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AOL Ceremony and younger Scouts

Our AOL Bridging Ceremony approaches. We expect the ceremony will last about 1.5 hours. Any thoughts on how to keep the younger scouts engaged during this event?

Wow, that is way too long, you will loose everyone’s attention. shorten it. 30 minutes will be the absolute maximum attention span for kids 6-10 1/2 years of age.


My kneejerk reaction is a lot like @kevinwindisch. What all are y’all doing in 90 minutes? Is that entire time “ceremony”, or are there other “things” going on? There might be places to break things up with an “activity” to keep everyone interested. Are there opportunities built-in for active participation by younger scouts? For example, if the dens were all “advancing” from their current level to the next, I could imagine some sort of ceremonial “passing of the torch” from each den to the next den behind them (e.g. former Webelos I replacing the Bear neckerchiefs with Webelos neckerchiefs, former Bears replacing the Wolf neckerchiefs with Bear neckerchiefs, etc). That sort of ceremonial involvement could actually keep the scouts “attentive”, and break up the monotony, but I suspect could require some practice. Generally, though, lower dens don’t transition until later in the year.

Our bridging usually takes 45 minutes to an hour, but that is from nominal start time to closing ceremony, and generally includes some brief (< 2-3 minutes each) remarks by the Cubmaster and bridging Webelos DL, presentation of recognition items (5-10 minutes), a ceremony performed by our local OA chapter (10-15 minutes), bridging to the troop(s) (10-15 minutes depending on how many scouts and troops are involved and how skillful they are with neckerchief/shoulder loop swap), and some closing remarks, with a colors ceremony on each end (usually the bridging Webelos presenting and the Webelos I retiring). And there’s always food. No one thing drags on for long before the next thing starts.


I agree that some understanding of the 90 minute agenda would better help us answer this question.


Shorten it. I don’t believe I have seen an Eagle Court of Honor last that long. And the longer Courts have been boring to me as an adult.


@PaulOlson, you should consider making it shorter.


We just did ours, and it ran about 45 min. That included remarks from our Cubmaster, recognition of departing den/pack leaders, presentation of hiking awards (a focus for our pack), a rope ceremony, our own AOL ceremony (this year we didn’t ask the OA to do it), and then bridging of 20 scouts. The only person with a speaking role was the Cubmaster, and we didn’t do things like bringing up parents with each AOL as they bridged. The rope ceremony included the 4th graders. But a primary motivator for the scouts appeared to be the refreshments at the end :slight_smile:

An hour or less is ideal, otherwise you lose the attention of both scouts and parents.

There’s no way the Crossover should take 90 minutes all by itself… In the past, I’d estimate our took may a half-hour, plus a minute or two for each Scout. We always did it with B&G, and then wrapped up with some entertainment afterwards. The whole shebang, including eating and the entertainment took maybe 2 hours…

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One thing to be aware of, this ceremony isn’t (just) for the Arrow of Light Scouts, it’s something to do to keep the youngest Scouts wanting to stay in and get the same award and cross the bridge themselves.

Kindergarteners have a 15-30 minute attention span.

If your ceremony is 45 minutes you’ve lost the interest of the future of your program. It’s boring and why would they go to something that’s boring?


Thanks All,

We have reduced the projected time to run between 45 minutes and an hour. We will have the younger scouts be part of the opening ceremony by leading the reciting of the Scout Oath and Scout Law and a lighting ceremony. Then for bridging, all non AOL Scouts will form a path for the AOLs to process. The Scouts will have their arms interlocked and will start with the Lions, then Tigers, Wolves, Bears, and finally Webelos to symbolize the long path that each AOL has experienced in his/her journey through Cub Scouts.


Now you’re talking. This should be a success. You have a reasonable time frame and have managed to involve the entire pack (with a real cool creative idea BTW) to keep the kids moving around.

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The credit for those ideas belongs to Cubmaster Bob Wheeler.

Well, Kudos to your entire pack leadership team

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