Arrow of Light flies for five local scoutsFive Cub Scouts in River Falls earned their Arrow of Light badges, the highest award a scout at their level can earn and the only one that can be carried over and worn on their Boy Scout uniform.
Five Cub Scouts in River Falls earned their Arrow of Light badges, the highest award a scout at their level can earn and the only one that can be carried over and worn on their Boy Scout uniform.
The boys are in the 5th grade, ages 11 and 12, and listed as they appear in the picture: Bobby Tulgren, Devlin Laidlaw, Nathan Rixmann, Garnett Ripley and Cooper Andrea.
Den leader Adam Ripley handmade from wood the five awards, each of which resemble an arrow and bear a personalized name plaque.
Scout supporter Bob Tulgren said the boys worked on 20 different activity badges along with the Arrow of Light.
He said the boys are crossing the bridge from being Webelo II Cub Scouts, the highest of five Cub Scout levels, to being full-fledged Boy Scouts.
The word Webelo even reminds the boys they’re on their way, being a partial acronym for the phrase, “We’ll be loyal Boy Scouts.”
Tulgren described some of the work the boys completed both individually and as a group. They earned fitness and citizen, as well as readyman and outdoorsman badges.
He said the readyman badge included a field trip to the River Falls Ambulance station. The Scouts’ outdoorsman badge included an overnight camping experience with 3,000 other Webelos.
The group performed skits to earn their showmanship badge, built toolboxes for their craftsman badge, and learned about different modes of communication for that award.
Asked what the boys thought of receiving the honor, Tulgren said he heard his son comment that he feels a big sense of accomplishment and pride in himself for persevering through the requirements.
The Scouts’ official web site tells the story of the Arrow of Light award, which goes back to tribal times.
Young tribe member “Akela” wanted to become a warrior but was too young to join the hunt -- not yet fast or strong enough to be deemed “ready.” Still the boy practiced and honed his skills.
The tribe’s wise chieftain acknowledged the boy’s bright spirit and predicted: “The time will come when the tribe will need only that which Akela can give.”
One night a party of warriors were canoeing back to the village when a thick, heavy fog had rolled across the river. It hid the path leading back to the village; the other nearby path led straight to a roaring river chasm.
The warriors didn’t know which path to take and were trapped by the fog. Akela had been high in the hills practicing his hunting skills when he saw the warriors’ predicament.
Akela wrapped an arrow, set it aflame, and shot it into the sky in the direction of the village. The trapped warriors saw the flaming arrow through the fog and were able to follow the safe path.
The chief told the warriors the arrow had come not from the heavens, but from the one they’d thought too young. The chief praised Akela for his unselfish service and declared him worthy to wear the name warrior.
He then decided all young tribe members should meet the Arrow of Light challenges before becoming warriors.