American Symbols Ceremony
This Ceremony is meant for Cub Scouts.
A slideshow may be used: statue of libery, american flag, declaration of independence, liberty bell, log cabin, Uncle Sam, eagle
this ceremony can be used for all cub scout rank advancements.
As Americans, we are fortunate to have many historic symbols that represent freedom. Tonight I would like to tell you a little about some of these symbols as we honor scouts advancing along the Cub Scout Trail.
The Statue of Liberty towers 305 feet above Liberty Island in New York Harbor, welcoming people of other lands to become citizens of our country. The statue was given to the United States by France as a token of friendship. Each year, about 2 million people visit Miss Liberty. The inscription at the base of the statue was written by Emma Lazarus, and reads in part:
Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me.
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.
There is a golden door to Scouting that is open to all boys. By walking through that door, a boy has an opportunity to grow in many ways and learn about citizenship, character, and physical fitness. The boys who wish to walk through that door to Scouting tonight are [list names of Bobcat candidates]. Will you and your parents please come forward. (Distribute Bobcat patches and welcome scouts. Scouts are seated.)
Our American flag is much more than the red, white, and blue cloth of which it is made. It is the symbol of America. It stands for the past, the present, and the future of our country. When we show respect for the flag, we are showing respect for all that is America, our land, our people, our way of life. When the 13 original colonies set out to become a free country more than 200 years ago, their men and women needed a rallying point, a flag.
"We will take the stars and blue union from heaven", George Washington is reported to have said, "red from our mother country, separating it by white stripes to emphasize our new independence. The white stripes shall represent liberty."
Respect for the flag is one of the requirements for the Wolf rank. Tonight we have some scouts who have completed all of these requirements. I would like the following scouts and a parent to please come forward. [list names, distribute patches, return to seats.)
The Declaration of Independence is the document that called for a free America. It was on July 4, 1776, that the Continental Congress met in Philadelphia and announced the separation of the 13 colonies from England. In America, we have a government of the people, by the people, and for the people - not just for some of them, but for all people - the people to whom the Declaration of Independence refers when it says, "all men are created equal" not equally talented or equally rich, but equal under the law and under God. All Scouts have an equal opportunity to advance in rank and earn badges. The following scouts have earned arrow points as Wolf Scouts. (list names, distribute arrow points, return to seats.)
One of the most beloved of our freedom symbols is the Liberty Bell. The Liberty Bell was rung in 1776 to announce the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. During the British occupation of Philadelphia, the bell was hidden beneath the floor of the Zion Reformed Church in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Sixty years later, as the bell was rung during the funeral of Chief Justice John Marshall, it cracked. Since that time, it has been on display in or close to Independence Hall, Philadelphia, for all Americans to see. The bell is old, but the crack is plain to see, along with this inscription: "Proclaim Liberty throughout all the land. .."
What Makes America Special is one of the 24 achievements from which a scout may choose to earn the Bear badge. The following scouts will receive this badge tonight. (list names, distribute patches, return to seats.)
The log cabin is a freedom symbol, not only because it represents the many colonists who helped settle this country, but because it is associated with one of the most famous Americans of all time, Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln had less than 1 year of formal schooling. He taught himself by reading borrowed books. Many people do not know that Lincoln was a powerful wrestler, runner, and weight lifter. This tall, lanky man worked as a store clerk, a postmaster, a surveyor, and lawyer. Lincoln believed in freedom. His famous Gettysburg Address began: "Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal." We would like to honor now the scouts who have earned arrow points as Bear Scouts. (list names, distribute arrow points, return to seats.)
Uncle Sam originated as a cartoon character many years ago and has become one of the best-known symbols of the United States. Imagine how many thousands of schoolboys have portrayed the part of Uncle Sam in school plays. Think of how many millions of young men have answered Uncle Sam's recruiting call, "I want you" and have helped defend the freedom of America in time of war. The following scouts have earned Webelos activity badges. (list names, distribute pins, return to seats.)
Another symbol of American freedom is the eagle, with wings outspread in protection of our birthright of freedom. The eagle has been the national bird since George Washington took the oath of office for the presidency in 1789. Many years ago, Indians climbed high mountains to reach the peaks where coveted eagle feathers could be found. Indians used these eagle feathers as badges of rank. Today Scouts work hard and long to reach the highest rank of Scouting, the Eagle.
It is never easy to reach those high peaks. It takes time, and effort, and sacrifice. But when you finally reach the top, you'll find it was worth the effort. The following scouts have reached the top rank in Cub Scouting by earning the Webelos rank. (list names, distribute patches, return to seats.)
We are proud of all our freedom symbols, and we are very proud of all the scouts who received awards tonight. They are on their way to becoming worthwhile citizens of tomorrow. As President John F. Kennedy said, "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country."
Do you scouts ever wonder what you can do for your country?
Well, if you do, I'll tell you where to start.
Whatever game you choose to play ... play fair!
Whatever you hope to be... be true!
Whatever road you choose to take... take care!
Be proud you're an American ... and that's a great way to start doing something for your country.