• Cub Scouts become Boy Scouts in crossover

  • Sixteen Webelo Cub Scouts crossed over into the Scouts BSA ranks during a ceremony March 4 at Patch Community Center.

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  • Katie Peterson | Staff Writer
    After officially receiving their Arrow of Light badge — the highest rank in Cub Scouts — at the Blue and Gold banquet March 2, 16 Webelo Cub Scouts crossed over into the Scouts BSA ranks during a ceremony March 4 at Patch Community Center.
    “The journey continues for each of these Scouts. Tonight, they will take their first step on the trail toward Eagle Scout — a step that begins by crossing over to the BSA Scouts,” said Pack 1 Cubmaster Eric Noell, who served as the ceremony narrator. “On the other side of this first journey, Scouts from Troops 66, 366 and 167 wait to greet them as both recipients of the Arrow of Light and as Scouts.
    “They begin here, a shift to a Scout-led organization. An organization that has produced some of the greatest leaders of our time,” he said. “For (more than) 100 years, the Boy Scouts of America have stood for the 12 attributes outlined in the Scout Law.”
    By the end of the ceremony, 10 joined Troop 366, five joined Troop 66 and one joined Troop 167.
    “(Gaining new Scouts) is awesome because this is the next generation as we continue to keep the tradition going, and those boys that were new last year are no longer the newest ones, and they’ll be passing on what they’ve learned,” said Troop 366 Scoutmaster Mike Swienton. “That’s what it is all about. It is a boy-led troop.
    “Most troops have what is called the patrol method, and so they grow from within. Adults, while we’re there for safety … (the boys) are really the ones running the show,” he said. “So, from each Scout from the newest to the oldest … they have to be leading their groups, whether they’re in patrols or if they’re in a requisite position on the troop level staff. They’re learning. They’re getting a great head start into how organizations work.”
    Troop 66 Scoutmaster Marco Conners said adding new Scouts is a great opportunity for the troop and the Scouts themselves.
    “New Scouts, which is always good for an organization, their lights are turned on, they’re motivated, they’re enthusiastic, and we’re happy they’re part of the Boy Scout program,” Conners said. “They will have the opportunity to learn how to lead others and to learn how to lead themselves without parents hovering over them. It is akin to going from middle school to high school. So, it is a big step for them.”
    Conners said he expects a lot out of the older Scouts in his troop now that the new Scouts have joined.
    Page 2 of 3 - “One of the principle Scout Laws is the Scout is friendly,” Conners said. “I want them to mentor them and to remember when they were a new Scout, what it felt like to be new to an organization, and then learn how to welcome them and make them feel immediately a part of the troop.”
    Scout Zac Hoad, Troop 66 assistant senior patrol leader, said he felt a need to welcome the new Scouts into the troop.
    “(The ceremony) reminds me of when I went in because when I went in, I was nervous and I had no idea what was going on and didn’t know anyone,” Hoad said. “So, as an older Scout, seeing it, I know now what is going on. So, I feel the need to welcome them to the troop and make them feel at home because that’s what I wanted when I was younger.”
    Hoad, who has been in Scouts for five years, said he felt he had things to offer the new Scouts.
    “One, I can make sure they don’t make the same mistakes I did because I know going through Scouting, I made a lot of mistakes that I learned from, and I’m making sure they don’t make those mistakes,” he said. “Then, I feel like the only thing I can give them with my experience is just skills they can actually use in real life, like first aid and fire starting, which is essential for surviving on their own.”
    Eagle Scout Jeremy Dembowski, Troop 366, who has been in Scouts for nine years, said he, too, felt he had something to offer the new Scouts.
    “The best thing I can offer them is the perspective of someone who has been through all of the tough times,” Dembowski said. “There was a period where I hated Scouts altogether. I didn’t want to come, I didn’t want to do anything involved with Scouts. Now, I dedicate 45 percent of my time to this troop, to Scouts in general, just to show them that the perspective does change.
    “The whole dynamic as a troop, as a person, you get to learn how to do different things, and you learn a lot about yourself, too,” he said. “So, I think I can personally tell them that it gets better in the troop and in turn, it helps you cope with life in general because if you focus here, out there is a little bit easier.”
    New Scouts Carson Drake, Troop 366, and Wyatt Grindle, Troop 66, said they were excited to join Scouts BSA.
    “While I’m here, I’m looking forward to meeting the other Boy Scouts, meeting new people and doing activities with the others,” Drake said. “I feel Scouts will help me when I go to college and it would help me get into certain colleges.”
    Page 3 of 3 - “You get that feeling of nervousness, but you also get that feeling of joy that you’re moving on in your life and that you can become great,” Grindle said of the crossover ceremony. “I heard that some of the people that make big changes actually came from this and that’s a big thing for me, to make big changes for the world from one tiny, little place.”
    Scouts BSA, for youths ages 11-17, meets at 7 p.m. Monday nights at Patch. For more information, contact Troop 66 at ftlvntroop66@gmail.com, Troop 366 at troop366ftlvn@gmail.com, Cub Scout Pack 1 (kindergarten through fifth-grade) at Pack1ftleavenworth@gmail.com or all-girl Troop 166 at troop166@ftlvn@gmail.com.
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