The most recent of these was at the Key Peninsula Civic Center a few weeks ago on a very pleasant day which escaped the then-almost-prevalent rains. I’ve got to hand it to the managers and cubs and scouts of Pack 222 and Troop 220. This was the most impressive such event I’ve ever witnessed. It represented a huge amount of planning, preparation and hard, highly professional work. The “bridge,” built by Troop 220 scouts, was a sturdy work of art.
Thanks largely to Chris Quill, Troop 220 committee chair, I got to flit about the proceedings — camera in hand — as if I were a member of the troop.
I was almost as proud of the seven Cub Pack 222 candidates as they got ready to advance to scout rank in Troop 220 as were their parents. All fifth-graders, they were, from Evergreen Elementary, Noah Haworth; from Vaughn Elementary, Braydon Nighbor and Brandon Dewitt; and from Minter Creek Elementary, Kristian Tollefson, Christopher Johnson, David Kane and Eli Ohara.
A solemn ceremony around a campfire found the young aspirants guided by scoutmasters, assistants, and, most importantly, Boy Scouts of Troop 220 as they went through the procedures leading to the challenge of “Crossing the Bridge.” Among these proceedings was a multi-layered, multi-colored painting of the faces of the soon-to-be scouts, each color representing stages of the advancement process.
New scout Kristian Tollefson said, “Crossing the bridge was fun. It looked scary at first but as I climbed on it and started crossing, it was exciting. It was also cool to get the symbolic face paint before crossing.”
The bridge, assembled earlier by Troop 220, appeared to me to be strong enough to accommodate half the Seattle Seahawks offensive line at one time. BUT crossing the expanse on a single strand of line given to persistent wiggling would pose a challenge even for those tough guys. Our new scouts handled it with aplomb.
Having made the crossing, the new scouts were greeted by Troop members who presented them the accoutrements of advancement.
Proud new scout Braydon Nighbor “liked that you got to shake every single Boy Scout’s hand after you crossed the bridge and got to meet all the Boy Scouts you are going to join.”
The event was capped with a hot meal of quickly-disappearing scout foods. Suffice to say, there were a lot of proud scouts and their parents to make the occasion memorable.
Hugh McMillan is a longtime contributing writer for the Gateway. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.