Arrow of Light and Crossover Cub Scout Ceremonies

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Boys who are in their final two years of Cub Scouts are called Webelos, which stands for "We'll Be Loyal Scouts." During their last year, Webelos may participate in two important Cub Scout ceremonies--the Arrow of Light ceremony and the Crossover (or Bridging) ceremony.

The Arrow of Light is the highest rank in Cub Scouts. This rank's activities focus on those that develop skills that the boys will need when they become Boy Scouts.

The Webelos learn how to set up a tent without the help of an adult. They demonstrate that they know how to tie knots such as the square knot or bowline knot. They show that they know how to safely use a pocketknife. They also learn about the Boy Scout patrol method and memorize the Scout Oath and Law.

Because of this preparation for Boy Scouts, the Arrow of Light patch is the only one that the boys can wear on their Boy Scout uniforms.  It is a symbol that they came from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts equipped with the knowledge they need.

A boy can only join Boy Scouts when he is 11 or when he has completed fifth grade. However, if he has earned the Arrow of Light rank, he may join Boy Scouts as a 10-year-old. When the Webelos join the Boy Scout troop, it is called "crossing over" or "bridging." Many Scoutmasters (who lead the Boy Scout troops) prefer that the new boys crossover in March or April.

This gives the Webelos an opportunity to get used to the troop and get prepared to attend summer camp.  

Some Cub Scout packs hold their Arrow of Light and Crossover ceremonies at the same time. But this doesn't give the Webelos an opportunity to show off his new status as an Arrow of Light recipient to the younger boys in the pack.

Because of this, some packs prefer to have the two ceremonies about a month or so apart.  

Arrow of Light Ceremony

There is a myriad of Arrow of Light ceremonies. One good source for them is this archived website. A pack may choose to devise its own ceremony. Often, packs or Cub Scout parents will present the Arrow of Light recipient with a plaque and/or a ceremonial arrow. The arrows can be striped with vinyl adhesive, paint or thread wrapped around the shaft to indicate the Webelos' advancement through Cub Scouts.  Some people refer to the arrows as "career arrows."    

During the ceremony, the boys will receive their Arrow of Light patch. They may also be given a small pin with the Arrow of Light insignia on it. The boys then present the pins to one of their parents, usually their mother.

Crossover or Bridging Ceremony

Crossover is a significant event for a Cub Scout and his family as it marks the completion of their Cub Scout journey and the start of their Boy Scout journey. There are many Crossover ceremonies online too.  The US Scouting Service Project is a great resource for them.

In addition to the pack Cubmaster, the Scoutmaster and some Boy Scouts from the troop that the Webelos is joining will be involved in the ceremony.

The Cubmaster will give the boys words of encouragement for their new journey and will say goodbye to them. The Scoutmaster and Boy Scouts welcome them to their new Scouting home.

In many Crossover ceremonies, a small wooden bridge is used. After the Cubmaster speaks, the Webelos will walk across the bridge to symbolize their crossover into Boy Scouts. The ceremony may also include removing the Webelos neckerchief and replacing it with a Boy Scout neckerchief.