Lest We Forget

After attending 2 of our local Remembrance Day Ceremonies, the youth concluded that they didn’t like it. They like the concept, but not the act of doing it. Why? They couldn’t hear anything or see anything. Being in a city, our services are packed. I’ve honestly never actually heard anything being said at a service aside from the firing of the canon, jets over-head and the trumpets. I totally understood what my Cub Scouts were saying.

We asked the Howlers Council a difficult question: “Then what do we do next year?”

A moment of silence. Another moment. One of the newer Cubs started to say something but stopped, saying it was stupid. Another one of the Howlers said that they’d like to hear.

“Have our own service?”

Done deal Cub Scout. 23rd Elsie Roy’s Remembrance Day Service

2016-11-02-20-28-19The Saturday before Remembrance Day, we laid wreaths, reflected and explored why we Remember. We didn’t do our Service on our regular meeting night as we didn’t want to limit ourselves on time nor have any unnecessary risks come up from being in the Downtown East Side (Vancouver).
To get there, we prepped on Wednesday evening. The Cub Scouts spent the evening making their wreaths that were going to be laid and the Scouts went into the history.

Originally, I was going to have a Veteran come out to MC the event but due to an emergency they had to pull out on the morning of the event. Thankfully, they left me with a rough guideline on what to do.

A Guide to Commemorative Services

We met at our meeting place and processioned down to the cenotaph. Horseshoe formed, I walked down the list.

Opening remarks. Check.
In Flanders Field (read by Troop). Check.
Act of Remembrace. Check.
Silence. Check.
Reflection moment and sharing thoughts. Check.
Commitment to Remember. Check.
Wreath Laying. Check.

This is where we went deep into it and had the real fun. Once the wreaths were laid, we go the youth to walk around and explore the cenotaph. Out of the 11 youth present, only 1 had actually looked and explored one before. We pointed out a few details that are often overlooked and asked them to think about why it was there.

We came back together and one of our Scouters shared the story of how Scouting started. In the end, several of the Troop members finally understood why they break the flag. Others understood why it was a troop and patrols. To add another layer, I also shared this video:

To wrap up the Service, I shared my personal hope that they never face anything as horrific as what’s in our past. That I hope that the future generations can reflect and learn from where we’ve been and use it to guide us to where we can go.

During the review session before pick-up, the youth said that it was better than expected and wanted it to be longer. Their ideas include having another poem and signing the national anthem.

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