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Blue and Gold, Webelos Crossover, and Arrow of Light Ceremony Ideas

Mark sent in this question:

I wanted to get an idea of how other Cub Scout packs handle Blue & Gold/AOL/Crossover events. Traditionally, our pack has held this entire event on one night with a dinner, cake decorating, and mainly used it to recognize our Webelos 2’s who are moving on to Boy Scout troops. I have had some parents complain recently that because their…(Tiger, Wolf, Bear, Webelos 1)…fill in the blank..won’t be honored that night then there is no reason for them to attend. I wanted to know if other packs honor the younger scouts in some way during the Blue & Gold ceremony and, if so, what kind of awards are they passing out? We have also explored the idea of giving awards to all scouts as we typically do at pack meetings, but I feel that some of our leaders are purposely holding back their awards to be presented on the “big stage” during B&G. Hope that makes sense. I welcome all suggestions or ideas. Thank you!

For our younger Cub Scouts, they are called up by dens and are awarded any recent recognitions they have earned. Many have earned their rank badges by this point.  Religious emblems which have usually just been completed in time for Scout Sunday are recognized.  They are also presented with any belt loops and arrow point they have received.

The Arrow of Light ceremony usually follows. This is led by the Webelos den leader and the Cubmaster and varies from year to year depending on what they decide to do. Some of the ceremonies get the younger Cub Scouts involved,  which is always a bonus. They can for a sort of “path” indicating how far the Webelos have come.

Then our troop handles the crossover part. Normally the Senior Patrol Leader says a few words, and then the Webelos cross from one side of the stage to the the other. When they get to the far side, Scouts from the troop welcome them, put their neckerchiefs and shoulder loops on them, and give them a handbook. It is not lengthy, but it is boy-led.

Following the presentations, we usually have some sort of entertainment. This is usually something like a magician, juggler, somebody bringing some animals in, etc. These are many low-cost options. Once we had the circus club from a local high school come in for a donation. They put on a great program which all of the Cub Scouts enjoyed.

Readers, what do your packs do for Blue and Gold, Arrow of Light presentation, and crossover? Add you ideas to the comments below.

8 Responses to Blue and Gold, Webelos Crossover, and Arrow of Light Ceremony Ideas

  1. Leslie January 26, 2015 at 1:32 PM #

    Our Pack does all 3 separately. February is Blue and Gold, March is AOL Bridging, and April is rank advancement for the remaining pack. We have a large pack and this works best for us. We usually get adequate attendance at all 3 except the April meeting where we are really missing those AOL boys. 🙂

  2. Carole Henkin January 26, 2015 at 2:14 PM #

    HI, we have our B&G celebration at a nice banquet hall. In addition to our scouts crossing over and AOL, we do give out awards and for the last few years, have provided a Dj. This year we are asking to the boys to bring “Litter to Glitter” supplies. We are not telling them why but they will have to dress/decorate their leaders. Should be fun and we are looking forward to seeing how the boys enjoy it.

  3. Brian January 26, 2015 at 2:54 PM #

    The past few years we have held the Blue & Gold Banquet the same night as our monthly Pack meeting. So, we’ll hand out some awards, rank advancement and crossover if necessary. Then we’ll conclude the evening with an ice cream sundae bar. Why not celebrate the birthday of scouting w/ cake and ice cream! We have about 20+ boys in our Pack so this works well for us.

    This year because of various schedules, no one will be crossing over, but we did hold off our Bobcat ceremony until the Blue & Gold. At the end of the year we have a Fishing Derby/Crossover Ceremony so that’s when everyone will be crossing over to the next rank.

  4. Holly February 12, 2015 at 7:34 AM #

    Our Webelos II Den is comprised of 7 boys–5 have previous Cub Scout experience, but 2 are brand new. These 2 boys earned their Bobcat and are about to earn their Webelos badges at Blue & Gold. However, the other 5 boys, who already earned their Webelos badges last year, will be earning their Arrow of Light. All boys are eligible to crossover to Boy Scouts. The 2 Webelos-only boys are both 11 years old and have been with the other 5 boys all year. Do you have any ideas for crossing all the boys over together? One of the Webelos-only will be moving a month after our crossover ceremony. He is of my utmost concern because I don’t want him to feel left out. BTW, he has a younger brother who is a Webelos I and will also earn his Webelos badge with his brother.

  5. Kirk March 4, 2015 at 8:24 PM #

    There are several options and which is best needs to be decided by the den with your help. Among the options I see are:
    1) The five boys wait until the other two finish Arrow of Light to cross over.
    2) The five boys get their Arrow of Light and cross over then hold another ceremony for the other two.
    3) The five receive Arrow of Light, all seven “cross over” and join a troop, and the two finish up their Arrow of Light to be recognized when they do so.

    Of course the third option depends on the boys knowing what troop they will join. But there is nothing preventing them from belonging to two units at the same time. There is one primary unit which will track their advancement. Presumably this will remain the pack until they get AOL then change to the troop.

    • Holly March 5, 2015 at 8:12 AM #

      Thanks!

      We had our Blue & Gold/Crossover last Saturday. The AOL ceremony (5 Boys) was nice and the Crossover (6 boys) immediately followed.

      What’s done is done, but I was disappointed how our Pack leadership handled our non-AOL Webelos Scout. His Webelos Badge was with the WEB I Den awards, which took place almost 2 hours after the. AOL/Crossover. When his name was called, the Den Ldr/Cubmaster just passed his Baggie off to his parent– no presentation/no recognition.

      I didn’t hear any feedback from the boy’s parents, so I don’t think they noticed. It’s my firm belief, however, that every boy deserves their moment to be recognize in the spotlight.

      (Note: The second 11yo WEB was a complete no show.)

  6. Jane March 5, 2015 at 11:13 AM #

    @Kirk:
    A Cub Scout can only work on earning the Arrow of Light award (AOL) while he is still registered in a pack or as a Lone Cub Scout AND he has not yet joined a troop. (see page 21 of the BSA’s Guide to Advancement)

    http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/33088.pdf

    He can earn the AOL, then join a Boy Scout troop, and then come back to the pack for the ceremony, but he can’t be working on the AOL after he officially joins a troop, because a Boy Scout can’t work on Cub Scout requirements – he has to be either a Cub Scout or a Boy Scout.

    @Holly:
    I agree with you. The non-AOL Webelos Scout should have been recognized for his hard work and accomplishments. I know it’s too late now, but I would have held his Webelos rank ceremony immediately before the AOL ceremony. After that, they could all crossover to Boy Scouts together or if he was close to earning the AOL, he could crossover to Boy Scouts a little bit later and his den-mates could come show their support for him. (because Scouts are Loyal and Helpful). IMO, there are different ways that the situation could have been handled than just handing the badge to the boy’s parents.

  7. Edwina March 24, 2015 at 6:35 PM #

    Our pack is church sponsored and year round, so we may do things differently than school sponsored groups. We hold our Blue and Gold Banquet as a pot luck, but usually go “all out” on our decorations. For instance, last year is was Baloo and Gold with a Jungle Book theme. We had yarn and tissue paper vines hanging all over the room from the ceiling, silk plants and trees on the tables and in the corners with paper snakes (whatever the character from the book’s name is) and pictures on the walls and in the plants on the tables. Although we did award the boys whatever awards they had earned, it was basically a Blue and Gold banquet. This year, we did our banquet in a Blue and AU(Gold) theme which was basically a science theme. Throughout the evening, the boys were led through various science experiments with a blue and gold coloring where possible. Again, the boys were given the awards they had earned to date and we welcomed a new boy into our pack who was about to turn 8.
    As for our Arrow of Light and Crossing over, they can occur one after the other or separate, depending on the boy’s age. If he earns the rank right before he turns 11, they will occur together, but if there’s more than a week or two, the ceremonies will occur separately and the boy can continue earning additional pins and work on compass points.
    When we do have a crossover ceremony, we always have our troop invited and ask them to help and participate in the ceremony. We have done things like having the boys take off their blue shirts (with a t-shirt on underneath) before crossing our bridge and putting on their new tan Boy Scout shirts to just taking off their WEBELOS scarves and loops before crossing to have the troop put the new Boy Scout scarves and loops on. Either way, the boys have enjoyed the ceremony. One thing we make sure to do is take photos of the boys and send them to our local paper when they are awarded their AoL and cross over with information to be included with the photos. Since we are in a small town, they are usually included in the paper soon after, which is nice for the boys and their families.
    No matter what rank each of our boys have earned, whenever they have earned them recently, they are always brought forward at the right moment and awarded their ranks. Their mothers or a parent are pinned by the boy with their parent’s pins. Photos are always taken too and added to our den scrapbook for later boys to look at and the boys themselves, no matter their age can take a look too!

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