may also want to use the MacScouter's
Campfire Planning resources.
Van Houten One of our discussion prior
was on 'When boys move to next level'. I'm putting together the final prepartions
of our graduation ceremony now, so I thought I'd share it with you.
First of all, other
than the Webelos Crossing Over Ceremony, which is held in March, we keep
boys in their respective dens/tiger cub groups until June 1 (irregardless
of what Council/national does with our membership roster). We started
this tradtion last year and have found the boys are in exciting anticipation
for this years event. We have TWO graduation campfires. One which addresses,
graduation from Tigers/Wolfs to the next level, and the other for Bears/Webelos-1
to their next level! We've reserved one of our local Day Camps for the
setting. It's a VERY NICE camp, with a gathering area, and a long trail
with a long suspention bridge over a creak that leads to a meadow 'Campfire'
area. Our campfire is as follows:
1. Gathering of all boys
in the upper area -- I'll lead two songs to get them in the spirit,"If
you're Happy and you know it - clap your hands" and "Swiss Boy" (This
is a favorite and we only do it at this campfire.)
2. After the songs, I
give a brief instruction that we're about to be called into the campfire
area. We will proceed in line, boys first, parents follow. They should
maintain quiet and observe the surrounding nature as we approach the campfire
3. I signal my Assistant
CM, who blows an Elk Horn. This is in return, answered by another Elk
horn, blown from the Meadow. And in the distance we hear the tomtom begin
4. I lead the boys down
the path, across the bridge, down the trail into the campfire bowl, where
we wait until everyone has arrived.
5. I stand with the fire
between me and the boys and declare that because last years campfire was
so special and meaningful, I've saved the ashes to spread on this years
fire. I entice the boys to help me light the fire with their Scout Spirit
as I spread the ashes on the fire. [Actually the ashes are 'Granular Cholrine,
being spread into a container of Pine-Sol. The result being lots of white
smoke and a flame flair, which will start the fire. It is very impressive
if done correctly and with spirit.]
6. After the fire has
started we do a action song. Something along the line of Zulu Chief, or
"Robert Baden Powell-Had Many Scouts".
7. Cheer -- From our 'Cheer
8. Skit -- This year's
skit will be presented by a group of Boy Scouts whom have graduated from
9. Action Song -- Malo.
10. Cheer -- From our
11. Story -- The story
this year is about 'Scout Spirt' I use a large gallon jar, filled 3/4
with fine dirt, and a ping pong ball. When I turn it upside down the ping
pong ball is on the bottom. The ping pong ball is a Scout. As I talk about
the virtues of Scouting I slightly Shake the jar. Within a few shakes
(about one minute of talking) the ping pong ball appears at the top of
jar having overcome the great weight of the dirt. The moral of the story
focuses on that the the virtues of Scouting overcomes all that is dumped
12. Award ceremony --
This is the first year we've included major award presentations (ie. Wolf,
Bear, Webelos, etc.) and that is because we lost the school for our last
13. Graduation Ceremony.
Each group is called up around the fire - They are congratulated for for
being a part of Scouting and for continuing along Akela's trail. The Tiger
Ceremony is really beefed up to include presentation of certificate, pin,
patch and segment, then the presentation of their Wolf Scarf and book.
The Wolf, Bear ceremony includes removal of the old scarf and presentation
of the new, along with the book. Webelos-1 to Webelos-2 includes the presentation
of a new Slide. It's one of those Safety Pin Indian Bonnet's made by one
of our mothers (very nice).
14. After the Graduation
Ceremony, we sing 'Mm Mm I want to linger"
15. I call all boys to
circle the campfire in a friendhsip circle, with parents standing behind
the boys. Standing in the middle I offer up the following closing remarks:
Wood smoke at
eventide smoothes the soul
and makes an easy ladder for a prayer.
May the smoke of this fire
carry your thoughts Heavenward
and make your hearts strong for good scouting.
16. We than close the
campfire with singing 'Cub Scout Vespers'. After the first verse, we break
the friendship circle and my Assistant CM leads the boys back up the trail,
over the bridge to the upper camp area. As they are leaving the campfire
area we hum the Cub Scout vespers tune.
This graduation leaves
a very momentous reminder in the minds of the boys! Many of the boys who've
graduated recall the graduation campfire as one of those times they liked
about Cub Scouting. Hope your campfires are as memorable.
An AOL and
Crossover Ceremony for a Campfire
Our troop "our" pack have
a combined ceremony at a campout where the Webelos receive the "Arrow of
Light" and crossover into the troop . The "arrows" are made by the Webelos
and mounted on a plaque and is given to them by their parents and WDL. A
Boy Scout leader comes dressed in Indian chief attire as Chief White Wolf
who is Akela's representative to this campout. At the campfire the Webelos
are given the "arrow of light", their shoulder loops are changed from blue
to red and they cross a wooden bridge from their den leaders and parents
over to the Troop at the other side and then they spend the night camping
with the Boy Scouts apart from the parents (not too far)!
We pretty much only recruit
from this one pack. This ceremony has become a tradition in our community
and is attended by almost everyone in the pack and the Troop--it's only
a one night campout, very easy to plan, and could be done indoors if you
do not live in southern California where we camp all year round.
--Thanks to Larry Ashbacher