Five earned the highest achievement in Cub Scouts, the Arrow of Light, before bridging over to join Scouts BSA Troop 334.
It was a night of explosions and fire.
On Friday, May 19, 2023, in Westminster Hall of Leverington Chruch, Cub Scout Pack 334 held its annual Blue and Gold celebration. There was music and food, a slideshow, traditions and ceremony, a few tears, big words, roaring laughter, and many awards. By the end, five Cub Scouts, who had been with Pack 334 for years, earned their Arrow of Light and bridged to become Scouts in Troop 334.
Organized by the Leadership of Pack 334, the annual event included all Cub Scouts in the Pack, parents, family, and friends. The room was packed, spirits were high, and the candles were bright.
Setup & Welcome
The setup crew started arriving around 4:00 p.m. to turn the hall at Leverington Church into a magical space festooned with blue and gold decorations. Committee Treasurer Jeff Wong and Jim McHale got to work on the grills to have the food hot and ready, and when one of the grills failed, Jeff and Jim were resilient as ever; backup plans were created on the fly, and dinner was ready with just the briefest of delays.
By 6:30 p.m., families started to arrive and were greeted with a slideshow and music prepared by Den Leader Sarah Winchowky. As the food came off the grill, families were able to fill their plates and sit together to enjoy a BBQ-style dinner while the slideshow played on the big screen.
Around 7:20 p.m., the formal portion of the evening began with Assistant Cubmaster Kym Williams leading all in the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by Cubmaster Adrian Hoppel conducting a candle-lighting ceremony for the Scout Law using the “Scout alter” that Troop 334 has used for special events for many decades.
Cubmaster Adrian and Assistant Cubmaster Kym guided the Pack through the program, which was interspersed with a “commercial” from Den Leader Sarah asking for more parent involvement, a “commercial” from Den Leader Ken reviewing our big plans for next year, and a special announcement from Assistant Cubmaster Kym. Although it was a serious night, Assitant Cubmaster Fury Colubriale kept things fun and lighthearted with various dramatic gadgets and contraptions, starting with an air-powered confetti cannon.
Awards and Recognition
The awards included trophies for success at this year’s Pinewood Derby, both required and elective Adventure awards, and even some extraordinary awards earned by Ezra W. (Shooting Sports Award for Archery and BB Gun for Bear Scouts, and Cub Scout World Conservation Emblem). Cubmaster Adrian also had all the adult volunteer leaders step forward to receive a certificate of appreciation.
After awards were handed out, we had a moment of ranking up for each Den. One den at a time was called up to stand behind their flag, Scouts along with their parent/adult, and as their current den flag was replaced by their new den flag, their parent/adult removed their current neckerchief and replaced it with their new den neckerchief.
Next, our oldest den came forward with their parent/adult, and each scout was awarded the highest achievement in Cub Scouts, the Arrow of Light. The Arrow of Light is the culmination of the Cub Scout Advancement Trail and is the only rank or award earned in Cub Scouts that can be worn as a member of Scouts BSA.
As Leadership reorganized the stage for our main event, Assistant Cubmaster Fury entertained the room with his air-powered hand-shaped balloon explosions.
Finally, with all awards and achievements recognized, it was time to bid farewell to our oldest Cub Scouts and cheer them on as they undertook the ceremony to become Scouts BSA Troop 334 members.
With their parent/adult, each Cub Scout had their neckerchief and shoulder loops removed, then crossed a bridge on the stage, and was received on the other side by Scoutmaster David Craighead and Assistant Scoutmaster Bill Dunn, who placed on their new Scouts BSA neckerchief and shoulder loops.
Once all five Cub Scouts became BSA Troop 334 members, it was time for cake!
As is tradition, Assistant Cumaster Fury set up a display on top of the cake to demonstrate fire safety while camping, resulting in half the cake being burned away.
We were, however, prepared for this outcome, thanks to a helpful reminder from Assistant Cubmaster Fury’s wife, Cheryl, about how his cake presentation often ruins a bit of the cake; we followed her advice and had four dozen freshly made blue and gold cupcakes and lots of other treats on standby.
After some closing remarks from Cubmaster Adrian and Scoutmaster Dave, as well as the Scoutmaster’s Benediction given by Scoutmaster Dave, we were about to end the night when Assistant Cubmaster Fury reminded us all that we still had some “paperwork” to do…
The Scouting Trail is a Circle
The celebration was a great end to a great year of Scouting. We wish our five departing Cub Scouts all the best as they go forward on the Trail to Eagle. We will miss them, we will remember them, and our freshly minted Arrow of Light Den will work hard to follow in their footsteps.
Scouting is about tradition, and Blue and Gold is a great tradition in Cub Scouts, a bittersweet night that bids farewell to Cub Scouts who are ready for bigger challenges while recognizing younger scouts as they move up.
Many of our leaders once completed their own bridging ceremony as Cub Scouts and then earned their Eagle Scout as Boy Scouts, then returned to give back to Scouting as adult volunteers. We hope to see the same from these young Scouts as they continue on the Scouting trail.
The circle of Scouting continues.
— Adrian Hoppel, Cubmaster, Pack 334
Note: a special thank you to all of the adult volunteers who worked with me to help to make this past year so special, including Ken Carmichael, Fury Colubriale, Dave Craighead, Bill Dunn, Janet McHale, Jim McHale, Jason Ovens, Kym Williams, Sarah Winchowky, and the heart and soul of Pack 334, Jeff Wong.