BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA

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Crossovers/Bridging for every rank?

Our pack has its AOL crossover ceremony in March, and the advancement ceremony for the other ranks in May. We reserve the Blue and Gold banquet to just be a celebration of Scouting. This schedule seems to work well for our pack, although I think we still have work to do to make the AOL crossover pack meeting more engaging for all the scouts.

In general, I think most of the scouts complete their rank requirements solely in their den meetings, and so the rank awards are presented at the May pack meeting. I am thinking, though, about suggesting we start awarding rank awards as the scouts earn them: 1) The earlier recipients could motivate the other scouts to complete their requirements and 2) it would possibly reduce the mad rush at the end to get everyone’s requirements completed and recorded.

We have an advancement ceremony at the end of the school year for all the rest of our cub scouts. Our pack has a script we have been using for years that involves face paint with the colors of their old and new ranks. We are looking for something to add for the Lions. They also get their new neckerchief and slide. The Webelos get a gift of similar value, usually something like a compass or pocket knife. I agree with you that I would not use the bridge except for the AOL crossover ceremony.

What a great bridge! Very colorful and fun. Any scout would love a chance to cross that! :slight_smile:

Here are a few I got when I posed the same question on Facebook.

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My short reply is celebrate everything… You are doing great!!! Webelos cross in Feb by themselves. It becomes a special event just for them. Everyone watches them have their moment. They go to Boyscouts with plenty of time to get to know the boys before summer camp and the Boyscouts have plenty of time to figure out who is going to camp and who isn’t (because some won’t).

My pack saves the Blue and Gold for April at the end of the school year. We have a big celebration with lots of food and a fun theme (this year was super hero) at our B&G bridging ceremony. Every parent is expected to sign up for something (Plates, plasticware, cupcakes, helping move tables, Decorating etc.) to lighten the load.

Most importantly… We bridge twice. Once for Webelos (Feb) - they get their special day. Once for everyone else (April). Every year the scouts look forward to crossing. It is a right of passage. You don’t get to cross a bridge every day! It also provides a great photo opportunity for the parents.

We do things a little different than others in our area, I think. We don’t award belt loops till the Pack meeting at the end of each month, then Blue and Gold is just a celebration of Scouting. We celebrate if they have gotten their rank by then, and we announce it, but they don’t officially go up until our May crossover, so they can still do electives. So we do Blue and Gold in Feb/Mar, AOL and Webelos going to the Troop do a ceremony around April over an actual bridge in our area, then in May we do crossover where each den going across our little bridge and the next den puts their neckerchiefs on, and so forth.

Very similar situation to when I started as CM, and we now handle it much like what you describe. We have a June picnic, there’s a ceremony for each grade the receive their new neckerchiefs and the incoming AOLs come up but just get a little speech about what’s to come.

This has been my first year as a den leader. In our pack, B & G is about awarding the rank patches and crossing over the AOL. This way we get to make a big fuss about all of our scouts. It does mean that the main rank requirements are done before the end of March. April and May are dedicated to working on electives. For crossover, we go on a weekend camping trip the first weekend of June which is where we hold the bridging ceremony. Our cubmaster removes the old neckerchief and slide the scout crosses the bridge to meet their Akeela who puts their new neckerchief and slide on. For those who can’t make it to camp, we present them with their new neckerchief at the last pack meeting of the year.

It may seem rushed to get the rank requirements done by the end of March but we have rarely had a scout not make rank before B & G. All their belt loops and webelo pins get handed out at the den meeting following completion.