On May 26th, Pack 242 of Aquia Harbour in Stafford, VA conducted its annual crossing over/ranking up. Traditionally, this event is held at the last Pack meeting of the school year in order to advance Scouts’ Dens prior to the start of Day and Summer Camps. As part of the ceremony in previous years, Scouts come forward as a Den, have their neckerchiefs removed, and the neckerchief of their new rank is placed around their neck by the Scouts from the next higher level Den.
With the unusual restrictions on group events this year, Pack 242’s Wolf Den Leader, Derek Cook, came up with the idea of a socially distanced crossing over ceremony. A local foot bridge was used as the location; with the occasional non-Scout, pedestrian being given a congratulatory cheer upon emerging from it, as well!
Dens were given time slots to line up in cars. They would be sent forward, the Scout, or sibling Scouts, would exit the vehicle, greet Cubmaster Jim Isajewicz, salute and give the Scout sign and Oath before some words of wisdom or a short discussion about their Scouting year, often with a little humor, such as the social distancing measuring tape (pictured). The Scout(s) would proceed through the streamers to a table to pick up their new rank’s neckerchief, then triumphantly return through the streamers and to their families. The entire event was live-streamed in the same way as conducting our virtual Pack meetings. Scouts and families not ready to venture out, as well as distant family members, were all able to participate through the live virtual event.
A photo station was set up further past the ceremony location using our traditional bridge for Arrow of Light crossovers and our Pack and US flags, where parents could take additional photos of their Scouts.
We hope the Scouts had as much fun as the Leaders did putting this event on! It was great to see so many of our Scouts and their families, even if at a distance.