[April 22, 2019] Last week I was invited to attend a special ceremony when young members advanced from Cub Scout to older Boy Scouts. The Pack advanced seven boys with many family members in attendance. To show respect (and to gain it in return) requires leaders to be present at these bridging ceremonies.
We all shook the hand of each boy and spoke with them and their families. It reminded me when I moved up from Cub to Boy Scout and the emotions involved. My new Scoutmaster gave me a new scout book, scarf and neckerchief tie, and epaulets for my uniform. This provided us with the motivation to stay in and learn more about scouting.
When leaders show respect, they are also providing the seeds of motivation. It is this internal motivation that drives us to accomplish great things, to be more resilient, and have great focus. Motivation means the difference in graduating from school and not. It determines if we get married, get a job, or enjoy life.
Bridging ceremonies mean something special. If we graduate from college, for example, we are moving from an academic life of study to a world of work. To fail to recognize this transition is wasteful and shows a lack of the basic knowledge of human psychology of motivation.
Many organizations have a “bridging” ceremony; although it may be called something else. The Girl Scouts have one also. So do several religious groups. The name may be called something else but the respect we should bestow on those transitioning to another phase of their life is essential. To ignore or to dismiss this as purely ceremonial is missing the point.
These bridging ceremonies are often a rite of passage that welcomes people into the rewards and responsibilities of a new life. It is about a time of tremendous change and stress. It is a time when many leave a life of our youth for one with new experiences. For a leader to be physically present shows the recognition of this transition and the respect it deserves.1
Leaders are inspirational. Attending the bridging ceremony is one way how they show it.