By Shaun Szkolnik, for the Tribune
TRUSSVILLE — Local Cub Scouts had the opportunity for their achievements to be celebrated at a graduation ceremony held for Pack #216 at the Civitan Park Sunday, May 5.
The graduation, however, was only part of the event. While scouts were honored for their accomplishments, they were also encouraged as they advanced into the next set of adventures that scouting holds for them.
There were five arches set up, each one representing a different rank. The scouts entered through the arch representing their rank and exited the arch representing the new rank. The scoutmaster read their names, achievements, and they were presented with the accouterment of their new scouting status.
“In scouting, there is a long tradition of crossing the bridge from one rank to the next,” said Scoutmaster Robb Letts. “Typically, we leave crossover ceremony for our outgoing Arrow of Lights (the last rank in cub scouts) going into Boy Scouts. We do that as a separate thing in March so they can get acclimated to troop life before summer camp opportunities come up. Here we do our arches as kind of exiting one door and entering another door as the new chapter starts.”
Each of the arches was a different color, and each color represented one of the ranks.
“They’re specific to each rank,” said Letts. “In cubs, we have an orange for Tigers, gold for Lions, gold for Wolves, blue for Bears, red for our Webelos and our final Arrow of Light is the dark green.”
Scouting is an organization steeped in history and self-reliance. In accord with those two traditions, Pack #216 has developed a ceremony that is all its own.
“This is kind of our pack tradition,” said Letts. “Each pack has their own tradition behind things. This is something that many years ago was put together, and we really enjoy this kind of program. It is an opportunity for us to organize things a little bit where the kids know specifically ‘I’m entering this doorway and I’m going to stand in this doorway,’ so we get plenty of good photo opportunities and things of that nature for our families.”
For Letts, the parents and the scouts, the event is a source of pride in a job well done and anticipation for the future.
“It is a big sense of pride knowing you’ve delivered the program the way that it was supposed to be delivered and that your unit is 100% graduated out,” said Letts. “It is a great way to tell whether we’re meeting our Journey to Excellence guidelines.”