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Rock Doc

Arrow of Light Ceremony - Flaming Arrows!

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Many years ago, our Pack began the tradition of holding the AOL ceremony at a lakeside amphitheater, and launching flaming arrows into the lake as each scouts name was called. Since it's now been determined that these theatrics aren't entirely in keeping with the GTSS with respect to range safety, safe use of fire, etc., we're trying to come up with an impactful, albeit compliant, replacement. I've seen elaborate pulley systems that draw flaming objects along controlled paths, bundles of glow sticks tossed in the air, drum beats, etc.  So, what are other Packs/Troops using?

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Arrow on a zip line in to the fire. Still used by many council camps so if they can do it, why not a unit?

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Just now, Col. Flagg said:

Arrow on a zip line in to the fire. Still used by many council camps so if they can do it, why not a unit?

I've seen fires lit this way, and given enough "liquid encouragement" the effect can be "illuminating"!

In our instance though, we could have upwards of a dozen AOLs, so I guess mulitple zip lines might work. Thanks!

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You're asking what has the same thrill and impact as a flaming arrow without the flame or the arrow (sounds like a Five Easy Pieces quote: "A chicken salad sandwich. no butter, no mayo, no lettuce, hold the chicken").

How about replace the point on the arrow with a dull point? Or make the entire lake a shooting range and get the RSO or whatever is needed for archery (and place a target at the other end of the lake). Nothing will beat the flame but even a glow stick would be fun to watch. As for arrows falling into the lake get a canoe and go find them. The scouts could have fun with that.

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2 minutes ago, MattR said:

You're asking what has the same thrill and impact as a flaming arrow without the flame or the arrow (sounds like a Five Easy Pieces quote: "A chicken salad sandwich. no butter, no mayo, no lettuce, hold the chicken").

How about replace the point on the arrow with a dull point? Or make the entire lake a shooting range and get the RSO or whatever is needed for archery (and place a target at the other end of the lake). Nothing will beat the flame but even a glow stick would be fun to watch. As for arrows falling into the lake get a canoe and go find them. The scouts could have fun with that.

We tried the adminstrative approach, but the camp ranger wasn't into playing games, and we're not interested in incurring his wrath! So, no bow-fired projectiles, pointy or not. And yes, the Boy Scouts had great fun retrieving the "spent rounds"

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11 minutes ago, Col. Flagg said:

Arrow on a zip line in to the fire. Still used by many council camps so if they can do it, why not a unit?

Even a real cheesy arrow could be entertaining. 

 

6 minutes ago, MattR said:

You're asking what has the same thrill and impact as a flaming arrow without the flame or the arrow (sounds like a Five Easy Pieces quote: "A chicken salad sandwich. no butter, no mayo, no lettuce, hold the chicken").

How about replace the point on the arrow with a dull point? Or make the entire lake a shooting range and get the RSO or whatever is needed for archery (and place a target at the other end of the lake). Nothing will beat the flame but even a glow stick would be fun to watch. As for arrows falling into the lake get a canoe and go find them. The scouts could have fun with that.

Do glow sticks float? Can you use a sling shot?

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8 minutes ago, Rock Doc said:

I've seen fires lit this way, and given enough "liquid encouragement" the effect can be "illuminating"!

In our instance though, we could have upwards of a dozen AOLs, so I guess mulitple zip lines might work. Thanks!

We had four zip lines coming in from the cardinal points. Dads on ladders with multiple arrows per zip line (12 kids, 4 lines, 3 arrows each). Name called, arrow let fly.

Oh, one dad was able to rig a small blower in the back of the fire place. When the arrow made contact with the fire the blower let out a little "puff" which, aimed upward, cause the fire to roar. Cheap special effect but it was pretty cool.

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2 minutes ago, Col. Flagg said:

We had four zip lines coming in from the cardinal points. Dads on ladders with multiple arrows per zip line (12 kids, 4 lines, 3 arrows each). Name called, arrow let fly.

Oh, one dad was able to rig a small blower in the back of the fire place. When the arrow made contact with the fire the blower let out a little "puff" which, aimed upward, cause the fire to roar. Cheap special effect but it was pretty cool.

This might just work! Adding details like this can make a relatively simple action quite impressive and highly memorable - and what soon-to-be Boy Scout isn't going to love fire raging at the sound of his name!

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14 minutes ago, Rock Doc said:

This might just work! Adding details like this can make a relatively simple action quite impressive and highly memorable - and what soon-to-be Boy Scout isn't going to love fire raging at the sound of his name!

I will add then, that our troop sent our OA ceremony team (in regalia) to cross the Scouts over...even those not coming to our troop.

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I've seen the flaming necker thing done a few times in my son's early years with the pack.

Honestly, I think it's all adult driven non-sense.  Any of these ceremonies that I've seen away end up being a long drawn out over produced thing that bores the kids to tears.

Our pack always did AOL in conjunction with B&G AND a bridging ceremony....all together too much.

My 2 cents....AOL should be done as instant recognition at a den meeting at the time an INDIVIDUAL scout earns it....with follow-up MENTION at the next pack meeting.  Something simple and meaningful. That's all.

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Most AOL ceremonies at B&G tend to drag on and bore the audience outside of the families of the boys receiving it. Candle after candle. Then add on the bridging. Removing neckerchiefs, walking, pausing for photos, putting on new neckerchiefs...ugh.

Now, AOL and bridging combined together in itself is not a bad idea IF the logistics of Packs and Troops works out. Watched a simple night outdoor AOL ceremony (5 min) with symbolic arrows and the AOL sign. Just the Webelos and their families and some Troop leaders. Then it was time for bridging. The boys walked across a land bridge (~100 yds) between ponds with torches on alternating sides. 12 of them. Can you guess the next part?. Next to each was a Scout holding a sign of each point of the law, announcing it as they passed. The parents watched their sons disappear into the night one by one as the Scout Law was repeated for each one. Very symbolic and touching. And yes, there were a few parental tears, but the right kind.

When they joined their sons on the other side, it was to see them being congratulated by the Scouts and already wearing huge smiles.

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On ‎2‎/‎6‎/‎2018 at 3:20 PM, Rock Doc said:

This might just work! Adding details like this can make a relatively simple action quite impressive and highly memorable - and what soon-to-be Boy Scout isn't going to love fire raging at the sound of his name!

Our pack used to do the flaming arrow across the lake also.  Granted the lake was way to big to really get a real arrow all the way across.  The person on the other side would wait a couple seconds and then light a huge bonfire while the boys canoed across the lake.  Very cool effect each year.   Since the property we were using was sold we have since moved to our local council camp.   There is a zip line already rigged up in the amphitheater for cross over ceremony's.   However, the line failed us last year and the flare type thing they were using just sat up on the line burning for a good 5 min(as you can see in the photo).  Thankfully we had a back up plan of lighting it discreetly from behind.  Still kind of a bummer that it didn't work out the way it was planned.   My son crosses over in 2 weeks.  I hope it works for his den's ceremony.

 

 

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Edited by Jackdaws
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Jackdaws, Is that Echokotee by chance?  If so, I've sang on that stage...my apologies to anyone in earshot...which was quite a few since I tried to sing loudly....

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