Although I’ve been in scouting for over 30 years, it’s been about 25 since I’ve been involved at the Pack level. Now that Cub Scouts is accepting girls, We’re nearing the end of our first season in the pack. This pack didn’t let me off easy after hearing my extensive history. They recruited me as committee chair right away.
Anyhow, this pack is currently a smaller pack. I’d say it’s in a regrowth phase. There is nobody around that’s been in the pack for more than a few years. So the sense of history and tradition is very short, and there are many places where it’s obvious that some of the big picture stuff is happening.
This pack had a tradition of doing crossovers at blue and gold in February. And they didn’t cross over just the Webelos, they crossed everyone over to the next rank. This didn’t sit right with me. It felt weird advancing or “graduating” scouts to the next rank in the middle of the program year. They’ve barely had one month to work on each of the required adventures. (and that means only one meeting per loop, but that’s another problem for another thread) Not to mention, in CS, the rank advancement is more about age level than individual achievement anyhow. So I put a stop to that and moved the advancement to the end of the program year with the exception of the Webelos. Their program really is done by February and it makes sense to cross them over to the troop at that point. This doesn’t prematurely put them at the next rank since there’s no grade level rank association at the troop level.
So we did the B&G in February and acknowledged achievements for every scout, and crossed over the AOLs to the troops, but we made sure to skip the premature advancement ceremony for everyone else and defer that to the last pack meeting of the year. That’s now coming up next week and we’re now figuring out what it should look like.
The cubmaster is still thinking of it as a crossover/bridging ceremony. I guess it’s a matter of perception. But I don’t think it should be a crossover/bridging and include an actual bridge, and a fancy ceremony with with a fabricated storyline. This is just an advancement. Yes they get to stand in front of everyone and get presented the rank badge, and a new neckerchief.
IMO, the crossover/bridging and special ceremony should be reserved for the AOL to Scout transition. That keeps it as something special that they look forward to. Doing the big fancy ceremony for every rank waters down the experience for everyone.
Next, the Webelos don’t get a new neckerchief as they transition to their second year. Do you think they need to be given something besides just the rank badge?
I’ll remind you that this pack is in a state of transition and growth. This is a good time to fix things for the better because there aren’t a lot of people here who would notice that it’s different than previous years and complain about it
So I’m looking for opinions. What should the end of year advancement ceremony look like?