A Bridging Ceremony from Troop 6, Colonial Virginia Council
Posted On: 2019-10-02
A darkened room, a single candle burning on a table. The Webelos Scouts (their parents behind them) are lined up near the Scoutmaster who is standing beside the flame.
SM: "The flame you see before you represents the Flame of Knowledge. You Webelos Scouts who are bridging over to Boy Scouts have shown me that you bring with you a hunger for Knowledge. The Scouting program offers you a special kind of knowledge that will serve you well as you walk the sometimes difficult Road to Manhood."
SM takes up another candle from the table where the Flame of Knowledge sits and holds it near the Flame but does not light it yet.
SM: "The Flame of Knowledge never goes out as long as there are people who are willing to seek knowledge. It burns eternally in the mind of Humankind as a beacon, casting it's rays to guide us as we seek a higher level of understanding or our world."
SM lights candle, saying: "This candle represents a Youth who seeks knowledge. Each of you Webelos here with me tonight is that Youth."
SM hands the newly-lit candle to the nearest Webelos Scout, saying: "You have sought to continue building upon your Scouting knowledge by finding a Boy Scout Troop that will help you gain your ample portion of this special knowledge. Take custody of the Flame." [Places candle in the>closest boy's hand.] "Hold this sacred Flame for a moment and then transfer this Flame to the next Webelos Scout. Hand it around from boy to boy until it reaches the last one of you in line who will return it to me."
As the Flame is transferred from Scout to Scout, the SM continues talking to the assembly, saying: "Knowledge, once gained, must be shared. Each Boy Scout must pass on to other Scouts what he has learned. As you grow more experienced in Scouting, we will ask you to begin to return to Scouting some of what you have received from it. Work diligently as you pass down your Trail to Eagle Scout and you will learn much that you can share with the others who come after you. Remember, you will receive from Scouting only what you put into it. I challenge you to work hard so that you will have much to give back."
When the candle has made it's way back to the SM, he places the second candle in a holder that was placed well away from the original Flame. After a moment, he blows out the second candle. NOTE: The Flame of Knowledge is left burning as long as possible.
SM: "See how easily that Youth's Flame was extinguished by the Breeze of Laziness? Don't let Laziness extinguish the Flame of Knowledge that burns in your own mind. Cherish your Flame by doing your best, by asking questions when you don't understand, and by living up to the Scout Oath and Law." [Pause for effect.] "But, notice how the Flame of Knowledge that burns in the mind of Humankind is still lit? From it you may always relight your own flame should the Breeze of Laziness blow too hard and snuff out your own Flame. Never stop learning. Never give the Breeze Laziness a chance to blow."
Now the Troop's SPL, who has been standing in the middle of a plywood bridge with an ASPL, calls across to the Webelos Scouts and their parents, "Troop 6 invites the Webelos Scouts and their parents to join us on the Boy Scout side of Scouting by crossing over this symbolic bridge."
As the Webelos reach the middle of the span the SPL and his assistant stop him to remove the boy's blue shoulder flashes and replace them with red ones his patent offers up behind the boy's back. After the red flashes are in place, the SPL then places the Troop's neckerchief OVER the boy's Webelos version, removes the boy's slide, puts it on the Troop neckerchief, and then slides away the old neckerchief. [Handing it and the blue flashings off to a parent.]
As the SPL removes the FIRST neckerchief the SM says, "Notice that we removed the Webelos neckerchief after we've placed the Boy Scout neckerchief on the Scout. We do this to be sure that there is no break in a boy's Scouting career."
As the new Boy Scout exits the bridge, he is welcomed by his new Troop's Assistant SM who's in charge of the New Scout Patrol, and by as many other boy leaders as the Troop can muster that evening. The parents are likewise greeted.
When all have bridged over, the SA asks the new Boy Scouts to take hold of the Troop flag with their left hand and raise the Scout sign with their right. He leads them in the Scout Oath, and the ceremony is over.
-- Thanks to Andrew Hagemann, SA, NSP, Troop 6, Colonial Virginia Council