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Webelos Arrow of Light and bridging ceremony

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  • Webelos Arrow of Light and bridging ceremony

    I'm posting here instead of in the Cub Scout forum because I'm hoping to get input from some SM's also. I have 7 Webelos who are working on their Arrow of Light. I believe that only 2 of them will actually be bridging into Boy Scouts. So all 7 boys will be "graduating" from Cub Scouts, but only 2 boys will do a formal bridging to a troop of their choice. How have other packs and SM's handled this situation? Do I let them all cross the bridge, but only the 2 who are entering a troop get greeted on the other side by a SM? Is a SM willing to greet all boys on the other side of the bridge, regardless of their affiliation? You never know, the boys may change their mind and decide to join after all, so I can see how it would be beneficial to a SM to welcome all boys. I know this is a question that I ultimately have to pose to the SM's of our local troops, but I just wanted to know what a reasonable expectation on my part would be before I ask them.

  • #2
    We do two separate ceremonies. Arrow of Light is a Cub Scout ceremony and is attended by the entire pack. We hold it a few weeks in advance of the scouts leaving to join the troop. I like this because it allows the scouts who earn the highest award in Cub Scouting to actually wear the highest award in Cub Scouting while part of the Cub Scout program. Separating the ceremonies also allows AOL to be awarded as it is earned, as good scouting methods intend. And finally, it allows the scouts to shine as role models for the pack. Crossover/Bridging is a Boy Scout ceremony and only the scouts joining that particular troop attend, thus eliminating the awkwardness you've run into. Our associated troop welcomes the new scouts at their spring court of honor. Prior to separating the two ceremonies, the scouts who were not moving to the troop simply sat down in the audience during that portion of the program.

    Comment


    • Basementdweller
      Basementdweller commented
      Editing a comment
      Role model????

      The boys earning the AOL are not role models they are just boys. So mom or dad drug them to the Den meetings, they sat semi attentively and may or may not have learned anything.

      The AOL is more an endurance award than anything. Attendance = Completion

    • blw2
      blw2 commented
      Editing a comment
      basementdweller,
      They may not all be cut from "roll model" cloth, but I'll bet the vast majority of them picked up a few things along the way.....
      As long as they are good kids, even an average older accomplished boy can be outstanding role models to younger boys.
      Last edited by blw2; 06-21-2013, 06:47 AM.

  • #3
    Originally posted by sasha View Post
    We do two separate ceremonies. Arrow of Light is a Cub Scout ceremony and is attended by the entire pack. We hold it a few weeks in advance of the scouts leaving to join the troop. I like this because it allows the scouts who earn the highest award in Cub Scouting to actually wear the highest award in Cub Scouting while part of the Cub Scout program. Separating the ceremonies also allows AOL to be awarded as it is earned, as good scouting methods intend. And finally, it allows the scouts to shine as role models for the pack. Crossover/Bridging is a Boy Scout ceremony and only the scouts joining that particular troop attend, thus eliminating the awkwardness you've run into. Our associated troop welcomes the new scouts at their spring court of honor. Prior to separating the two ceremonies, the scouts who were not moving to the troop simply sat down in the audience during that portion of the program.
    I like your idea about giving the boys a chance to actually wear their arrow on the cub uniform. It would actually be nice if this could happen a significant time prior to crossing out..... for the whole role model thing, etc..
    Regardless, our pack has a long tradition from before my time of the B&G being more about the cross over than what the B&G is supposed to be. We do the crossover immediately after the arrow of light ceremony. The boys not crossing, just don't cross and are now part of the audience. Kind of sad really, they are really part of the audience and in affect not even "Cub Scouts" anymore.....

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    • #4
      Our pack awards the Arrow of Light at the Blue and Gold dinner. The boys bridge a couple of months later. We have 2 troops in town and both send a representative. The boys cross and are greeted with the troop they are going to. Most of our boys bridge and then some drop during the summer.

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      • #5
        We presented the Arrow of Light to all the boys with much hoopla; then we did the cross over for the boys moving to Boy Scouts. As long as you seporate the Arrow of Light from the cross-over it works well. When I did it we started in our "usual" room and did the arrow of light; then moved the boys into the fireside room where the OA Boys had the lights out and the fire lit. The boys are told that once they enter the room there is no talking. The whole process usually keeps all the little guys enthrawled.

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        • #6
          We do an AOL presentation to the entire group.....They receive their Arrow and plaque....

          The boys who have not filled out the application to join the troop are then dismissed to their seats.

          The boys who are joining the troop participate in the bridging ceremony. they cross the bridge, receive new epilauttes, book, troop tshirt and hat.

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          • #7
            Ask Andy did a piece on this awhile back, he entitled it "The Bridge to Nowhere". If a Cub is not joining a Boy Scout troop, there is no point in participating in the bridging ceremony.

            Comment


            • Baseballfan
              Baseballfan commented
              Editing a comment
              That makes me think of high school grads who are not attending college... there is no point participating in the ceremony? Yes, of course there should be a bridging or graduation ceremony for those graduating from Cub Scouts!

          • #8
            We actually see this milestone as three separate events. 1) the Scouts who are eligible receive their Arrow of Light 2) all Scouts "graduate" from the pack 3) those Scouts who have chosen to join a troop cross the bridge and are greeted by their Scoutmasters and SPLs. We have both used and not used the bridge for our graduates who are not moving on to Boy Scouting. They are still passing out of the pack and onto another stage of life. We had their parents meet them at the end of the bridge.

            Comment


            • blw2
              blw2 commented
              Editing a comment
              you "see" it as three separate events. Do you celebrate them separately?
              I have to admit I like the "idea" of separating all of it out. I am finding the way our pack does it looses a lot from each individual "event". I'm guessing that logistically splitting into three separate evolutions might be tough though.

              The way we do it, everything happens at B&G, and we typically do that it January.
              The whole idea of what B&G is completely lost, replaced with crossover. Before I started trying to teach folks what B&G is, I really don't think any of the leadership or parents even know that B&G traditionally happens in February and is traditionally a celebration of the anniversary of scouting and the birthday of the pack. To them, B&G = AOL & crossover. It's ALL about the WEBELOS.

              maybe 4 distinct separate ceremonies for each
              1) arrow of light
              2) graduating cub scouts
              3) bridging to a troop
              4) B&G
              Last edited by blw2; 06-21-2013, 07:15 AM. Reason: adding comment to Baseballfan's comment

          • #9
            When I was a WDL I took Web I boys and worked with them for "2" years. By the end of the first year, they had received their AOL at various times and received their patch and recognition within the den "COH" we held for each boy as he received the AOL. At B/G they got pack recognition, but for some, they had already been wearing their AOL patch for some time. As we entered the second year, we began working on TF requirements so "they would be ready for Boy Scouts." When each of them turned 10 1/2, they were eligible to "cross over" to boy scouts and the Boy Scouts did the bridging/welcoming the boys at a troop meeting with a mini-COH. Because they were well versed in TF requirements, it was recognized by the SM as such and presented the new boys with a necker, book, Scout patch AND TF badge. I don't know if the SM was breaking/bending any rules at that point, but I believe at that point, it was acceptable according to council feedback. Anyway, 6 of the 7 boys in that Webelos den went on to Eagle. The 7th scout moved from the area so I don't know if he ever finished Boy Scouts. His dad was a DE, so I'm assuming he did. While this "approach" is different than anything expressed in the thread thus far, it was extremely effective on Cub -> Boy transition/retention.

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            • #10
              I was the Chapter Adviser up until the beginning of this year. Our Chapter did crossover ceremonies for the Packs in our District that requested them. There was a good amount of confusion from Cubbers regarding the difference between an AOL ceremony and a crossover ceremony. We were often asked to provide an AOL. I always explained that AOL is a Cub Scout recognition and needs to be handled by the pack. If they would like for us to come handle a crossover ceremony, we'd be happy to see if it fits into our schedule and accommodate you. Now, the vast majority of our crossovers were done at B&G's and the AOL was done by the pack before we did their crossover. Occasionally they were scheduled seperately or outdoors at a troop campout.




              Now, that was how things were in our district. One of our neighboring districts/chapters had a crossover ceremony, an AOL ceremony and a hybrid AOL/crossover ceremony. That often added to the confusion because their Cubbers talked to our Cubbers. We always maintained that AOL is a Pack event.




              My biggest concern as a Chapter Adviser was burnout by my ceremonialists. As ceremonialists, their real function is to do OA ceremonies. The crossovers were done as a courtesy and just a good "business practice". Those Cub Scouts are future OA members. The concern for burnout was that when we were invited to do a crossover at a B&G, they always generously offered to feed the team. Of course, the dinner was at the beginiing and the ceremony was at the very end. In between was songs, skits, advancements, announcements and firends of scouting presentations. Our guys would sit in a dressing room for 1 to 2 hours waiting to do the ceremony. A few years ago, we did 5 ceremonies in a 9 day period. That was five "chicken dinners" and hours sitting in a dressing room. They get tired of it and it has an effect on thier wanting to continue in ceremonies. I floated the idea last year and the current Chapter Adviser made it a reality this year. The chapter held a district wide crossover ceremony at a council property on the edge of town. It was an outdoor ceremony with a reception following in one of the camp facilities. The idea is that it helps seperate AOL from crossover, crossover from B&G where non Webelos parents dont really care about spending extra time watching it, it allows troops to set one date for their crossovers instead of multiple events and it allows the ceremony team to do one ceremony and be done so they can concentrate their practice on OA ceremonies. There was some grumbling, but those involved enjoyed it better than their individual pack ceremony from previous years and I think it will grow with time. BTW, this is how our district/chapter used to do crossovers up until about 10 years ago......so we are just returning to a previous tradition.

              Edited to add, another reason we went the district wide ceremony was because packs were asking us to do crossovers anywhere from November until May....which added to the burnout. We do Ordeal in May, so we need to be finished woorying about crossovers and concentrating on Ordeal long before May. Also, we didn't start practicing crossover until December, so going from November to May was becoming a burden. Another reason to do it district wide was an attempt to get Packs to begin crossing over boys on a more uniform schedule. Having been an ASM for the NSP for several years, it always presented difficulties getting some boys in January, some in February, some in March, etc. The troops really need to have a boy in for a few months to get used to the troop and boy scout camping rather than throwing them immediately into a wek long summer camp.
              Last edited by SR540Beaver; 06-21-2013, 02:54 PM.

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