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Arrow of Light Ceremony

[Enter the fire circle in darkness, following AKELA.  All silent.  AKELA starts the fire during the story of the legend of the Arrow of Light.]

Tonight we will be honoring several members of our Pack with the highest award in Cub Scouts, the Arrow of Light. Tonight, our campfire light reminds us of the light shone by the first Arrow of Light.  As our campfire grows, I will tell you the story of  Legend of the Arrow of Light:

The Legend of the Arrow of Light

Many years ago, when the Nations of the native Americans spread across this land, there was a boy of one tribe called Akela. Akela wished to be a warrior like the young men men, but no one would consider him so. "Little Akela, he is too young to join the hunt," they would say.  "Too slow to run with the Bobcat clan. Not clever enough to hunt with the Wolf clan. Such a young one is not strong enough to join the Bear clan." No matter how hard Akela worked, all ways were barred to him. But the Aged Chieftain of the tribe saw Akela differently than the rest. "The spirit of this young one burns brighter than the largest fire. Akela has served his brethren well for one of his age. The time will come when the tribe will need only that which Akela can give."

One night in the early in the Spring, on a night much like this night, a party of warriors was canoeing back to their village after a hunt. On this night, the fog rolled thick across the river. The fog was so heavy, the river path back to their village was hidden from view. The strong current in the main river path would soon sweep them far away from their village.  Another nearby fork in the river path led to a roaring chasm. The warriors did not know the safe path to take and were trapped. They were frightened and did not know what to do.

Akela had been practicing his hunting skills in the hills above the river and had seen the danger to the canoe. He wrapped an arrow in a skin, set it aflame, and shot it into the sky toward the safe river path. The warriors in the canoe saw the flaming arrow through the fog and followed it toward the safe river path and the village.

The warriors went to the Chieftain saying, "We were trapped on the river and the God of the Heavens sent an Arrow of Light through the sky to guide us." The Chieftain smiled and said, "The sign which led you to safety came not from the heavens but from one who you thought was too young to do anything." He brought Akela  forward to the surprise of the warriors.

"Akela has proved himself worthy to wear the name of warrior. He has aided his  brothers in their time of greatest need. Hereafter, all young members of our tribe shall become warriors only after meeting the challenges of the Arrow of Light. Let them each be filled with the spirit of Akela and follow his example of unselfish service to our brethren." And it was made so and carried through to the present day.

Tonight, we are continuing this tradition.  Our campfire has grown bright, like Akela's arrow of light.  Several of our Webelos Scouts will stand before us, ready to receive the Arrow of Light.


The Significance of the Arrow of Light Award

The Arrow of Light is the final and highest rank of Cub Scouting.  The arrow of light is much more difficult to obtain than any belt loop, or any activity badge, or even one of the other rank patches. To earn it a boy must be an active member of his Den and must have earned the Webelos Rank. He must have earned the Fitness, Readyman, and Citizen Activity Badges and at least five others. He must know the Boy Scout Oath and Scout Law from memory as well as the Boy Scout slogan, motto, sign and salute. He must have participated in a Webelos overnight campout or a Webelos day hike. He must have visited a Boy Scout troop with his den and taken part in a boy scout outdoor activity.  The Arrow of Light is one of the most significant achievements in Scouting. When you become a Boy Scout, you continue to wear the Arrow of  Light on your uniform. When you become an adult leader, you wear a square knot which represents the Arrow of Light on your uniform.

This is a truly special occasion for our Pack, because the scouts we are honoring tonight are showing the way for all of the other boys in the Pack.  We are honoring their parents too, because they have been Akelas for their sons, for our Webelos Den, and for our Pack.

The Meaning of the Arrow of Light Symbol

BEAR LEADER (refering to the Arrow of Light poster): 
The Arrow of Light emblem, on the poster and on the patches we are about to award you, is made up of an arrow which points the way to a good life and a rising sun which symbolizes the constant new challenges provided by Scouting and by life itself.  The rising sun itself has seven seven rays, each symbolizing a virtue necessary for a good life.

     [AKELA lights the first torch] 
     This first ray represents Wisdom. Having wisdom doesn't mean that a person is 
     smarter than others. It means that he uses what he knows to live a better life.

     [AKELA lights the second torch] 
     This ray represents Courage. Courage does not mean you have no fear of 
     danger. It means that you can face danger despite your fear.

     [AKELA lights the third torch] 
     The third ray stands for Self Control. Self Control means being able to stop when 
     you have had enough of something and being able to choose your own path 
     instead of merely following others.

     [AKELA lights the fourth torch] 
     The fourth ray stand for Justice. Justice means being fair with others we play and 
     work with, regardless of who they are.

     [AKELA lights the fifth torch] 
     The fifth ray represents Faith. Faith includes belief in God, and in things we 
     cannot see, but feel are true.

     [AKELA lights the sixth torch] 
     The sixth ray represents Hope. Hope means to look forward to good things you 
     believe will happen. You hope for better things tomorrow, but at the same time 
     you work hard today to make them happen.

     [AKELA lights the seventh torch] 
     The seventh and last ray of the sun of the arrow of light symbol stands for 
     Love. There are many kinds of love. Love of family, home, fellow men, God, and 
     country. Every kind of love is important for a full and happy life.

By living by these seven virtues you will lead a full and happy life. You will be ready to shoulder responsibilities of leadership and citizenship as young men. Your example will be a model to all of us. In achieving the Arrow of Light, you have shown us your commitment to live by these virtues.

Presentation of Awards

CUB MASTER [Calls the awardees to stand and face the audience] : 
Now we will present the awards.  As we present the award to each scout, we'll ask him to tell us a memorable event or activity he participated in as a Cub Scout, or for advice for the younger scouts.  We'll also recall one thing, of the many things, that we as leaders wish to honor in his participation in our Pack. Then the parent will pin the award to his uniform.

[CUBMASTER  presents award to each scout, congratulating scout and parents.] 
You've completed all the requirements for your Arrow of Light badge and have completed the Cub Scout trail, and you are ready to go on to new challenges as a Boy Scout. [Ask scout for his best memory or advice, and offer leader's recollection]  It is our pleasure to award your Arrow of Light badge to your parents, who have been your Akela. Parents please award this badge to your son and congratulate him on a 'Job Well Done'. [Present the parents with the Arrow of Light badge. Parents pin it on the boys.]

You are now Arrow of Light Scouts. Congratulations! Yours is a splendid achievement!  We are all tremendously proud of you.

WEBELOS LEADER invites all earlier Arrow of Light Scouts to join the new Arrow of Light Scouts: 
Arrow of Light Scouts, please stand at attention, salute your audience and recite the Boy Scout Oath and Boy Scout Law in unison. 
          On my honor I will do my best: 
             To do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; 
             To help other people at all times; 
             To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight. 
          A Scout is: 
             Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, 
             Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, Reverent

Scouts and families of Pack 521, lets congratulate our first ever Arrow of Light Scouts by giving them the longest, loudest Wolf Howl ever heard in these woods!!!

[AKELA passes the torch to a new Arrow of Light Scout, who leads the group in silence away from the ceremony fire.]