Weekend ceremony at Pat Mayse Lake marks boys’ transition from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts

Troop 2 Scoutmaster Mike Taylor honors Christopher Hudson by replacing his former Cub Scout neckerchief with a Boy Scout neckerchief. (eParisExtra photo by Charles Richards)

Troop 2 Scoutmaster Mike Taylor honors Christopher Hudson of Paris by putting a Boy Scout neckerchief on him to replace the Cub Scout neckerchief. (eParisExtra photo by Charles Richards)

About a dozen Webelos Scouts — typically fifth-graders — gathered after dark at Camp Kiwanis on the banks of Pat Mayse Lake last weekend to observe the boys’ passage from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts.

The scouts came from six troops from the Paris-based NeTseO Trails Council — made up of scouting organizations throughout Northeast Texas and Southeast Oklahoma.

The “Bridging Ceremony” symbolizes a shift from mostly adult leadership in Cub Scouts to the imparting of leadership by the boys themselves in Boy Scouts.

Friday night’s half-hour ceremony was in darkness, lit only by a full moon peeking through the clouds and by torches carried by Scouts dressed as tribal Indian leaders.

Dozens of people — family and friends — sat in the sand on lawn chairs and applauded the young scouts making the transition.

At the end of the ceremony, the Cub Scout neckerchief was taken from each boy and replaced by the Boy Scout neckerchief.

Mike Taylor of Paris, scoutmaster of Troop 2, whose members conducted the ceremony, opened the ceremony with prayer and with remarks to explain what was to happen.

“We seek to instill virtuous characteristics in each of these young men by teaching them to live the Scout Oath and the Scout Law in their everyday lives,” he said.

Adult Scout leaders “walk through this experience with them, teaching them about hiking and camping and canoeing and all the things that go with it — mountain climbing, rock climbing, and so many other things I can’t even start to name them all,” he said.

“It’s a tremendous experience, and this is a new adventure they’re going into tonight.”

A principal purpose of Scouting is to guide young men “to become fit, not just physically but mentally, emotionally, socially and most of all spiritually,” Taylor said, “and to become “effective, working citizens” in their community, their nation, and their world.

Hopefully, one day some of the pre-teens transitioning from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts will achieve the ultimate Scouting goal of becoming Eagle Scouts, Taylor said.

That’s an accomplishment that marks the individual as a leader, he said.

“It represents an accomplishment that will take them through life and open unbelievable opportunities for them. I cannot tell you how many businessmen I talk to, when they do interviews and see Eagle Scout on the resume, that candidate goes to the very top of the list,” Taylor said.

By Charles Richards, eParisExtra

 

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Charles Richards Charles Richards moved to Paris in 2004 after retiring from a 40-year career in journalism – the last 26 years as a news writer and sports writer with The Associated Press in Dallas and Washington, D.C. In mid-2004, The Paris News coaxed him out of retirement, and he began covering the police, court and regional beat for The Paris News. Then in early 2005, he was switched to coverage of a sharply divided Paris City Council. He was appointed by the City Council in 2006 to the 12-member City Charter Review Commission, which extensively rewrote the outmoded document. His writing awards include two first-place awards in statewide competition for feature writing. The most recent was his 2005 story on a Paris doctor’s startling use of leeches in a successful attempt to re-attach a man’s severed ear. Over his career, Richards’ interview subjects include Alabama Gov. George Wallace, President Bill Clinton, President George W. Bush, David Koresh, Arnold Palmer, Muhammad Ali and numerous other political and sports figures. He is an alumnus of Texas Tech, where he was editor of the school newspaper. He lives in Paris with his wife, Barbara, who is retired after 30 years as a teacher and high school counselor.