Posted 20 February 2008 - 08:12 AM
I found the ceremony when I first witnessed it t be pretty ridiculous. Especially since as Christians of European ancestry we have rituals and symbols that actually hold actual meaning and relevance to our scouts.
The romance of Indjuns and Cowboys and Knights and Soldiers is all real for boys, as Bob White alluded to. But I for one do not appreciate the Disney aspect to Cub Scouting. And as many of you know- I have edited our Cub Scouting experience to fit what I believe our COs mission is- The Formation of Christian Men.
We replace the imagery of current Cub Scouting with the illustrations from early scouting. We replace the blue and gold uniforms with the Khaki Tans and campaign hats of yester-year.
Our ceremonies have a very military and or Roman Catholic bent- all heavy on Chivalry and Service for God. I have had the boys hold vigil in the Chapel and before the Holy presence and pray to be better scouts. We light candles, have our parish priest bless us, have our boats launched with formal blessings, etcetera.
When we pray it is always hats off and bent knees.
Our meetings often end with lowering the flag slowly while the bugler plays taps.
This is all in an attempt to connect the community's culture, faith, and scouting into a single fabric.
Boys are capable of a high degree of spiritual intelligence- and sacred symbols, rituals, and actions can be both appreciated by boys and embraced as part of their identity. We dont have to introduce shallow symbols like fake arrows and Halloween-costumed phony Indians when we have available to us Sacred Scripture- and a real historical tradition of Saints, Martyrs, Patriots, and Heroes.
Instead of fake Indjun Chief, how about Charles the Hammer- who fended of the Islamic Horde from its attempt at invading Europe through Spain. Instead of Baloo the Bear, how about American Patriots like Patrick Henry or Paul Revere (who was the model of preparedness) or Colonel Henry Knox, the young Boston bookseller who had led a small group of men on a 300-mile journey from Boston to Fort Ticonderoga in New York State. Once there, the party disassembled cannon taken when the British surrendered the fort and retreated to Canada in May 1775. In less than two months time, Knox and his men moved 60 tons of artillery across lakes and rivers, through ice and snow to Boston. On March 7th, 2,000 Continental soldiers maneuvered the guns to a hill overlooking the city. The British had no choice but to evacuate Boston. Colonel Knox is the model of resourcefulness and American know-how).
We Americans all have various treasures of Tradition and History and truth- why the phony non-sense?