These Cub Scout Ceremonies are from the Scouts-L mailing list. There are many fine ideas here to help make your pack's ceremony special for your Cubs. -srt
From: Peter Van Houten
Subject: Graduation Campfires
One of our discussion prior was on 'When boys move to next level'. I'm putting together the final prepartions of our graduation ceremony now, so I thought I'd share it with you.
First of all, other than the Webelos Crossing Over Ceremony, which is held in March, we keep boys in their respective dens/tiger cub groups until June 1 (irregardless of what Council/national does with our membership roster). We started this tradition last year and have found the boys are in exciting anticipation for this years event. We have TWO graduation campfires. One which addresses, graduation from Tigers/Wolfs to the next level, and the other for Bears/webelos-1 to their next level!
We've reserved one of our local Day Camps for the setting. It's a VERY NICE camp, with a gathering area, and a long trail with a long suspention bridge over a creak that leads to a meadow 'Campfire' area. Our campfire is as follows:
1. Gathering of all boys in the upper area -- I'll lead two songs to get them in the spirit, "If you're Happy and you know it - clap your hands" and "Swiss Boy" (This is a favorite and we only do it at his campfire.)
2. After the songs, I give a brief instruction that we're about to be called into the campfire area. We will proceed in line, boys first, parents follow. They should maintain quiet and observe the surrounding nature as we approach the campfire bowl.
3. I signal my Assistant CM, who blows an Elk Horn. This is in return, answered by another Elk horn, blown from the Meadow. And in the distance we hear the tomtom begin beating.
4. I lead the boys down the path, across the bridge, down the trail into the campfire bowl, where we wait until everyone has arrived.
5. I stand with the fire between me and the boys and declare that because last years campfire was so special and meaningful, I've saved the ashes to spread on this years fire. I entice the boys to help me light the fire with their Scout Spirit as I spread the ashes on the fire. [Actually the ashes are 'Granular Cholrine, being spread into a container of Pine-Sol. The result being lots of white smoke and a flame flair, which will start the fire. It is very impressive if done correctly and with spirit.]
6. After the fire has started we do an action song. Something along the line of Zulu Chief, or "Robert Baden Powell-Had Many Scouts".
7. Cheer -- From our 'Cheer Box'
8. Skit -- This year's skit will be presented by a group of Boy Scouts whom have graduated from our Pack.
9. Action Song -- Malo.
10. Cheer -- From our 'Cheer Box'
11. Story -- The story this year is about 'Scout Spirt' I use a large gallon jar, filled 3/4 with fine dirt, and a ping pong ball. When I turn it upside down the ping pong ball is on the bottom. The ping pong ball is a Scout. As I talk about the virtues of Scouting I slightly Shake the jar. Within a few shakes (about one minute of talking) the ping pong ball appears at the top of jar having overcome the great weight of the dirt. The moral of the story focuses on that the the virtues of Scouting overcomes all that is dumped on you.
12. Award ceremony -- This is the first year we've included major award presentations (ie. Wolf, Bear, Webelos, etc.) and that is because we lost the school for our last pack meeting.
13. Graduation Ceremony. Each group is called up around the fire - They are congratulated for for being a part of Scouting and for continuing along Akela's trail. The Tiger Ceremony is really beefed up to include presentation of certificate, pin, patch and segment, then the presentation of their Wolf Scarf and book. The Wolf, Bear ceremony includes removal of the old scarf and presentation of the new, along with the book. Webelos-1 to Webelos-2 includes the presentation of a new Slide. It's one of those Safety Pin Indian Bonnet's made by one of our mothers (very nice).
14. After the Graduation Ceremony, we sing 'Mm Mm I want to linger"
15. I call all boys to circle the campfire in a friendhsip circle, with parents standing behind the boys. Standing in the middle I offer up the following closing remarks:
Wood smoke at eventide smoothes the soul
and makes an easy ladder for a prayer.
May the smoke of this fire
carry your thoughts Heavenward
and make your hearts strong for good scouting.
16. We than close the campfire with singing 'Cub Scout Vespers'. After the first verse, we break the friendship circle and my Assistant CM leads the boys back up the trail, over the bridge to the upper camp area. As they are leaving the campfire area we hum the 'Cup Scout vespers tune.
This graduation leaves a very momentous reminder in the minds of the boys! Many of the boys who've graduated recall the graduation campfire as one of those times they liked about Cub Scouting.
Hope your campfires are as memorable.
In Scouting . . .
Peter Van Houten
Peter Van Houten / E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: Fri, 3 Jun 1994 12:55:06 -0500
From: Peter Van Houten
Subject: Our Campfire
Fellow Scouters & Friends . . .
We at Pack 383 just completed our graduation campfire(s). Since our Pack is so large, we split the pack in half and do two almost identical campfires back to back. The first includes the Tiger Cub Graduation and the Wolf-Bear transition. The second includes the Bear-Webelos, and 1st year Webelos - 2nd year Webelos. At the first campfire we had aprx. 75-80 people attending, the second we had over 100. Humour me while I attempt to set the scene.
First, the location is our local day camp nestled in a wooded area. We gather in the upper area in a small clearing. Here I make any announcements relative to upcoming pack activities, and I start getting the boys excited by doing some yells and songs. Afterwhich, I give instructions that when the signal is given we will proceed to the campfire area (which is located at the other end of the camp...we'll hike in line....boy's first, than family members....over a suspension bridge through the woods along the meadow into the campfire area. The signal is the blowing of the Conk shell, which signals the drummers to begin. We proceed silently into the campfire area to the sound of the distant drums.
Below is our Campfire plan, after that I've included a copy of our Campfire opening. This campfire from point of signal to start of exit procession lasted exactly one hour! The campfires were successfull because we focused on the following: 1) Keeping it up beat, activie and exciting, and 2) unique and special to each individual boy (each boy was recognized and made a part of the campfire).
Good luck in your future campfires.
Cub Scouts of Pack 383 -- We are gathered here for our graduation campfire. This is a special occaision, a special tradition which has special memories! "At the first camp, on Brownsea Island, Baden-Powell and the boys were winding down at the last campfire. Baden-Powell during the campfire told the boys that a campfire was a special time of fellowship, spirituality, and good fun. He told the boys that he wouldn't be around forever, and that to keep the spirit of this time alive, he invited them to take some of the campfire ashes, when they cooled, and to spread them on all the future campfires they would be at. This way the spirit of the first scout camp would live on forever."
To help start our campfire this evening I've brought with me ashes from last years campfire! These ashes contain the memories of that campfire and the fun we had. By adding them to our campfire this year we will build new memories of our campfire this year! I ask that all scouts take a few moments to think of the good times you've had in Cub Scouting!
[Have a moment of silence to let the boys reflect]
I need your help in starting the campfire! Yell after me everything I say!
[Hold the bag of ashes up and face each of the directions (N, E, S, W) and yell out the following to add mystery to the fire lighting.]
Leader Shouts: Boy's Shout: (Face to the North) To the North we call... To the North we call... Spirit Red Spirit Red Thy Hunger must be Fed Thy Hunger must be Fed (Face to the East) To the East we call... To the East we call... Spirit Hot Spirit Hot Forget us not Forget us not (Face to the South) To the South we call... To the South we call... Spirit Gold Spirit Gold As the year grows old As the year grows old Keep us from the cold Keep us from the cold (Face to the West To the West we call... To the West we call... Spirit White Spirit White In the darkness of the night In the darkness of the night Be our shining light Be our shining light
[Pour the ashes over the campfire. Using one of the many 'magic campfire' starts ignite the campfire! As it may take a few seconds for the fire to ignite, I will have the boys chant 'Cub Scouts' loudly saying it is the Spirit of Scouting that lights our fire.]
I now declare the camp fire open!
Peter Van Houten / E-Mail:
Date: Mon, 6 Jun 1994 14:42:26 -0500
Subject: Graduation Ceremonies
With all this talk about graduation, I decided to let you all know what I do (with some help from others).
My Assistant Cubmaster and I dress in Indian regalia. His outfit is made out of tan buckskin with a Mohawk head dress. My outfit is gray cowhide splits with a black bonnet made by a Navajho. We try to make all of our accessories so as to be as authentic as posible. My Pack as well as the Troop try to follow an Indian Lore theme whenever possible.
At all of the badge ceremonies along with the badges we give the Bobcats a white bead on red yarn to signify that they are starting on the trail to the Arrow of Light. The Wolves get a wolf's tooth on yellow yarn (imitation buffalo tooth). The Bears get a bear claw on blue yarn. When the Webelos get their badge we awarf them a head band with an eagle feather, and the boys who get their AoL, get a bear claw necklace and a hand made arrow. I make both of the above items. The bear claw necklace has 12 beads (one for each of the points in the Scout Law) and 3 claws for the 3 points of the Scout oath.
I will post the ceremonies soon that we do.
When my tigers graduation I have a special ceremony for them alone at their last meeting. I have found that these boys to be the most fun and that they get lost with a cross- over graduation with the rest of the Pack. So graduation alone and crossover into Cubs with everyone else (two ceremonies). I dress in regalia, and come from behind them. Great enterance. I say a few words about Scouting and then a fire ball appears from my stick. (fire burning in the hearts of the boys and the like) I talk to them about their coming years in Cubs and them call them up to me one at a time. I put a yellow and a blue stripe on their face to show them the colors to come and then we give them a graduation certificate, a slide (1/2" PVC painted orange with the Tiger symbol on them (round circle stickers in the packet)), a tiger Cub pencil and the Tiger graduation patch. Great fun. I almost forgot they also get a black bead on orange yarn, Tiger colors.
Now on to the whole Pack. We make this into a weekend deal. My Webelos come down to our Scout camp Friday night and we get things ready for Saturday. The rest of the Pack comes down for a day of games, crafts, etc. We have a chicken, hamburger, and hot dog dinner. and then the ceremonies at night.
All of the dens do some skits, songs, whatever, while the Indians dress. All of the ceremonies involve the parents. I first call up the Tigers with his parents, say some great words of wisdom and have the parents put on the Wolf neckerchief with the slide, more words and then the hat, more words and then the book. And then welcome them into the Pack.
A similar ceremony is done for the Wolves becoming Bears.
The Bears becoming Webelos receive the neckerchief, hat, slide and book from Mom and/or Dad and the get an arm bussle from us. We then welcome them into the tribe of Webelos of Pack 38.
I think I might try to do something for the first year Webelos so as not to leave them out in the cold, Any ideas?
And now to the grand finale, second year Webelos to Boy Scout. The Scoutmaster also dresses, white outfit with double trailer bonnet. Words of greeting exchanged between us, etc. Stories told of when I was a young scout, etc. and so on.
I am proud to say that I am crossing my second group of boys into the Troop. That is boys that I have been with since they have been Tigers. Last year was my first, my oldest being part of that group, and this year my other son for number two. As well as the other 12 boys who will be crossing.
My main reason is for these boys to come away with GOOD memories of when they were Scouts and young. I don't have many memories from when I was a Scout, and that is a shame.
>>>------> >>>------> >>>------> >>>------> Robert P. Stawicki CM-Pack 38 ASM-Troop38 MC-Post 38 AT&T Bell Labs Council Training Staff Princeton, NJ Jersey Shore Council 609-639-2837 908-477-9028 NE-CS-41 email@example.com OH! GIVE ME A HOME, firstname.lastname@example.org WHERE THE BUFFALO ROAM!!!!
From: Edward J Rogers
Subject: Cub Scout Milepost and Boy Scout Bridging Ceremony X-
Since most Packs and Troops are getting ready for Bridging Ceremonies, I thought I would share a program we found to work very nicely. We performed this before sundown by a pond that has a bridge leading over to an island.
First the Cubmaster, graduating Webelos and family members go onto the ponds island. A section of the island trail is used to setup the stations with the Mileposts.
The Cub Scout Milepost and Boy Scout Bridging Ceremony Personnel: Cubmaster, New Scout and his Parents, Senior Patrol Leader, Scoutmaster and Troop.
Equipment: red loops, neckerchief & slide , table, lanterns, candles, mileposts to hang Cub Rank Signs Mileposts
Cubmaster: (addressing audience): Cub Scouting is the younger boy part of the great Scouting movement. In the final months of his Cub Scouting experience, a boy learns the requirements for the Scout badge. He decides what troop he will join and with his parents arranges for his entrance into Scouting on his 11th birthday. tonight our pack has the privilege of bringing another group of Webelos Scouts to this milepost.
Cubmaster: We are now going to relive the Cub Scout
experiences of our boys who are ready to cross over the bridge
into Boy Scouting. You started your Cub Scout careers as Bobcats.
You were at least 8 years of age, or had completed the second
grade. You had to learn the Cub Scout Promise, the Law of the
Pack, the handshake, and the salute. So you started your journey
on the Bobcat trail. You looked ahead and saw that the trail went
through a comparatively level "Wolf Valley."
(Boys and parents lead to Wolf Card".)
Cubmaster: As you went through "Wolf Valley," you
worked on your physical and mental skills until you had passed 12
achievements. You passed these achievements with your parents or
at your den meetings. You were growing; you mastered "Wolf
Valley." Raise your heads and look where the trail leads
now--up and up. Your next goal was "Bear Mountain."
(Boys and parents are lead to Bear Card".)
Cubmaster: As you progressed up the trail toward Bear
Mountain, you found the achievements a little more difficult
because you were growing both physically and mentally and more
was expected of you. You passed your 12 required achievements and
were encouraged to work on electives, both Wolf and Bear. A year
passed and you reached the top of Bear Mountain, and could now
see ahead of you the Lodge of the Webelos. Your guides on the
trail now changed and fathers became the leaders who worked with
(Boys and parents are lead to "Webelos /Arrow of Light Card" .)
Cubmaster: You were a member of the Webelos den. Now it was
strictly between you and your leaders whether you wanted to work
for the Arrow of Light Award or just wanted to be a member. You
remained a Webelos Scout until you reached the age of 11, when
you became eligible to join a Boy Scout troop. You've worked hard
in the Webelos den and are now ready to take your next step on
the Scouting trail by crossing over the bridge to further
(At this Point they have completed the Milestones and are at the foot of the Bridge.)
Cubmaster: Our accomplishments are never made without help. And significant in __________________'s (graduate's name) growth has been the help he has received from his parents. I thank you for the help you have given your son and your cooperation with his den and pack leaders. Of course, we shall miss you as you move on into Scouting, but we are honored to present Troop 759 with such an outstanding family. All of us wish you continued success as you climb the Scouting trail.
Senior Patrol Leader: Greets the New Scout and his family. Presents candle to Scout and escourts him & his family across the bridge. Scout Places candle on Bridging ceremony table.
Scoutmaster: __________________________ (Scouts name), it is a privilege to welcome you and your family into Troop 759. Scouting will offer you the fun of outdoor activities, the challenge of leadership, and the chance to build self confidence through skills that will last you a lifetime.
Scout Master : Gives Troop #s and Red Loops to each Scout Family .
Senior Patrol Leader: Red Loops signify you are a Boy Scout and when they are worn upon your shoulders you are promising to follow the Scout Law. Would the parents please remove the Cub Scout Loops and put on Boy Scout Loops.
Scout Master : Gives Troop Neckerchief and slide to each Scout Family .
Senior Patrol Leader: Would the parents please remove the Cub Scout Neckerchief and put on the Troop Neckerchief. The neckerchief has many uses as you will learn. There's one use, though, that you may not think of and that is to remind you of the Scout Oath. The neckerchief is a triangle, and its three corners should remind you of something you recently learned--our Scout Oath. The Oath, you remember, has three corners, too--duty to God and country, duty to others, and duty to self. From now on, every time you put on your neckerchief it should remind you of the things you pledge each time you repeat the Scout Oath.
Scout Master & Senior Patrol Leader : Scout Salute and Handshake with the New Scout. Repeat this for each Scout that is bridging
The New Scouts are greeted by the members of the Troop as they complete the bridging ceremony.
(A small picnic style buffet is provided by the mothers of the bridgings Webelos).
The Scout Benediction Have all stand, form a circle, join hands (right over left), bow their heads, and repeat together: "May the Great Master of all Scouts be with us until we meet again." Then the Scouts leave the area quietly.
Eddy Rogers email@example.com
Date: Tue, 21 Nov 1995 15:08:39 EST
From: Don Izard <IZARD@UBVM.CC.BUFFALO.EDU>
Subject: Re: Webelos Graduation Ceremonies
As a cub master, and latter a WEBELOS den leader, and father or 2 scouts, my favorite WEBELOS cermonies were simple. It was a cermony where you have a large arrow, made from wood, like a 2x4, with seven candles. With a little more skill you could make it look more like the real ARROW of light, and add the arch/sun. You start in a almost dark room with ONLY the spirit candle burning, and read the explanation of the arrow of light, and the meaning of each of the seven rays.
I then would present an arrow to each webelos, with a attached feather that would have his name, and the date of the ceremony. The bage would go to his mom, to present to the scout, and the card to his dad, to present to the scout.
I recently saw an electric version of the arrow, with electric candels that we lit by some remote "magic".
I might add that you may be able to get some help from you local Order of the Arrow chapter to help present the arrows. It adds a nice touch to have the arrows presented by a scout in indian dress. Our chapter used to have a cermony all prepared.
Date: Wed, 22 Nov 1995 10:31:40 EST
From: Peter Farnham <pfarnham@ASBMB.FASEB.ORG>
Subject: Crossover Ceremonies
We had a cross-over ceremony at our pack meeting on Monday night, and seven webelos crossed over to two different troops (I got five in mine, thank Heavens--I'm now up to 12 scouts).
We used an outer space theme this time. I have a Captain Picard suit I wear at Halloween, and a working toy ray gun. We started out by dimming the lights and playing over the speaker system at full volume Strauss' "Thus Spake Zarathustra," more familiarly known as the theme from "200l: A Space Odyssey."
I came out and tried to light the "campfire" but had no matches. "Great Denibian slime devils, I'm out of matches!" I bellowed in my most stentorian starship commander's voice. "I'll have to speak to Riker about this immediately!" But I solve the problem by lighting the campfire with a blast from my ray gun (my ASM turned the dimmer switch up to full slowly). Then I leisurely warmed my hands, and turned around and warmed my posterior (giggles here, as intended).
Then I turned to the WDL, and said, "Commander Keith, I understand you have seven graduates from the starfleet academy who are ready to join the crews of starships 113 and 1515. Bring them up here immediately!"
Anyway, you get the idea. Bring the boys up, congratulate them on their accomplishments, wish them well in boy scouting, and then cross them over the bridge, where they are received by a representative from their new troops. We also give them boy scout neckerchiefs; my troop has a custom-made one we give each new scout.
Another thing we do--I have each boy sign our cross-over bridge with an indelible magic marker before they actually cross over. Who knows? We may have a president's signature on there someday.
At the end, we played the theme from "Star Wars", also LOUD. Very inspiring.
This is a fun ceremony and seemed to work well. The boys really liked it--didn't want me to turn off "Star Wars," so we played it as a finale when they were leaving the pack meeting.
Each of the seven boys also received his Arrow of Light in a separate ceremony earlier in the meeting. On a personal note, one of the seven was a kid I've known since moments after his birth--my son Walker. This is the first of what I hope will be many times his accomplishments outshine my own. Needless to say, I'm beaming
CM, Pack 1515
GW District, NCAC
Date: Thu, 9 Jun 1994 13:14:09 -0500
From: Peter Van Houten <peterva@QM.WV.TEK.COM>
Subject: Re: Native American theme Ceremony
>> Does anyone have any Native American theme
ceremonies for Boy Scout level
>> campfire programs, etc.
Here's one that can be adapted to fit your specific need. I've used it in the past as a Cross-over ceremony!
Peter Van Houten
Akela, Scoutmaster, SPL, White Eagle, tom-tom drummer, candidates and Boy Scouts (one for each crossover candidate)
Council fire (simulated or real), Crossover bridge or arch, Indian costume, tom-tom, peacepipe, and twig for each crossover candidate.
[The lights are turned down, if indoors.]
AKELA: [ Akela calls for the Council fire to light... ]
"GREAT SPIRIT LIGHT OUR FIRE"
[The council fire is lit.]
[Akela signals for the drums to begin... Waves staff in direction of drummer]
White Eagle Enters Ceremonial area. He cradles a peacepipe in his arms. He slowly walks to the center, facing North lifts the peacepipe to the sky, and says in a loud voice:
"To live and help live".
He turns to the East lifting the peacepipe to the sky, and says in a loud voice:
"To live and help live".
He turns to the West lifting the peacepipe to the sky., and says in a loud voice:
"To live and help live".
He turns to the South lifting the peacepipe to the sky, and says in a loud voice:
"To live and help live".
[ He moves to the back of the Ceremonial area to observe the bridge crossing.
When WHITE EAGLE stops, the tom-tom stops. ]
AKELA: Will the following crossover candidates come forward and stand before the council fire;
AKELA: You have climbed the Cub Scouting trail, completing ever more difficult achievements. These ceremonies mark the completion of your Cub Scouting adventures. Now as you travel to the land of Boy Scouting, place your twig on the fire, symbolizing your desire to help, as you have been helped.
[ Candidates place twigs on the fire ]
It is now time for you to cross the bridge (or walk under the arch). Before you begin your journey, please remove your neckerchief. You will give it to me before you embark onto the bridge.
[Candidates remove neckerchief]
Will each of you please step onto the bridge and begin your crossover.
[ As the candidates pass before Akela, they give him their neckerchief, and he shakes their hand with the Cub Scout handshake for the last time. ]
[ The Candidates cross the bridge. When they reach the Boy Scout side, the Scoutmaster and SPL shake their hands with the Boy Scout handshake. Each Boy Scout takes one of the Cubs and stands with him. ]
SPL: As Senior Patrol Leader of Troop ###, I welcome you to our troop.
Last modified 12/2/95