Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Arrow of Light

In cub scouting, there are several ranks. In LDS cub scout packs, we don't incorporate Tiger Cubs just because of the nature of our program, but we start 8 year olds as Wolves. The first rank you receive before you can progress is that of Bobcat. It's simple to earn Bobcat, you just learn a little about cub scouts and what different symbols mean and who/what you should interact and respond to, and how to know if someone is acting inappropriately with you as a child. That can be done in a day if you really want to and have good memorization skills.
So after you earn Bobcat, you start working towards your Wolf rank. It takes a year to complete that and during that time you learn lots of things and experiment with lots of things and have fun with lots of things. The Wolf rank is fun to earn.
After Wolf is Bear. Earning the Bear rank is a little harder than the first 2. You have to put more of the things you learn into practice, you have to account more for the accomplishments you make...but even still, it isn't really HARD to do. It takes a year to complete this rank and lots of fun awards along with it, and then you progress to Webelos.
Webelos is actually a combination of words: We'll Be Loyal Scouts.
In community packs (those sponsored by schools or clubs or other organizations), a boy spends 2 years as a webelos. In and LDS pack, a boy spends 1 year as a webelos and then he moves up to 11 year boy scouts. While you work on your webelos rank, you do a lot more work. There are science experiments, more effort in woodworking, home repairs, creative experiences,... lots of extra stuff that an older boy can handle if he listens to his leaders and does his best. There are 20 activity pins in the webelos book. To earn his rank, he only has to do a portion of those and some extras within those categories. Then he can also continue working and earn his Arrow of Light. This is the highest rank a cub scout can receive and it is one that can be worn on his boy scout uniform...the only one (other than his religious knot). It isn't so easy to do, and he has to participate in a scoutmaster's conference to get here. He does less of this work at home with parents and more of it in den meetings where he accounts for his progression to his den leader. The Arrow of Light is special, particular to me. I love the symbolism that goes along with it.
Now, if the boy does all these things including completing all 20 of those activity pins, he is eligible for the Super Achiever Award. That hasn't been earned in our pack before, so that makes tonight special for us.

Morgan swam in water over his head...he did it for 100 feet! That was the toughest requirement that child had to face, and it was SO hard for him. He did it though... and he has received his Super Achiever Award and tonight he also received his Arrow of Light award. I'm so proud of him!

To make it extra special, Tommy and I made the arrow he was awarded. The arrowhead was one Manti made, I did the special beading on the shaft and Tommy put the entire thing together. I think it looks so pretty!

The rest of the ceremony defined the cub scout promise, which states:
"I promise to do my best to do my duty to God and my country, to help other people and to obey the law of the pack." His leaders stood up front with him and broke down that promise he made as a Bobcat and used scripture stories as reminders to things in his life that call for him to apply those principles. The first leader described the use of a compass as it relates to his Duty to God, and the use of the Liahona....a special compass from ancient days. She presented that Liahona to him (and it has a real compass inside AND it has some scriptural phrases in it too....way cool). Then the second leader was his sister. She asked him about heroes, and then told him about Captain Moroni being a heroic leader of other heroes. She described the Title of Liberty Moroni made and what it said and what he did with it. She described these things as they relate to his Duty to His Country. Then she gave him a small version of the Title of Liberty (Tommy and I made that...Manti used to make these out of his own t-shirts. I wish he could have been there and could have made one for Morgan!)
The third leader was Wanda Johnson, one of his Webelos leaders. She presented him with an electric candle that was on, and described the symbolism of the light that shines in him and his promise to Help Other People. The fourth leader was to be John Johnson, but he was sick and unable to attend. One of Morgan's best friends surprised him, so his friend and the friend's dad was there. They are dedicated scouts and awesome examples of what a scout is, so I asked the dad to stand in and do the 4th part. He agreed and then presented Morgan with a card with the Articles of Faith on it, reminding him that one of these articles of faith claims we choose to honor, obey and sustain the law of the land.
The last part of it was Tommy and I presenting the arrow we made to him. It was a sweet moment as I handed the arrow and Tommy told him to go forth and be faithful, following the straight path.

Poor kids hands were full, so he set things on the table and just held his arrow. He was so proud of himself, and so excited.

I thought Granny, Aunt Kitty and Aunt Lee might want to well as whoever else gets lost on the internet and ends up here.


  1. AWESOME! I'm super proud of him. Give him big hugs from me.

  2. Morgan, I could not be prouder of you than I am right this minute. You are a great example to me and to everyone around you, and you help to make the world a better place because of it. What a fine boy you are, and what a fine man you are growing up to be! I'm so glad you are part of my family, and I love you very much.