Christopher Burnett | Staff Writer
Fourteen Webelos Scouts earned the Arrow of Light March 13 and crossed over to join one of the three local Boy Scout troops during a ceremony at Merritt Lake.
Leavenworth High School freshman James Kem, a Star Scout with Troop 366 and emcee of the ceremony, said the Arrow of Light is the highest rank in Cub Scouting. He said it is also the only Cub Scout badge that can be worn on the Boy Scout uniform. Kem said the Webelos were continuing their journey as Scouts.
“On the far side of the lake, three troops await to welcome these recipients of the Arrow of Light,” Kem said. “Those troops are Troop 3, Troop 66 and Troop 366. In earning their arrow they have demonstrated they embrace the qualities outlined by their first rank, that of the Scout.”
Kem said in crossing over from Webelos to Boy Scouts, the 14 Scouts transition from adult-led Cub Scout packs to boy-led Boy Scout organizations.
“For over 100 years, the Boy Scouts of America have stood for the 12 virtues outlined in the Scout Law and the duty outlined in the Scout Oath,” Kem said. “We have among us several boys who have grown tall in body and strong in character. They have learned well from the ways of the pack, but now they must leave and search out great adventures.”
Kem instructed the new Scouts to remove their Webelos neckerchief and slide. He said for them to give those items back to their parents or Scout guide for safekeeping.
“(Scouts,) begin your journey down to the canoes,” Kem said. “Bowman, send an arrow of light across the sky to light the way.”
The name of each Scout and troop that Scout would join was read aloud. Stone Roberts crossed over to Troop 3. R.J. Sharpe, Joey Green-Leinberger, Charlie Jimenez and Levi Hanlan crossed over to Troop 66. Jacob Garner, Noah Brooks, Jack Wittmer, James Umbarger, Creighton Lenahan, Sam Hanna, Adrian Torres and Ryan Dembowski crossed over to Troop 366. Trent Wilson crossed over and will join his new troop after he moves this summer.
Carol Gersema, Boy Scout charter organization representative for post, said the Cub Scout Pack on post has 105 members. She said the two Boy Scout Troops on Fort Leavenworth — Troop 66 and Troop 366 — each have 35-40 boys.
Each Scout entered the canoe and was transported across the lake where he was met by his new senior patrol leader and scoutmaster. Each was presented with the Boy Scout handbook and a troop neckerchief. Other Scouts welcomed their newest member.
“I am happy and a bit excited about what to expect from my experiences as a Boy Scout,” said Jack Wittmer, of Troop 366. “Crossing over the lake in the canoe was fun, too.”