Arrow of Light Awards…Help!

So, being a den leader of a group of 5th grade Webelos (and a dad of one of them), I know that it is now closing in on 4 short months until our Blue and Gold Banquet where our oldest Webelos cross over to Boy Scouts. And since one of my six boys just completed his Arrow of Light Award this past weekend, I know the others will be doing it pretty soon as well.

So it is time for the tradition that obviously quite a few packs do, which is to get a ceremonial arrow for the boy who has completed AOL as a presentation for when he moves on to Boy Scouts. I always thought they were pretty neat. Now I’m not looking to reinvent the wheel here, and I am well aware of all the kits available out there. I think from a cost standpoint I will probably end up purchasing pre-made arrows from one of the many different sources available on the internet, then customize them for the boys. Now the customization part is where things can get a little bit more personal in the touches which I think is a good thing.

There is a document circulating on the web which seems to be the widely accepted standard that most people use. You can find a copy here. Another good website that I found with step by step instructions is here.

However, I think it might be time to update this very good document in regards to the colors and order. First, for the order of things. Since the June 2006 shift in BSA policy that boys must earn Bobcat before Tiger, I think the Bobcat black should come before the Tiger Orange.

For the change in colors, I don’t think there’s much to change, and I’ve actually seen several different versions. The one I plan on using is:

Bobcat = Black
Tiger = Orange
Wolf = Red
Bear = Aqua
Webelos = Blue
Arrow of Light = Yellow
Gold Arrow Points = Gold
Silver Arrow Points = Silver
Webelos Activity Badges = White
Religious Emblem = Tan
World Conservation Award = Purple

There’s two that I think are missing, though.

If we’re going to put in Arrow Points for Wolf & Bear electives, and the Webelos Activity Badges, then shouldn’t we also put in the Tiger Electives beads? I plan to. My main issue is what color to make them. They’re yellow beads, so the first thought would be yellow. But that’s the same color as AOL! What would I change AOL to? Or what color should I use for the Tiger electives if not yellow?

The second one is that I think if we’re going to note some non-rank awards (Religious Emblem and World Conservation), then I think it would be appropriate to also note the Leave No Trace Award. I know the award itself is blue and yellow but I would mark this one in Green (partly because it isn’t being used and also because LNT is all about helping keep the world a better…and greener…place).

So there’s my dilemma. Any suggestions?

I thought about adding a couple of feathers or beads to the coup feather and thong that I think I will make and attach to denote the non-rank awards. So that’s one option. But I think keeping it in paint (or wrapping the arrow shaft in colored embroiderly floss rather than painting) would be the better choice here.

Good thing these arrows I’m looking at are 25″ long! Some of these boys earned a ton of electives and arrow points, it’s going to use a lot of the real estate on that arrow shaft with paint!

One last note. I should point out that these aren’t really going to be AOL arrows. They’re more Honor Arrows because even if a boy doesn’t complete AOL (and I sincerely hope that isn’t the case for my den) I will still make the arrow for them, just leave out the yellow (or whatever color I end up using) to denote the AOL award.

EDIT 2/22/11 – I’ve posted a follow-up to this item here.

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  • Marlin Goldtooth  On December 31, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    If you are interested or know some one interested in buy arrows or quantity of arrows for Arrow of light Ceremony’s you’ve must check out my website, cause I make arrows of all types… Please reply, Thanks, Marlin Goldtooth, Artist…

  • middletownscouter  On February 3, 2011 at 9:58 pm

    Follow-up time. First, wow, this is the most popular post on my site. Must have gotten into the Google search results or something.

    Second is that we got the arrows in and they look great. I decided to buy pre-made arrows rather than do them myself to save time. Decorating them for each boy’s Cub Scout career, the boys are going to do that at their last den meetings this month. My wife (the art major) and I decided to go the embroiderly floss route and once it is all done I will post a picture and more info on what we did. I did decide to include the Tiger Track elective beads with a pale yellow color that is slightly lighter than the yellow for AOL. Leave No Trace is a kelly green. I think it is going to turn out great!

    More to come…

  • Marlin Goldtooth  On February 4, 2011 at 5:51 am

    I sell arrows pre made with real bronze turkey feathers and cedar shafts with Stone arrow head points, and yes I am a real Native American Indian (a Navajo, “Dineh”). If you are interested I haved some pictures on Please feel free to contact me for arrows, Thanks Marlin.

  • Ron Sorensen NC262  On November 16, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    I have been involved in scouts since dinosaurs,seems that way, and there are a zillion websites for Arrow of Light. Just about every one has a different color scheme for stripping arrows. Which one is right??? or just pick one???

    • Marlin  On February 24, 2014 at 2:47 am

      It is best to get a plain arrow of light then paint your scheme for stripping for your arrows according to the individual child’s achievements that they have received for there crossover ceremony award.


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