Arrow of Light and Webelos Graduation Ceremonies


A number of Arrow of Light and Webelos Graduation to Boy Scout (Bridging) Ceremonies are presented here.

Arrow of Light and Graduation Ceremony

Note: Ideally, this ceremony should be performed in an outdoor campfire setting; for example, at a pack picnic. This allows for a more natural feel as well as for the use of torches, firepots, and other "special effects". If an indoor setting is preferred by the pack, candles should be used in place of smudge pots. The tokens called for in the ceremony can be provided by either the team or the pack. The team should have something prepared in case the pack doesn't (an arrow with a felt banner, leather thong bolo, etc.). The team needs to make sure (via the Webelos leader) that the Cubs participating in the ceremony know and can recite the Scout Oath and Law as they are called upon to say both in the ceremony. When performing the speaking parts, memorization is important, but also try to become familiar enough with the part so the words come out naturally.

Also, since this ceremony doesn't tie in with any Order of the Arrow induction ceremony, sashes should NOT be worn.

Arrow of Light Ceremony

(The three principles (Chief, Medicine Man, Guide) enter from the rear and take their positions: Chief at the North, Medicine Man at the West and Guide at the east.)

Chief: (pausing for a moment to look out among the pack)

Cub Scouts, leaders, parents and guests; my brothers, Weuchsowagam, the Medicine Man, Witschindin, the Guide, and I, Takachsin, the Chieftain, bring you greetings and salutations. We have come before you tonight to fulfill a prophecy spoken in the legends of our tribe.

Med: The words of the prophecy say that in the springtime of each year, young braves will be found who have met the challenges of Akela and are ready to become warriors. My brothers and I have watched your pack and have found such braves among you. We have come to present them with the highest honor: the Arrow of light. But before this can happen, they must take a journey through their memories.

Guide: Many moons ago, you entered the Cub Pack. The first challenges you encountered were from the Bobcat clan. As you met them, you learned what it means to be a Cub, the Law of the Pack, and the three words that would inspire you to meet all other challenges: Do Your Best. (Light firepot or candle) Having started on the trail, you next sought to join the Wolf clan. Here you were met with twelve challenges, harder than the Bobcat tests, But with the cleverness of the wolf itself, you met them and continued on your journey. (Light firepot or candle)

Med: Now the trail became darker and fainter as you came to the Bear clan. Again twelve challenges were presented before you. As you met them, your knowledge grew and your spirit strengthened. It was this strength of spirit, like the bear, that prompted you to move onward. (Light firepot or candle)

Chief: As you neared the summit, you joined the Webelos clan. The time of your testing had begun. In the Webelos clan you began to learn about Scouting. Just as you learned the ways of the brave as a Bobcat, Wolf, and Bear, as a member of the Webelos clan you would learn the ways of the warrior. (Light firepot or candle)

In time, you earned the Webelos badge, blazing the rest of the trail on your own. Now at last you have reached the summit and the end of this journey.

(To other principles) Let the Arrow of Light be conferred upon them.

Guide: (to Chief) Wait Brother Takachsin! Before receiving this most high honor, they must hear its legend so they may understand and appreciate what they are to receive.

Chief: (to Medicine Man) Brother Weuchsowagam, let the legend of the Arrow of Light be known to all present.

Med: (Moves forward) In the ages past, when the Nations of the red man spread across the land, there was a young member of one tribe called Akela. Akela wished to be a warrior as the older men of his tribe were, but no one would consider him so. "Little Akela, he is too young to join the hunt," they would say. "Too slow to run with the Bobcat clan. Not clever enough to hunt with the Wolf clan. Such a young one is not strong enough to join the Bear clan." No matter how hard Akela worked, all ways were barred to him. But the Aged Chieftain of the tribe saw Akela differently than the rest. "The spirit of this young one burns brighter than the largest fire. Akela has served his brethren well for one of his age. The time will come when the tribe will need only that which Akela can give."

One night in the fall during the harvest, a party of warriors was canoeing back to their village after a hunt. On this night, the fog rolled thick across the river. The fog was so heavy, the river path back to the village was hidden from view. A nearby river path to the right led to a roaring chasm. The warriors did not know the safe path to take and were trapped.

Akela had been practicing his hunting skills in the hills above the river and had seen the danger to the canoe. He wrapped an arrow in a skin, set it aflame, and shot it into the sky toward the safe river path. The warriors in the canoe saw the flaming arrow through the fog and followed it toward the safe river path and the village.

The warriors went to the Chieftain saying, "We were trapped on the river and the High father sent an Arrow of Light through the sky to guide us." The Chieftain smiled and said, "The sign which led you to safety came not from the heavens but from one who you thought was too young to do anything." He brought Akela forward to the surprise of the warriors.

"Akela has proved himself worthy to wear the name of warrior. He has aided his brothers in their time of greatest need. Hereafter, all young members of our tribe shall become warriors only after meeting the challenges of the Arrow of Light. Let them each be filled with the spirit of Akela and follow his example of unselfish service to our brethren." And it was made so and carried through to the present day as you Webelos stand before us now, ready to receive the Arrow of Light.

Guide: Will the following Webelos an their parents please stand before us as your names are called. (As Guide recites or reads names, the Medicine Man should direct Webelos to make a line across the southern end of the circle. Parents should stand behind their son(s).)

Chief: Before this honor is conferred upon you, I must see your devotion to the high ideals of Scouting. Therefore, I ask you all now to raise your right hand to the Scout sign and repeat with me, the Scout Oath and Law.

(Raises hand in the sign of the Boy Scout (followed by other principles and Webelos) and recites Scout Oath and Law with other principles (Medicine Man and Guide) and the Webelos who will be awarded the Arrow of Light)

Guide: Having met all of its challenges, it is our duty and privilege to award you with the highest Cub Scout honor: the Arrow of Light.

(To parents) Because of the support and guidance you have given these braves, I give the Arrow of Light to you to present to them. (moves to the front and gives the Arrow of Light card and/or patch to the parents who then present it to their son(s).)

Med: My brothers and I also present you with this token from your pack. (or say our tribe if your team supplied the tokens) Keep this in remembrance of this occasion. (Moves forward and presents each Webelos with a token. As he presents the tokens, the Chief and Guide congratulate each Webelos with the Scout Handshake)

(If you are going to induct the Webelos into your troop at this time, continue, else jump to the closing (see below))

Graduation Ceremony

Guide: (After all principles have returned to their places) Parents, you may be seated.

Chief: As we have said before, this ceremony marks an end of a journey. But even as this journey ends, another is just beginning. Here at the summit of Cub Scouting you have found the start of a new trail. This trail is a pathway that leads to the realm of our brothers in the sky, the Eagles.

Med: But the trail will also be long and difficult. As you journey, you must keep the spirit of Akela strong within each of you. It will give you strength and guidance as you move onward.

Guide: (Medicine Man moves between the members of the Scout troop and the Webelos) The time has come for you to begin on the new trail. To join the clan of the warriors: The Scout Troop. Each of you shall now cross the bridge and be welcomed by the Troop members.

Med: As the night is a bridge between each day, let this be a bridge for each of you to the fellowship of Scouting. (Medicine Man moves aside to let the Cub Scouts pass and cross the bridge. Webelos cross and are welcomed by a Troop member, after all have crossed and are greeted, Guide continues)

Closing Ceremony

Guide: (To all still standing) You may now be seated.

Chief: Once again, I congratulate you on your achievements. Having finished the work for which we were called to do, we now depart this gathering of your pack. Before we go, I would remind you to keep Akela's spirit alive. Let it ignite a spark within each of you that will fan into a fire as you grow.

(Pause)

We challenge all the younger braves present to continue on your trails and strive to reach the summit and the Arrow of Light. May the great master of all Scouts be with you until we meet again. (Principles silently depart)


About the Author

This ceremony was written by Peter M. Weiss, an active member of Tichora Lodge #146. While a youth, Pete served the lodge as a two-term Lodge Chief, as well as being active as a member of the Ceremonies Team. Pete is has also served as Vigil Selections Adviser for the lodge. Currently, Pete is the Brotherhood Advisor for the lodge.

Contributed to US Scouting by: B.J. Gallenberg (bgallenb@students.wisc.edu)

Rope Crossover Ceremony

Arrow of Light Ceremony
by Rick Clements

People Required:

  1. Cubmaster
  2. Asst. Cubmaster (Asst. CM)
  3. Den Leader and Asst. Den Leader (DL/ADL)

Props:

  1. One 3 foot length of rope for each Cub Scout
  2. Arrow of Light Awards (with tape affixed to the card the badge is on)
(The Cubmaster, Asst. CM, Den Leader and Asst. Den Leader are in front for the presentation of the award.)

Asst. CM: Will the following Cub Scouts and their parents please join their Den Leaders and me? (List names of scouts receiving the Arrow of Light.)

Asst. CM: Our Cub Scouts are guided to Cub Scouting's highest rank by the Arrow of Light. The seven rays of the Arrow of Light represent wisdom, courage, self-control, justice, faith, hope, and love. (The Den Leader/Asst. Den Leader lead each scout one by one with his parents to the Cubmaster.)

DL/ADL: (scout's name) has earned his Arrow of Light. (Cubmaster & Asst. CM welcome each boy with a Cub Scout handshake.)

Cubmaster: The Arrow of Light is important. It's the only Cub Scout badge that can be worn on the Boy Scout uniform. But, more important than the badge itself is what you have learned, the work you have done to help others and the fun you have had earning it.
(Hand the card to which an Arrow of Light is taped, to the parent.)

Cubmaster:Please, place the Arrow of Light on your son's uniform. (After all parents are done.)

Cubmaster:The parents may now be seated.

Asst. CM: (name) , can you tell me a memorable event or activity you participated in as a Cub Scout, or do you have some advice for the younger scouts?
(After each boy replies, tie his rope to the rope of the boy before him. The first boy will tie his rope to the last boy's rope to make a circle. The Arrow of Light Webelos should be standing on the outside of it.)

Cubmaster:This circle represents the circle of brotherhood which is Scouting. Will the first year Webelos please come to join us now?

Cubmaster:First year Webelos, please stand on the inside of the circle holding onto the rope.

Cubmaster:Congratulations! Second year Webelos, you have now completed your journey in our Pack. As you continue on your journey toward Boy Scouting, strive to serve as the shining example that your Arrow of Light represents. You may now return to your dens.

Cubmaster:First year Webelos, when the second year Webelos cross over to Boy Scouts, you will then be the oldest boys in our Pack ... the youth leaders of our Pack. May you serve our Pack well in that rank. Good luck to you!


Crossover Ceremony

Jay Bemis

The O/A Ceremonies advisor was the Cubmaster for the Pack. The logistics of the event may seem a bit daunting but the ceremony worked very well.

Props:

  1. 4 canoes
  2. PFD's for everyone going into the canoes

Hints:

  1. Make sure that you comply with the Safety Afloat requirements for qualified life guards.
  2. Perform this during the day
  3. The four winds and the chief and drummer are the O/A ceremonies team

Procedure:

  • The Webelos Scouts have a brief ceremony in which their parents are asked to help them by putting on the PFD.
  • The Webelos are then lead to the end of a small pond (200m X 75m).
  • The Cubmaster calls to the four winds at the other end pond to let the crossover begin.
  • The drummer starts drumming, which is how the ceremony team knows it is time to paddle up to where the second ceremony is done.
  • The chief and four winds get out of the canoes and perform the brief ceremony.
  • The Webelos are then loaded into the canoes and paddled over to where the Boy Scout troop is waiting.
  • The troop then has their induction ceremony.
  • The entire crossover lasted about 45 minutes.
  • The Webelos and parents were awed by the ceremony.
  • The four winds are BSA or RC certified life guards.

Arrow of Light Ceremony (Based upon Chippea/Nahak Lodge, and Pacific Northwest Lore)


By: Greg Rosalia, Pack 608/Troop 699 Upland, CA
April 1996
  1. At rear of hall\foyer: Allowat Sakima {A/S} instructs parents to paint Y-Org stripes on boy's faces.

  2. A/S Toe/Heal 2-step to stage, ascend-spotlight on A/S, turn to audience: 3 Boom W/Spear.

  3. I, Allowat Sakima, chief of the fire, call this gathering of our clan to order. Let all present be silent and heed [hold spear high]

  4. [Kneel] great spirit, you who have given us the four hills of life, I ask you to hear me. We your people honor you for the gift of life you have given us. Make your face shine upon us as we gather this night to mark the crossing of our young braves from youth to adulthood, and present them with the symbol of their passage, the arrow of light. [stand]

  5. To those present in our lodge not of this tribe: Greetings. We of the clan of Nahak, people of the Great Bear, celebrate the 4 Hills of Life given to us by the Great Spirit. Each hill has a special meaning and color.

    The first hill is infancy. Its color is pale, pale as were your newborn faces, which had yet to see the light of the day outside the Lodge.

    The second hill is youth and its color is the yellow-orange of the earth, to remind you of the ties which bind you to the great Earth-Mother.

    The third hill is adulthood, and its color will be the dusty rose of life, to remind you of the tribulations of many seasons.

    The fourth hill is old age, and the ever deepening shade of rose burned upon your faces, to remind you of the wisdom that comes from the shadow of deepening twilight.
    Black symbolizes that which lies beyond the fourth hill.

  6. See, at the entrance of our kiva, stand those of our clan who would this night, cross to the threshold of the third hill. I call upon the givers of life to these braves to approach and present them to me. But hear me! In asking your sons to be given the color of the third hill, you must also be prepared to relax the reigns by which you have bound them in their youth. If you agree to this, then approach the council fire.

  7. [Scouts and parents approach stage/do not climb steps]. My young braves, turn and give honor to the ones who have imparted life upon you. Parents, now give the blessing to your sons and be seated.

  8. Are you prepared to begin your journey? Then receive from me the color of the Third Hill. [A/S paints faces and climbs steps]

  9. My brothers, come sit around the circle of the council fire, and hear this tale. It is part of the wisdom of our people, a story of the beginning times- [A/S tells store of the rainbow raven]

  10. [Boys stand] My brothers, you are like the rainbow raven of our legend. For you, too, have many colors [A/S points with spear to Webelos colors, rank and arrow points]

    And you, too, must show your willingness to be like the rainbow raven and sacrifice self in service of the great spirit, you nation, and your clan. Are you prepared to do this? [Boys answer "yes", in turn] so now, receive the greatest wisdom of our people. It is this: only by a life of service to others can you achieve true greatness.

    But, unlike the raven who lost his colors forever, you are about to embark upon a new quest Not a quest of the raven, but of a greater bird: in place of the bobcat, will be tenderfoot. In place of activity pins will be merit badges. And in place of the arrow of light, will be the badge of the mighty eagle itself. Will you follow me on this quest? [Boys answer "yes", in turn].

  11. Know that your journey will require strong medicine. Receive now from me this medicine pouch. In it you will place the things you value, as symbols of strength along the way.
    The first item you will place in your pouch is your Webelos colors. As you journey along the scouting trail, you will face many tribulations. And you will add more medicine symbols, each according to your own vision and wisdom. Each will give you the strength to face the next ordeal, to climb ever higher. You will wear this pouch upon your belt.

  12. Families, gather around the circle of the fire. My brothers, Akela will now present you with a special gift, a symbol of your accomplishments as you climbed the second hill [Den Leader presents boys with painted arrows]

  13. My brothers, to complete your passage, receive now from Allowat Sakima, the symbol of the fire: The Arrow of Light.

  14. Wait! One of your brothers is not present in this circle. [Fetch missing cub] as he has joined your clan only recently. I charge you to guide his steps, that he may not stumble from the scouting trail. Do you accept this charge? [Boys answer "yes", in turn] {Note: This is optional-for any cub who may not have completed the Arrow of Light, that he does not feel left out}

    You have indeed learned well, for you have taken another step on the path of service!

  15. [Raise spear over head] And now, may the great spirit, the great scoutmaster of all true scouts give us his blessing and guide us until our clan gathers again. My brothers, go forth in service and peace. This council fire is concluded. [3 taps of spear.]



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