Re: Parts from a OA - Arrow of light ceremony
John Bemis (jbemis@CASS.MA02.BULL.COM)
Tue, 5 Mar 1996 11:46:46 -0500
Hi John, it is always a shock to see your name in print.
The text that we use is from the Algonquin Council Pow Wow Book, circa
1988. The Story of the Arrow is the myth of how man was given the
arrow as a reward. I will type it in, unless you can find another
source. The Seven great virtues of Life is from the Staging Pack and
Den Ceremonies. You can get that from the book.
We use this ceremony as our Spring Webelos-to-Scout Transition
membership project. We will be repeating it for the second time with
a few new wrinkles. We crossed over 52 Webelos Scouts to Boy Scouts,
keep parents and siblings quiet for 45 minutes. Our O/A principles do
an "awesome" job of speaking. We have had nothing but praise for the
event. This year, I expect that we may even double the number of cross
overs. My pack and another trainers pack will send 30+ Webelos to the
Arrow of Light Ceremony
Rewritten for the Quinsigamond District Webelos-to-Scout Crossover Ceremony May
1, 1995 by Larry Leonard and Jay Bemis.
Quinsigamond District Crossover
May 1, 1995 Trout Brook
Arrow of Light Ceremony Script
Note: The blue tabs and Webelos scarves will be removed from the boys and place
d in their pockets prior to the start of the ceremony. Registration must remind
parents so that they can remove
Note: As the opening ceremony starts, Webelos Scouts are assembled outside the
Council ring in an orderly manner with the escorts. The Webelos Scouts must be
able to see and hear the ceremony as it progresses.
Introduction: Order of the Arrow Pachachaug Lodge is the honor society of boy
scout campers. Each member is elected from their troop to recognize his willing
ness to provide service to his troop, council, and community. The lodge ceremon
ies team headed by Jeff Shanahan is providing their service to us this evening t
o recognize these Webelos Scouts and their accomplishment. Let the ceremony beg
Drum starts to beat. Slow tempo. Principles enter from the back, crossing over
the bridge from where the troop SM/SPL are standing.
Chief Akela enters the ceremony area, positions himself (NORTH) behind the counc
il fire and faces the audience with head bowed.
Medicine Man enters the ceremony area carrying a blanket. He places the blanket
in front of the council fire and positions himself with his back to the blanket
(EAST), facing the audience with his head bowed.
Guide enters the ceremony area and lights the Spirit of Scouting Candle by the A
rrow of Light Board. He positions himself on the west side of the ceremony area
(WEST), facing the audience with his head bowed.
Guard enters the ceremony area and positions himself on the other side of the ce
remony area (SOUTH), facing the audience with his head bowed.
When all are in position with their heads bowed the drum will continue to beat f
or a short time. When the drum stops, all will raise their heads. The chief wi
ll start the four winds.
The drum stops.
Chief Akela: (raises the coup stick) I am the North Wind. People say I am c
old, but to you I will always bring the warmest of winds because you have been t
rue-blue Cub Scout and Webelos Scouts, and have always lived up to the Law of th
Guard: (raises the dream catcher) I am the South Wind. I wish you good Scouti
ng. Over hill and dale I have carried stories of you and your experiences. As
Cub Scouts and Webelos Scouts, you have been happy, game, fair and a credit to y
our Den and Pack.
Medicine Man: (raises the arrow) I am the East Wind. I wish you well. I hav
e spread the story of your fun and happiness in Cub Scouting and how you lived u
p to the Cub Scout Promise and were fair and helpful.
Guide: (raises the bow) I am the West Wind. I would like everyone present to
know that these Webelos Scouts did not walk the Cub Scout Trail alone. Each had
the wonderful help of his parents. Parents, continue to help your boys to go a
Guard: Chief Akela, there are some among us worthy of the highest award in Cub
Scouting, the Arrow of Light.
Chief Akela: (tilts the coup stick towards Guard) My brother, seek them out
that are worthy of this award and bring them before our council fire.
Guard: It shall be done Chief Akela.
Drum beats slowly. Guard and escorts bring the Webelos Scouts into the circle,
moving clockwise, to form up behind Akela. He raises his right hand in the Cub
Scout sign. The drum stops. When all is ready, Akela speaks.
Teller 1: Webelos Scouts, listen to the story of the arrow.
Once, long ago, when all the animals of the earth were equal, there was
great unrest. The animals began to quarrel among themselves. The Bear quarrele
d with the Eagle, the Buffalo argued with the Indian. Finally, the wise old Gra
ndmother called the animals to her teepee and she spoke to them, saying, "You ha
ve argued among yourselves about many things. Now I will ask one question. You
will have one year to think about your answer. I will reward each of you accor
ding to the merit of your answer".
The animals became excited because they each thought it would be easy to
answer any question in a year's time. And besides, the old Grandmother was not
only wise, she was also generous with her rewards. Was it not the old Grandmot
her that had given grass to the fields and fruit to the trees.
"What is the question, Grandmother?" , they asked, and she said, "You mu
st answer me this. What is it your most important duty?" And with that they al
l left. The Eagle flew to the high mountain to think about the question. The B
ear returned to the deep forest. The Buffalo to the grassy plains. The Indian
returned to his campfire. They all began to think about their answer.
Teller 2: Thirteen moons later, they returned to the old Grandmother's tee
pee. Grandmother spoke first to the Eagle and said, "Eagle, what is your most i
mportant duty?". The Eagle replied, "My most important duty is to fly higher th
an anyone else.". Grandmother said, "For that answer, I will give you feathers
which will help you fly higher than anyone else." And the Eagle was very please
d with his gift.
Next, the Grandmother spoke to the Buffalo and said, "Buffalo, what is y
our most important duty?". The Buffalo replied, "My most important duty is to r
un further than anyone else.". Grandmother said, "For that answer, I will give
you thick hooves that will allow you to run further than anyone else." And the
Buffalo was very pleased with his gift.
The Bear replied, "My most important duty is to be stronger than anyone
else.". Grandmother said, "For that answer, I will give you sharp claws that wi
ll make you the strongest animal in the forest.". And the Bear was also pleased
with his gift.
Finally, the Indian arose and said, "Grandmother, my most important duty
is to help other." Grandmother said, " For that answer, I will give you this s
tick.". And when he saw the stick, the Indian was disappointed for he had thoug
ht long and hard about his most important duty. "Grandmother", he said, "why do
you give me a stick? Did my answer displease you?"
"Oh no", she said, "your answer pleased me greatly. All the others fel
t their most important duty was to themselves and they were rewarded accordingly
. But you have learned that the most important duty is to help others, and you
have been reward".
But Grandmother, what can I do with this stick?"
"This is more than a stick", she replied. "This is an arrow. With the
arrow you can shoot the strongest Bear, the fastest Buffalo, or the Eagle, no ma
ter how high he soars. He who would serve others is the strongest of all."
And then the Indian knew that this was the greatest gift of all and he w
The drum slowly starts after the story of the arrow is finished.
Guard walks to the side of the Arrow of Light board to light the candles with a
The drum stops.
Guard: These seven candles represent the rays in the Arrow of Light. As they a
re lighted, you will hear how they stand for the seven great virtues of life.
Akela states the first virtue with the remaining six rotating clockwise around t
he circle, each principle taking a turn says the name of the candle, while Guard
recites the script for the seven virtues.
Chief Akela: The first virtue is Wisdom.
Wisdom does not necessarily mean superior knowledge. It means putting t
he right use to the knowledge that one possesses.
Medicine Man: The second virtue is Courage. Courage is not the quality that e
nable men to meet danger without fear, it is being able to meet danger in spite
of one's fears.
Guard: The third virtue is Self-control. Self-control isn't limited to the con
trol of one's temper, but control of one's self in all things: eating, playing,
and even working and talking.
Guide: The fourth virtue is Justice. Justice is the practice of dealing fairly
with others without prejudice or regard to race, color or creed.
Medicine Man: The fifth virtue is Faith. Faith is the conviction that somethi
ng unproved by physical evidence is true. One eight-year-old Cub Scout said fai
th was when you turned the light switch, you knew the light would go on.
Guard: The sixth virtue is Hope. Hope means to expect with confidence. Always
hope for better things to come. A man without hope is of little good to himsel
f or his community.
Guide: The seventh virtue is Love. There are many kinds of love, love of famil
y, love of home, love of fellow man, love of God, and love of country. All thes
e loves are necessary for a full life.
Guard: You will find that if you live by the seven great virtues, you will beco
me a happy man, and a happy man is a successful man.
When Guard has finished, drum beats slowly, he return to his places by the counc
Chief Akela then explains the Arrow of Light badge.
Chief Akela: The Arrow of Light Badge is the only Cub Scout Award that can be
worn on the Boy Scout uniform. It serves as a link between our two programs an
d points the way toward the new adventures that you will have in Boy Scouting.
Medicine Man: "Scouting is a game in which elder brothers" like those Scouts (
point to them with the feather flag) "can give their younger brothers a healthy
environment and encourage them to healthy activities, such as will help them to
develop citizenship. It's strongest appeal is through Nature and Woodcraft. It
deals with the individual, not with the group. It raises intellectual as well
as purely physical or purely moral qualities. Happy citizenship, developed thr
ough impulse from within, rather than through impression from without, individua
l efficiency encouraged and then harnessed for the good of the community --that
is our scheme. And that, I trust is what you will be taught. I am hopeful that
you will go out from here and learn from these others, in and through Scouting
and by their personal examples of the Scouting principles." (BP RMS 1921)
Guide: You have found that there were many paths leading from your set course,
but your parents walked by your side, and your den leader held your hand as they
lead you along the correct path in Scouting until you learned how to choose the
right path among all the wrong trails. Remember always that your parents will
continue to help and assist you on your Scouting path.
Guard: Now that you have completed Cub Scouts, you are at the base of a great m
ountain, and you see before you just the beginning of the path up the Scouting t
rail. Soon you will cross this bridge into the wider world of Boy Scouting. Wi
th you will go your hopes and dreams, and as always your parents.
Chief Akela I wish you well as you begin this journey. Look for us along th
e path that you will take. For we also, seek for the Eagle. You have worked to
this point where you are about to become Boy Scouts. But, listen now to the wi
sdom of the winds.
Medicine Man: I am the spirit of the East Wind. I represent the common law, y
our duty to God and your country. Trustworthy, loyal, and helpful are the quali
ties which a man must possess who lives by the laws and the rules of this land.
See that we do not lose this great blessing of a lawful land.
Guide: I am the spirit of the West Wind. I represent the law of equity, your d
uty to country and to others; friendly, courteous, and kind are the laws that br
eathe of conscience. They create the atmosphere that comes from within your hea
rt. The desire for you always to be a friend to those of all ages. Courteous t
o those who pass along your trail. Don't live with the harmful spirit of unfrie
ndliness and selfishness.
Guard: I am the spirit of the South Wind. I represent the civil law, your duty
to others and to self. Obedient, cheerful, and thrifty are the characteristics
of civility. A life of cheerful obedience is necessary for the development of
a true citizen. Obedience is something everyone has to learn - to take orders a
nd carry them out cheerfully. Real thrift means earning, spending wisely, and s
aving, and to share with those less fortunate.
Chief Akela: I am the spirit of the North Wind, the most powerful of all. I
represent the divine law. Brave, clean, reverent. To be brave is to be unselfi
sh. To be clean in body and soul is to be pure at heart. Cast from your being
any evil spirit that tries to weaken or destroy the divine law, live a life of r
everence. Be brave and clean.
Drum starts beating slowly.
Guard walks over to the Arrow of Light and blows out the seven rays candles. (B
Medicine Man folds the blanket. (BOBCAT)
Guide walks over to the Spirit of Scouting candle and carefully blows it out. (
Guide takes the Spirit of Scouting candle to Chief Akela (WEBELOS) and returns t
o his spot.
The drum stops.
Each principle steps forward and addresses the Webelos Scouts. After the phrase
, he walk to the bridge removes Rank emblem/"Arrow of Light", places it on the b
ridge rail, walks across to Troop area, walks through a troop to "disappear" as
Medicine Man: Remember the common law.
Trustworthy. Loyal. Helpful.
Guide: Remember the law of equity.
Friendly. Courteous. Kind.
Guard: Remember the civil law.
Obedient. Cheerful. Thrifty.
Chief Akela: Remember the divine law,
the most powerful of all.
Brave. Clean. Reverent.
O/A Indian principles have all walked over the bridge, ending their portion of t
he ceremony. Each principle walks through a troop to "disappear".
Benediction: We now call upon the Great Spirit of all for His blessing on the
se young men. May these Scouts always strive to attain the noblest and highest
ideals in life. Be their strength and guide. Cause them to follow a straight t
rail and to never be a reason for other Scouts to waiver from the path. Protect
them for many moons to come. May the Great Master of all Scouts be with us unt
il we meet again.
This concludes the ceremony. Have a safe trip home.
Quinsigamond District Arrow of Light Recognitio
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City