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For The Lancaster News
Five local boys graduated from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts on May 6 during a ceremony held at Buford Volunteer Fire Department.
Chandler Horton, Austin Shipston, Mason Brasington, Hunter Roberts and JP Starr crossed the bridge from Cub Scout to Boy Scout during the ceremony. The occasion was made more memorable by the fact that the graduation coincided with the 50th anniversary of Cub Scout Pack 82, which was established in 1962.
“We are really proud of these guys,” said Cubmaster Mike Horton. “They started the Cub Scouts in the first grade, and now are about to finish fifth grade. They have learned a lot and it’s wonderful they have stuck with this to now be able to move up to the next level.”
After graduation, the boys will go to their individual Boy Scout troops, Horton said. Most of them will be joining Troop 69, out of the Camp Creek area. During their time in the Cub Scouts, the boys worked on community service projects and were taught the basic fundamentals of the program to prepare for the Boy Scouts.
“We took the handbook and went through each chapter, working through things like physics and science,” said Greg Brasinton, assistant cubmaster and leader of the Weblos 2 Cub Scout pack. “The best thing about it is that they get to learn, yet are entertained at the same time.”
The boys take part in various activities, earning badges and patches along the way. They take part in camps, said Kenneth Ellinger, Weblos 1 leader and also assistant cubmaster.
“They spend one week at day camp, which takes place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Andrew Jackson State Park,” Ellinger said. “During that one, they take part in athletic programs, work on craft projects like tie-dying T-shirts and do skits for one another. It’s a lot of fun.”
Cub Scouts also get to spend time at Camp Bob Hardin in Saluda, NC. While there, they participate in various outdoor activities.
“Things like forestry, archery, knot tying, swimming, fishing and boating are covered during that camp session,” Brasington said. “They earn so many patches that they can’t wear them all at once – they don’t have enough shirt material.”
All five boys will have to make room on their shirts for one special award – the Arrow of Light.
“It’s the highest award you can get as a Cub Scout, and the only one that you can continue to wear on your Boy Scout uniform,” Ellinger said. “We are very pleased that all five of the graduates have earned this award.”
Brian Thomas, scoutmaster for Troop 69 was at the event, as well as Richard Carter, committee chairman for Troop 69. Special guests were Bob Bundy and Sheriff Barry Faile, and they were escorted to their seats by the Weblettes, older sisters of the Cub Scouts, who help out with various activities the Cub Scouts take part in. Bundy, a former Cub Scout, said he was very pleased to be a part of the ceremony.
“It’s really exciting to see these young men go from one level to another like this,” he said. “It’s a rite of passage and I’m excited to be a part of it.”
During his speech, Faile compared the qualities in Boy Scouts to those of law enforcement officers.
“A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent,” Faile said, referring to the core values of the program. “It seems to me that because of these qualities Cub Scouts and police officers are a lot alike. These are the qualities that I myself strive towards and expect my officers to strive towards as well.”
Faile said he was thankful that as young people, the boys had chosen to follow that path.
“People who choose to follow values like those written in Scout law become great and important members of the community,” he said. “Following Scout law will, without a doubt, help you reach your goals.”
Graduate Hunter Roberts, who also received honors for having perfect attendance, said he felt more confident about life in general after having been a part of the Cub Scouts.
“I feel like now I am prepared for anything,” he said.