focused solely on the Webelos 2.

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              • #9
                There is no bad guys here Fred, I think its reasonable to estimate that 75% packs do it and mainly because it's tradition. The leaders before did it, no reason to change that tradition as far as they can tell. At least that's the case in our area. Packs also use the Blue & Gold as yearly advancement deadlines for all the age groups. I don't care for that either, but just about all Packs do that. Again, tradition, not selfserving adults. As blw2 points out, it's very hard to change tradition even when its in everyones best interest. Barry

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                • #10
                  Well, any way you do it that works for you is just fine. But I can tell ALL of you who are involved with the cubs...and this is from personal experience...try to set aside the adult BS and enjoy those cubs while you can. This is not going to last nearly long enough for you and if you miss the fun because you focused on drama, you're going to regret it later. I saw drama coming and managed to avoid it and I sincerely hope all of you can enjoy those little guys as much as I did.
                  And with grandsons just a year or so away, I'm looking forward to the second round.

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                  • #11
                    Over time, we've evolved our calendar such that we have three events.
                    1. Our B&G is a regular pack meeting with games, cake, & ice cream. It's a birthday party.
                    2. Our crossover is a part of a separate pack meeting. Boys line up, cross the bridge, and are welcomed by a troop
                    3. We have a banquet late in the spring. It's kind of an end of year thing.

                    We split them up for the reasons listed above:
                    - having a banquet, awards recognition, and crossover all at once meant 2 hours of boys sitting. it was no fun. I took over as CM minutes before the Crossover. I looked up and noticed that all the Cubs had long since left their chairs and were running around in the back of the room. This was the last time we had all three at once.
                    - pushing the recognition banquet until the end of the year meant we ended the game of rushing to get rank awards done. Now dens have all year to get them done.

                    The first year was tough. The rising Webelos 2 boys were bummed that they would not get to have their crossover in front of the B&G. So, we planned a meaningful crossover in front of the whole pack at the Pack Meeting. It seemed well received.

                    My .02 - do what works best for the boys and don't worry too much about history.

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                    • #12
                      We have AOL and crossover at the same event and do lunch. We have dens build decorations for whatever the theme is. We also include the Webelo II scouts in some of the speaking parts of the ceremony. We award our dens their awards and before dessert we take all the boys into the gym for some game time. They also get to go into the gym before the event also. They seem to enjoy it. It our pack it's purpose is for the Webelo II's and it's just always been that way and never been an issue. Ours lasts a couple hours.

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                      • #13
                        Our B&G is for both, however, we only do part of the Webelos II ceremony there (not the bridging over.) I'll do 'points' to keep it short (not easy for me.)

                        - Arrive, fix your plate.
                        - While eating, everyone mingles, walks around, etc. We have tables set up on the sides of the room for each den to showcase what they did throughout the year. They also are responsible for making something for table decor each year.
                        - Opening flag ceremony.
                        - Our CM kicks off the program. Talks a little about the year/etc.
                        - Our guest speaker comes up and talks to everyone for a few minutes.
                        - The dens perform any songs or skits they've prepared.
                        - The leaders get their awards.
                        - Leaders give out any awards their den's scouts earned in the past month (like at a pack meet.)
                        - The rank ceremony proceeds for each of the groups, along with the face painting, etc. The last to go is Webelos II.
                        - Candle lighting ceremony for them, along with giving out their arrows and awards.
                        - Friends of scouting mention.
                        - Closing flag ceremony.

                        This is always in February for us. Then in March, we do the bridging over ceremony at our pack meet. This year no one in Webelos II or Bears were ready to rank up in February so our B&G was a lot shorter and we'll be doing all of the Webelos II ceremonies at the March pack meet. Don't believe I left anything out. Sounds like a lot but goes pretty fast considering. Everyone enjoys it

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                        • #14
                          When we first started, we had the big, massive, recognize everyone and their mother, as well as AOL & crossover. Scouts and adults were bored to tears. We worked it down to where B&G was focused on the Webelos IIs for AOL and crossover. This made it a big event for them and for the younger boys to look forward to crossing the bridge when their turn came. To cut time out of the program, we moved the recognition for the other scouts to a separate pack meeting.


                          Our real problem now days is not how long the B&G is, but having enough cubs to have anything (but that's another thread).
                          Last edited by tnff; 03-11-2014, 11:46 PM.

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                          • blw2
                            blw2 commented
                            Editing a comment
                            well yours sounds just like ours..... quite honestly no real incentive for the rest of the pack to show up.
                            It should be the WEBELOS 2 Den Banquet!

                            I think I'm a typical dad.....As much as I want to feel a desire to support the boys in the W2 den and share in their "accomplishment" of sticking it out..... It's not nearly as strong as my want to see my son (not a W2) have some fun, maybe get some awards, and celebrate the pack's birthday.

                        • #15
                          You really have 4 things. B&G, Arrow of Light and cross overt. I think it nees to be 2 separate meetings. I have been involved with 2 different packs the first pack made some changes so I have actually seen 3 variations.

                          - B&G - target for obtaining rank, focus on all of the scouts (except arrow of light)
                          - Crossover - focus on the Webelos 2 with arrow of light and crossing over

                          My worst experience is when you try to combine all: obtaining rank, arrow of light and crossing over into B & G. It becomes a long event and someone feels slighted.

                          I know that B&G doesn't need to be the target for obtaining rank but it seems like it often is.

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