I was today years old when I learned that visitors to Niagara Falls are treated to a themed light show every night celebrating a particularly worthy event or cause.
Tomorrow evening, Sept. 20, the American Falls section of Niagara Falls will be illuminated blue and gold to celebrate “Cub Scout Kick Off Day.”
Carol Thurnherr, the Cubmaster of Pack 824 in Sanborn, New York, arranged the show to coincide with her pack’s first meeting of September, which they’re calling an “Ice Breaker / Scout-Me-In Recruitment Night / Registration Meeting.”
The light show has come, however, to symbolize the spirit of Scouting in the entire Western New York Scout Council.
Thurnherr, who lives about 20 minutes from Niagara Falls, says the idea came to her when she was planning a trip to the falls to see fireworks with her kids and came across a section of the Niagara Falls State Park website where you can submit a request to have the falls illuminated for a particular theme.
“I submitted the request on a whim,” she says. “I wasn’t sure if it would happen.”
The falls will be blue and yellow from 10:30-10:45 p.m. Eastern on Wednesday night. Click here to watch it live.
A unique fall kickoff event
The Pack 824 leadership team has elected to launch their fall season in a slightly different way this year.
Instead of hosting a single Join Scouting night, they’ve been making themselves known at different schools and community events for the last month.
Therefore, Wednesday night’s event is much more than a recruiting night. It’s the first pack meeting of the year, with events designed to give new members the chance to get to know each other, and new families the chance to talk to returning families about what this whole Cub Scout thing is all about.
“It’s kind of a combination of everything,” says Thurnherr. “It’s a recruiting night. It’s an open house. It’s an ice breaker. It’s an opportunity for people who have never been involved with Scouts to come to the meeting and scope it out a little bit and meet some of the people who are already involved.”
Why are the Cub Scout colors blue and gold?
From page 11 of the Cub Scout Leader Book:
Blue and gold are the colors of Cub Scouting, and they have special meaning.
Blue stands for truth and spirituality, steadfast loyalty, and the sky above.
Gold stands for good cheer, happiness, and warm sunlight.
Blue and Gold is also the name of the traditional Cub Scout banquet that’s held in the spring.
Thurnherr didn’t get to choose the time of the Cub Scout-themed illumination, and she’s aware that 10:30 p.m. local time is a little late for most Cub Scouts. Still, she and another adult leader will make the trip to see it in person, while everyone else watches it live online.
The lighting, she figures, is really more of a symbolic gesture anyway. That’s why they’ve been including it in all of their promotional materials.
“I thought it would be a great way to show everyone how excited we are about our pack,” she says.
Does your community do something to recognize your local Scouts? If so, let us know!