Producing a Great Cub Scout Arrow of Light Ceremony

4 Feb

Imagine being a Cub Scout in the 5th grade. You’ve endured some boring Pack meetings listening to adult scout leaders drone on about safety this or fundraising that. But more often you had a ton of fun at Pinewood Derby events, cake decorating contests, camping trips and just going to den meetings every week and having fun.

Now that you are in the second year of Webelos (We’ll Be Loyal Scouts) and you’ve completed requirements in movie-making, the outdoors, learning how to be a better citizen, and even mastering a sport (plus a lot more)– you are close to achieving the highest award in all of Cub Scouts.

The Arrow of Light Award is the pinnacle achievement in Cub Scouts. Earning this award gives you the privilege to enter into Boy Scouts.

As a scout leader, you are responsible to produce an Arrow of Light Ceremony or Crossing-Over Ceremony– or maybe both. This is a responsibility that should be taken seriously. This is THE event of the year for these 5th graders. It needs to be fun, memorable and spectacular.

Arrow of Light Ceremony

Some packs may already have a traditional Arrow of Light Ceremony. And if it works for you, don’t change it. This post is not about touting what type of ceremony is best. Each pack has its own culture and should embrace the specific nuances it has. That’s what makes Cub Scouting great. There’s a unified program, but each Pack has its own unique identity.

“Scouting should always be fun and rewarding”

The most important element to successful Arrow of Light Ceremony boils down to one concept. Make it 100% about the scouts.

Blue and Bold Banquets

Often the ceremony is tied to the Blue & Gold banquet, but not always. Whatever timing logistics work for your pack, is the best method to use. Just be sure to not have scout leaders bloviate about the virtues of scouting or worse, lecture about fundraising. The scouts and guests will be falling asleep in their chairs. The event and ceremony needs to be upbeat and dramatic to hold the newly minted Boy Scouts’ attention. It needs to memorable in a good way. Don’t put on a ceremony that goes down in the history books as the most boring ever. You want these 5th graders to remember their greatest Cub Scouting achievement as the best day ever, not the most boring.

As a former Cub Master and Webelos Patrol leader, I always appreciated the Native American style Arrow of Light Ceremony. See the link below for details on it.

Arrow of Light Ceremony Details Make a Difference

There are other specific details that leaders should implement to enhance the day:

  1. Have a cake decorated for the boys in and AoL theme.
  2. Make an Arrow of Light center piece
  3. Use a small wooden bridge to accentuate the crossing over into Boy Scouts. Here are ideas on how to incorporate a Bridging Ceremony into the Arrow of Light Ceremony.

AoL Cake

Different Ceremonies for All Packs

If you need help with the details for a Arrow of Light Ceremony, check out this link-

The above link is the best source i have found that outlines many different types of Arrow Light Ceremonies.

It’s traditional for scouts to receive an actual Arrow Light that’s typically crafted by their parent(s) or scout leaders. This arrow has colored stripes on the shaft that represent the specific achievements he has earned over the course of Cub Scouts. There are many tutorials on making an Arrow of Light. This one is my favorite.

AoL Arrow

Arrow of Light Award Plaques

Now that you crafted your scout’s Arrow of Light, he will want to proudly display it. An Arrow of Light Award Plaque designed to hold the actual Arrow of Light is the best way to show off the achievement. There are many types of AoL plaques on the market. Some made by weekend woodworkers; others made by uncle Louie on his CNC machine. There’s one Arrow of Light plaque on the market that stands out above the rest. The FirePoint Creations AoL plaque rises to the occasion. Made of solid furniture grade cherry wood, this plaque will get noticed for years. It’s laser carved with the all the personal details of the event including the scout’s name, Cub Scout Pack number, date of the ceremony and the scout oath. Plus, it’s the only plaque that features a pair cherry wood hanging brackets for the Arrow of Light.

Arrow of Light Award Plaque

The best feature is the price; it’s only $35.99 each and shipping is free when three or more plaques are ordered. Plaques can be ordered directly here.

Share Your Pack’s AoL Ceremony

Feel free to share your ideas on your Arrow of Light traditions here. Collaboration and sharing will help strengthen programs around the country.




New Blogs Coming This Week

4 Feb

It’s been a long time since we published a blog. Starting this week, we will be publishing on a regular cycle. Keep an eye open to see our newest blog posts.

7 Tips on How to Buy Gifts People Want

29 Nov

Girl-with-gift-ChristmasGift shopping is at its peak this weekend with Black Friday, Cyber-Monday and all the other Holiday Sales taking place.   Follow my tips to buying cools gifts that will make friends and family be impressed and be the hit of the Christmas party.

1. Stop and Think About the Person

“He’s so hard to shop for.” I hear it all the time. Guess what– No, he’s not hard to shop for. You can’t blame your husband, boyfriend, dad…. You are the one buying the gift. You are the one that knows him best— or do you? Shopping for a loved one should not be hard. If you really know the person, you know what they like– right. So knock off the “He’s so hard to shop for” whining.


Break out a pen and piece of paper. Write down everyone that you plan to buy a gift. Leave 3 line spaces beneath each name. Then write 3 things that person likes. Then write something next to each of the likes that would be a possible gift. If you can not write 3 things that the person likes, you do not really know him and they do not deserve to be on your gift list. I know, it sounds a little harsh. But you know I am right. Here’s an example:


A. Loves BBQ Grilling— gift idea: Personalized BBQ Grill Tool Set

B. Volunteer Fireman — Engraved Fireman’s Prayer Glass Frame

C. Collects pensEngraved handcrafted pen that is one of kind


2. Start Planning Early

I know. You don’t have enough time to get out there to shop. But the early you start shopping, the less stress you will have. I suggest taking a day of vacation no later than the first week of Dec. Get out there early by 10:00 and take your list. See above. And remember shopping online is wonderful. There are tons of deals online. And many online stores offer free shipping.

3. Set a Budget

When you make your list write down a budget for each item you plan to buy. DO NOT stray off the plan. Stick to your budget. If you plan to add to Aunt Carmella’s Christmas Ornament collection, stick to the list and get her a personalized Christmas ornament. They typically cost not more than $15.00. She will love it and you stay under budget.

4. Gift Cards

Yes. It is OK to give a gift card as a Christmas gift for the right person. You can not give your 7-year-old niece a gift card even if it is to Toy-R-Us. She should get the actual toy. But you can give a gift card to your 14-year-old nephew to Game Stop. He will appreciate that you know he likes video games and he can select the game of his choice.

5. Giving Cash is Cool

So often you hear, “Giving cash is so impersonal”. Guess what?– cash is still king. Go ahead and feel free to give cash to anyone over the age 10. They will be thrilled to get it. BUT… do not give a check. Personal checks are a pain. Don’t make your loved one go to the bank to cash a check. That’s just not cool.

6. It’s All in the Presentation

You MUST wrap the gift. Presentation is everything! Even a gift card or cash has to be given with a card. Tearing apart the gift wrapping is fun whether you are 7 or 70. Go ahead and splurge and buy some wrapping paper from the dollar store and create a big presentation.

7. Give it in Person

Unless you live 400 miles away, be sure to give ALL your gifts if person. Don’t ask your brother or your mom to give the gifts because they will see that person first. Giving a gift is personal experience. Giving the gift in person let’s the other person know you really care about them.

Stay tuned. My next blog post will give tips on how to give gifts to specific people in you life.

Fall Name Wreaths – Personalize the Season

10 Nov
Personalized Name Wreath

Autumn Wreath made of wood cut out leaves.

Fall is the season when everyone is carving pumpkins, planting colorful mums, enjoying watching the leaves change color to rich rusts, golds, and browns, and purchasing root vegetables to make hearty soups. And, if you love home decorating, it’s the perfect time to bring out your warm and inviting fall decorations. Including our favorite– Personalized Fall Name Wreath.

If you have friends and family celebrating birthdays or wedding anniversaries, it’s the ideal time to consider giving a personalized wreath that will last for years, because every time you or the recipient displays this cute wreath in the home, it’s guaranteed to bring a warm smile and fond thoughts.

Wreaths originated in southern Europe. Some represented a person’s occupation, rank, achievements, and status. While most people think of Christmas wreaths, there are other kinds of wreaths that can be displayed year round.

This month, FirePoint Creations is featuring its personalized 10″ diameter Autumn Wood Name Wreath. It’s made of warm earth tone American hardwoods and has embossed leaves that will bring classic charm to any home. Plus, it can be customized with a family’s last name or any single name you choose.

Do you have any idea how many ways you can display this wreath in your home?

How about:

• Flat on a table and putting a large, round mirror under it to show it off from all angles.
• In front of a large mirror.
• From a balcony railing.
• Hanging it on a handrail on your stairs.
• On a TV or armoire cabinet door.
• Hanging on a wall as part of a grouping of pictures and wall sconces.
• Over a fireplace or setting it on your fireplace mantle.
• On your front door. But, be sure you have a storm door to protect it from the outside elements.
• Hanging it in a window.
• Get two and hang them on the french doors in your home.
• On the wall above your bed, or if you have two windows above your bed, hanging it between the two windows.
• Over your sink, hanging it in the window.
• Placing it on a bookshelf as part of an overall arrangement.

Happy autumn and happy decorating!

Personalized Ornaments for Tomorrow…Next Year…The Next Generation

3 Nov

There’s nothing like memories of the holidays– Christmas, Thanksgiving and even Halloween.
Memories connect us with friends, loved ones and family. Memories make you feel good.

Some of the best memories take place putting up the Christmas decorations. You know how it goes. You’re opening boxes of lights and ornaments and then it happens. The angel ornament that Aunt Jenny gave you triggers a fun and near-tear jerking memory. Ornaments do that. Personalized ornaments definitely do that.

Engraved Ornaments

Personalized Santa Picture Frame Ornament

You then un-box the 15 year old ornament that Aunt Rita gave you the first year you were married.  Those were good times…that are fun to remember.
Personalized ornaments are never re-gifted, never thrown away and remain keepsakes for generations. And they are very affordable. Most personalized Christmas ornaments range in price between $8.00 to $15.00.  Now with all the craft stores and online stores there are more options than ever before to find personalized gifts and ornaments. And there are personalized ornaments for just about any theme–School House ornaments make wonderful teacher’s gifts.
Don’t forget the classic and upscale engraved glass ornaments. These are great keepsakes for couple’s during their first year of marriage.
As you continue to open the decoration boxes, you come across a family of penguins. Last year you received the cutest gift at neighborhood Secret Santa party. Petey the Penguin is a family of four penguins with four snow balls engraved and personalized with all your family members. It was a fun and creative gift that made the perfect Secret Santa gift– small, affordable and memorable.
Petey Penguin Ornaments

Penguin Family Personalized Ornament

Check out our full line of personalized ornaments at

Personalized Wine Box — makes a great gift

24 Oct
Wine Box Engraved

Rosewood Wine Box with Personalization

You just received an invitiation to cousin Tony’s wedding. Tony’s wedding is the talk of the family and you want to make sure your gift conveys how much you appreciate him and recognize his marriage.
Now the stress begins– what to give as a gift? There’s always the gift registry to choose from. But you are looking for a more personal gift. A gift that says, “I know what you like” and one that both Tony and his new bride will appreciate. You decide on a bottle of wine and a personalized gift wine box. Good choice.
A fine bottle of vino works well for a wedding gift. It’s not cheesy. It’s not something that will get passed aside. You can be sure a bottle of wine is a great wedding gift that both the bride and groom will use (drink) and appreciate. Just don’t give a bottle of wine. Dress the wine bottle up in its own personalized wine gift box. Now you are giving a heartfelt gift that will be remembered forever. The wine box should be engraved with the couple’s name and wedding date. There are countless options to choose from online.
And if you feel that one bottle does not send a deep enough message, consider buying several bottles of vino to help the new couple start a wine collection. There are many moderately priced options.
It is also very important to select a “good” bottle of wine. Buying a single $6.00 bottle of hooch is not going to cut it for a wedding gift. Here are some good examples to choose from.
Classic Wine Choices
1. Altamura Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon– $66.00
A sophisticated wine with hints of a coca scent. One of my personal favorites.
2. Merry Edwards Klopp Ranch Pinot Noir– $52.00
This is a fine California wine. Many don’t give pinot noir wines much attention, but this one is a kepper. It has a violet scent that will impress.
3. 2007 St. Francis Wild Oak Chardonnay– $26.00
Well balanced wine from Sonoma. Light but flavorful.
4. 2001 Bodega Matarromera Gran Reserva– $63.00
A smooth medium body wine with a crisp clean flora and spice scent.
5. Santa Margherita Pino Grigo– $29.00
My favorite pinot grigio. It’s light, fresh clean and pairs well with chicken, fish and most pasta dishes.
More on Wine Selection
Selecting the wine is a big deal. Do your homework and find out what types of wine the couple like best. If you need more help ask for it at your local licquor store. Don’t throw caution to the wind and buy the wine gift on a whim. Take your time and find the right bottle(s) of wine that you know the couple will appreciate and enjoy.
Use Common Cents
If Tony and his bride are wine enthusiasts, be sure to select an appropriate wine in the $35 -$70 range. They will appreciate it. On the other hand if the couple enjoys wine from a cardboard box, go with a few bottles of $9.00 wines.
And if you just don’t know what type of wine to buy, there is always the wine gift basket that many wine stores have available.

Engraved Wine Boxes — a “How To” on the Wine Box Ceremony

8 Oct
Engraved Wine Ceremony Box

Elegant Engraved Wine Box!

Here at FirePoint Creations we have many creative and unique gifts. I always try to give some background to each one on this blog. This post is a bit different. I am going to give you the details on how to have a Wine Box Ceremony at a wedding.

Some say the Wine Box Ceremony has its roots in Irish heritage others say it is meant to replace the candle ceremony at a wedding. Truth is…I am just not sure. But it does not really matter. What matters is the fact that the Wine Box Ceremony is meaningful to the bride and groom.

Wine Box Ceremony and Love Letter

Here’s what’s needed:
1. Full unopened bottle of wine that both the bride and groom enjoy.

2. Wine Box – you can make your own or buy one. There’s many options out there on the web. There are links to the ones we offer online. See the pictures at the bottom of this article.

3. Two love letters. One from the bride to the groom and one from the groom to the bride. The love letters should fully express why each person loves the other. Be specific and use examples. I always remember the time my wife brought me a chicken noodle soup when I was sick as a dog with bronchitis back when we were dating. It was a small act of kindness. But I still remember it today. Keep the love letters private from another and make sure they are sealed in envelopes. Do not read each other’s letters—that comes much later on.

4. Then find some great pics of each of you to put in the box as well. And you could also put any other mementos is the box too. For example, tickets from a concert, score card from a golf game, or a flash drive with images, or any other content would be cool too. Anything that is meaningful to both the bride and groom will work great.

The box will be opened on your wedding anniversary or another special date of your choosing. The wine box can opened on any anniversary. But the 5th wedding anniversary seems to be a popular choice. Or it could be opened if the marriage hits some tough times. Before you make marriage-changing decisions, pull out the box, read the letters and share some wine. Remember the reasons why you fell love and what each person sincerely means to the other person.

This is a wonderful and creative ritual for your wedding day. It will be memorable and fun for everyone.

How the Wine Box Ceremony Works on Your Wedding Day

At the appropriate time during the wedding ceremony, the pastor, priest, reverend or other wedding official will explain the reasons for the love letters, the box and the bottle of wine, which are all displayed on a table for everyone to see.

The box will then be closed. Some say the box should be locked or nailed shut. I am not a fan of that method. Keys for locks get lost and opening a box that is nailed shut is very hard to open without using more tools. Opening the box should be easy. A box with a decorative latch will work like a charm.

The wedding guests will be honored to have seen such a sentimental and creative ritual.

Sample of Wording for the Wedding Official.

Wedding Official: MARY and JOHN have chosen a Love Letter & Wine Box ceremony to express their commitment for one another.

This wine box contains a bottle of wine, and love letters—one to each of the other. The love letters express the reasons they fell in love, and the reasons for getting to married to each other.

The letters are in separate envelopes and have not been shared with anyone—yet.
On their wedding anniversary they will open the wine box and share the love letters. Or if they choose they can open the box, share the wine and read the letters individually. The letters will remind each of them why and how they fell in love. Hopefully times will be favorable and they will wait till their 5th anniversary and share good times reading the letters and a glass of wine.

The Wine Ceremony Box should be proudly displayed in the new couple’s home. It will be a daily reminder to them of their love for one another and it will be great item for conversation.


Engraved Personalized Wine Box

10 Tips to Plan the Best Tailgate Party

29 Sep

Tailgates and grillings

Greetings FirePoint Creations fans. Today’s blog post is more on tailgating and grilling. Here are TEN quick tips to plan the BEST tailgate party ever. Let’s get to it.

1. Feel the Team Spirit. It doesn’t matter if it’s your kid’s rec football team or your favorite NFL team. You must dress for success and wear the team’s color proudly. A team jersey is always the best choice to support your fav team and player. Fan participation counts -don’t let everyone down.

2. Plan the Food List. Start early by deciding what food will be served at least 3-4 days before the actual tailgate party. And prep the food about one day before the game. Plan to bring the food in throw-away containers. The less you have to bring home the less you have to clean up.

3. Create a Check List. Write EVERYTHING down on paper that you plan to bring to the tailgate: tables, all the food, drinks, grill, grill tools, paper plates, utensils, water, towels. Then tick the items off as you pack them in your car.

4. Arrive Early. Plan to show up three hours before the game starts. Early arrival let’s you get a primo parking spot and start to set up. Plus, you get to have first drink and get the BBQ grill hot.

5. Location. Location. Location. Don’t be a jagg-off and take up two parking spots for your tailgate. This is not cool. Do park next to a grassy knoll or other open area where cars are not parking. I like to park next to concrete barriers. This gives my tailgate parties extra space for the grill and and all my BBQ grilling tools.

6. Raise a Flag. Fly your team’s flag or a team towl or even a big sheet high in the air. This will act as a visual marker for all your friends to find the tailgate party.

7. More Team Spirit. Make sure your tailgate is full of your team’s flags, signs and other decorations. It just creates good karma and it looks cool too.

8. Meet and Greet. Be sure to meet and talk to everyone at your tailgate and make sure they all taste your BBQ grilled delectables. Toss the ball around, play corn-hole and have fun. And go out of your way to meet your neighboring tailgaters. Remember we all are on the same team.

9. Eat it Up. It is time critical to make sure all food is out, grilled and served at least 90 min. before game time. This lets everyone eat without being rushed to get to the stadium/field.

Friends don’t let friends tailgate without BBQ grill tools

10. Clean it Up.  Before heading to the game, get people involved to clean up the tailgate with you. The more people that help, the quicker you get to the game. Your area needs to be as clean (if not cleaner) than the way it way before you parked. Be sure to clean the BBQ grill tools and anything else you plan to take home before you go into the game. This just makes it easier to clean up after the game.

Tailgating an American Tradition

21 Sep

Personalized Grill Tools

Tailgate the right way with a set of personalized grill tools

The autumn weather has arrived across much of country. But there is still plenty of time to have a ton of outdoor fun at family get-to-togethers, and of course- tailgating to celebrate all types of sports–high school, college and pro.  There is no lack of grilling going on that’s for sure.

Tailgating is as American as apple pie. In fact, I am going to change that saying to “BLANK is as American as TAILGATING.” You see tailgating is an American phenomenon. Our “friends” in Europe don’t tailgate for soccer games. They have a completely different set of rules at their stadiums…it’s just not how they roll over there. There you go. You heard it hear first. Tailgating is an American Tradition that we all love.

But why are we so hooked on tailgaiting. Here’s my top 5 reasons we Americans love tailgating.

1. Drink and Be Merry
Gives us a reason to crack open a cold one in public (beer, pop) and relax. Drinking in public is rare theses days.

2. Eat Up
I have been to hundreds of tailgate parties and I am always amazed at the amount and quality of the food. Grilled brats, hambugers, chicken and hot dogs, desserts that are mind-blowing. And more types of chips and dips than you can shake stick at. Nuff said!

3. For the Common Good
A tailgate party brings hundreds, if not thousands of people together to celebrate their favorite team. Everyone feels connected to each other in some small or big way.

4. Get Invovled
Tailgating allows people to do more than just watch their favorite team. It let’s them be invloved with the stadium and everyone in it.

5. Turns a Game into a Party
Easy– who doesn’t like a party?

Tailgate parties are the place where we can all come together and celebrate one common cause– cheering our favorite team to victory.

It helps us forget about all the crap and stress at work. We unwind (sometimes too much) and enjoy the BBQ grilled chicken, a cold beer and the company of about 60,000 friends.

TEASER— My next blog post will give fun and useful tips for your own tailgate party. Stay tuned.

History Behind The Fireman’s Prayer

15 Sep

Firefighter Dog Tags

Show your firefighter some love with a pair of fireman’s prayer dog tags.

Good Day FirePoint Creations’ Fans. I have a huge soft spot for firemen. My dad was a volunteer fireman and very active in all functions to promote our local fire dept. — Youngwood Volunteer Hose Co. That’s why I added the Fireman’s Prayer Dog Tag to the line about a year ago.

Here I wanted share the story behind “The Fireman’s Prayer.

Although, the poem is most always signed as, “Author Unknown”, it does indeed have a real author. The prayer can be traced back to a firefighter in Wichita Kansas. AW “Smokey” Linn joined the Wichita, Kansas Fire Department in 1947. Prior to joining the fire dept., he fought in WWII.

“Smokey” wrote the poem to express his feelings after fighting an intense fire. During this fire call, three children died when they got trapped in the building by the fire. Firefighter, AW “Smokey” Linn penned this poem as a prayer to convey his grief and to ask God’s guidance for the families involved. He wrote the heartfelt words to ask God for protection for other firefighters, his family and the families of those affected by this tragic fire.

Today, the Fireman’s Prayer is seen on plaques, pictures, dog tags and more to show support for firemen and their families.

Here’s the entire Fireman’s Prayer.

When I am called to duty, God
Whenever flames may rage,
Give me the strength to save some life
Whatever be its age.
Help me to embrace a little child
Before it’s too late,
Or some older person
from the horror of that fate.
Enable me to be alert
And hear the weakest shout,
And quickly and efficiently
to put the fire out.
I want to fill my calling
and give the best in me,
To guard my neighbor
And protect his property.
And if according to Your will
I have to lose my life,
Please bless with Your protecting hand
My children and my wife

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