Webelos 2 Cub Scouts Cross-Over to Boy Scouts in Time Honored Ceremony

Left to right: Hudson DePriest, William McIver, Joseph Footer, Bernie Yost, Ethan Barnard, and Max Cassidy.

By Jarod Farn-Guillette

 

Scouting in Calais is on an upswing. After years of dwindling numbers and low attendance, Troop 132 has a full roster of new Boy Scouts. Recently, on Wednesday the 26th, the local Webelos 2 Den, representing the last and final stage in cub scouting, “crossed-over” to become full fledged boy scouts. The ceremony, full with pageantry and ceremony, conveys a strong message of growth and progress into young manhood. Webelos 2 Den leader Ray Smale, who for the longest time, also served as the leader for the last two remaining boy scouts in Calais, Bernie Yost and Brendon Treadwell, as a combined group, will no longer have to split meetings between the two. With the addition of the other six boys and their two older comrades, scouting in Calais is on its way to reviving enrollment levels of years past. 

At the ceremony each boy was accompanied by a parent or guardian, where they walked over a bridge that symbolizes a transition into a new phase of their scouting life. While they walk over the bridge the scout  calls out with each step, the twelve laws of scouting. For those unfamiliar with scouting, each scout must memorize and practice in all walks of life being, trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent. Upon crossing to the other side of the bridge, their cub scout neckerchiefs and Cub Scout Handbooks are removed and the accompanying parent then ties on their new neck wear and hands them their new Boy Scout Handbook. Each scout is then awarded the “Arrow of Light” badge. This badge is the only one they are permitted to wear on their new scout uniforms as boy scouts. In honour of the den's extra hard work and effort on their journey to becoming full fledged boy scouts, each boy was also awarded an actual arrow hand-made by a Navajo fletcher, mounted and engraved with their name and date of ending their cub scout journey and beginning a new adventure in life – as a boy scout. 

The new scout hall, located on Scouting Way, will serve as their home base for this adventure. With growing numbers and the ever increasing and changing demands of scouting today, the troop outgrew their old digs on Calais Avenue, now the Mike McPherson Skate Park. Though the building is framed in, there is still a long way to go until full completion. Hopefully the new boys will grow into their new scouting home and the home will grow with them. Scouting provides a lot for a community, by dedication to service and more importantly instilling positive values in boys at an impressionable age. Considering all the other distractions that can sway a young person in a dangerous trajectory along their life's journey, scouting does much by the way of helping develop character and in turn a stronger Calais. 

The ceremony held at Washington County Community College, represents more than just a rite of passage for the boys, in many ways it symbolizes the positive potential future our piece of Maine. Hopefully, next year's cohort will be able to utilize the scout hall, as a finished building. If you know any young boys aged 6 to 18 interested in joining scouting, or would like to contribute to scouting in Calais, contact Troop 132 through their Facebook page.