My oldest child recently turned eleven years-old. With that, he completed the Webelos in Cub Scouts. Upon completion, he had his Arrow of Light ceremony. Growing up, scouting wasn't a big thing in my area. My brothers didn't participate much in Scouts, I think they might have done a year or so once we moved to New York. I didn't really have a clue about the Arrow of Light, what it was, or what was necessary to achieve the accomplishment.
I am a Cub Scout leader in my area, so it might be strange to admit that I didn't have a clue. The things I do know include that scouting teaches young boys and young men many necessary things. They learn how to set goals to accomplish certain things. They learn how to use tools to build things. They learn how to cook, maybe not extravagant meals, but they should know how to read (and follow) a recipe. They learn the importance of God and Country. Although the "Pledge of Allegiance" might not be said in some schools anymore and praying isn't allowed in schools anymore, it is done at Scout meetings. I don't know if it is done at all Scout meetings, but it is done at all of the ones I have been to.
My eleven year-old worked hard to achieve his Arrow of Light. Many hours were put into accomplishing the necessary goals to pass off requirements. He is diligent. He is intelligent. He is brave. He loves God and he loves his country.
He received his Arrow of Light on March 25, 2014. Below, the Scoutmaster is reading about the Arrow of Light. My son is standing beside him. On this day, he also got to lead the audience in the "Pledge of Allegiance."
I didn't get a copy of what was read at the ceremony, but I should have. He was listening intently as the ceremony went on.
As the Scoutmaster read the seven virtues, my son lit a light for each one. The seven virtues in Scouting are wisdom, courage, self-control, justice, faith, hope and love. There was a light lit for each one of these. After the lighting of all the virtue lights, he was given his Arrow of Light.
He was then able to cross the bridge. As I understand it, it is the bridge from Cub Scouts into Boy Scouts. Since it was a quick walk across the bridge, I didn't get a photo of him actually doing the initial walk. I had him go stand on it afterward so I could get a picture of him. He will no longer be in Cub Scouts. He will now be a Boy Scout!
It is hard to believe that I have a Boy Scout now. I guess I need to get him a new shirt :) I should also figure out how to get the badges and things on his shirt. I do not sew worth anything. I am grateful to all the people that showed up to make this a special evening for him. I hope to someday be able to share his Eagle Scout photos :)