Local Cub Scouts to Be Recognized in Arrow of Light Ceremony

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Dexter’s Mayor Keough recently spent an evening with Cub Scout Pack 477 including its Arrow of Light Webelos. Photo: Betsy Finn

By Doug Marrin, STN Reporter

An annual celebratory ritual will be taking place at The Encore next month.

Webelos from local Cub Scout pack 477 will be recognized with the time-honored Arrow of Light ceremony.

The Arrow of Light Award (AOL) is the highest rank in Cub scouting. Earning this rank prepares a Webelos Scout to become a member of a Scouts BSA troop. The Arrow of Light Award is the only cub scout rank that can still be worn once a scout enters Scouts BSA.

Scouts working on the Mill Creek trout stream habitat improvement project in the fall of 2021. Photo: Scott Verna.

“The ceremony is a recognition of their hard work that they have put into their scouting,” says Betsy Finn, one of the den leaders for Pack 477. “The crossing over ceremony is focused solely on the cub scouts who have completed their second-year Webelos requirements.”

Cub scouts will cross a small wooden bridge on The Encore’s stage in the ceremony, symbolizing their transition into BSA. Current boy scouts will be waiting on the other side to welcome them into the Troop.

Troop 448 helping the DNR remove invasive mustard in Pinckney Rec Area. Photo: Meg Patulski.

BSA (Boy Scouts of America) has become somewhat of a misnomer since the organization has allowed girls to belong since 2019. In Cub Scouts, a pack can be co-ed with separate dens formed for boys and girls. At the scout level, boys and girls have independent troops. This year’s AOL combined Webelos dens are the biggest group thus far, consisting of 17 boys and three girls – the Pack’s inaugural group of girl AOL scouts.

Betsy explains that what draws a kid into scouting is the same thing that motivates them to continue. Kids enjoy the camaraderie they experience in scouting. They enjoy the satisfaction of the service projects and the fun they have in campouts and other activities.

Eagle Scout Ben Darnell repaired the sign at Forest Lawn Cemetery in the summer of 2021. Photo: Scott Verna.

The Webelos can choose which BSA troop they would like to join. The Dexter area has three—troops 448, 456, and 477. While it’s a rite of passage for cub scouts to move on to a BSA troop, kids who have not been in scouting are also welcome to join if interested.

This year’s AOL Webelos include:

Den 5: Austin Douce, Everett Stenberg, Griffin Backus, Griffin Wismer, Harrison Hoffman, Henry Brand, Joseph Badel, Liam Corcoran, Toby Finn, and Zak Starback.

Den 6: Benjamin Schultz, Erik DeWester, Felix Zemper, Henry Cooper, Jackson Lin, Jeremy Borden, and William Noesen-Bosscher.

Den 7: Carmella Poroko, Cecilia Lange, and Sabrina Lange.

The scouts emphasize having a heart for the community and serving others. If you live around Dexter, you’ve probably benefited from the many service projects that Dexter area scouts have done for their community.

Cub Scout Pack 477

Cub Scout Pack 477's total service hours are over 300 hours for all the scouts this year. The Pack helped out at Dexter Daze and Apple Daze. The scouts are regulars at Lion sponsored events. They spent time cleaning up Hudson Mills Metropark. More recently, they built nesting boxes in conjunction with Ducks Unlimited.

To learn more about Pack 477, email 477dexter@gmail.com or search for “477dexter” on Facebook.

Cub Scout Pack 477 volunteered to help the Lions Club make lemonade at Dexter Daze. Photos: Robert Yeager.
Cub Scout Pack 477 at Apple Daze and Dexter Daze. Photo: Betsy Finn.

BSA Troop 448

The scouts regularly help the Dexter Lion’s Club muscle the pines around in the lot next to Creekside School for the club’s famous Christmas Tree Sale. Scouts also make a regular appearance at local churches for fundraising projects. They have organized winter coat drives for local charities. The Troop has also helped with meal preparation at local shelters like Alpha House.

Scouts also cleaned up a section of Flemming Road. “It was quite an eye-opening experience to see how much trash there really was along the road. We called home to get more garbage bags delivered to us along the way because we underestimated how many we would fill up,” said Troop Leader Lyle Portice.

The scouts have also been involved with local conservation and outdoor activities. They have removed invasive species with Volunteer Ann Arbor. Eagle Scouts have constructed fire rings for the Howell Nature Center. They put up an information kiosk for trail bikers at the DTE Energy Foundation Bike Trail.

Last spring, scouts and their parents teamed up with MDNR for a stewardship day to remove invasive garlic mustard from Pinckney Rec Area. “This was a great opportunity to support natural areas in our area and celebrate ‘Earth Day Weekend,’" says Meg Patulski

For more information about Dexter Troop 448, contact Scoutmaster Mike Delduca at dextertroop448@gmail.com.

Calvin and Mason Portice doing a roadside cleanup project for Troop 448. Photo: Lyle Portice.
Fleming Road was restored to its natural beauty thanks to the scouts. Photo: Lyle Portice.

BSA Troop 456

The next time you’re visiting the solitude of Forest Lawn Cemetery, you’ll appreciate the work some of our local BSA has done there. One Troop 456 scout created a meditative prayer/reflection garden for visitors to exercise mindfulness among the history and legacy represented there. Another scout made three informational signs commemorating notable Dexter residents interred in the cemetery. Another scout took on the substantial task of photographing all the grave markers and uploaded the information to BillionGraves.com. This allows anyone to virtually visit Forest Lawn from anywhere at any time.

One of the Troop’s earliest projects was restoring the wrought iron fence bordering the St. Joseph Cemetery on the corner of Dan Hoey Rd and Baker Rd. Another Scout installed a Vietnam Veterans Memorial at the Dexter American Legion Post 557.

You can learn more about Troop 456 by visiting https://www.dextertroop456.org/

BSA Troop 456 prayer/reflection garden at Forest Lawn Cemetery. Photo: Pete Potsos.
The Troop 456 Vietnam Veterans Memorial at the Dexter American Legion. Photo: Pete Potsos.

BSA Troop 477

“Troop 477 makes community service an integral part of our activities calendar,” says Scoutmaster Scott Verna. “At least once per quarter, you can find our Boy Scouts serving the local community by raising the flag at Dexter home high school football games, working with Trout Unlimited to improve trout stream habitat along the banks of Mill Creek, and raking leaves for local seniors. In every case, boys and scout leaders are rewarded with the opportunity to develop friendships, comradery, and the satisfaction of a job well done in exchange for their sweat equity.”

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