The Arrow of Light is the highest possible award in Cub Scouts. It is the only Cub Scout award that a young man will take with him to Boy Scouts. As a result, his Arrow of Light ceremony should be memorable. At that ceremony, he will be presented with an arrow as well. Our pack wanted to do something a little more meaningful than the standard issue BSA arrow. While nice, they lack the symbolism that our pack desired.
The arrows I have made are not solely my creation or brain-child. I was taught by a friend and former scout leader who is sadly no longer a leader in our pack- how to make a meaningful arrow. The arrows we have made are a symbolic record of the scouts’ journey through cub scouts. Read on to learn how to make an arrow that is unique, personalized, and symbolic of the journey that the scout has taken through cub scouts.
First, you need some beads, feathers, string/raffia/leather cord/etc, buttons/shells/or other decorative features like the inexpensive eagle metal medallion below, felt, hot glue, dowel with a notch on one end, and an obsidian arrow point.
Now it is time to decorate!
Add hanging feathers with beads to the arrow. In this example, I have hanging feathers near the arrow point and a faux animal tail which was in the collection of materials we pulled together. On both strings I used some extra beads to decorate the string.
String gold and silver beads on four separate strings. The first two are for Wolves and Bears. They represent how many arrow points the cub scout earned as a Wolf or a Bear. So, for example, if as a Wolf the boy earned 3 arrow points, the string would have 1 gold and 2 silver beads. If he earned 4 as a Bear, the Bear string would have 1 gold and 3 silver beads. For Webelos and Arrow of Light, I place 2 gold beads on each of the last strings to represent the 4 required activity pins plus enough silver to cover the remaining pins the boy has earned. Because our pack only does Webelos for 1 year, I divide these as evenly as possible. Here is an example of the wolf year and the Webelos and Arrow of Light strings:
This particular arrow was for Tiger and since he earned 7 arrow points as a Wolf, he has 1 gold and 6 silver beads on his wolf point. His Webelos and Arrow of Light points have 2 gold beads each symbolizing the four required beads. Then the rest of his activity awards are spaced out. In his case 8 silver on each string.
Tie the strings to the arrow at even distances along the shaft and then glue the award points on top. These award points can be decorated with shells, buttons, etc. In the case of this arrow, I used small conch shells collected on the beach.