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how do you decorate your arrow of light arrows?

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hi, i have a 2nd year webelos den that have earned their arrow of light. i have some information from previous den leaders but i am curious about how others have decorarted the arrows... thank you for any information you have to pass on.


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You might want to take a look at these web pages. My son is a Webelos I, so we haven't made them yet. I'm just getting ready! :-)








Some different ceremonies, as well:







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When my son was a Web2 a year ago, we acquired replica ceremonial arrows from a place in Montana. They were not particularly expensive (about $12 each with the Scout discount), and had a cedar shaft, bone tip, and turkey feathers at the tail. We added a leather lace with wood beads colored to represent different ranks and activities (using a pattern I've seen around a bit on the Web, but something we've used in our pack for a long time).


Each year's awards are a bit different. For my son's year, I made a sort of Scouting diorama with the arrow attached. I'd be happy to send you a picture of what we did; don't know if I'm allowed to post it here.

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I'm about to make arrows for my den. I used to make my own arrows for bow hunting and 3D shoots so I have a lot of stuff around that I'm going to use. I plan on making real arrows, i.e., ones that can be shot from a bow. I'm going to put steal broadheads on them too, though I will round the tips and dull the edges. Here's what I'm going to do:


-11/32" Wood shafts of either Ramin wood or Pine, whatever I have.

-Two yellow fletches (feathers) and one blue glued on with a helical jig. I will cut the feathers with a shield shaped jig. I thought about using four fletches, one yellow, one blue for Cub Scouts and one green and one red for Boy Scouts, but decided the arrow is only for AOL, not crossing over to Boy Scouts.

-Red knock (it's all I have) or if that looks ugly, I'll get some white knocks.

-I'm still debating whether I'll dye the wood darker or not. The stripes will show up better on a lighter shaft and I don't want to dip the shafts in paint. I like using dye instead of stain because it's easier to stripe the arrow, i.e., the paint coats dyed wood better than stained wood.

-I'll stripe the wood for each rank the boy earned: Tiger, Bobcat, Wolf, Bear, Webelos, AOL with the corresponding color. I haven't decided how thick to make each stripe, perhaps 1/2" each 1/4" apart.

-I may, haven't decided yet, write each boys name on his arrow. I'd probably screw every other one up and end up making more arrows.

-Once the arrows are fletched and striped, I'll give them a nice shinny wax finish.

-I want the arrows to be simple and clean looking, that is why I'm only striping for each rank earned. I am planning on adding a leather thong with pony beads for each activity badge earned. I will also tie it off with a feather so it should look nice.


Hope that helps,

SWScouter(This message has been edited by SWScouter)

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We bought the arrow kit from the scout shop ~$11.50. We put together the arrow and then "wrap" the arrow with different color threads (representing the life achievements of the cub)(some painted the colors instead, although it doesn't look quite as sharp as threaded). One of the fathers in our Dens created the plaque (using poplar) for the arrow to be hung on (with his awesome router). I put my son's activities pins on the plaque as well as the engravings for them. Total cost of the plaque, engravings, and arrow is about $32.50 and a lot of work from the parents (otherwise known as labor of love). It looks a lot better then some of those kits that are being sold on the net. If you PM me with your email, I can send you the picture of it and the DMC # for the thread colors. One thing that I did for my oldest when he graduated ... I laminated the Cubmaster's farewell speech on the back of his plaque.





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We bought a box of 12 cedar arrows for about $36 from Cajun Archery last year. Here's the link if you're interested.




Aside from the fact that they had blue & yellow fletching, they were just plain. I lightly sanded them to take off the finish and then painted them with stripes according to the various ranks and awards each boy had earned, and mounted them on oak Arrow of Light (the sunburst design like on the patch) plaques that the other WDL made.

They looked really cool.



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Great ideas -- the thread one sounds like an awesome finished product - but a lot of work.


You might have the Webelos I Den host an evening event where the WebII's and their parents do the project together. The 4th graders can act as hosts, gophers, etc., and serve pizza and drinks. Meanwhile the 5th graders and their parents can share all the memories those arrows represent.


Since each boy's arrow is potentially different, use thin (1/4") painters tape to pre mark the areas to be painted. I'd also give each WebII family a colored-in black-line drawing as a guide to what their arrow should look like finished.


If you're painting, take the time to pre-build simple holders for the arrows so they can be painted without waiting for each stripe to dry, and so they won't be handled too much. Put a color key on the back of the plaques as a future memory aid.


Have fun!



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jd - what a great idea: having the Webs 1 host an evening for the Webs 2! Our den will be Webs 1 in June and the DL of the group ahead of us has been a great mentor to me. I've been trying to think of a way to show our thanks and I love the idea of our den hosting an "arrow party" for her boys as they get their AOL. She has a great group of boys, most of whom started as Tigers with her, so I'm sure AOL is in their future! We can have a night of painting and pizza - I love it!


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To paint the stripes on an arrow, make two M's out of a coat hangar. Get a board about 2' long and drill a couple holes on each end that you can fit the M's in. Now you can set the arrow in the M's and roll the arrow while holding the brush against it. That will make a nice even stripe. For better control, you may want to have the point of the arrow against a stop so that the arrow won't go back and forth while you turn it.


I hope that helps,


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  • 2 weeks later...

Dace, we make ours almost exactly the same as SWScouter. A local sporting goods store (whose owner in involved with our Troop) stocks some inexpensive wood shaft arrows for $1.50. We'll replace the fletching with blue and gold, paint stripes for each rank; orange for Tiger, red for Wolf, gold and silver for any arrow points,royal blue for Bear, more gold and silver, ? for Webelos, ? for each activity pin, and navy blue and gold for Arrow of Light. Then a short leather thong with red and black feathers for Boy Scouts (red and black are the color of the Troop neckerchief). One of my scouts is one pin away from having all of the activity pins and had several arrow points, Wolf and Bear. His arrow will be almost all paint!


SWScouter, I like the M shaped coathanger. I was going to get some peg board to act as one end and a stop all in one.

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  • 4 years later...

I made a thread covered one for #1 son. We used translucent yellow nocks, turkey feathers, authentic stone arrowheads, and sinew. What a mathematical nightmare adding all those fractions for rank badges and activity badges. But, he's still got it hanging in his room. (He says, "It was really cool and is still thankful.")


The plaque is wooden with the AoL badge routed in with a "primitive" look and a brass nameplate. I think one of the dads made them in his wood shop.

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