Katie Peterson | Staff Writer
Beth Hausauer, Cub Scouts Pack 1 leader, told a story from Scouting lore to 17 Arrow of Light Scouts before they made their transition from Cub Scouts to Scouts BSA during a crossover ceremony Feb. 27.
“Beyond the top (of a high mountain) are the peaks of the Scouts BSA program that must be met and climbed to reach the shining sea of adulthood,” Hausauer said.
In shifts to comply with COVID-19 social distancing precautions, the new Scouts began their journey at Main Parade and then walked to Zais Park where they received their new neckerchiefs. After reciting the Scout Oath, they were led by their Scout leaders down Grant Avenue and Pope Avenue to Patch Community Center, hearing about the 12 points of the Scout Law along the way — trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent. Reaching their destination, they were met and welcomed by their Troop Scoutmasters.
“This is a significant moment for the Scouts moving from Cub Scouts into the Scouts BSA program,” said Gary Rowley, Troop 366 Scoutmaster. “My main hope for them is that they will continue to grow and lead, and they’ll enjoy Scouting as they always have before; that they’ll bond and make new friendships with the older boys here that will carry them through a lifetime.”
Troop 366 welcomed two new Scouts.
“I want to inspire (the new Scouts),” said 15-year-old Ethan Herken, Troop 366 senior patrol leader. “While I may not do great things, if I can help these guys do great things then that’s what I want to do.”
Troop 66 welcomed nine new Scouts.
“(The crossover ceremony) is a rite of passage for a Cub Scout to transition to a Boy Scout,” said Dave Grindle, Troop 66 Scoutmaster. “I want them to get integrated into the troop as a family and then just learn and grow and become good stewards of the community and embrace the Scout Law and the Scout Oath.”
Eagle Scout Alex Weiss, Troop 66 senior patrol leader, said he hopes the new Scouts feel welcome in the troop.
“I want them to have a good time,” Weiss said. “I want to teach them leadership.”
All-female Troop 166 welcomed four new Scouts.
“(Welcoming new Scouts each year) shows that people are still enjoying the program and the positiveness of the program and the outcomes of it,” said Sarah Groefsema, Troop 166 Scoutmaster. “It recognizes that Scouts BSA really does follow its mission statement of bringing up young adults to make good decisions and become good leaders.”
Eliza Resch, Troop 166 acting senior patrol leader, said she’s excited to get to know the new Scouts.
“I hope to be able to teach them to be leaders, to be independent, take hold of their lives and be able to help people even if they don’t need it sometimes,” Resch said.
The new Scouts had different reasons why they were excited to join Scouts BSA.
“My brother mentions a lot of awesome games,” said new Troop 366 Scout Andrew Nance, 11. His brother, 13-year-old Billy Nance, Troop 366, welcomed him into the troop by tying his neckerchief. “I’ve been excited about (Scouts BSA) ever since I became an (Arrow of Light).”
New Troop 66 Scout Foster Merrill, 10, said he was excited for the camping trips and new opportunities.
“(Crossing over to Scouts BSA) feels cool because it’s moving on into something else,” he said.
New Troop 166 Scout Emma Herlihy, 11, said it felt good to officially be in Scouts BSA.
“I’m excited about getting to be outside and spending time with other people,” she said.