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.



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