• Scouts move up in crossover ceremony

    • email print
  • Katie Peterson | Staff Writer
    “The moon is on the rise, just as it was long ago on that night around the council fire where youth were called by name to signify them as Cubs and made them members of the pack,” said Star Scout Mitchell Schotzko, of Boy Scout Troop 366, who served as master of ceremonies during the Boy Scout crossover ceremony March 5 at Merritt Lake. “Tonight, we have some Cubs among us who have grown strong and tall. The time has now come when they must leave the pack to find their place in the world of men.”
    Fourteen Webelos Cub Scouts crossed over to their Boy Scout troops — eight to Troop 66, five to Troop 366 and one to Troop 167 — after earning their Arrow of Light badge, symbolizing that they “have demonstrated that they embrace the qualities outlined by their first rank, that of the Scout,” Schotzko said. “Here they begin to shift to a boy-led organization.”
    Troop 366 Scoutmaster Mike Swienton said the Arrow of Light is the highest rank in Cub Scouts.
    “The idea behind the Arrow of Light is that they follow the path,” he said. “This is part of what all the boys look forward to, particularly as Webelos. This is their pinnacle year. They’ve earned their Arrow of Light and now they’re coming over to the troop and beginning a new adventure.”
    The Arrow of Light is part of the Order of the Arrow, a scouting honor society, Swienton said.
    Cub Scout Pack 1 Leader Gina Groceman said she was proud of the boys who were transitioning.
    “I am very proud seeing these boys make this transition,” Groceman said. “They have worked really hard to get to this point and have all taken steps to become great leaders and men in the future.”
    Groceman said the transitioning Cub Scouts prepared to become Boy Scouts by learning skills such as how to use a pocket knife correctly and safely, basic first aid, how to tie knots, cook and the Boy Scout patrol method.
    As the Cub Scouts crossed the lake in canoes with the Boy Scouts, they were greeted by their Scoutmasters who presented the Scouts with their official troop neckerchief.
    Troop 66 Scoutmaster Marco Conners offered words of encouragement to his new Scouts.
    “We’re going to have a good time in this troop. Any issues, you come see me,” he told them.
    Conners said he has always had fun at the ceremony.
    “You get to see 11-year-old boys come in and over the course of five or six years, they’ll transition into young men, and it’s an amazing thing to watch,” he said.
    Page 2 of 2 - William Glaser, of Troop 66, said he was excited to finally be a Boy Scout.
    “I’m looking forward to kayaking and canoeing and archery the most because those are my favorite things to do,” Glaser said. “I thought (crossing the lake) was very fun, and I’m really happy to have this done.”
    Cairic Lex, of Troop 366, said it felt good to officially be a Boy Scout.
    “I’ve been going to this troop as a Cub Scout for a long time, so not that I’m actually a Boy Scout, it feels really good and I can join my brothers.”
    Cairic Lex’s older brother, Troop 366 Scout Cashel Lex, said he was looking forward to having his younger brother as part of the troop.
    “I could not be more proud, honestly,” Cashel Lex said. “I feel so happy for him.”
    Normally, boys can begin joining the Cub Scout ranks in first grade as a Tiger Cub and climb the ladder to Wolf, Bear, Webelos 1 and Webelos 2 before becoming a Boy Scout. However, beginning in August, boys can now begin as early as kindergarten as a Lion Cub, Groceman said.
    Though boys can join at any of the ranks, Groceman said it’s better to start from the beginning.
    “The ones that go through it have a leg up because they’re already familiar with the program and they already have those basic skills,” she said. “So, when they do their merit badges, which is more independent, they can do that.”
    Along with the new Cub Scout rank, in August girls will be able to join the Cub Scouts in preparation for adding girls to Boy Scout troops in two years.
    “We’re family-oriented so all the siblings are there anyways,” Groceman said. “It’s a big deal. They’re doing it at the national level because people want to stay as a family. The girls will earn all the (badges) just like their brothers.”
    Boy Scouts, ages 11-17, meet at 7 p.m. Mondays at Patch Community Center. For more information, contact Carol Gersema at cgersema@gmail.com, Conners at ftlvntroop66@gmail.com, Swienton at lilswede247@yahoo.com or Groceman at hendrixg42@hotmail.com.
  • Comment or view comments